DN NA Class

Guests & Members Post & Read => Racing and Rules discussions => Topic started by: wnethercote on February 02, 2015, 02:01:14 PM

Title: Protest Activity Summary from 2015 Gold Cup
Post by: wnethercote on February 02, 2015, 02:01:14 PM
Geoff Sobering asked me if I might be "willing to publish the details of the  three protests (at the 2015 Gold Cup/NAs) and the committee's analysis."  Following is a short summary.  It is not a record of our analysis, since that is normally held 'within the room'.

We had two protests in the Gold cup and one in the (cancelled) NAs, all in Gold Fleet.  John Atkins, the PRO, had a good system in place to receive intents to protest on the ice, and protests ashore.  When we had ‘intent’, I collected my committee and we held the hearings at the regatta shore site (Kingston Yacht Club) before the parties returned to the hotel. I don’t recall all times, but I believe the latest hearing completed before 6:30 PM.   I chaired all hearings since I consistently managed to sail terribly in the mini-qualifiers, so protecting my tenure in the silver fleet.

The first protest was against the race committee, after three boats’ starts were delayed by the ‘sticker-checker’ in the first race of the Gold Cup.  We decided that the three parties did have a ‘chance to win a prize’ based on their rankings and their finishes in that race after their delayed start.  (While soft water rules consider redress when a boat's position in a race or series has or may be made significantly worse, NIA rules limit such considerations to when 'chances to win a prize' are prejudiced)  The protestors did not wish the race to be resailed, and the sailing instructions had included an alternative measure in the SIs (“SI 11.3: In accordance with NIA Rules V.B.3 and Appendix V.B.5, the Judges may award a prejudiced yacht scoring points in a race rather than ordering a resail”) so we awarded points equal to points scored in race 2 (the only other race that day) as long as the points were not worse than the points in Race 1.  We did this so that the other competitors would not be faced with ever-changing points for these three boats had we used an average of all races.  The IDNIYRA scoring program choked on our decision:  Loretta had to re-enter the redress awards after every new race was entered.
The second protest was a result of a collision at the leeward mark, where ‘a faster moving yacht approaching another from the rear’ collided with the other.  Both had a broken or damaged runner and both retired from the race.  The faster moving yacht was disqualified under Rule 8, second part.
The third protest was a result of a collision near the windward mark in the first race of the (cancelled) NAs.  A port tack yacht attempted a close crossing of a starboard tack yacht, and both then altered course to windward to minimize the impact when it was apparent that port could not clear.  There was a collision and S’s port-side runner was broken in half ahead of the chock.  S also had minor hull damage.  P was disqualified under Rule 3.

 I need to acknowledge Peter Hale and Peter Truesdell who sat with me on the redress hearing, and Bob Schumacher, event chair Eben Whitcomb III (twice) and Paul Goodwin who sat with me on the sailing rules protests.  The whole protest management system went reasonably well, although I will admit preference for being a judge OR a competitor, rather than both.   Non-competing judges are the norm in major soft water events (I judged at a number of soft water world championships last year on that basis), but I would be hard-pressed to give up an opportunity to sail my DN.   :)

Title: Re: Protest Activity Summary from 2015 Gold Cup
Post by: wnethercote on June 04, 2015, 12:21:17 PM
FYI, the video posted at http://dnamerica.org/forum/index.php?topic=1868.0 shows the collision in the second protest described above.

Title: Re: Protest Activity Summary from 2015 Gold Cup
Post by: Geoff Sobering on June 04, 2015, 01:37:01 PM
Thanks very much Warren!

My hope is this will help with general awareness of the rules and problematic situations that are occurring in our races.


Geoff S. - US-5156

Title: Re: Protest Activity Summary from 2015 Gold Cup
Post by: Bob Rast DN1313 on June 23, 2015, 07:59:42 AM
Sounds like the first protest favored 3 sailors to the detriment of the rest of the fleet seems unfair
To majority of sailors and race should have been re sailed or finishes for other yachts should have been adjusted the same as the three protesting
My 2 cents

Title: Re: Protest Activity Summary from 2015 Gold Cup
Post by: wnethercote on June 28, 2015, 07:58:42 PM

Decisions on protests against the race committee are never easy, nor would two panels of judges necessarily come to the same conclusion.  There could be agreement that 'tough luck' might not be a good decision, but on the other hand, re-sailing a race when only 3 of 50 starters were prejudiced might be unduly harsh for the other 47 (except, of course, the guy who sailed his discard and would love a second kick at the can).  So there is a certain attraction for the NIA option of awarding points to prejudiced yachts, although you still have to generate the strategy for award of points.  That strategy can be problematic when the prejudice occurs very early in the series, for reasons noted earlier.

In time, most judges come to accept that their role is one where over the long run, 50 percent of their 'clients' are unhappy.  Unhappily, with redress decisions (to use the soft-water terminology) the satisfaction level doesn't always even make the average.


Title: Re: Protest Activity Summary from 2015 Gold Cup
Post by: Bob Rast DN1313 on June 30, 2015, 08:16:29 AM
Really not concerned about ruling but trying to understand what exactly happened
To 3 sailors who protested was there
Start interfered with and everyone else left before they were ready?
Everyone needed stickers checked if that's what the race committee was doing
Just would like clarification
Who protested based on what actions of race committee
They felt they  lost possible finishing position
Conditions weren't ideal I think race committee did a great job
With what they had
Thanks for your dedication was a great time

Title: Re: Protest Activity Summary from 2015 Gold Cup
Post by: wnethercote on June 30, 2015, 08:20:23 PM

Yes, the sticker checker was still dealing with the last three boats on one end of the line when the flag was dropped.  These three competitors were not able to release their brakes and start until after the rest of the fleet had done so.


Title: Re: Protest Activity Summary from 2015 Gold Cup
Post by: US 5432 on July 01, 2015, 09:17:01 AM
I am surprised the Protest Committee had discretion to fashion the remedy.

In this case, the Protest Committee awarded points to the 3 yachts based on the results from the very next race. But what would have happened if the protest occurred in the last race. Certainly, a different remedy would have been imposed.

The class should have an agreed upon form of redress. As a matter of fairness, I believe it should always be based on the average of all the races sailed.

US 5432

Title: Re: Protest Activity Summary from 2015 Gold Cup
Post by: wnethercote on July 01, 2015, 03:53:37 PM
The same situation arises on soft water and, yes, I too would have been inclined to award average points from all races except the one in question had the incident happened in the last race.  But the case in question occurred early in the regatta, and had we applied that criterion, the points awarded to the three boats would have been a moving target.  We used an increasingly common practice in soft water, that redress points for a race part way through a regatta be considered on the basis of races to date, so that other competitors would know what the points for these boats were, should there be a close competition for position.

The bigger surprise to many, I suppose, is that we awarded points at all, when the usual practice seems to be a simple choice between 'tough luck' and 'chuck the race.'  The scorer was surprised too, because the IDNIYRA scoring program struggled with our award.  But NIA rules actually recommend that sailing instructions allow award of points, so the race committee followed the NIA recommendation and included award of points as an option in the sailing instructions.  From my perspective it is a shame that more race committees don't do so.  While there are times when it is best to abandon a race and re-sail it, it would seem to me unfortunate to abandon a race where 3 were prejudiced, but the other 47 had a fair contest.  As to the award of redress per se, I am comfortable that different people might choose different measures, although I would hope that no one would have chosen the 'tough luck' option.


Title: Re: Protest Activity Summary from 2015 Gold Cup
Post by: Peter Truesdell on July 02, 2015, 07:38:29 AM
I was one of the members of Warren's committee to sort out the protest involving the 3 salors who missed their start during the sticker check and I would just like to say that as a first time member of an iceboat protest comittee I found it very interesting.  I have served on comittees in soft water racing and the NIA provisions do make for an interesting change in how redress types of situations can be handled.  Warren did a fantastic and very professional job of handling the whole business, clearly explaining to the comittee members what our options might be and, once we had reached a decision, explaining it all to the interested parites.  In this case we were a little fortunate in that there were no questions about what had occurred as there may be in a right of way issue and both the competitors involved and the PRO I think were satisfied that we had come up with as equitable solution as we could under the circumstances.  As others have said, there is never a truely fair way to resolve these things but I think that considering the early stage in the regatta our answer made sense and at least did the least amount of damage to the overall results.  I would strongly urge all of you to participate in this process should the occasion arise(hopefully never very often).  I have always found that being involved in these sorts of comittees educational- we all know the sailing rules but sorting out a protest always gives you an oportunity to learn something and get a deeper understanding of all the subtleties and gray areas that are inevitably part of racing.  Thanks again Warren and also everyone who put on the GC this past year- Kinston was a fantastic experience.

Pete Truedell