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Verbal changes to SIs
Nationality: United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland
Had an interesting issue crop up recently concerning R28. The SI paragraph for the course reads:
9.1 Courses will be windward / leeward(WL). The diagram in addendum B shows the course, the order in which marks are to be passed, and the side on which each mark is to be left. 9.2The course selected will be signalled by VHF.
(screenshot of Addendum B hopefully attached here).
The Race Committee, whilst announcing the course, stated "mark one, mark two, two rounds". There was no visual display of the selected course either displayed, nor required in the SI.
Where this gets interesting is SI 4: "
4.1 Except as provided in SI 4.2, any change to the sailing instructions will be posted before 0830 on the day it will take effect, except that any change to the schedule of races will be posted by 2000 on the day before it will take effect. 4.2 Routine information contained in these SI, e.g. mark descriptions and course configurations, may be changed by VHF announcement. Failure to receive this information shall not be grounds for redress. This changes RRS 62.1(a).
All boats except one sailed course WL2 as described in Addendum B (some started to sail straight from 1 to 2, but changed their minds when they saw their fellow competitors head off for 1a); one boat sailed the course as described in the VHF transmission (i.e. 1-2-1-Fin).
Let's assume that this boat was protested by the RC and that the facts are not in dispute and there are witnesses that can confirm, so it's just a question of the rule.
In order to determine whether or not R28 was broken, it seems to me the key question is: did the VHF transmission amount to a change under SI4.2? (I do have a certain amount of unease around allowing for verbal changes to the SIs, and the potential for unintended consequences).
Created: 20-Sep-15 15:58
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