RRS 29.1 states in part "When at a boat's starting signal any part of her hull, crew or equipment is on the course side of the starting line or she must comply with rule 30.1, the race committee shall
promptly display flag X with one sound." The definition of shall according to Merriam-Webster is "used in laws, regulations, or directives to express what is mandatory". Being a retired Army Master Sergeant it is ingrained in me to follow rules and regulations to the letter. However, I have experienced a couple of scenarios where I believe following this rule to the letter may confuse competitors specifically when Rule 30.1 is in play. Please consider the following:
Keel boats on the final approach to the start with the I flag rule, 30.1, on. Green wants to squeeze in, but at position 2 it is clear that she does not have enough room so she peels off and tacks to starboard of the signal boat. The starting signal is given at position 4. Green is on the course side of the starboard extension of the starting line. Should the PRO display Flag X with one sound signal?
Dingys on the final approach to start, race 3. I flag rule, 30.1, is on. White, starboard of the signal boat, is returning from the boat landing were she went for an equipment repair after finishing race 2. Magenta, port of the pin, is dealing with equipment or other issues. The start signal is given at position 4. Should the PRO display Flag X with one sound signal?
As PRO I have experienced both scenarios and I did not signal individual recall. The reason being I feared it may have confused competitors who were very close to the starting line when the start signal was given. Rather, we kept an eye on the boats who broke Rule 30.1 and made sure they complied with 30.1 and started properly. I believe most if not all the time boats will comply with 30.1 and start properly. Otherwise, if they tried a dip start for example not complying with 30.1, they simply would not start and be scored DNS.
I was taught not to do anything to confuse the competitors. But in the above scenarios, I clearly did not take a mandatory RRS action.