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14 June 2004, 01:55 pm
Question and Answer 137
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ISAF Race Officials

Question and Answer 137 has now been published on the International Judges Question and Answer Section of the ISAF Race Officials Microsite. The situation considered by Q&A137 is as follows:

A timely Request for Redress for an OCS was received by the jury. The jury took evidence and found the following facts:

  • No starting penalty flags (rule 30) were displayed at the preparatory signal.
  • Boat A was OCS very shortly before the start.
  • The PRO waited for confirmation of Boat A's sail number from the race committee boat at the pin end of the starting line.
  • The confirmation was not received until 17 seconds after the starting signal. Flag X was then displayed with a sound signal, 17 seconds after the starting signal.
  • In the hearing, Boat A stated that she heard the sound signal and looked back and saw flag X. The jury found that as a fact.
  • The race committee posted Boat A as OCS at the windward mark, even though the sailing instructions did not describe the procedure.
  • When Boat A saw her sail number posted at the windward mark, she withdrew from the race.


Based on a majority vote, the jury granted redress and awarded Boat A average points.

The jury agreed that redress should be given if Boat A had returned and started following the late recall signal. The disagreement within the jury came because Boat A had as much information available to her to decide if she was OCS at the time of the signal as she would have had if the signal had been displayed within a few seconds of the start.

Question 1

Should the PRO have promptly signalled an Individual Recall and then waited for the sail number from the pin boat?

Answer 1

Yes, in order to comply with rule 29.2.

Question 2

If the race committee had promptly signalled Individual Recall and no boats were identified, would any boat have been prejudiced?

Answer 2

No.

Question 3

By not returning to start correctly, did Boat A meet the 'through no fault of her own' requirement in rule 62.1?

Answer 3

It depends. A boat that knows she is OCS and does not return cannot claim that a late signal was what made her score worse. However, if she is unaware that she started incorrectly, she may rely on the prompt display of flag X. See ISAF Case 31

Question 4

Given that Boat A's sail number was posted as an OCS boat at the windward mark even though there was no requirement in the sailing instructions to do so, was Boat A's poor finish, to some extent, due to her retiring from the race?

Answer 4

The fact that a boat retires when notified at the windward mark that she was OCS does not necessarily mean that the boat knew she was OCS at the starting signal.

If Boat A knew she was OCS and did not return to start correctly, she is not entitled to redress, even if the race committee failed to promptly display flag X and whether or not Boat A retired at the windward mark.

The display of a boat's number on an OCS board at the windward mark, whether or not the procedure is included in the sailing instructions, does not alter the race committee's obligation to comply with rule 29.2. In this case, Boat A's retirement may have affected the form of redress (average points versus reinstatement), but that fact alone should not affect a protest committee's decision to grant redress.

Any IJ or MNA may submit a question to the panel via the ISAF Secretariat in Southampton (by Email, post or fax). The panel might rephrase the question to make it more concise, and will provide an answer. If the question has already been answered, the questioner will be given, or referred to, the already published Q&A. Those Q&As considered to be of general interest will be posted on the ISAF website.

Unlike the ISAF Cases, which are authoritative interpretations and explanations of the rules, these answers are solely to assist judges in applying the rules in a consistent way.


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