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protesting as a witness

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Post Options Post Options   Quote ClubRacer Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Topic: protesting as a witness
    Posted: 25 Mar 21 at 7:05pm
Example;

Boat A on port crosses in front of Boat B on starboard but Boat B has to bear away to avoid a collision. Boat B is too kind to hail protest but can Boat C who saw it all clearly then protest Boat A for breaking rule 10?

While looking through rule 63 it says;

"63.3 Right to Be Present (a) A representative of each party to the hearing has the right to be present throughout the hearing of all the evidence. When a protest claims a breach of a rule of Part 2, 3 or 4, the representatives of boats shall have been on board at the time of the incident, unless there is good reason for the protest committee to rule otherwise. Any witness, other than a member  of the protest committee, shall be excluded except when giving evidence."

Would Boat C have their protest dismissed?
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Brass Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 25 Mar 21 at 9:06pm
A boat seeing an incident between two other boats most certainly can protest one or both of them. This is specifically contemplated in rule 60.

60. RIGHT TO PROTEST; RIGHT TO REQUEST REDRESS OR RULE 69 ACTION
60.1.
A boat may
protest another boat, but not for an alleged breach of a rule of Part 2 or rule 31 unless she was involved in or saw the incident ...

The representative of the boat that saw the incident, and is protesting needs to have been on board at the time of the incident, but that won't usually be a problem.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote davidyacht Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 25 Mar 21 at 9:51pm
Boat B might have born off behind Boat A to gain a tactical advantage... for instance to get to the left hand side of the course, or to get Boat A to overstand the lay line, or simply that he/she owed Boat A one  Smile.  Would Boat A still have to turn up to the protest hearing to explain their actions?
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Brass Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 25 Mar 21 at 10:07pm
A protestee that does not come to a properly notified protest hearing risks the protest being decided on the evidence of the protesting boat alone, and obviously forfeits the chance to explain or defend her position.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote ClubRacer Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 25 Mar 21 at 11:23pm
I guess as A you are pretty much banged to rights in this situation unless B deliberately turns up as a witness to exonerate A

What would happen if Boat B hails A to allow them across in front. Boat C protests on the grounds B had to avoid A and B doesn't turn up to the protest?



Edited by ClubRacer - 25 Mar 21 at 11:24pm
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Brass Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 26 Mar 21 at 4:45am
There's no obvious reason why a protest committee would not believe A's evidence about B hailing them to cross in the absence of B.

Even if C gave evidence that she did not hear the hail that, on its own is not evidence that it was not made
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Mozzy Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 27 Mar 21 at 2:58pm
What rule would C protest A under? There was no collision, so not 14. And I don't think that B changing course is evidence of rule 10 being broken as C's opinion on why B changed course isn't a fact. 

B maybe altering course to avoid a collision, in which case it's an infringement. But they might also be changing course for tactical reasons. Just because RoW boat changes course, it does not automatically mean a rule has been broken.  

So unless B turns up and states that the course change was to avoid a collision then I don't think C has much hope of winning the protest. Even if neither B nor A turn up, I still don't know how C would win the protest as they can't offer any facts on why B changed course. 

If there was a contact then things would obviously change. If C saw the boats touch (fact), then rule 14 was broken. Without any evidence to the contrary I think the committee would have to disqualify A and possibly B. B might be exonerated under rule 43... but not sure how a protest committee would treat this without any evidence of injury or damage. 
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Post Options Post Options   Quote JimC Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 27 Mar 21 at 4:32pm
I agree with Mozzy. *Very roughly* speaking Port can sail what course she likes provided she keeps clear of Starboard. Starboard can sail whatever course she likes so long as she gives port room to keep clear of her. If there was no collision and no crash tack by starboard then it would seem that both boats fulfilled their obligations under the rules.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote ClubRacer Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 27 Mar 21 at 6:21pm
So although B is too passive to lodge a protest C can lodge the protest but realistically requires B to stand as a witness to say she had to avoid A?
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Brass Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 28 Mar 21 at 9:51pm
Originally posted by Mozzy

What rule would C protest A under? There was no collision, so not 14. And I don't think that B changing course is evidence of rule 10 being broken as C's opinion on why B changed course isn't a fact.

B maybe altering course to avoid a collision, in which case it's an infringement. But they might also be changing course for tactical reasons. Just because RoW boat changes course, it does not automatically mean a rule has been broken.

It's a straight up rule 10.

B changing course may not be CONCLUSIVE evidence of breaking rule 10, but it is evidence nevertheless.

Case 50 https://www.racingrulesofsailing.org/cases/1745?page=5, Decision, Second paragraph, illustrates that a conclusion that a boat did not keep clear can properly be based on the positions and manoeuvres of boats alone.

A protest committee is not bound by the rules of evidence. It's perfectly entitled to take account of an opinion expressed by a party or a witness. FWIW I'd be inclined to qualify a party as an expert.


So unless B turns up and states that the course change was to avoid a collision then I don't think C has much hope of winning the protest. Even if neither B nor A turn up, I still don't know how C would win the protest as they can't offer any facts on why B changed course.


See above. The protest committee does not need to get evidence of state of mind. I don't want to talk about 'presumptions' and 'defences', but in the case of a 'wave through', or a 'duck to keep going', I think the port tacker needs to bring the evidence of that, as I said, her own evidence of a hail, if uncontradicted should probably be accepted.

C's biggest problem will be with the quality, completeness and detail of her evidence. In Match Racing, you need two perfectly positioned Umpire Boats to call close crosses reliably.

C is going to have to give good solid evidence about:

Where was C? How far away from A and B? At what angle?

How good was C's observation? Continuous?

What were the relative positions and speeds of A and B?

How far apart were A and B when B changed course?

How far apart were A and B at closest?

How did C judge distances and angles?

What tack was C on and why? Was Starboard tack favoured? Was Port tack favoured?
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