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Speed & Smarts Issue 142

Answers to the RULES IQ TEST Questions - PART 3
Protests and Penalties

Here is Part 3 of the answers to the RULES IQ TEST questions found in Speed & Smarts Issue 142. Link to more Answers in Part 1 and
 Part 2.

Protests and Penalties  
1. F – In most cases a boat cannot be penalized without a hearing. That right is protected by rule 63.1 (Requirement for a Hearing), which starts out by saying, “A boat or competitor shall not be penalized without a protest hearing . . .” However, rule 63.1 goes on to say “. . . except as For example, if she is on the course side of the starting line 30 seconds provided in rules 30.2, 30.3, 30.4, 64.3(d), 69. 78.2, A5 and P2.” When a boat breaks any of these rules she can be penalized without a hearing. before a start under the black flag (rule 30.4), she will be disqualified and a hearing is not required.

2. T – Rule 61.1 (Informing the Protestee) describes the requirements for protesting. It says you must display a ‘red flag’ but it does not require any particular shape for that flag. However, World Sailing Case 72 has a discussion of the word ‘flag’ in rule 61.1. It says, “Only if the object used as a flag communicates that message, with little or no possibility of causing confusion on the part of those on competing boats, will the object qualify as a flag. A flag must be seen primarily to be a flag.”

3. T – In addition to requiring the display of a red flag, rule 61.1 (Informing the Protestee) says a boat that intends to protest “shall hail ‘Protest’ . . . at the first reasonable opportunity . . .” This is almost always within a few seconds after the incident.

4. F – The rulebook’s basic principle called ‘Sportsmanship and the Rules’ says, “A fundamental principle of sportsmanship is that when competitors break a rule they will promptly take a penalty . . .” It doesn’t matter whether anyone else saw or protested the rule infringement.

5. F – It’s true that a boat not racing can be penalized if she interferes with a boat that is racing (see rule 24.1 – Interfering With Another Boat). There are also many other rules that apply when a boat is not racing – if she breaks any of these she can be penalized. For example, if she intentionally puts trash in the water between races, she breaks rule 55 (Trash Disposal). If flag Y was displayed ashore and her crew fails to wear PFDs at all times while afloat, she breaks rule 40 (Personal Flotation Devices).

6. T – Rule 61.1 (Informing the Protestee) says a boat intending to protest shall “conspicuously display a red flag at the first reasonable opportunity . . . She shall display the flag until she is no longer racing.” This rule does not apply to boats with a hull length of less than 6 meters.

7. F – Rule 36 (Races Restarted or Resailed) says that a boat will, for the most part, not be penalized for rules breaches that occur during a start that leads to a general recall. Two clear exceptions are when she gets a Z Flag penalty (rule 30.2) or a Black Flag penalty (rule 30.4) in the original start. Another exception, added recently, is when a boat breaks rule 14 (Avoiding Contact) in the original start and causes injury or serious damage. If that happens she could be penalized.

8. F – According to rule 14 (Avoiding Contact), if a right-of-way boat breaks this rule (by failing to avoid contact when it was reasonably possible), she shall be exonerated as long as the contact “does not cause damage or injury.” The answer to Question 8 is False because it said that a right-of-way boat would be penalized under rule 14 only when there was ‘serious damage.’ But according to the rule, a right-of-way boat will be penalized under rule 14 if there is any damage (not required to be ‘serious’) or any injury (no matter how slight).

9. T – In rule 62 (Redress), the last sentence of the second part (62.2) clearly says, “No red flag is required.”

10. F – According to rule 62 (Redress), a boat that is fouled by another boat may be entitled to redress only when her finish position is made significantly worse by “. . . injury or physical damage because of the action of a boat that was breaking a rule of Part 2 . . .” If the boat that was fouled simply loses time or positions in the race due to the incident, she is not entitled to redress.

11. T – In rule 60 (Right to Protest . . .), the first section (60.1) says a boat may “protest another boat” or she may “request redress.” It does not permit her to protest the race committee. World Sailing Case 55 confirms this. It starts off by saying, “A boat cannot protest the race committee.” If a boat thinks the race committee made an error that affected her finish position she can request redress under rule 62 (Redress).

12. C – The definition of Party has a list of all the entities that could be considered a party to a hearing. It does not list the protest committee; in fact, the last sentence of that definition clearly states, “. . . the protest committee is never a party.”

13. A,B,C – Rule 86 (Changes to the Racing Rules) explains what rules can and cannot be changed by the sailing instructions. The SIs cannot change any rules in Part 1 or Part 2 of the rulebook, so therefore they cannot change rule 2 (Fair Sailing) or rule 10 (Opposite Tacks). Rule 86 also says the SIs cannot change rule 42 (Propulsion) – rule 42 can be changed only by the class rules. However, rule 86 does not prohibit the SIs from changing rule 44.2 (Penalties) or rule 61 (Protest Requirements).

14. A,B,D – There are only two rules in the rulebook that require a hail. One is rule 20 (Room to Tack at an Obstruction) when a boat hails for room to tack and clear an obstruction (and the hailed boat may reply ‘You tack’). The other is rule 61 (Informing the Protestee) which says that a boat intending to protest must hail ‘Protest.’ Other hails may be helpful or courteous but are not required.

15. E – Rule 41 (Outside Help) says a boat shall not receive help from any outside source, except in four specific situations that are listed in the rule. All of the situations in this question are included under those exceptions.

16. T – This is stated by the first sentence in rule 44.1 (Taking a Penalty), which says, “A boat may take a Two-Turns Penalty when she may have broken one or more rules of Part 2 in an incident while racing . . .” In other words, if a boat breaks more than one rule of Part 2 (When Boats Meet) in the same incident (i.e. , she must take only one Two-Turns Penalty.

17. T – Rule 44.1 (Taking a Penalty) lists several circumstances when a boat is not permitted to take a Two-Turns Penalty. One of those is if the boat, “despite taking a penalty, gained a significant advantage in the race or series by her breach . . .” In that case, she must retire.

18. F – This answer is partly True and mostly False. In rule 63.4 (Conflict of Interest), part (b) starts off by saying, “A member of a protest committee with a conflict of interest shall not be a member of the committee for the hearing . . .” It goes on to say “. . . unless 1) all parties consent, or 2) the protest committee decides that the conflict of interest is not significant.” These are two cases when it’s OK for a person with a conflict of interest to serve on a protest committee. However, part (d) of the rule says that at certain events those exceptions do not apply; in those events “ . . . a person who has a conflict of interest shall not be a member of the protest committee.”

19. F – Before 2017 this answer would have been True, but the rule was changed so that otherwise valid protest were not thrown out on technicalities. Now rule 61.2 (Protest Contents) says that the only absolute requirement for a written protest is that it identify the incident. If it does not identify where and when the incident occurred, this requirement may “be met before or during the hearing, provided the protestee is allowed reasonable time to prepare for the hearing.”

20. T – There are several times when a boat on port tack (P) could have right of way over a boat on starboard tack (S). These include when S is returning to start after being OCS, and when S is in the middle of taking a penalty.

21. F – The second part of Rule 64.4 (Decisions Concerning Support Persons) says, “The protest committee may also penalize a competitor for the breach of a rule by a support person . . .” There is a current debate about whether the procedural rules actually allow a protest committee to do this, but the existence of rule 64.4 means support persons must be very careful about their behavior.

A-1. F – World Sailing Case 87 gives a really good explanation of why Boat S did not break rule 14 in this situation. It says, “. . .rule 14(a) allowed S to sail her course in the expectation that P would keep clear as required, until such time as it became clear that P would not do so. In this case, the diagram shows that P could readily have borne off and avoided S from a position very close to S. For that reason, the time between the moment it became clear that P would not keep clear and the time of the collision was a very brief interval, so brief that it was impossible for S to avoid contact. Therefore, S did not break rule 14.” Since S did not break rule 14, she won’t be penalized even if the damage was serious.

A-2. F – Rule 14 (Avoiding Contact) says’ “A boat shall avoid contact with another boat if reasonably possible.” There does not have to be damage to either boat in order for a boat to break this rule. In the diagrammed case, it was ‘reasonably possible’ for P to have avoided the contact; since she didn’t, she broke rule 14.  

A-3. F – In this incident P broke rule 10 (On Opposite Tacks) because she did not keep clear of a starboard tacker. She also broke rule 14 (Avoiding Contact) because she hit the other boat when it was reasonably possible to avoid her. Because both rules are in Part 2 (When Boats Meet) and because both rule breaches were in the same incident, P could normally take one Two-Turns Penalty for this (see rule 44.1 – Taking a Penalty). However, section (b) of rule 44.1 says that if a boat causes ‘serious damage’ (to any boat) she cannot take a Two-Turns Penalty and must retire from the race.

B-1. F – According to the definition of ‘Racing,’ a boat is racing until she finishes and clears the finishing line and marks. When S had to change course to avoid P, P had finished but she was still ‘racing’ because she had not cleared the finishing line and marks. Therefore, P was still governed by all the racing rules and has to take a penalty if she breaks any of them. Even if P had cleared the finishing line and marks here, she interfered with a boat (S) that was racing so she broke rule 24.1 (Interfering With Another Boat).

B-2. F – According to rule 44.2 (One-Turn and Two-Turns Penalties), “When a boat takes a penalty at or near the finishing line, she shall sail completely to the course side of the line before finishing.” So, it doesn’t matter where a boat makes her penalty turns (as long as she keeps clear of other boats), but after taking her penalty she must be completely on the course side of the line before finishing.

B-3. F – Rule 61 (Protest Requirements) lists all the things a boat must do in order to have a valid protest, including hailing ‘Protest’ and filing a written form within the time limit. It does not require a boat to report her protest to the RC at the finish line. However, this requirement is sometimes included in the sailing instructions.

C-1. F – In the not-too-distant past, penalty turns had to be complete 360-degree circles, but that is no longer the case. Now each turn just has to include one tack and one jibe.

C-2. F – Rule 44.1 (One-Turn and Two-Turns Penalties) describes how a boat must take her penalty turns. It says a boat must get “well clear of other boats as soon after the incident as possible” and then “promptly” make her turns. The rule does not allow a boat to delay her penalty even if she has a spinnaker set at the time.

C-3. F – When a boat takes a penalty during a race, there is no rule in the rulebook that say she has to report it to the RC at the finish line. This is required only if it is stated in the sailing instructions.

D-1. T – Rule 10 (O Opposite Tacks) says a boat on port tack (P) must keep clear of a boat on starboard tack (S). Since S had to take avoiding action to miss P, P did not keep clear and therefore broke rule 10.

D-2. T – P was required to avoid contact with S if reasonably possible (rule 14). Since P sailed right in front of S and there was contact, P broke rule 14.

D-3. T – Rule 14 says, “A boat shall avoid contact with another boat if reasonably possible.” It goes on to say that a right-of-way boat “need not act to avoid contact until it is clear that the other boat is not keeping clear . . .” In this case when it became obvious that P was not going to keep clear S bore off to miss P but misjudged her duck. It was reasonably possible for S to avoid contact, but she failed to do so; therefore she broke rule 14.

D-4. T – Part (b) of rule 14 (Avoiding Contact) says the right-of-way boat (S) “shall be exonerated if she breaks this rule and the contact does not cause damage or injury.” In this case S broke rule 14 but there was no damage or injury, so S is exonerated for breaking the rule.

D-5. F – In this situation, P broke both rule 10 (On Opposite Tacks) and rule 14 (Avoiding Contact) in the same incident. Because she broke “one or more rules of Part 2 in an incident while racing,” P only has to take one Two-Turns Penalty (see rule 44.1 – Taking a Penalty).

E-1. F – Rule 44.1 (Taking a Penalty) addresses this specific situation. It says, “(a) when a boat may have broken a rule of Part 2 and rule 31 in the same incident she need not take the penalty for breaking rule 31.” So when Boat X touches the mark and fouls Boat Y in the same incident, she has to take only a Two-Turns Penalty.

E-2. T – Rule 44.1 (Taking a Penalty) says, “. . . if the boat . . . despite taking a penalty, gained a significant advantage in the race or series by her breach her penalty shall be to retire.” So if Boat X broke a rule in rounding the windward mark and, after taking her penalty, she was ahead of where she would have been if she didn’t break any rule, then she probably gained a ‘significant advantage’ and her only option would be to retire.

E-3. T – Rule 61.1 (Informing the Protestee) says that when a boat intends to protest, and her protest involves an incident in the racing area that she was involved in or saw, she “shall hail ‘Protest’ . . . at the first reasonable opportunity.”