Aug 31, 2011, 12:49 PM
Post #1 of 3
Helmer Schweizer's suggestion in SB 3417 that a judge could "walk up to the sailor and tell about the observation and very brief on the possible/potential actions by the judge and the resulting consequences" mistakes the judge's role and the rules that govern them.
Judges' role in disputes
Log-In to Post/Reply
There's a reason judges don't announce decisions before holding hearings. At the moment one opens his or her mouth to express an opinion before a hearing's concluded, he or she is no longer a judge but merely a witness. When a judge discusses an incident with a competitor, he or she is bound to take no further part in judging any dispute, especially if the judge initiated the discussion.
The judge has disclosed a bias and become an "interested party"; that judge is now precluded from protesting and his or her report shall not be the basis for a protest. See rules 60.2(a) and 60.3(a) limiting protsts by race committees and protest committees.
So far as the "educational role", that should come after the proest hearing, not before.
As to hailing "Starboard" when on port tack, IMHO, it's a violation of Rule 2, Fair Sailing -- not to mention announcing an intent not to keep clear as required by Rule 10. Those who do it are flirting with a disciplinary hearing under Rule 69. A race official who witnesses it should consider protesting according to 60.2 or 60.3. File the paper, appear as a party and witness, but don't also sit on the PC.
GUEST COMMENTARY, Scuttlebutt 3417
* From Helmer Schweizer:
I read with interest the part on ZERO TOLERANCE in Scuttlebutt 3416. In my
opinion, judges sometimes overact and want to make use of their power,
demonstrate it to themselves and the others on the water. In other words:
They police more than the police does.
This reminds me of the famous experiment where people were given power to
switch higher and higher the penalizing voltage, even beyond the kill point
indicator and the artificial pains screams of the sufferer.
Sure, I do not want to say the starboard yelling port sailing guy was
right, especially if he was known to be an experienced sailor. What else
other than a formal protest and dsq could a judge do?
He could walk up to the sailor and tell about the observation and very
brief on the possible/potential actions by the judge and the resulting
consequences. And then, suggest/recommend him to do two things on his own
- provide the other boat an apology
- withdraw from the race finish and be classified as a DNF.
This has two effects: It allows the wrongful sailor to take things back in
his own hands, and show that he is a gentleman after all, regain his future
credibility; as well as teach all a lesson who hear about it.
Only if the sailor would be stubborn would/could the judge lodge a protest.
This is similar to get caught in the car going too fast, but being let go
with a (lower priced) ticket/warning instead of being charged and
prosecuted by the full power of the law. Some common sense should be
implied in all we do all day.