Forum: The Racing Rules of Sailing

Is the Entry Form a Rule?

Mike Forbes
Nationality: United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland
Certifications:
  • National Judge
If a yacht pays an Entry Fee for a race, and the race is abandoned before the start (ie there was no race), Could the yacht claim breach of contract and demand a refund?
Is the Entry Form part of the Rules (def)?      ...... “any other document that governs the event”
Would any dispute be a civil matter or be a valid Request for Redress (act or omission of the RC, they did not start a race) ?? 

Created: 19-Jul-30 15:20

Comments

P
Angelo Guarino
Nationality: United States of America
Certifications:
  • Judge In Training
  • Fleet Measurer
0
Webster “govern”

Here is my WAG (I’m not a lawyer, but I play one on the internet). 

Entry forms include language which releases liability, declares assumption of risk, and establish insurance requirements.  To that extent, I would say that it is certainly a contract. 

The RRS establish broad leeway for the RC to determine the ability to have a fair race and to abandon a race even long after the race is complete, let alone never starting it. 

Entering the race, competitors agree to abide and compete under the RRS, therefore accepting the latitude granted the RC. 

There is the concept of “mitigating damages”. If a hurricane is predicted and boats are being pulled to the hard and the race is cancelled a week away, then if the OA doesn’t do all they can to reduce their costs and refund a prorated amount, then I think a competitor might have a case. 

On the other hand, if everyone is out on the water and the wind never comes, and still have the after race party, etc. then I’d say the competitor can’t expect anything. 
Created: 19-Jul-30 15:56
Charles Darley
Nationality: United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland
Certifications:
  • Regional Umpire
1
See Clarke v Earl of Dunraven
Created: 19-Jul-30 16:11
Mike Forbes
Nationality: United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland
Certifications:
  • National Judge
0
Can u enlighten me Charles plz?  

Thanks for ur comments Angelo.   I’m at a week long event with an unusual forecast of very light or no wind, and a likelihood of no racing on some days.    I’ve heard grumbling about Entry fees and no racing.   It occurred to me that someone just might try to reclaim Entry fees because the RC has not provided racing.   The Entry form says that entrants are paying for races, not days at the event.  

 A race  started then abandoned is a race, but abandonment before a start means no race.......  obviously.   I could not decide how to deal with any Request for Redress (an omission of the RC by not providing racing) that might be lodged.   Comments greatly appreciated.  .



For info..... 
Created: 19-Jul-30 17:15
P
Angelo Guarino
Nationality: United States of America
Certifications:
  • Judge In Training
  • Fleet Measurer
0
I started a thread a way back about RC’s abandoning a race for variable conditions. I can remember it being suggested that the WS Race Management Manual as being a valuable resource for operational guides. It may speak to some of these questions (I have not looked). 

Maybe an ounce of prevention might be worth a pound of cure (and a ton of good will). 

Talk over the costs that were budgeted for the race with the OA and if some of those costs are not incurred (fuel, trophies, freebies, outside Race Officer travel, etc) maybe have a plan for a partial refund upon request (or to all).  Seems that would create tremendous good will. 
Created: 19-Jul-30 17:44
Mike Forbes
Nationality: United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland
Certifications:
  • National Judge
0
Thanks for the wisdom A. 

Created: 19-Jul-30 17:56
Charles Darley
Nationality: United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland
Certifications:
  • Regional Umpire
0
Mike, the legal case which went to the House of Lords following the collision between Satanita and Valkyrie II during a Mudhook Regatta at the end if the 19th century. It was held that a contract existed between the two owners because both had entered the regatta. 
Created: 19-Jul-30 20:23
John Allan
Nationality: Australia
Certifications:
  • National Judge
  • Regional Race Officer
0
Mike Forbes
Said Created: Today 15:20
 
If a yacht pays an Entry Fee for a race, and the race is abandoned before the start (ie there was no race),
 
Could the yacht claim breach of contract and demand a refund?
 
They could certainly make that claim.  They could also make a claim for misleading and deceptive conduct under local trade practices law, or contrive some sort of action centered on representation and reliance.
 
See Angelo’s words of wisdom:  the OA would be well advised to make refunds or all concessions possible.
 
As Charles Darley has explained, Satanita’s Case (followed in Juno v Endeavour) establishes that entry forms from a contract between competitors.  It would also seem that by the NOR, the Entry Form, and the payment of an Entry Fee there is a contract between a boat or the person submitting the entry form and the OA.
 
Is the Entry Form part of the Rules (def)?      ...... “any other document that governs the event”
 
If it is part of the NOR, In accordance with rule J1.2(6) a NOR includes the entry form, if applicable.
 
A NOR is a rule (Definitions:  rule (e)
 
Otherwise, if the Entry Form is not part of the NOR, it is debatable whether the Entry Form ‘governs’ for the purposes of Definitions:  rule (g).  See Angelo’s link to dictionary definitions.
 
Why does it matter?
 
What provisions might an Entry Form contain that a boat (or an OA/RC) could ‘break’?
 
Would any dispute be a civil matter or be a valid Request for Redress (act or omission of the RC, they did not start a race) ??
 
That would depend on how and where the ‘claim’ was made and maintained.
 
Suppose it was treated by a protest committee as a request for redress
 
Request alleges an improper act in abandoning the race
 
Where lies the impropriety?
 
If there were good grounds for abandoning, the protest committee should find that there was no improper action and no boat was entitled to redress.
 
Request alleges an omission in not conducting a race
 
Again, where lies the impropriety?
 
Both the above, of course, assume that there was no improper purpose, like the Commodore’s brother smashed his boat up on the freeway on the way to the event.
 
Mike Forbes
Said Created: Today 17:15
 
 A race  started then abandoned is a race, but abandonment before a start means no race.......  
 
I don’t think this is correct.
 
Definitions:  Abandon:  A race that a race committee or protest committee abandons is void but may be resailed.
 
‘void’ means that it is regarded as never having happened.
 
There is no difference between races that are abandoned before or after starting.
Created: 19-Jul-30 23:14
Jim Archer
Nationality: United States of America
0
This is something I have thought of often. Last season the RC was very, very quick to abandon a race after just 15 minutes of waiting. 30 minutes later we had a fine sail home, while many other boats went back to their club and had the party early. We found out we missed the party when we showed up at the scheduled time. Had it been real money I would have made an issue of it.

Usually, the NOR states that the entry fee includes x tickets to the party if there is a party. Therefore it's easy to break out the cost of the party from the rest of the fee. If I pay a $300, $500 or $1,000 entry fee and the race is abandoned pre-start I'll be looking for a refund. I have yet to see an NOR that discusses refunds in any way. The OA could simply state in the NOR that fees are non-refundable.

That said, as a matter of policy, if OAs are required to pay back entry fees in the event of abandonment, they may consider such when making that decision. This could cause people to race complete drifters, which is harmless, or cause the OA to conduct a race in dangerous weather. Of course it remains the skippers decision to race or not, but as we all know many are racing no matter what if there is a race.

Generally I favor refunds, but I accept that a legal precedent requiring them could be problematic as a practical matter. 
Created: 19-Jul-31 22:21
Mike Forbes
Nationality: United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland
Certifications:
  • National Judge
0
.......... and I thought I posed a simple question!!    

Thanks all for your comments.    Mike. 
Created: 19-Aug-01 09:37
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