Forum: The Racing Rules of Sailing

RRS 61.1 - Informing the protestee - how fundamental is displaying red flag.

Gulboy Guryel
Nationality: Turkey
The Rule States
"61. PROTEST REQUIREMENTS
61.1. Informing the Protestee

a. A boat intending to protest shall inform the other boat at the first reasonable opportunity. When her protest will concern an incident in the racing area that she was involved in or saw, she shall hail ‘Protest’ and conspicuously display a red flag at the first reasonable opportunity for each. She shall display the flag until she is no longer racing.  However,  ⥤ WSJM - D8, D9
    1. if the other boat is beyond hailing distance, the protesting boat need not hail but she shall inform the other boat at the first reasonable opportunity;
    2. if the hull length of the protesting boat is less than 6 metres, she need not display a red flag;
    3. if the incident was an error by the other boat in sailing the course, she need not hail or display a red flag but she shall inform the other boat either before or at the first reasonable opportunity after the other boat finishes;
    4. if as a result of the incident a member of either crew is in danger, or there is injury or serious damage that is obvious to the boat intending to protest, the requirements of this rule do not apply to her, but she shall attempt to inform the other boat within the time limit of rule 61.3.⚞ 141
b. If the race committee or protest committee intends to protest a boat concerning an incident the committee observed in the racing area, it shall inform her after the race within the time limit of rule 61.3. In other cases the committee shall inform the boat of its intention to protest as soon as reasonably possible.
c. If the protest committee decides to protest a boat under rule 60.3(a)(2), it shall inform her as soon as reasonably possible, close the current hearing, proceed as required by rules 61.2 and 63, and hear the original and the new protests together."

Boat A is 6.2 meters. Boat A is first boat by Comity Boat and Boat B is second boat and leward of Boat A. Race Starts, after a Boat length after the start of the race, Boat B tacks on Boat A breaking many rules. A tries to avoid B and A tacks but A ends up getting tangled in Comity Boat Chain. after 2-3 minutes of struggle, Boat A manages to free herself. No injury to crew, no damage to boat A. Boat A decides to retire. Boat A does not display Red Flag. In fact, the boat captain misreads the rule and did not have any red flag onboard. B does not complete necesarry penalty turn. Would Boat A have any standing for a valid protest against B without display of red flag?
Created: 20-Oct-20 02:21

Comments

Lloyd Causey
Nationality: United States of America
Certifications:
  • Regional Judge
  • Regional Race Officer
3
If boat "A" did not hail PROTEST I do not see how the protest would be valid.  Hailing does not take you away from steering or sail trim. You may hail protest and if you decide that was in error you do not need to file. Notifying the other boat that you mean to file a protest warns them and they have to opportunity to exonerate their boat. Not hailing protest may rob them of that opportunity.
Created: 20-Oct-20 02:47
Matt Bounds
Nationality: United States of America
Certifications:
  • National Judge
  • National Race Officer
0
This is one situation that (as a representative of the Race Committee) I would protest a boat in a boat-on-boat situation.  If they're hung on my anchor rode for 2 or 3 minutes, someone is going to take a penalty, red flag or no.
Created: 20-Oct-20 02:56
Lloyd Causey
Nationality: United States of America
Certifications:
  • Regional Judge
  • Regional Race Officer
0
And Matt the only way a jury could exonerate Boat A was if they had successfully protested Boat B. I think.
Created: 20-Oct-20 03:03
Matt Bounds
Nationality: United States of America
Certifications:
  • National Judge
  • National Race Officer
0
I didn't say I would be protesting just Boat A (if I protested them at all) . . . 

(Also, see Appeal 84 - a PC may find that a boat broke a rule, even if they are not a party to the hearing.  However, to penalize them, they must protest them.)
Created: 20-Oct-20 03:11
Tim Hohmann
Nationality: United States of America
Certifications:
  • Club Judge
0
I can't make out from the original post who had ROW or what rules were broken, other than that boat A appears to have broken 31 and may feel that boat B broke a rule and compelled boat A's breach.

That said, if boat A didn't hail and lacked the ability to display a flag I don't think they'd be able to sustain a valid protest. And unless there was damage or injury I don't think she'd be entitled to redress - it appears her retirement was voluntary. 

I think Boat A might assume she's exonerated for breaking 31 and not take a penalty. I agree with Matt that it would be entirely appropriate for the RC to protest Boat B if they believed she broke a rule, especially if that compelled boat A to hit the anchor rode. 
Created: 20-Oct-20 04:00
Murray Cummings
Nationality: New Zealand
0
Matt Bounds wrote
 If they're hung on my anchor rode for 2 or 3 minutes, someone is going to take a penalty, red flag or no. 

Lloyd Causey wrote
 And Matt the only way a jury could exonerate Boat A was if they had successfully protested Boat B 

Tim Hohmann wrote
 I can't make out from the original post who had ROW or what rules were broken, other than that boat A appears to have broken 31 

I see no evidence to conclude that boat A broke rule 31.  From the definition of Mark ...
An anchor line or an object attached accidentally to a mark is not part of it.
So, boat A touching or becoming entangled with the anchor chain of the committee boat, without touching the committee boat, is not a rule 31 infringement.

 Would Boat A have any standing for a valid protest against B without display of red flag? 
No.  A protest committee shall find the protest invalid and close the hearing.  (rule 63.5)


Created: 20-Oct-20 04:24
P
Angelo Guarino
Nationality: United States of America
Certifications:
  • Regional Judge
  • Fleet Measurer
0
Lloyd has hit the nail on the head here IMO. 

Hailing "Protest" is available immediately 99% of the time.  Given the proximity of the boat to the RC (tangled in the chain), a PC could take into consideration delaying flying the flag as the risk of damage and injury between the boat and the RC is present .. but hailing "protest" takes only a moment and doesn't distract from attending to the boat.

"First reasonable opportunity" for flying the flag and hailing protest can be, by their nature, different amounts of elapsed time.

Actually, 2 recent US Sailing Appeals explore both of these questions in detail.

US Appeal 122 - timeliness of the hail
US Appeal 124 - timeliness of the flag
Created: 20-Oct-20 15:50
Ant Davey
Nationality: United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland
Certifications:
  • National Judge
  • International Judge
  • Umpire In Training
0
Any boat over 6 metres in length that does not have a red flag on board, in unable to protest another boat because it cannot fulfill the requirements of the rule.  Except if the rule is 28 (
%= rule_link('61.1') %
 (a) (3)).  If it is obvious that ...crew is in danger, or there is injury or serious damage...  In this instance, with the boat wrapped around the anchor chain and there being the potential for injury or serious damage, I would argue to waive the usual time limit on displaying the red flag until the boat was being sailed in a seamanlike manner.  But not the need to display the flag if there was no injury or serious damage (which may not be evident until the boat had been inspected).  If you are racing a boat that is over 6 metres in length you should have a red flag attached to a shroud or backstay, ready to be unfurled.  For the display of the red flag, the general consensus is that this is to be within a matter of seconds.  Going below, or hunting around a locker to find the flag is not soon enough.
As for redress, the boat seeking redress should do everything in its power to gain the best possible position it can in that race.  That is not to retire.  In this instance no redress would be granted.
Yes the race committee could protest boat B, and I would happlily hear evidence from the crew of boat A.
Created: 20-Oct-20 16:24
P
Angelo Guarino
Nationality: United States of America
Certifications:
  • Regional Judge
  • Fleet Measurer
0
Ant, I agree with your post except that, as evidenced by US Appeal 124, I would not agree that .... 

“For the display of the red flag, the general consensus is that this is to be within a matter of seconds.  Going below, or hunting around a locker to find the flag is not soon enough.”

IMO “hunting around” could be potentially key here .... vs if the flag is in a known and accessible location and crew quickly and deliberately work to retrieve and raise the flag  
Created: 20-Oct-20 16:54
Tim Hohmann
Nationality: United States of America
Certifications:
  • Club Judge
1
I think US Sailing Appeal 82 may also be relevant. If the crew of boat A were fully occupied in disengaging themselves from the committee boat anchor chain and making sure they didn't hit the committee boat itself they could justify a delay in displaying the flag until they were free.

But if they had to first go to West Marine and buy a protest flag, probably not...

Kind of curious why boat A retired - it appears she broke no rule and had no damage or injury.

Unless boat A incurred damage or injury or boat B broke rule 2 or 69 I don't think A has any cause for redress.
Created: 20-Oct-20 17:11
Mark Townsend
Nationality: United States of America
Certifications:
  • International Race Officer
  • International Umpire
  • International Judge
0
Angelo, USA Appeal 124 provides time to display the flag, but a member of the crew has to act to retrieve and display the flag.

A protest flag flown 10–15 seconds after an incident when a member of the crew is able to retrieve and display the flag in that time and acts to do so is consistent with displaying the flag at the “first reasonable opportunity.”

Rule 61.1(a) uses the phrase “first reasonable opportunity.” The word “immediate” does not occur in that rule. Where as it may be reasonable for a boat to hail “Protest” immediately after an incident (see Appeal case US122), it is just as reasonable for it to take a little time for a crew to retrieve and then display a protest flag. Furthermore, while it is possible to store a flag such that it could be displayed immediately, Rule 61.1(a) does not require it. On the other hand, it is also possible to store a flag in such a way that the delay required in retrieving it would not be reasonable.

A protest flag flown 10–15 seconds after an incident, when a member of the crew is able to retrieve and display the flag in that time and acts to do so, is consistent with displaying the flag at the “first reasonable opportunity.” See also US Sailing appeals US46, US67 and US82.

Created: 20-Oct-20 21:05
P
Angelo Guarino
Nationality: United States of America
Certifications:
  • Regional Judge
  • Fleet Measurer
0
Mark re: “Angelo, USA Appeal 124 provides time to display the flag, but a member of the crew has to act to retrieve and display the flag.”

That’s what I thought I said ;-) 

Ang
Created: 20-Oct-20 22:24
Ant Davey
Nationality: United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland
Certifications:
  • National Judge
  • International Judge
  • Umpire In Training
0
Hi Ang,

While I agree that the rule doens't use the word immediate, and the result of the appeal seems wholly logical, it will be intereting to see if 124 makes it into the Case Book...

Ant
Created: 20-Oct-21 06:35
P
John Allan
Nationality: Australia
Certifications:
  • National Judge
  • Regional Race Officer
0
None of the following quite useful Appeals have made it as Cases.  Why would Appeals 122 and 124 be any different?

RYA Case RYA1999-01
Rule: 61.1 Protest Requirements: Informing the Protestee
A protest flag must be kept close at hand. A boat that waits to see whether another boat will take a penalty before displaying a protest flag has not acted at the first reasonable opportunity. A protest committee need not investigate the promptness of the display of a protest flag when no question of delay arises in the written protest, and when the protestee, when asked, makes no objection. When a boat that is already displaying a protest flag wishes to protest again, only a hail is required.
 Rule 61.1, Protest Requirements: Informing the Protestee
Lido 14 4830 vs. Lido 14 4509
"First reasonable opportunity" means as soon as practicable, not as soon as convenient.

USA Appeal US67
Rule 61.1(a), Protest Requirements: Informing the Protestee
635 vs. 2641
Failure to display a protest flag during a period of time when some member of the crew is not otherwise occupied is a failure to display it “at the first reasonable opportunity.” If a protest flag is not displayed at the first reasonable opportunity, the protest is invalid and the hearing must be closed.

USA Appeal US82
 Rule 61.1(a), Protest Requirements: Informing the Protestee
E Scow V-751 vs. E Scow M-9
A boat is not obligated to give priority to displaying a protest flag at the cost of the crew failing to act to keep the boat under control or delaying a spinnaker set.

USA Appeal US122
Rule 61.1(a), Protest Requirements: Informing the Protestee
Sail 6 vs. White Flag and Gold Flag
The “first reasonable opportunity” to hail “Protest” is the first reasonable time after an incident when a boat is able to hail “Protest,” which is usually immediately
Rule 61.1(a), Protest Requirements: Informing the Protestee
Monfongo vs Fuzzy Logic
A protest flag flown 10–15 seconds after an incident when a member of the crew is able to retrieve and display the flag in that time and acts to do so is consistent with displaying the flag at the “first reasonable opportunity.”


Created: 20-Oct-21 10:30
P
Angelo Guarino
Nationality: United States of America
Certifications:
  • Regional Judge
  • Fleet Measurer
0
Ant, I was not suggesting that the US Appeals 122 and 124 be elevated to Cases and be the world standard. 

I was only providing those appeals to show that (looking also at RYA 1999-01 ... thanks John), there is not a “general consensus [..] that this is to be within a matter of seconds.” 

RYA 1999-01 introduces a “close at hand” standard which could imply a shorter time standard as you put forward, where US124 specifically does not in its discussion. 
Created: 20-Oct-21 12:17
Lloyd Causey
Nationality: United States of America
Certifications:
  • Regional Judge
  • Regional Race Officer
0
When a boat admits that they never hailed PROTEST, does it matter if the flag was displayed for events where both boats were in close proximity at that time. I always thought that the hail of PROTEST alerted the other boat, who then looks for the red flag. I cannot envision hearing a protest where the protesting boat did not hail PROTEST, but got a red flag up 10-15 seconds later while the protested boat was sailing away.
Created: 20-Oct-21 15:07
P
Angelo Guarino
Nationality: United States of America
Certifications:
  • Regional Judge
  • Fleet Measurer
0
Lloyd .. re: ". I cannot envision hearing a protest where the protesting boat did not hail PROTEST, but got a red flag up 10-15 seconds later while the protested boat was sailing away."

Funny you should mention that, because that's exactly what I did!  ...  when I got T-boned by another boat in the stern of my 105.  Being on the high-side, I got tossed toward the oncoming bow, banged my head on my combing, and had a nice hole in my boat to show for it.

I can't ever remember hailing "protest", but somehow I managed to fly the flag and sail the boat while mumbling something to myself for about a min (so says my crew).  My hail requirement was waived by 61.1(a).4.

image.png 659 KB
Created: 20-Oct-21 18:09
Lloyd Causey
Nationality: United States of America
Certifications:
  • Regional Judge
  • Regional Race Officer
0
Angelo you are correct that I would have heard your protest because injury incapacitated you at that point.  Looks like your boat had a headache as well.  I take it you probably did not finish first.  I hope you had no major injuries.  
Created: 20-Oct-22 03:07
P
Angelo Guarino
Nationality: United States of America
Certifications:
  • Regional Judge
  • Fleet Measurer
0
Naaa ... we finished. We kept the boat healed to stb and put Gorilla tape across it. :/)

My head healed faster than my wrist (as u know, I can be pretty “hard headed”), which took a good 6 months to be back to normal. 
Created: 20-Oct-22 11:22
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