Protest Committee Decisions

Panerai British Classic Week 2019


PROTEST COMMITTEE: Mufti Kling, Sonia Mayes, Laurence Mead, Bryan Willis (chairman)

Lynne Rowcroft (secretary)

Report date 23/07/2019 08:01

Protest #1 17th July, 8 Metre Class, Race 4, SASKIA v CARRON II,

The protest form was sent to the race office a few minutes previously, and printed off to be logged at 1515.

The last boat to finish the race in the 8 Metre class was SASKIA which finished at 1258. The Protest limit time was therefore 1428.

There was no justification for the late lodgement. The protest form had been prepared using a computer with great detail including 10 diagrams.

DECISION on Validity: The Protest Committee finds no good reason to extend the time limit in this case. A protest form may be handwritten and need include only a simple explanation.

The protest is invalid and is therefore refused.

Protest #2 17th July, Class 3, Race 4, VOLONTE v CERINTHE

Incident at mark 3G. CERINTHE accepted a penalty by displaying yellow flag, and later signed acknowledgement form, accepting a 2% penalty.

DECISION 2% to be added to CERINTHE’s elapsed time.

Protest #3 17th July, 8 Metre Class, Race 4, CARRON II v SASKIA,

CARRON II was represented by Neree Cornoz. A crew member gave evidence.

SASKIA was represented by Gilmour Manuel. A crew member gave evidence.


CARRON II hailed ‘protest’ immediately after the incident, and her helmsman pulled a protest flag from his pocket and displayed it immediately. This was agreed by SASKIA.

He then handed the flag to a crew member who attached it to the port shroud.

Although SASKIA accepted that the protest flag was initially displayed, she claimed the protest flag was not continuously displayed.

CARRON II informed the race committee of her intention to protest soon after finishing and lodged the protest at 1706. CARRON II participated in the Ladies Race which was an official race though not part of the 8 Metres Series. The last boat in the Ladies Race finished at 1626 so the time limit for lodging protests was 1756.

DECISION on validity:

The flag, being attached to the port shroud, might not have been seen by SASKIA, but the requirement for a flag to be displayed conspicuously does not mean it must be visible from all directions.

The protest committee is satisfied that the flag was conspicuously displayed.

SASKIA confirmed she understood the display of the flag to mean CARRON II intended to protest.


The protest is valid.


The incident occurred about one minute before the starting signal, below the starting line.

Conditions were choppy, with boats able to sail at about 6 knots.

CARRON II was sailing on starboard tack on a beam reach about 6 boat lengths below, and parallel to, the starting line. SASKIA was sailing on port tack on a broad reach, with the intention of luffing and passing to windward of CARRON II and to then gybe behind her.

CARRON II luffed slightly on to a converging course. There were then approximately 6 boat lengths between them. SASKIA decided it was no longer possible to pass astern of CARRON II and therefore decided to bear away and pass ahead of CARRON II.

CARRON II returned to her previous course. CARRON II submitted that these course alterations were minor and may have been due to the wave conditions.

SASKIA gybed and luffed to a close-hauled course while CARRON II bore away and passed beneath her.

There was no contact.

CARRON II later luffed and SASKIA responded to keep clear, but was forced over the start line. However, these actions were not part of the incident being considered.


The protest committee accepts that CARRON II’s course alterations were as a result of wave conditions.

When CARRON II luffed, there was room for SASKIA to keep clear.

It was reasonable for SASKIA to believe her only way to keep clear was to gybe.

CARRON II’s bearing away to avoid SASKIA fulfilled her obligation under rule 16 to give room to SASKIA to keep clear.


The protest committee applied rules 10, 11, 14, & 16, but no rules were broken.


The protest is dismissed

Protest #4 18th July, 8 Metre Class, Race 5, ATHENA v FRØYA,

Laurence Mead being unavailable, both parties agreed the case should be heard by Willis and Kling. End of protest time was 1608; the protest was lodged at 1614. However, the protest times were not posted on the notice board. The protest committee decided this was a good reason to extend the time limit by the 10 minutes required to validate the lodgement time. FRØYA did not object.

FRØYA was offered a 3% penalty but elected to defend the protest.


Both boats were approaching the outer mooring buoys outside the breakwater, closed hauled on starboard tack, with FREYA ahead and to leeward.

FREYA, believing the mooring buoys and chart soundings constituted an obstruction, hailed for room to tack. ATHENA responded by informing FREYA that there was no obstruction and she should continue on starboard tack through the moorings.

FREYA tacked and as the boats became close on a collision course, both tacked to avoid contact.

There was no contact.


On hearing FRØYA’s hail for room to tack, ATHENA was required to either tack as soon as possible or immediately reply ‘you tack’ and give FRØYA room to tack and avoid her.

ATHENA held the view that FRØYA had no right to hail, as there was no obstruction. Her course of action was to protest, but nonetheless was required to tack or hail ‘you tack’ which she failed to do.

Had ATHENA complied but protested, the protest committee would have to decide whether the mooring buoys and chart soundings constituted an obstruction for a reasonably competent or cautious skipper, but not necessarily all skippers. The same area can be an obstruction to some skippers and not to others.

Tactically, believing the area was not an obstruction, ATHENA should have hailed ‘you tack’ and borne away behind ATHENA to continue to sail on starboard tack to take advantage of the lesser tidal stream.


ATHENA failed to comply with rule 20.2 (b) and (c)

ATHENA is disqualified.

Case #5, 8 Metre Class, Race 6, ANNE SOPHIE 19th July

The Protest Committee received a ‘Competitor Query’ from Joerg Moessnang asking:

Overall result request

In the sailing instructions is written that the Nab Tower Race and the Long Inshore Race are included in the overall result list. To me, you cannot discard one of these races.


The phrase ‘including the Nab Tower and Long Inshore Races’ is included simply to clarify that those races are included in the races that count towards the series before discards are applied. Similarly, the phrase ‘The Around the Cans and Ladies Races do not count for these series’ is included to clarify that these races are not a part of the series. The Nab Tower Race and the Long Inshore Race rank equally with the all the other numbered races. Any worse score of any numbered races can be discarded.

Case #6 19th July, 8 Metre Class, Race 6, CARRON II v FALCON & ANNE SOPHIE

CARRON II claimed that FALCON & ANNE SOPHIE failed to sail the course by leaving mark 47 on the wrong side. FALCON questioned whether a protest flag was properly displayed by CARRON II.

DECISION ON VALIDITY: No protest flag is required for infringements of Rule 28 (Sailing the Course). The Protest Committee is satisfied that CARRON II informed both yachts at the first reasonable opportunity after finishing as required by Rule 60.1(3).

The protest is valid.


Both yachts left mark 47 to port and sailed to the finishing line.

The course set required mark 47 to be left to starboard (but see case 10)

CONCLUSION: Both boats failed to sail the course by leaving mark 47 on the wrong side.


Both boats broke 28.

FALCON & ANNE SOPHIE are disqualified.

Case #7 19th July, 8 Metre Class, Race 6, DIDO v HELEN OF DURGAN & HAPPY FOREVER

DIDO claimed that HELEN OF DURGAN & HAPPY FOREVER failed to sail the course by leaving mark 47 on the wrong side.

FACTS: Both boats left mark 47 to port. HAPPY FOREVER sailed on to the finishing line.

The course set by the Race Committee required mark 47 to be left to starboard (but see case 10)

HELEN OF DURGAN returned to the mark and passed it to starboard correcting her error, but failed to then round the mark to starboard to satisfy ‘the string rule’ (‘a string representing a boat’s track … shall, when drawn taut, pass each mark on the required side…’)

CONCLUSION: HAPPY FOREVER failed to sail the course by leaving mark 47 on the wrong side. HELEN OF DURGAN corrected her error but then failed to round the mark thereby failing to comply with Rule 28.2(a) (‘the string rule’)


Both boats broke 28


Cases #8 (heard with #9) 19th July, 8 Metre Class, Race 6, FALCON requested redress

FALCON claimed the Race Committee had broadcast the course requiring mark 47 to be left to port. Messages using WhatsApp correcting this to starboard after the start were ‘completely missed’. See case #10.

Case #9 19th July, 8 Metre Class, Race 6, ANNE SOPHIE requested redress

ANNE SOPHIE claimed the Race Committee had broadcast the course requiring mark 47 to be left to port. ANNE SOPHIE followed FALCON leaving the mark to port, which was ‘the usual way’ to round this mark. See case #10.

Case # 10, 19th July, Class 2, Race 6, CETEWAYO requested redress.

CETEWAYO claimed that when she was well in the lead in her race, she left 47 to port and started down the finishing leg, then seeing other competitors round 47 to starboard realised she may have made an error, so beat back to mark 47, ‘unwound’, then rounded to starboard, and proceeded to the finish, losing a significant amount of time.

CONCLUSION: CETEWAYO sailed the correct course, and satisfied ‘the string rule’ (28.2)


Cases 6, 7, 8 9 & 10 all involved claims that the race committee made an error when broadcasting the course, resulting in some boats, possibly many boats, rounding mark 47 on the unintended hand. It was the intention of the race committee that boats should ‘loop’ the mark, by leaving it to starboard. Many boats left it to port. Some, realising their error, returned with the intention of correcting their error.


The sailing instructions stated:


8.1 The courses to be sailed will be announced by the Race Committee … on VHF Channel 05 before the Warning Signal and again as soon as possible after the Preparatory Signal, and similarly will be repeated by the Race Committee (call sign Castle Two) in order to confirm that the course broadcast was correctly transmitted. Courses will also be promulgated via a Whats App group. (See addendum 1)

WhatsApp & VHF messages sent:

Time Broadcast Message
10.27 WhatsApp Friday 6M Class, Race 8 START RYS INNER LINE, 3L (S), 3W (S), 39 (P), 4M (S), 4K(P), 47(P), Finish RYS Finish Line.
10.30 WhatsApp Race Office Friday 8M Class and Classes 1 & 2, Race 6 START RYS COMBINED LINE, 3L (S), 3W (S), 39 (P), 4M (S), 4K(P), 47(P), Finish RYS Finish Line.
10.33 WhatsApp Race Office Friday, Class 3 & 4, Race 6 START RYS COMBINED LINE, 3K (S), 3S (S), 4H (S), 31(P), 4G(S), 4V(S), Finish RYS Finish Line.
=11.05 VHF Radio ...47 (S)...
=11.13 VHF Radio ....47 (S)...
11.15 Gun Start
11.24 WhatsApp (From yacht) Course read for Class 2 read different to text. Please confirm rounding for 47
11.33 WhatsApp ALL VHF COURSES WERE BROADCAST CORRECTLY, HOWEVER HERE IS A WHATSAPP CORRECTION. Friday 8M Class and Class 1 & 2 , Race 6 START RYS COMBINED LINE, 3L (S), 3W (S), 39 (P), 4M (S), 4K (P), 47 (S), Finish RYS Finish Line.

The misunderstanding by yachts was caused either by listening to the VHF broadcast (confirmed by WhatsApp at 1027) which was the course for the 6 Metre Class and thinking it was for them (there were no 6 Metre starters), or by accepting the incorrect 1030 WhatsApp message as their course.

All VHF course broadcasts were correct. Only the 1030 WhatsApp message was wrong; it was corrected at 1133 after a yacht queried it at 1124.

An addendum was issued by the Organising Authority on 7th July:

ADDENDUM 1 to the Sailing Instructions.

Instructions for receiving regatta information and course information from the Race Committee via “WhatsApp”.

Whilst the official method of receiving course information remains VHF Channel 05, (reference Sailing Instruction 28.1), we have found in recent regattas that competitors have greatly appreciated this additional means of communication. However, failure to receive WhatsApp information shall not be grounds for redress


The Race Committee made an error in broadcasting a course on WhatsApp different to that broadcast on VHF. This was regrettable, since it caused a significant number* of yachts to sail the wrong course (by leaving mark 47 to port, which was the most logical hand). However, the Organising Authority had made it clear in the Sailing Instructions and in Addendum 1, that the ‘official method of receiving course information’ was by VHF Channel 5. A prudent competitor therefore would ensure they learned the course by hearing it on VHF.

[*Some yachts were protested. There were others that were not, which added to the inequity of the situation]

Sailing Instruction 28.1 required all yachts to be equipped with a VHF Radio, whereas it was not mandatory to have an ability to receive WhatsApp.


No redress can be granted as yachts that sailed the wrong course were not without fault, in that the Sailing Instructions made it clear that the VHF Broadcasts were the only official method of communicating the course. Competitors should either follow the VHF announcement (which was broadcast twice) or question any difference between the course broadcast by VHF and the course broadcast on WhatsApp.

(Rule 62.1: ‘A request for redress … shall be based on a claim … that a boat’s score … has been, … through no fault of her own, made significantly worse by … an improper action or omission of the race committee …’)


No redress is awarded.

Case #11 19th July, 8 Metre Class, Race 2

The Protest Committee was made aware of a problem concerning a possible agreement between officers of the class and the owner of ANNE SOPHIE regarding participation in races for the 8 Metre yachts on day 2 (Monday). At a meeting between Class Officers and Hans Georg Klein, owner of ANNE SOPHIE, on Sunday at the commencement of the Regatta, there was, it is asserted, an agreement not to count the Nab Tower race result (Race 2) in the 8 Metre series score.

Only ANNESOPHIE elected to sail in the Nab Tower race. The other 8 Metres elected to compete in round-the-cans unofficial races, not to count for the 8 Metre Series.

The BCYC Regatta Chairman Michael Briggs provided a statement to the Protest Committee describing the issue.

After racing was complete on the final day, the Protest Committee asked Hans Georg Klein to attend an audience to discuss the situation. He denied there was a binding agreement but after discussion he kindly agreed to give up his 1st place in race 2, such that it no longer counted towards the 8 Metre Series.

The Protest Committee hopes that this action by Hans Georg Klein will be appreciated by the other 8 Metre owners.