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Displaying items by tag: Gordon Davies

As boats head across the Atlantic in the New York – Vendée race it is not only potential Irish competitors in the Vendée Globe who are keeping a watchful eye on proceedings. Gordon Davies, an International Judge from Bray, is monitoring events carefully as a member of the International Jury.
The Jury has a particular role to play in these oceanic races. This is very much a professional sport, with the finance depending on the media impact of the event. The Jury acts as a guarantee that the principles of sportsmanship are respected. At the same time they contribute to ensuring that the race remains a spectacle that attracts the public’s attention.
So, for instance, protests are heard while boats are still at sea, carried out by e-mail. Penalties are taken at sea, whenever possible by sailing through a virtual gate and then re-sailing through the same gate the required number of hours later.
Boat on boat protests are rare, but can occur from time to time.
Essential, but little used, items of safety equipment are sealed in place on the boat, to avoid any temptation of ‘stacking’ (moving heavy items to the windward side of the boat). The drive shaft is also sealed. Measurement protests for broken seals were frequent, but there are fewer nowadays as competitors have learnt to secure heavy items. Penalties for accidentally broken seals are small, a matter of a few minutes, but there is a policy of not giving a zero penalty. Even a few minutes penalty can be important as close finishes on oceanic races are not unknown.
Another source of protests is for sailing within forbidden zones. Single and short-handed sailing are at best tolerated in many countries. All participants in the sport have a responsibility to ensure that maritime authorities are not given cause to complain. Sailing a large yacht single-handed through crowded shipping lanes is probably not the best way to avoid problems with commercial traffic. Increasingly, Traffic Separation Schemes are declared forbidden zones. In effect the playing field is moved away from the areas where commercial shipping is densest. Other forbidden zones may be set up to avoid ice or other dangers.
Competitors are tracked as they sail the race. Race Committee’s do not hesitate to protest a boat that enters a forbidden zone. As a result there may be protest from the Race Committee. Penalties for breaking this rule may seem harsh, but race organisers must demonstrate clearly to maritime authorities that they are determined that professional sport will not interfere with commercial traffic.
The work of the International Jury is important in these events. Unfortunately, perhaps, in the age of modern telecommunications, the work is carried out from home. Only one or, possibly, two, judges will travel to the race venue. The others work from home (or wherever they happen to be) via computer, laptop or smartphone.
Judging oceanic races is becoming a specialised discipline. There are complex rules for equipment and safety. Ireland if fortunate in having two International Race Officials who are regularly involved as race officials- Bill O’Hara (Volvo Ocean Race, Transat Bakerly…) and Gordon Davies (New York Vendée, Transat Bakerly, Transat Jacques Vabre, Route du Rhum)

Published in Vendee Globe

#radiosailing – The International Radio Sailing Association (IRSA) Case Book for Radio Sailing has been published in online form. This document is undergoing a process similar to the development of the Team Racing Call Book (indeed some of the same people were involved). Naturally the IRSA Cases are not authoritative interpretations but it is expected that they will become widely accepted in the radio sailing community. In time it is hoped that this document will evolve in to an authoritative ISAF Case Book for Radio Sailing.

A procedure for modifying cases and accepting new cases is currently being set up. When this happens the authors will transfer copyright to IRSA.

IRSA is the world wide organisation for radio sailing, representing 33 national radio sailing organisations.

There is, of course, an Irish connection to this news story. the authors of the Case Book are Peter Johnson, International Judge and Umpire,well known to generations of Irish team racers as Chief Umpire at West Kirby's Wilson Trophy, and Gordon Davies, Bray SC and Royal Alfred YC, an International Judge who was recently appointed Chairman of the Racing Committee of IRSA.

The International Radio Sailing Association (IRSA) Case Book for Radio Sailing can now be downloaded here


Published in Model Boats

#internationaljudge – Gordon Davies is the newest addition to Ireland's line up of international sailing officials. The Bray Sailing Club member was appointed an International Judge (IJ) at this week's ISAF conference in Oman bringing the number of Irish World Sailing officials to 15.

Reappointed in Oman were Coleraine's Bill O'Hara (Judge), David Lovegrove (Race Officer), Con Murphy (Race Officer) bringing Ireland's total number to 8 IROs, 5 IJ and 2 IUs

With the Davies appointment there is now an IJ based on the east coast alongside the three Dublin based International Race Officers - David Lovergrove, London 2012's Jack Roy and Con Murphy.

As well as on the water duties, the local role of an IJ is often to assist event organisers in recruiting a jury (hopefully at low cost = reduced entry fees)

ISAF race officials have an obligation to train competitors and local race officials which in Davies case has involved rules training and mentoring up and coming judges and umpires.

Interestingly, in 2014 ISAF judges will have to sit a test for renewal. The first generation of IJs never passed a test, and some have difficulty with English so it is anticipated that there will be many judges dropping out of system in 2014.

The full list of Ireland's ISAF officials is below:

Crosbie Alan IRL 2002 International Race Officer
Crowley Peter IRL 2002 International Race Officer
Hutchieson Ronald IRL 1982 International Judge
Lovegrove David IRL 2005 International Race Officer
Murphy Con IRL 2009 International Race Officer
O'Connor Michael IRL 2007 International Umpire
O'Connor Michael IRL 2007 International Judge
O'Gorman Tony IRL 1997 International Race Officer
O'Gorman Tony IRL 1997 International Judge
O'Hara Bill IRL 2010 International Race Officer
O'Hara Bill IRL 2001 International Judge
O'Hara Bill IRL 2006 International Umpire
Roy Jack IRL 1998 International Race Officer
Wilkinson Jamie IRL 2007 International Race Officer



Published in World Sailing
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About boot Düsseldorf: With almost 250,000 visitors, boot Düsseldorf is the world's largest boat and water sports fair and every year in January the “meeting place" for the entire industry. From 18 to 26 January 2020, around 2,000 exhibitors will be presenting their interesting new products, attractive further developments and maritime equipment. This means that the complete market will be on site in Düsseldorf and will be inviting visitors on nine days of the fair to an exciting journey through the entire world of water sports in 17 exhibition halls covering 220,000 square meters. With a focus on boats and yachts, engines and engine technology, equipment and accessories, services, canoes, kayaks, kitesurfing, rowing, diving, surfing, wakeboarding, windsurfing, SUP, fishing, maritime art, marinas, water sports facilities as well as beach resorts and charter, there is something for every water sports enthusiast.

At A Glance – Boot Dusseldorf 

Messe Düsseldorf GmbH
40474 Düsseldorf
Tel: +49 211 4560-01
Fax: +49 211 4560-668

The first boats and yachts will once again be arriving in December via the Rhine.

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