06/29/2019 Summer Series Regatta #2 Highlights
The second of the Summer Series Flying Scot weekend regattas was held on 06/29/2019 on a very active weather day where it looked like we were not going to be able to sail due to thunderstorms and lightning. Early in the morning Gary Fretz and I discussed the weather radar and the forecast as there was a possibility it would clear but there was also the distinct possibility it would not. After help from Obie and others we decided to delay the decision and head down to the Club for an “on the water” call.
Once at the Club the weather cells were quite active and thunder and lightning were all around us but the radar showed a break with all the weather getting blown to the north. We waited until about noon and suddenly there was clearing to the southeast and the pouring rain just stopped and went away. We made the decision to sail and it was a good one because we got in 3 great races in 10 knots of breeze.
Gary set up course 2 and we started about 12:40pm – a little late but that was due to our late start. We were back to the dock around 3pm and each race was just over 30 minutes. The courses were great and were just at the entrance to the John Brennan channel. 5 boats were brave enough to make it to the start and most finished all the races with the exception of Lucky Dog who had a jib sheet cover tear which prevented them from finishing race #3 and they retired.
If interested you can check out the results and the accompanying video here at the following link: http://cgscic.org/summer-series/
At the end of the day we learned that the skipper of boat 5220, Gary Shroadt, was protesting 2 other boats for not following the Sailing Instructions because they sailed through the start/finish line on the second upwind beat on the last race of the day. Per our sailing instructions we held an informal meeting with all of the day’s skippers and had a protest hearing.
As I was uninvolved in the protest I ran the meeting and asked, “Gary, what did you see and who are you protesting?” Gary very politely responded that he saw 2 boats go through the start/finish line on the second beat of the last race and he knew that was against the sailing instructions. I then asked him which boats and he was unable to identify them. So this created a very interesting situation because he knew boats broke the rules but he was not able to identify them. From this a healthy rules discussion ensued.
I told him that technically, per our sailing instructions, he was to fill out a protest form in writing and submit it to the group. I wrote this in our sailing instructions on purpose to force everyone to learn how “real” protests work and in this way we could get practice in case we ever go to a bigger, more official regatta. We also discussed that when you fill in this form, the protester must clearly identify the boat being protested with a sail number and the rule that they broke. In this case the protester could not identify the protestee so therefore the entire protest would not be heard in a real regatta and it would be thrown out. This made the 2 boats that committed the infraction very happy because they were going to keep their scores.
The conversation then took a turn toward the idea that sailing is supposed to be a sport where we police ourselves. Where we do not have on-the-water judges (at least for our regattas) and how we should endeavor to do the right thing. We discussed a situation very recently where, during the course of a Star regatta, my skipper and I fouled another boat on the water and we did not do turns on the race course. It was a very close port/starboard situation and we felt like we cleared the other boat so we did not do turns. The other skipper was pretty upset with our disregard for the rules and felt like we owed him turns. Consequently, after the race, my skipper retired after the finish because we broke the right of way rules and because we did not exonerate ourselves, we should not be scored in that race.
Upon hearing this story it became clear to the racers who broke the start/finish line rule that they should retire because they broke a rule even though the protester could not identify them. This was a difficult decision for them because it changed the scores all around and moved the 2 boats back a couple of places in the standings for the day but it was the right thing to do and the fleet appreciated their honesty. If you look at the results you will see them scored with RAF which stands for Retired After Finish.
It was a great day on the water and I look forward to our next race which is July 13th!
See you on the water,