Black flags - oops sorry

19/10/2011 08:21:56
Chris Martin
In trying to tidy up the black flags thread (Via my phone I have no internet access at home due to a broken router) I accidentally deleted the whole thread. Sorry!

If the GGGG/GC black flag has gone to appeal, let's let the RYA sort it out and not do yet another trial by forum on here please. It is in noone's interest least of all that of the class.

19/10/2011 14:53:19
Hi Chris,

I don't know what's pending (or not), as I'm not a daily forum reader, but I don't like that contentious issues suddenly disappear from view! I'm sure Mags has a back-up, and the thread can be re-loaded, albeit with editing as deemed appropriate.

The whole point of a forum seems to me to ask quesitons, have them answered, and debate interesting points. I agree that it is also not the place for sniping, self-interest and libel, so maybe it's necessary to start having people put their names to posts. That, however, is a slightly different debate.

Let's keep the spirit of free speech.


19/10/2011 14:56:15
Using google 'advanced search' for the first time, the thread is here:
19/10/2011 17:53:30
Could someone tell us when the appeal is due to be heard ?

20/10/2011 16:59:37
Measurement Man
No news as of yesterday.


21/10/2011 13:29:56
Glen L
So Graham what are you actually appealing against?

21/10/2011 21:05:26
Jim C
The Appeal seems obvious. 64.2 reads "When the protest committee decides that a boat is entitled to redress
under rule 62, it shall make as fair an arrangement as possible for all boats affected, whether or not they asked for redress." Seems to me that there's a good argument that the PC failed to achieve this.

Personally, as someone completely unaffected by the incident, I'm glad it was appealed, because the whole situation seems to lead to a very dodgy precedent. It seems to me that the idea behind redress is to bring the event scores as close as possible to what they would have been if the unfortunate event hadn't occurred. This manifestly failed to happen. I don't think its desirable that people who have been given redress "through no fault of their own" are put at a tactical disadvantage.

23/10/2011 10:08:25
Ian Garwood
Strikes me that the lesson to be learned from this whole sorry tale is that, 'one should accept the decision of the referee' (in this case the Race Officer) for the black flag, and not protest in the frst instance.
If the original decision had been accepted and the punishment of disqualification upheld, then they would of won the champs and we would have all applauded them for thier fine performance, now if they win the appeal they will not win any friends, and just appear to be bad sportsmen.
I should note that this is my personal opinion and it would be no different if the main players were different, it is a point of principle that in any game the referees decision is final however many action replays show him or her to be mistaken.

23/10/2011 11:46:42
David Gates
I was not there but reading the posts, it would appear that accuracy of calls by the race officer  / team is the issue, and not being able to support the calls. Not that a boat feels aggrieved, that is the purpose of protests, and appeals. It is not for us to make calls on rights or wrongs, but now for the RYA appeals committee.

24/10/2011 13:38:57
Derik Palmer
I wasn't there, and my knowledge of the incident is limited to what I have read on this and another forum, but if what I understand is correct then I'm very pleased that Geoff is appealing because I think it sets an appalling precendent.

My understanding is that Geoff Carveth, along with others, was black-flagged on the start line. Whilst other boats returned to shore, the showers and the bar, Geoff sailed the race, finished in 3rd place and then protested the black flag. After consideration, the protest committee upheld his appeal and awarded him average points.

If that understanding is correct, then the protest committee is wrong. Average points is all they could have awarded had Geoff returned to shore with the other competitors because they would have no way of knowing how he would have fared in the race. But as he sailed the race, there are only two possible outcomes:

1) The black flag was correctly applied to his boat, he was disqualified from racing and his third place is null and void.

2) The black flag was incorrectly applied to his boat, he was therefore racing legally and entitled to his third place.

In upholding his protest the protest committee have opted for 2) and the only option should be to reinstate him in his proper finishing place. To apply 'average points' in such a situation is to try to create a middle ground where there patently is none. In my opnion this makes a mockery of the rules and creates a very dangerous precedent which would have ramifications far beyond this particular incident.

24/10/2011 14:14:19
Really not quite sure why I find myself posting on this one but : surely the third place on the water is irrelevant . You get a black flag you go home (assuming you know about it) . The issue is one of appropriate redress.  Things may well have changed but average points for the series used to be the norm?  Not against the appeal maybe it will clarify matters.

24/10/2011 21:25:14
Jim C
I'm amazed that people don't worry more about the wider implications... 

Whether or not the PC made an error in awarding average points in this case, the fact remains there are circumstances in which a PC will have no choice but to award average points, and this incident has highlighted that average points puts a front of fleet competitor at a serious tactical disadvantage. Not only in the circumstances here, where the sailing down the fleet situation resulted in one competitor scoring two bad races with the other one, but also in the converse situation, where a team that would otherwise look to match race in the last race is unable to. It cannot be right that a team is put at such a significant tactical disadvantage *through no fault of their own* and I do not believe this is what average points are expected to achieve.

I hope that the RYA look at the wider implications as well as the specific event circumstances.

25/10/2011 08:05:02
Chris M
Now that i'm back on the game we're having a real names only policy in this thread. Sorry Mr Curious, AKA Mr )-:.

I am very uncomfortable about the whole situation, not least the thought of the champs being awarded retrospectively. The sooner we get a decision the better.

25/10/2011 09:24:33
David Child
In its early days I contributed to these posts on Black Flags with a possible way to make the PRO’s job easier whilst trying to avoid  the specific incident,it being Sub Judice.
As this has developed people have mainly avoided "trial by forum" and the arguments
have been measured and as the poster sees them; anonymous or not.
Several things now seem plain to me at least.

1. That the ramifications of this could be very wide well beyong the parochial.

2. IN future the sailing instructions should include how average or consolation (On past form if it’s the first race!) points will be awarded., preferably up to the incident so that the points situation can remain clear as the regatta progresses.

3. I am no rules guru at all but surely the protest committee had four options:
• Throw out the protest.
• Give them their 3rd place.
• Give average points up to the incident.
• Give average points on the whole regatta.
• Any of the first three would almost certainly have given Geoff and Graham the title, therefore in retrospect (Hind site is always 20/20!) They did the least generous thing they could.

4. That the fair sailing rules apply to everybody including the race committee, lookers on etc. I am not saying this is not the case here but elsewhere this year it has not been.

Personally I would have given them their 3rd place as reported in writing and even more so by the rumour mill, it was an unholy mess out of which no one comes with full credit.

Let us hope The RYA address this soon and make corrections or recommendations for the future in a timely manner as well as addressing the specific issue.

It would be good to hear Barry Dunning or David Chivers view on this.

25/10/2011 10:58:02
Barry Dunning
One can pontificate until the cows come home.
Without the 'facts' in front of me I could and would not comment.
Except to say that I am sure that all the officials concerned were doing their best to get a fair result. Viewing situations and criticising in retrospect is a lot easier.

25/10/2011 12:37:46
Ex Merlin
Isn't the problem the application of average points without allowing a discard, that is plainly more unfair and in my view where the solution went wrong.

25/10/2011 13:22:47
Hi all,

I have followed this thread, and its predecessor, with interest, particularly around the use of the black flag. When Race Officer I do not like the black flag for a number of reasons mostly relating to the competitor's sailing experience. When boats get Black Flag'ed it is rare that we will spot them all - some have to go home others get away with it. This seems to me to be a huge difference in outcome on the basis of something that can on occasion be hard to judge and record. If we are running a subsequent race that day the the BFG'ed have to sit around for an inordinate time getting cold as well. Clearly though never-ending General Recalls is also a poor experience for competitors (and the Race Officer)!

Recently, inspired by these threads, I resolved (in discussion with others) to use an alternative penalty (round the ends) and drew the relevant rules to peoples attention at the briefing. But when faced with a significant part of the fleet pouring over the line just prior to the start it was clear that this was not going to fix the problem - I still had issues identifying offenders and hence having to resort to a General Recall and competitors had no disincentive not to be over as long as they could force a General Recall and continue trying the Race Officer's patience until he lets them go with a roughly fair start - so we went back to black flags.

What might have worked would be the percentage penalty i.e. if over you get 20% added. We then have a General Recall and if over again you get a further 20%. And so on. What does this mean in practice? Well in a 60 boat fleet being over then winning on that or a subsequent start will get you 13th, if you come 30th you finish 42nd, etc. Repeat offending is of course pretty fatal for your result in that race! This seems to me to be more of a discouragement for the leaders than the mid-fleet. If I think of people BFG'ed at Merlin events I sail at it seems to be the top fleet guys who are most often BFG'ed so maybe that is right. At least everyone gets to sail and a boat pushed over in the general mayhem by the keen people doesn't get a ruined day. On top of that no one spends 90 minutes sitting around 2 miles offshore waiting for the first race to finish.

However, I have never sailed at an event where the percentage penalty was used. I am not even sure that many competitors would recognise the flag - can you say what and how without looking it up? :-) Would competitors welcome it - front and back of the fleet? Is it ever used at dinghy events? - I have a perception that it is a yacht race type penalty though not sure why!



25/10/2011 13:55:44
Andrew M
I have had a few OCS disqualifications from my bottom 1/3 ranking.  I would welcome the opportunity to sail & take a percentage penalty rather than sit the race out.  I doubt it would make the starts any worse than they are now.  But what happens in the usual situation of a good chunk of the fleet being over and only a percentage identified?  Do you apply the penalty and have a general recall and do it again?  Presumably so, hence the 20% then becoming 40% etc.  The only advantage of the BFD and restart is that the offenders aren't in the next start pushing the line again.  It would be good to trial this at an open and see what happens.

27/10/2011 11:10:01
Pat Blake
I think DaveC sums it up just right.

(I imagine this is David Chivers by the way Chris before you delete him too - he is a much respected sailor and administrator in our sport) Although I suppose it could be David Charlton or David Child?

Martin Jones started this original thread, he and I were chatting over a cup of tea after racing at Hayling. We had both avoided the dreaded chop that day but many hadn't. We agreed that for those that had been sent home it certainly spoilt their day, and possibly their week. This could be a contributing factor for falling entries at these big events.

So I think we should at least try-out the Z flag option. I too had always thought of it as a 'yacht' thing, but on reading the rule again it seems to do everything we want. All it would need is an explanation at the briefing.

27/10/2011 11:18:01
chris m
David c was in no danger. All I ask is a recognizable name!

27/10/2011 11:35:30

David Charlton - though I did discuss it with Dave Chivers but he can speak for himself!

27/10/2011 11:46:13
I recall the Z flag being used at the 1997 Whitstable champs on one day. The flag caused a certain amount of confusion as not many understood it, but that was only because we didn't warn or brief competitors beforehand!  Although it lessons the penalty for those caught over the line it doesn't solve the problem of spotting all the offenders, so there will still be unfairness. Sadly I think gate starts are the only way to solve this although I have never enjoyed them in other fleets.  Line starts are much more fun and I would rather accept all their disadvantages and rely on a good race officer laying a fair line.

27/10/2011 12:36:21
Richard Battey
Looks and sounds pretty straight forward to me (see link). Certainly seems a better option having spent £150 for a weeks sailing only to find yourself more often than not heading back to the changing rooms!
27/10/2011 12:53:46
When I started sailing Cadets at Burham on Crouch I'm sure they used the 20% penalty for start line transgressors. There were a lot of boats and they didn't want boats returning to shore alone which could on occasion be quite a long way. Mind you that was over 30 years ago so I could be wrong.

27/10/2011 13:08:18
Mark Ampleford
I have sailed under a Z flag at a dinghy event some years ago with a race officer who explained that he preferred to keep the black flag as a last resort (this may have been at West Kirby but I cannot be sure). He explained it beforehand at the briefing. In the second race tide was pushing the fleet over the line and it came out after the first recall. I think he general recalled twice with the Z flag up and caught 5 or 6 people with it out of 30 odd. The next start he used his black flag  and everyone got away cleanly. In the final race he went straight to the black flag for the second start. From this experience alone I would say it is a tool but until sailors get truely used to the effect it will have on their results it will not have the impact of a black flag. Most of these recalls were probably due to mid/lower fleet sailors not appreciating the tide and they were not massively affected by the Z flag as 20% of the boats behind you is a lot less there. It would probably have more effect on a standard line where the line pushers are at the front of the fleet.

27/10/2011 15:18:38
Pat Blake
Well of course JC is right it. (I think that is John Cooper by the way and thanks David Charlton for clearing that up)

Z flag or not it is still unfair if some boats get caught and others dont.

Perhaps modern technology is the way forward - I have been told this company would be prepared to help us at Lyme as a trial for their product? It certainly looks good and there are lots of other pluses, like those at home could follow the race in real time on tinternet!
27/10/2011 16:36:21
John Cooper
This must be the way forward - lets try it.

27/10/2011 22:29:51
Mark Nicholson
I'm all for the use of technology in the right way, but I have heard that GPS tracking may not be sufficiently accurate to be definitive for a start line (3 metres at best, if I'm right?). I guess it would be best employed to back-up a committee boat's sighting of a boat over the line by checking if its position was suffiently close to be a suspect, thus to confirm/deny any confusion.  It's like the aforementioned football or rugby referee - he has to have the final say and chose how the technology is used.  
Two other boat orientated services are and

27/10/2011 23:14:29
John Cooper
I think you can get much closer than 3 metres, my Skycaddie GPS certainly does on the golf course!  However you are quite right that it should be a back up.  It should, for example, be able to give a boat's position relative to the position of other boats which, if used in conjunction with the line spotter's eyeball plus video, could help in resolving these difficult situations.  But until we try it we won't know.  "Map My Tracks" is another GPS system, trialled by the Musto Skiff fleet at their nationals at Whitstable a couple of years ago.

28/10/2011 09:53:38
Dave Charlton
I like the idea of using technology like this and would be more than willing to help "give it a go" somewhere.  However I can see some issues with using it for the start line:-

1) Accuracy - yes better than 3m, maybe a few 10's of cm in the right conditions and stationary, but that still represents a second or two - also it would need to be in the bow?

2) Practicality - Pin end buoy and committee boat mast need to be "measured" and location tied back to a precise point in time i.e. when the gun went off (actually flag came down)! I think this would have to be available to the Race Officer real time - not sure why but I would be nervous about having to go back ashore to see exactly who was over.

3) Matrimonial - While my crew/wife has her head in the boat she cant see the mess I make of steering the boat round the course. If she could come ashore and review where I went wrong that might not be so good....!



28/10/2011 10:42:41
David Child
Good to see at last some positive thoughts about this system, I originally suggested this system for Hayling this time last year.

A few things about accuracy and other things.

People seem to be talking as though yacht racing is a 100 yard sprint on a tartan track, with electronic timing at the start, and even they get false starts!

How many of us can position a boat in a start to half a boats length? Judging by the OCS and black flags - not that many. It is just not that precise an exercise.

I do wonder how accurate the line watching is squinting along a line is hardly laboratory conditions is it, probably better with a fixed line from a shore station but very hard from a small committee boat at sea probably swinging a bit and a pin end being moved about by wind and water. One degree even (I await someone else say how much!) represents several boat lengths in the middle of the line.

It does pinpoint anywhere there is a transponder so committee boat and pin end are a given.

It gives you the VMG of each boat so you only need to get a couple of boats to sail on each tack to know the correct line to set with your required bias.

The monitor units (About the size of a small mobile phone, are usualy put on the stern deck / back stay in keelboats or on the boom or aft side of the mast in dinghies. Wherever it is, as long as it is constant across the fleet does it matter. One can aim off for it. Do not get hung up on where please.

Do look at a race replay on the site and play with the replay speed and scale and you will see it’s a pretty effective tool, in real time and historically.

I do not think the home station has ever been on a boat but it’s not difficult to envisage someone watching in radio contact.

Whilst talking about radios how about a small radio in each boat with the PRO informing the fleet calling numbers of the naughty boys, even talking down the start like a Nation Hunt Horserace starter does though of course he just shouts! Not expensive and they could be single channel sets to avoid outside assistance. Those who have raced in keelboats will know how helpful this is. Coast is low no more than a round of drinks bought in bulk easily absorbed into the entry fees and amortised over a few years for many events not a lot.

The WAGS and people not there, stuck in offices or in Afghanistan, can watch the race, competitors can replay in privacy or be subject to ridicule in the bar, their choice!

The Merlin Rocket class has historically been at the forefront of developments afloat as well as in the equipment, I think Robert Harris invented the use of the wing mark at the windward mark in 1964? So here's another opportunity to show the UK. Do not get into using the Olympics as an example small fleets and a different far less sophisticated system.

28/10/2011 11:07:32
David Child
This is the link
28/10/2011 11:15:51
David Child
A link of a series of races
28/10/2011 12:39:03
Another idea - the race officer obtains an aerial view of the startline, from about 30ft up, slightly to windward of the line, on the starboard end.

Quadcopters (remote controlled 'toy' helicopters with 8 rotors) are strong enough to carry a digital camera, and footage can be sent back to a handheld 6" screen on the committee boat. There's nothing radical in this technology, it has been around for a little while now.

28/10/2011 12:44:33
Mark Barnes
Like to see you try to fly one in 25 knots Mags. GPS is the way forward if run correctly and spiking sorted, which more mordern systems can do.

28/10/2011 18:44:51
Jim C
GPS combined with some sort of transmitter on the line ends might be the way to go for ultimate accuracy. Expensive though if you get into non standard kit.

29/10/2011 19:21:02
Having been on the Race Team for three recent and really 'major' events (including the Laser/Laser Masters Worlds, not an easy task for any Race Team) where Tractrac was already being deployed, at no stage did anyone make any claims that the systems of today  are good enough for  that 'moment of decision' that Race Officers (despite some of the more fatous comments about 1 degree on a start line) seem to manage 99% of the time. For once, the RYA can stand tall on this, for their programme of Race Officer education and  certification has brought about a quiet revolution in the standard of  Race Management. 

Before leaving the question of technology, from what I was given to understand, the current practice of having a sender unit at each of the marks, merely gives emphasis to how difficult this really is - as Committee Boat and pin can all be moving around(if you think Hayling is bad, try this in deep water, where you can often have 100m of warp out and thus the probability that the defined ends of the start line will indeed go walkabout a bit!).

So, technology itself is not infallible, but then neither are the Race Officers, even those who are fully RYA accreddited and with years of successful Race Management to draw on. But set against that, they do an often incredible task, that leaves the hi tech solutions far behind. In what can be the worst of conditions (where a boat can be knocked back by a wave - or equally, get a push forward) the human eyeball Mark 1 (experienced version) can make sense of the jumble of activity going on and in most cases get it right. There is of course still the possibility of a mistake, this can happen on the best run of Committee boats - but I would argue that it is the exception rather than the rule.

But hang on - through raising the standard of UK Race Officers, the RYA are doing their bit towards making the RYA Racing Charter a reality rather than a preface to the Rule book. But there are responsibilities too on the competitors and I've not seen much mea culpa in this thread to suggest that there are many who accept that they might have been 'pushing' the line at times. At a recent Championship where I was PRO, it was clear who would push and when the likely buck fever would strike. If the Race Team lay a good line and the wind is reasonably steady, then the rules as they stand now (and work pretty well elsewhere in the sport) should be allowed to stand. It is on those occasions when even though the start process is as it should be, yet you still get helms pushing their luck, that the Black Flag may well be the only recourse to getting a race away that is "fair as far as possible" (another lift from the RYA Racing Charter). And that is fair for all - not just the few who take that risk of getting the better than the rest start and who can sometimes get caught.

MR3025 Smokey Bear

29/10/2011 20:53:17
Well said David, and well restrained....

31/10/2011 15:17:58
As I wasn't at the Nationals I have watched this thread with interest, but declined to comment until now!  The best technology by far I have used, and seen used is the humble video camera - one at each end of the line, with a number attached right on the bow of each boat.  Then review with the mark 1 eyeball if necessary. Most race officer make an excellent call and can then refer to video if necessary. Also it will record sound to help with numbers called out by watching assistants to the PRO - GPS, helicams etc are far too inaccurate and difficult at present!

31/10/2011 15:38:24
Andrew M
Dougal's post is very sensible and well-argued, and he is of course entirely correct that the human eye squinting down a line will be able to judge very accurately if a bow crosses it or not.  BUT the problem with this case was that the decision was protested by the competitor and the issue with the eyeball is that it does not produce a record that can be used in a protest or appeal.  A video camera does, and provided either the count can be heard on the tape or the flags can be seen to drop, then this would at least give some back-up to the race officer in this situation.

31/10/2011 17:57:54
David Gates
I agree with the posts above, but unless boats have numbers on the bows, how do you know who is over the line, unless you can see the sail numbers. Many boats have the same hull colour, so mistaken identity is easy. In most cases of boats being over the line it is due to a bulge where the line watchers on either end could reasonably expect to only pick out a couple of numbers this way. I am not sure there is a perfect answer. But would agree with numbers on the bow and video camera's at each end would assist. But the OD does need to be sure of his calls beforehand. Even if he leave the black flag call till the boats go round the first windward buoy, to give time to analyse the video.

Or we live with the system we have used for many years now, and accept that there could be the odd protest.

31/10/2011 21:33:37
Tim Laws
Considering the limitations of simple gps units and the complexity needed to use them to police the starting line, this seems like we're getting into sledgehammers for cracking nuts territory!  Couple of thoughts:

- accuracy and reliability - watch any of the internet streamed sailing that involves gps tracking and you'll see how often the units play up or fail altogether. That's usually in a ~10 boat fleet...getting 60-odd cheap units to work reliably...good luck! Also,I suspect that most leisure gps units have an update rate of 1 second. Boats (and the ends of the line) can move a long way in 1 second.

- offset from gps position - gps can only figure out which direction a boat is moving by comparing two consecutive positions. If the unit was in the stern (with a known offset distance to the bow of the boat) then you could be halfway over the line drifting sideways while closehauled on starboard. The gps would infer that you were below the line, broad reaching (incredibly slowly...!) away from it. The only way to solve this is to have the gps interfaced to an electronic compass (not sure if any leisure units have an integral one?) which is whole world of extra expense and complexity.

So we're back to the Mk1 eyeball and a video camera. But is there a better option? One thought would be to use a dslr stills camera at each end. Even HD video is only about 2mp resolution, so it's difficult to zoom in far without the image becomeing very blurred. A midrange consumer dslr can have a resolution of 16-18mp and can take, in some cases, up to 7 frames per second. So if photos were started a second or so before the start until a second or two after it would be simple enough to pick the photo with the closest timestamp to the actual start and use this to assess who was over. With the resolution it's quite easy to zoom in and spot details (sailmaker logo, kite or sheet colour) that differentiate boats with similar paint jobs.

Of course you still won't spot all the boats in the centre of the pack, but I don't really see what happened this year as anything more than an unfortunate combination fo circumstances. It's unlikely to happen again and I don't believe that many people make a decision to attend/not attend the champs on the basis of the black flag rules.


03/11/2011 10:58:58
Good idea, but I still think we really need the camera positioned 30ft up in the air.

03/11/2011 11:26:21
Richard Stevens
My entry to the forum was at the tail of the previous thread, but it seems that the topic continues.
I was involved in much of the gps tracking exercises, but the expectations were too large for the cost involved although the units used at the Olympics and lead up regattas have worked well, but primarily for giving a relay to give on screen coverage.
The units are bow mounted and do give an indication of position on the line, but I personally, would not rely upon them to give 100% answers.
As already stated, it is possible to get a good fair start for reasonably sized fleets, so long as my parameters are followed. Unfortunately many clubs and ROs accept the small motor boat as a committee boat and a buoy at the pin end. It also needs at least two sighting from each end, with a tape running to give the background and lead up to the start.
Competitors who have come aboard to view and see starts are often surprised at the ability to identify possible offenders or "no goes", early. An alternative is to ask to hear the tapes- no decent RO should refuse the request.
That said, I'll go back to stripping off the old paint and varnish on 1074, and keep next years' Nationals' week free, and offer OPUS [ the big Cat ]
for the RCs use at Lyme.

03/11/2011 20:05:42
Keith Callaghan
Ah yes, the tapes. I have heard from a member of the HISC protest committee that the audio record did not call out MR3652 as over the line. No doubt the RYA will have this evidence presented to them.

04/11/2011 20:15:46
I doubt that the appeal will cover whether 3652 was over the line or not as that appears to have been established to their satisfaction.  Likely it will focus on the redress to be given for a boat which has been scored BFD and whether the redress given was fair or not.

04/11/2011 20:30:43
And we still have at least a month to go to find out what the result of the appeal will be...
04/11/2011 23:48:06
Fat Boy Slim
I think the Chair got this right at the Silver Tiller Dinner, we came into the year as a class enshrined in controversy and we appear to be going out of the year in the same way.
Not at all sure that it is a good plan for this to go on and on, it needs sorting and sorting soon.

08/11/2011 16:01:27
David Bennett

I do wonder at all the worry some on here express about "airing dirty linen in public". I am member of other class associations and they have both a public and a private part of their web forums (i.e., only members can access the private parts of the forum). That way, the class can have its discussions and there should be no need to delete threads from public view if they are condidered to be getting too feisty.

just a suggestion

08/11/2011 23:11:43
Jim C
Why on earth would you consider this topic represents any "dirty linen" for your class?

09/11/2011 12:14:01
David Bennett
sorry, bad turn of phrase - should have said that I don't think there is actually anything wrong with this thead or the previous related one

10/11/2011 23:00:04
Dougal understanding/exxperience of RYA Appeal Cases, is that the 'facts found' are the Facts Found - end of story (Rule 70.1) The Appeal can only be on the possible application (or mis-application) of the relevant Rules applicable to the case.

There is however provision under Rule F5 for the National Authority (the RYA) to deem that the facts found are 'inadequate' in which case they could go back to the Protest Committee, with an instruction that the Protest be re-opened and further facts 'established'.

But on my reading of this - I think not. It all goes back to 70.1! The Appeal is against the 'decision of the protest Committee', in this case the manner in which redress was given.

Whilst one can sympathise with the comment made elsewhere that the season started and ended with controversy, there is no way that there can be any possible linkage between the two totally disparate issues. Yes, one was sadly played out in the public domain, when it could possibly have been more properly handled as a 'class only' discussion - but the outcome of the current Appeal may well have far reaching ramifications for the sport as a whole and should thus be, where possible, in the public domain.

Dougal 3025

11/11/2011 13:42:06
Charlie W
Good luck with the appeal, Geoff.  Wasn't there, so can't comment - but you have always struck me as being a fair competitor.

RO's and their teams need a thick skin I reckon. I recall an open meeting duty from a few yrs ago where our black flag became useless.

RS200's (can I say that here) had about 65 boats on the line, and every start saw 20-25 boats OCS.

Because they typically covered both ends of the line, you were calling boats who "might have" been over just, but were not as far over the line as people you couldn't see - who were plainly miles over. You couldn't see the pin end from about 10 seconds before, so it all became guesswork.

After one race of playing their game (4 recalls, 4 boats OCS'd per recall) we just started abandoning the starts at 5 seconds with no DSQ's.

I think we did this 4/5 times, abandoning just before the start.

Many of the revved up helms didn't like it - several of them got pretty cross, as I recall!

Ultimately, faced with the threat of a whole afternoon's non-starting practice, the fleet finally started talking to each other and behaving more sensibly.

We would have OCS'd anyone who seriously transgressed, but as it was blanket misbehaviour, we felt that throwing 4/5 boats each time really turned the whole regatta into a complete lottery. Someone in the 3rd rank could have had 3 OCS's compared to someone front rank getting off scott free every time.

Clearly sailors expected to be risking it to get an unfair advantage. The ultimate sanction: stopping the whole fleet from racing worked better than any black flag.

Was I popular? Not much......such is the lot of the Race Team!! However we did get 3 fairly well disciplined starts in after that.


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