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International Judge Offers Protest Committee 'Tip' for Race Officers

26th September 2019
Race Judge Gordon Davies Race Judge Gordon Davies

International Race Judge Gordon Davies has offered an '11th tip' following the publication of Mark Mansfield's Top Ten Tips for Race Officers article last week on Afloat.

Davies, who officiated at this month's Flying Fifteen World Championships on Dublin Bay, insists that a protest committee is appointed in advance of an event in order to liaise with the Protest Committee Chair to allow him/her to read the Sailing Instructions in good time. 'Too often as a judge, I arrive at an event without having the opportunity to read the SIs and find that some instructions are unworkable, or create opportunities for requests for redress', he told Afloat.

Mansfield put forward ten common-sense ideas to avoid race course frustration from a sailors' perspective here.

Davies has also weighed in on methods of shortening courses as suggested by Mansfield. The judge adds:

On shortening course when needed:

  • in one design fleets, the 'W' flag procedure allows the race committee to give a finishing place to the tail-enders as soon as the first boat finishes. This saves a lot of time and avoids the dreaded mass DNF.
  • in handicap racing, it is possible to write a sailing instruction so that times can be taken by a Race Committee vessel at a mark. This can be used to retrospectively shorten the course if the wind dies away later, or some other unexpected prevents the full course being sailed. A National Mark Layer should be able to record times in this way.
Published in Racing
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