Protest Activity Summary from 2015 Gold Cup

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Bob Rast DN1313:
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


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.


US 5432:
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

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.


Peter Truesdell:
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


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