Forum: The Racing Rules of Sailing

Protest Contents before a Hearing, R61.2

Mike Forbes
Nationality: United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland
Certifications:
  • National Judge
The only content of a written Protest required to lodge a Protest is identification of the incident (61.2).  
61.2 a,c,d,e can be added before or during the hearing. 
My question is..... what is "identifying the incident" (61.2(b)?   Surely that includes 61.2 (a) and (c) ?
Created: 19-Apr-16 11:39

Comments

P
Angelo Guarino
Nationality: United States of America
Certifications:
  • Judge In Training
  • Fleet Measurer
0
Mike, we also explored this question here on this thread ... Ang

https://www.racingrulesofsailing.org/posts/81-exploring-the-absolute-bare-minimum-protest-filing
Created: 19-Apr-16 11:57
Mike Forbes
Nationality: United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland
Certifications:
  • National Judge
0
......... it's as clear as mud then?   It seems to me that this is an area requiring rewording or a proper definition of "identifying the incident" in the RRS. 
Created: 19-Apr-16 12:12
David Lees
Nationality: United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland
Certifications:
  • International Judge
  • National Umpire
0
Mike
Surely the whole point is that this gives the jury some discretion so that it can decide if the protestor has complied.  The jury is there to make that sort of decision and should be allowed to make up its mind.  Obviously if one of the members has some doubt about it - and that happens quite often - he or she can convince the others and the protest can be thrown out.  Equally the protestee can take the point if it could be relevant.
Incidentally I ceased to be an IU last November, but I'm still an NU.
David
Created: 19-Apr-16 12:32
Matt Bounds
Nationality: United States of America
Certifications:
  • National Judge
  • National Race Officer
0
This is an illustration of a valid protest form that I use when teaching others about what needs to be in a protest.  It admittedly includes aspects of 61.2(a) and (c), but they are far from clear on the form.  I thought the cocktail napkin adds a nice touch.
IMG_20170109_095510067_HDR.jpg 3.58 MB
Created: 19-Apr-16 13:07
Mike Forbes
Nationality: United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland
Certifications:
  • National Judge
0
I think that emphasises the inadequecies of the rule as written !!
A napkin tho, might suggest u were having a meal, and therefore the PC might have "no good reason" to extend the Protest Time Limit if asked to do so!
Maybe the back of the Sailing Instructions would be better !
Created: 19-Apr-16 13:19
Matt Bounds
Nationality: United States of America
Certifications:
  • National Judge
  • National Race Officer
3
At my club (Bayview YC in Detroit), the bar is located about 10 steps from the jury secretary's desk - so a cocktail napkin would be the closest available writing material short of asking the jury secretary for a piece of paper.

Not every protest is delivered on a silver platter.  In this instance, there's work to be done to fully identify the parties and flesh out the particulars of when and where - but that's the point.  This little slip of paper has the bare minimum to get the process rolling.  I personally have a problem when justice is not served because of a minor technicality - especially when there is contact (and potential damage) involved. 
Created: 19-Apr-16 13:56
Mike Forbes
Nationality: United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland
Certifications:
  • National Judge
1
....... but I reiterate my original question..... how can you identify the incident without including at least some of 61.2 a, c, d, or e?  You have identified the Protestor on the napkin (61.2a), assuming the PC knows who Anne and Bernie are!    Was it a multi-race day on more than one course?  If it was, does it need to include 61.2 (c) to identify the incident?
Created: 19-Apr-16 14:43
P
Angelo Guarino
Nationality: United States of America
Certifications:
  • Judge In Training
  • Fleet Measurer
0
Mike I think your point is acknowledged and well taken. In the other thread, my hypothetical protest filing (copied below) meets the req’s, but is not functionally workable to process by the PC. 

"Protest in ABC Regatta

I was on starboard, the other boat was on port. We were both sailing on a beat to windward. The port boat did not keep clear and I had to take evasive action to avoid collision"
Created: 19-Apr-16 15:31
Grant Baldwin
Nationality: United States of America
Certifications:
  • International Judge
  • National Umpire
1
Firstly, I mistakenly hit the “thumbs down” button on Mike’s most recent comment. Perhaps Angelo or Paul will remove.

Mike makes an excellent point here. Imagine a large fleet of dinghies (or kites) sailing many races in a day, each race featuring multiple windward legs.  A “cocktail napkin” protest is lodged regarding an incident without otherwise identifying the race, leg or other particulars. Now part of the solution may reside in the protestor’s compliance with the requirements of 61.1(a), but the opportunity for ambiguity remains. The requirements of 61.2(c) are there for the protection of the protestee. It makes no sense to open a hearing only to discover that your protestor does not correctly remember on which race or leg an incident occurred. Further, to allow for discovery during the hearing, then to provide the protestee “reasonable time to prepare” is absurd. These are matters that have historically been addressed in the validity phase.

Having chaired a hearing or two where leg/race number were incorrectly identified, declaring such protests invalid is often quite awkward and inefficient at busy events.

Created: 19-Apr-16 15:34
David Lees
Nationality: United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland
Certifications:
  • International Judge
  • National Umpire
0
It's really horses for courses, which is why it should be left to the protest committee.  Fine for NYYC's race with, say, six boats and everyone knows everyone else.  Doesn't pass the test in an open meeting with a fifty boats, let alone a hundred.  Leave it to the protest committee and don't change the rule.
David
Created: 19-Apr-16 16:33
P
John Eilers
Nationality: United States of America
Certifications:
  • Club Race Officer
0
Notice pleading was introduced into the Law in the late 60's, and now we see it in the RRS.  The facts arise during the hearing.  Some brief description seems required and the example above on the cocktail napkin is insufficient to give the required notice
Created: 19-Apr-16 16:41
Grant Baldwin
Nationality: United States of America
Certifications:
  • International Judge
  • National Umpire
0
With all due respect to David, this is a change from the format in the prior quad, where the ideas now contained in 61.2(b) & 61.2(c) were previously integrated and required prior to the hearing.

Perhaps one of our members has some insight to what the Racing Rules Committee was thinking in bifurcating these requirements.
Created: 19-Apr-16 16:53
Willii Gohl
Nationality: Germany
Certifications:
  • International Judge
1
Grant, This is easy to answer! Two steps: first one is to look into the study version of the RRS 2017 to 2020. Then you find the submission on which the change is based. 
Step two: look into the submission- In this case 199-15! Here is the link: 
http://www.sailing.org/tools/documents/19915RacingRulesofSailingRule61.2andProtestForm-[19301].pdf
Willii
Created: 19-Apr-16 18:43
Pat Healy
Nationality: United States of America
Certifications:
  • International Judge
2
IMO, the test of 'identify the incident' is whether the boat being protested has enough information to organize her defense. I think I could imagine scenarios where a reasonable protest committee would decide either way. If with a NY Yacht Club napkin at a club in Detroit.

That said, I think the WS.RRC erred in the last rules changed when they allowed rule 6121(c) - 'where and when of the incident occurred', to be met '... before or during the hearing, provided the the protestee is allowed reasonable time to prepare ...'. The reason given in the proposing submission 199-15 was that the protestor could get confused when there are '... several races are held each day over several days ...', and, ' ... reducing the number of protests found invalid on what most competitors and judges view as a technicality out weighs the small cost of occasionally having to adjourn a hearing to permit a protest to prepare.' 

If at the hearing, at find the boat protesting me wants to change the time and place of the incident, I'm going to claim that, now that the race is over and everyone has gone to dinner, I cannot go back identify the boats that were around me, no matter how much time the protest committee gives me. If this is the last race of the series and people are on their way home, my claim would be even stronger.

Finally with respect to rule 61.2, we need a WS case to define when the hearing starts. Is it when the parties walk into the protest room, the parties are confirmed, the protest committee is introduced, after the parties are given a chance to raise objections, the protest is found to be valid, ... ?

When the parties sit down, I'm starting to say, 'The hearing is about to start. Do you want to change any part of your protest?' After that, I say, 'This hearing has started.' It seems a little officious, but it avoids confusion.
Created: 19-Apr-16 19:00
P
Paul Zupan
Nationality: United States of America
Certifications:
  • International Judge
  • National Judge
  • Regional Umpire
0
I like Pat's analysis of the policy for the rule.  I think it's really about giving the other boat the opportunity to be able to prepare a defense.  So some might argue that naming a person ("Ann") on a napkin is not identifying the protesting boat as required by RRS 60.1, but I think a PC should be given the latitude to determine if the protested party relates the description on the napkin to the incident such that they can prepare for the protest, regardless of how the boat is identified.  But the second challenge here is whether or not the PC can give notice to the "black boat" such that they can conduct a hearing if a representative from the protested boat doesn't show up at said hearing.  Pretty hard to argue that they had adequate notice if the schedule only indicates "Ann vs. black boat."  I tend to see this become a problem in large fleets where the protestor doesn't get the right sail number of the protested boat and no representative shows up at the hearing.  As much as I'd like to run a hearing, it's pretty hard to penalize a fictitious boat, so the protestor must identify the proper protested boat before the hearing starts or we have no choice but to find it invalid.
Created: 19-Apr-16 21:25
Matt Bounds
Nationality: United States of America
Certifications:
  • National Judge
  • National Race Officer
0
I have to admit that in this instance (Ann v. "black boat") was derived from a video I found on YouTube (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Fm4ZYcDFrZc) that shows an incident at the start at the 2007 Shields One-Design Nationals held in Newport (thus the NYYC cocktail napkin that I swiped from the Advanced RM seminar I attended at Harbour Court in 2016).  The number of boats at the event is relatively small, the identity of the "black boat" is indeterminate from the video. "Ann" is the name of one of the boats entered, who I plugged in as the protestor.  "Bernie" is a ficticious individual.

I preface the playing of the video by introducing the type of boat (and it's maneuvering characteristics), and saying, "You're only going to see this once, because that's how life happens."  The video is particularly good because it shows one person's point of view (helmet cam?) and isn't a terribly wide angle lens.  It's a good teaching tool.  Was the magic word said?  Did they fly a flag?  Did they get back in the game?
Created: 19-Apr-16 22:14
[You must be signed in to add a comment]