CASE 71          

Sportsmanship and the Rules
Rule 29.1, Recalls: Individual Recall
Rule 62.1(a), Redress
Rule 64.2, Decisions: Decisions on Redress

A hail is not the ‘sound signal’ required when flag X is displayed. Answers to questions arising from requests for redress after a procedural error by the race committee.

Summary of the Facts
Boats A and B were near the port end of the starting line and very close to the line at the starting signal. The race committee, believing that both had been on the course side of the line at their starting signal, displayed flag X and hailed both sail numbers.
Neither A nor B heard the hails or saw flag X but continued racing and their finishing places were recorded. Preliminary results were posted showing A and B scored as OCS.
A promptly requested redress, citing as grounds that the race committee failed to make the required sound signal and that she did not see a flag or have any other reason to believe that she did not start correctly. The protest committee heard A’s request. The committee did not find as fact whether or not A or B was on the course side of the starting line at the starting signal. However, when the committee learned that B was next to A, it gave redress to both boats, stating that they were to be scored in their finishing places and, where appropriate, other boats’ scores were to be adjusted downwards. This done, C, which had finished behind A and B, requested redress in her turn, claiming that the race committee’s omission of the required sound signal had made her score significantly worse by causing two boats which failed to start properly to be scored ahead of her. C’s request was denied and she appealed.
In commenting on the appeal the race committee asked several questions.

Question 1
Did the hail of sail numbers constitute a sound signal?

Answer 1
No. The hail of one or more sail numbers is not the sound signal required when flag X is displayed.

Question 2
Did the protest committee act properly in giving redress to A?

Answer 2
Yes. When a boat reasonably believes that she has started properly and has not been notified to the contrary in the manner required by rule 29.1 and when she is then scored OCS, she is entitled to redress under rule 62.1(a). The claim that A was over the line early was not established as fact. Therefore, scoring A in her finishing place was an appropriate form of redress in this circumstance.
However, if it were determined in a hearing that a boat knew that she had been over the line, she would have been obliged to comply with rule 28.1 and, if it applied, rule 30.1, and she would not be entitled to redress. Had she broken those rules, she would also have broken rule 2 and failed to comply with the Basic Principle, Sportsmanship and the Rules.

Question 3
Did the protest committee act properly in giving redress to B, which had not requested it?

Answer 3
Yes. The protest committee found that B was in the same circumstances as A, and it then acted as required by rule 64.2's first sentence.

Question 4
Was C entitled to redress?

Answer 4
No. The claim that A and B were over the line early was not established as fact. Therefore, despite the race committee’s failure to make the required sound signal, C’s claim that her score was made significantly worse by that error is not supported by the facts. C is not entitled to redress, and her appeal is denied.

USSA 1988/276