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TOPIC: Protest hearing from Wednesday 22June 2016

Protest hearing from Wednesday 22June 2016 7 months 4 weeks ago #137

  • Bill Brockbank
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2 beating starboard tack boats, W(indward) and L(eeward) approached Mark 7 to be left to port.
W, preparing to hoist her spinnaker, saw L late and the two collided. A call of protest was made and heard but neither boat did turns.
L claimed she had been on starboard since before the zone. W supposed that L had tacked in the zone but (having not seen L) could present no evidence to support that view.
If L had tacked in the zone rule 18.3 would have applied forbidding her from I.a. luffing W above close hauled. As L did not tack, rule 11 (overlapped on the same tack) applies. W, required to keep clear of L, did not do so and is disqualified.

2 further incidents between the same boats didn't need to be heard
One followed immediately after the bump described above and would be treated as part of the same incident. If L was right there's nothing gained by disqualifying W twice and if L was wrong she would reasonably claim immunity (RRS64.1) if forced into fouling by W's wrongful action.
Another, where there was disagreement about whether a call of protest was made was parked then abandoned when W's DSQ made it irrelevant.

Comments:
Insofar as the protests hinged on whether a boat was seen or not, or a cry of protest heard or not, W's crew would have been a useful witness. I'm content it wouldn't have changed this decision, but it might in different circumstances.
We trialled an extra step, each party asked to summarise what they must prove or disprove quoting the rules as written, before questioning ("cross examination") starts.
It's there to avert the embarrassment and sometimes heartbreak when a participant hasn't read the rules, has remembered old rules which changed, relies on misinterpretations, or quotes the kitchen sink when the nub of the protest is just one sentence.
It didn't work, if anything making things worse.
I'll try again with a slightly different recipe.
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