Subscribe to this feed Subscribe via Email
Rule 62 (Redress) is the mechanism in the rules for competitors to receive corrective action when something has gone wrong. Most redress requests are related to possible RC errors or omissions. A request for redress is not a protest; the definition of protest no longer includes requests for redress. As noted in Case 44, a boat may not protest the RC for breaking a rule. Neither the RC nor PC may be protested or penalized.
The rules are very restrictive as to how a boat qualifies for redress, but the rules give the PC great latitude on what form of redress to grant. Rule 64.2 (Decisions on Redress) requires that the PC make “as fair an arrangement as possible for all boats affected, whether or not they asked for redress.”
As in a protest hearing, the first step in a redress hearing is to establish the validity of the request in accordance with rule 63.5 (Validity of the Protest or Request for Redress). The request must be in writing. A protest form is customary and acceptable, but not required. The written request must be filed within the time limit for filing a written protest in accordance with rule 61.3 (Protest Time Limit) or within 2 hours of the incident, whichever is later.
This time limit shall be extended further for “good reason.” A good reason might be an injury or the late posting of RC actions after the competitors have left the venue. Appeal 41 establishes that when it is not reasonably possible for a competitor to comply with the protest time limit, the PC must extend it.
No protest flag is required for a redress request except in match racing under rule C6.3.
Rule 62.1 describes three requirements for a boat to be granted redress. In order to qualify for redress, a boat’s request must be based on a claim that:
· a boat’s score in a race or series has been made significantly worse,
· through no fault of her own, and
· by one of the four conditions listed in rule 62.1.
The word “shall” in rule 62.1 mandates that all three of these requirements be met. A request that does not meet all three requirements must be denied. The PC has no latitude to ignore any of the three requirements. Conversely, if the request meets the three requirements, the PC must grant redress. However, when granting redress the PC may decide to let the results stand. The PC must carefully consider each requirement.
The PC must decide if the boat’s finishing place, in either a race or a series, was made significantly worse as a direct result of the incident, action or omission claimed in the request for redress. The request must pass that test.
For example, Appeal 54 describes such a RC error. By starting a race after the latest permissible time stated in the SIs the RC committed an error. The finishing place in the series for the boat requesting redress was made significantly worse. The request for redress was granted, and the race was excluded from the series score.
When a PC concludes that the RC committed an error in scoring a boat OCS, the boat is not automatically entitled to redress. If the PC determines in the hearing that the boat knew or should have known that she was over the starting line, the request for redress has not met the “through no fault of her own” requirement. If she was several boat lengths over the starting line, she has no valid claim that she had to rely on the RC signals.
It should be noted that the rule stipulates “no” fault on the part of the boat requesting redress. A partial contribution in the loss of finishing place will not meet the test for “no” fault, and the request for redress must be denied.
For example, suppose a right-of-way boat on starboard-tack suffers significant damage in a collision with a boat on port that was required to keep clear. The damage prevents S from continuing the race in safety and she retires. S protests P under rule 10 (Opposite Tacks) and requests redress under rule 62.1(b). In the protest hearing, the PC disqualifies P under rules 10 and 14 (Avoiding Contact) but finds that much or all of S’s was caused because S broke rule 14. In such a case, the PC would likely disqualify S under rule 14, and deny her request for redress, since her damage that caused her to retire (and lose finishing positions) was a least partly her own fault.
When considering whether to grant redress, the PC must conclude that the worsening of the boat’s score described in the request meets one of the four conditions listed in rule 62.1.
· 62.1(a) “an improper action or omission of the RC, PC, or OA, but not by a protest committee decision when the boat was a party to the hearing.”
Allegations of improper race committee procedures are the most common type of redress requests. Most often a boat claims that the RC incorrectly scored her OCS for breaking rule 29.1 (Individual Recall). Related requests involve rule 30 (Starting Penalties) where the boat claims she was incorrectly scored ZFP, BFD or OCS (see rule A11 for explanation of scoring abbreviations). For redress requests involving starting penalties, if the RC was using acceptable methods and is confident of the call, the boat will have to demonstrate that the RC erred. The boat should also demonstrate to the PC’s satisfaction that she started properly. The boat may qualify for redress if the RC fails to meet the signaling requirements in the rules (typically rule 29.1). Case 71 and Case 79 establish that when a boat reasonably believes she started correctly and the RC fails to follow the procedures under rule 29.1 (Individual Recall), the boat is entitled to redress.
Frequently a boat that was scored OCS bases her claim for redress on the fact that another boat that was further up the course was not scored OCS. In that circumstance, the PC should deny the request for redress if there was no error in identifying the boat scored OCS.
A RC must score a boat that meets the definition Finish in her finishing place. In Case 80, a RC witnessed a boat failing to sail the course as required by rule 28 (Sailing the Course). The RC erred in scoring the boat DNF and the PC erred in not granting the boat redress (if they had desired, the proper action for the RC would have been to protest the boat).
Rule 4 (Decision to Race) requires a boat to take responsibility for deciding to race. If, as in Appeal 39, she decides not to race, she cannot claim that her score was affected. The request was denied.
The RC is required by rule 85 (Governing Rules) to conduct races in compliance with the rules, which include the SIs. When it fails to do so, a boat may be entitled to redress.
The action or omission must be “improper.” In Case 68, the RC’s failure to discover that a boat was sailing without a valid rating certificate was not an improper omission. Appeal 44 makes it clear that it is a proper action for the RC to correct a scoring error. Boats whose scores change as a result of the correction are not entitled to redress.
In the 2009-2012 RRS, ISAF added an additional portion of the sentence in rule 62.1(a), “but not by a protest committee decision when the boat was a party to the hearing.” This addition clarifies the rule so as to put closure to the matter at the PC level (and attempting to prevent “endless” redress hearings at an event). The rule also reinforces that the Appeals process is an avenue for a party in such a situation.
· 62.1(b) “injury or physical damage because of the action of a boat that was breaking a rule of Part 2 or of a vessel not racing that was required to keep clear.”
When deciding whether a boat is entitled to redress under 62.1(b), a PC must conclude that the boat suffered damage or injury. Contact with another boat without damage or injury that results in a loss of finishing place does not qualify for redress. The damage must be physical. The loss of concentration due to a crash tack does not qualify. Case 19 interprets the word “damage.” The damage to the boat seeking redress need not be the result of a collision. However, the damage must be caused by the action of the other boat or vessel. When a starboard-tack boat executes a crash tack to avoid a port-tack boat and seriously rips her only jib, she qualifies for redress. The damage itself must affect the speed or handling characteristics of the boat in such a way that the boat’s score is made significantly worse. A bent stanchion that does not affect sail trim or prevent crew from hiking normally qualifies as damage but may not affect the speed or handling characteristics of the boat. Case 110 clearly requires the damage itself to be the reason for the loss of finishing place.
The phrase “or injury” is added to make it clear that if the worsened score resulted from an injury to a crew member then redress may be appropriate.
· 62.1(c) “giving help (except to herself or her crew) in compliance with rule 1.1”
Rule 1.1 directs a boat to give all possible help to any person or vessel in danger. The loss of finishing places as a result is a valid reason for claiming redress. When a boat complies with rule 1.1 and loses finishing places as a result, a PC must grant a request for redress. Boats that stand by capsized boats or respond to distress signals can expect to receive redress. In Case 20, a boat that goes to the aid of another boat that appears to be, but actually is not, in danger is granted redress.
· 62.1(d) “a boat against which a penalty has been imposed under rule 2 or disciplinary action has been taken under rule 69.1(b).”
This provision allows a PC to grant redress to a boat that suffered a loss in finishing place by the actions of a boat that broke rule 2 (Fair Sailing) or rule 69 (Allegations of Gross Misconduct). Case 34 describes a situation in which boat A crossed the starting line well before the starting signal and then hindered boat B in order to ensure that B’s finishing place was made significantly worse, which made A the winner of the series. A was penalized under rule 2 (Fair Sailing).
Case 34 also talk about B’s ability to request redress under 62.1(d). Similarly, if the SIs require a boat disqualified under rule 30.3 (Black Flag Rule) to retire, and the boat fails to do so after being properly notified, she breaks rule 2 as stated in Case 65. If she then hinders another boat, that boat may be entitled to redress under rule 62.1(d).
In some events, the RC may add additional conditions in the SI to specifically allow or deny redress in certain circumstances. For example, at an event where the OA supplies boats for competitors, RC’s frequently add language to the SI regarding redresses involving equipment breakdowns. Another common SI is language to limit OCS redress where the RC intends to announce OCS boats via VHF radio transmissions.
Judges should take some precautions regarding such clauses:
· Ensure that the SI properly cite changes to racing rules and that they only change racing rules as permitted by rule 86.
· Check for rule changes embedded in class rules that are not properly made (often because the class rules inadvertently try to change rules that they are not allowed to change). When a judge sees such clauses, they should work with the RC/OA in advance of the event to ensure that the rule changes are brought into the SI.
· Sometimes a sailing region or class will use special clauses as their normal practice. When that happens, judges and sailors who have be careful to not accidentally presume that the language in present in SI outside of that region or class.
Once the PC has decided that one or more boats are entitled to redress, rule 64.2 (Decisions on Redress) requires the PC to make as fair an arrangement as possible for all boats affected. The PC is advised to avoid abandoning a race. The PC is required to “take evidence from appropriate sources” when in doubt about the facts or probable results due to awarding redress. This may involve expanding the hearing to include other boats or taking testimony from additional witnesses.
The redress must include all boats affected, whether or not they sought redress. For example, if one boat asks for redress and the PC finds the boat is entitled to redress because of a race signal timing error, the jury is obligated by rule 64.2 to take testimony and find facts regarding any other boats that were affected by the same error.
However, as Case 37 suggests, the redress should not extend across multiple races if redress is not sought. In a multiple class event, if the SIs are ambiguous and boats in one class are confused and sail different courses, some of them may be entitled to redress. If, however, in other classes all of the boats sail the same course, none of them are entitled to redress unless they are protested under rule 28 (Sailing the Course).
While not a requirement of the rules, before excusing the parties and entering into deliberations, the PC chair can ask the party what type of redress they seek. This provides the PC with some gauge to use in their deliberations and decision.
Finally (for situations described in sections 10.2 and 11.1.1), if the proposed redress would significantly affect the score or results of another boat, the PC should consider inviting representatives of these boats into the redress hearing and obtain testimony from them as well. The result redress result is more likely to be respected and accepted by all the competitors (directly or indirectly affected) if they believe that the PC has taken the time to listen to their perspectives.
When redress has been granted and the PC decides to adjust scoring, it will turn to rule A10 (Guidance on Redress). Rule A10 is advisory, so the PC may look outside this rule for a scoring solution. Rules A10(a) and A10(b) use average points and are the two most common scoring adjustments when redress is granted to only a few boats. Rule A10(a) suggests calculating average points of a series, omitting the race in question. Rule A10(b) is more appropriate in some circumstances, such as when the weather conditions have changed dramatically. Rule A10(b) uses the boat’s average score in the races already completed before the race in question. Rule A10(c), suggests points based on the position of the boat at the time of the incident. This can be used if the boat’s exact position is known and if the incident occurred very near the finish. For handicapped races scored on elapsed time, adjustments can be made in the finishing times.
The PC should also be aware that rule A6.2 allows for duplicate scores unless the PC decides otherwise. This prevents situations where the finish position of an “innocent” boat is altered because of a redress decision. Good procedure would be to clearly specify the PC intent when providing redress information to the scorer: For example, if Boat A was incorrectly scored DNF, a decision could read: “… Boat A is granted redress and is to be scored in 15th place, with no change to the scores of other boats …”
Redress given to a boat that made an error as a result of an improper action of the RC should not result in that boat receiving a better score than boats that did not make the error. In Case 45, the SIs incorrectly gave instructions for finishing that were contrary to the definition Finish. Boats that finished in accordance with the SIs were entitled to redress, but the appeals committee determined that, in this situation, it would not be fair to award better finishes to those boats that followed the SIs than to boats that finished in accordance with the definition.