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Gross Misconduct at Laser PCCs
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Guest
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craven.moorehead@gmail.com

Aug 10, 2006, 8:54 AM

Post #41 of 90 (169236 views)
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Had BC bothered showing up at the 69 hearing he could have told his side of the story and got his due process. He declined. Are the rules you are defending the same ones that worked so well in the Podmajerksy debacle?. Sailing is a self policing sport, and behavior like this simply cannot be tolerated.


Guest
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Aug 10, 2006, 12:38 PM

Post #42 of 90 (169147 views)
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He should be f--king tossed for 5 years or more.




Guest
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Aug 10, 2006, 3:43 PM

Post #43 of 90 (169105 views)
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In Reply To
Had BC bothered showing up at the 69 hearing he could have told his side of the story and got his due process. He declined. Are the rules you are defending the same ones that worked so well in the Podmajerksy debacle?. Sailing is a self policing sport, and behavior like this simply cannot be tolerated.

From what i have heard he made an aggreement with the judge about not being there and HAD to leave cause he had an overnight drive to get to work.


The Publisher
*****


Aug 10, 2006, 8:23 PM

Post #44 of 90 (169057 views)
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We should be reminded of the notes from the beginning of the thread, which explain the process that followed the incident, and how the jury had to derive the Facts Found from the testimony from the protestor and three witnesses, and not from the protestee (Brodie Cobb) who did not attend the hearing.

Here are the notes repeated:

Note 1: 180081’s skipper did not attend original protest meeting on Sunday, July 23, 2006, He was notified of the protest hearing in the club parking lot by Mark Specter, the Protestor, that he was being protested but left the premises before the scheduled hearing.

Note 2: 180081’s skipper (Brodie Cobb) was notified in writing on Sunday evening, July 23, 2006 of the alleged misconduct and of the time and place of the scheduled RRS 69 hearing to be held on Monday, July 24, 2006. The RRS 69 notification letter was hand delivered to Cobb’s local address where the protest committee had been told he was staying. This notification included a copy of the original protest and the RRS 69 hearing notification letter.

Note 3: 180081’s skipper (Brodie Cobb) had a second copy of the RRS 69 notification hearing letter hand delivered to him by the jury chairman just before he left the dock to go racing Monday morning, July 24, 2006. The jury chairman was told that Cobb left the venue sometime after launching his boat. Cobb left a letter at Cabrillo Beach Yacht Club addressed to the jury foreman declining to appear at the scheduled hearing due to “business commitments.”

Note 4: Because of 180081 skipper’s (Brodie Cobb) decision not to appear at either the original protest hearing or the RRS 69 hearing, the jury decided to hear the adjourned valid protest to determine the Facts involved in the incident when all the other parties and witnesses (other than Mr. Cobb) to the incident were available.

Note 5: The protest hearing was tape recorded by two recording devices. A Wave copy of the July 24, 2006 protest hearing testimony will be sent to U S Sailing.

Note 6: The Jury, after hearing the testimony from the protestor and three witnesses, decided to report the incident to US Sailing with a strong recommendation for further RRS 69 or Article 14 action. Copies of the cover letter with a copy of the original protest, the facts found, and the Conclusions and Rules That Apply are sent to:


Guest
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Aug 10, 2006, 8:26 PM

Post #45 of 90 (169053 views)
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In Reply To
He should be f--king tossed for 5 years or more.



This post really shows the true colors of the writer.

I guess a bunch of you never really saw Marshall Dillon when he stood up to the entire town and protected the known killer until the judge could come to town for a fair trial. I remember episodes where the lynch mobs would have the Marshall almost hung before the gunshots from the good guys would stop the proceedings.

Brodie and the kid ( who somehow remains nameless despite his alleged assinine behavior ) acted like jerks. Brodie and the kid stood on shore after and shook hands. The so called adults decided to reopen the wound because the adults ..I am guessing... had an agenda of their own and something to prove of their own,

Brodie deserves a hearing just like the Bad guy we saw on Gunsmoke.

Some of us learned the civics lesson and understand what makes fair trials great.

Others of you?? I think you need to go back to high school or even watch a few episodes of bananza, Gunsmoke or read a few articles by the founding fathers of the USA.

If Brodie needs to be hung, The hanging can wait until AFTER the fair trial.

So for now!!! Please!!!

Shut the hell up. For your own good!! You just might not know all the facts. If you saw those TV shows you probably know how dumb the towns people lynch mob leaders always looked at the end of the show.


laser89
*

Aug 11, 2006, 12:20 AM

Post #46 of 90 (169033 views)
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In Response to the editor's post about Laser PCCs.
I would like to comment that I was at laser pccs as a competitor and I was EXTREMELY dissappointed in the conduct of BC. It was uncalled for. BC came by me after the race and commented that "I am done and I will no longer win the regatta". What I find ironic is the regatta winner was in excellent form throughout the regatta and even had the event not taken place BC would most likely have finished 8th overall. It's just unfortunate that one ass&%le postponed the awards 3 hours preventing people from going home and preventing the real winners in the regatta from being fully recognized. So lets recognize the actual winners of this regatta, because they sailed a fair race.




Sandy
**

Aug 13, 2006, 7:33 PM

Post #47 of 90 (168851 views)
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I will refrain from any comment about the specific allegations since I do not think it is appropriate to pre-judge an individual before the justice system has had to chance to work its way through. But there's some misunderstanding in this forum about how the rules work in misconduct cases that I do think is worth clarifying.

It is the main ISAF Racing Rules of Sailing (rule 69.1(d) to be precise) not US SAILING, that prevents a protest committee from conducting a gross misconduct hearing and issuing penalties for gross misconduct without the accused party being present at the hearing. This is true anywhere in the world not just in the United States.

And it doesn't mean that the accuser, if guilty, can dodge penalties simply by avoiding attending a rule 69 hearing. It just means that the protest committee cannot do the penalizing. INSTEAD, under rule 69.1(d), the protest committee should do exactly what this committee did: they first resolved the initial right-of-way protest (which they can do under rule 63.3(b)without all parties present), then they conducted an investigation, and then they sent a report to "the relevant national authorities".

Since US SAILING is the relevant national authority will then act under rule 69.2(a), which take the form of an investigation by US SAILING's Review Board. It generally takes several weeks, often months, for that investigation to conclude. US SAILING typically considers those investigations confidential while in progress (that old "innocent-until-proven-guilty" concept that is such a core of our US sense of justice), but when they issue a final report and penalties, they typically do publicize those penalties.

Also US SAILING's ability to penalize the sailor is much greater than the initial protest committee. I fyou get your rule books out, rule 69.2(a) lays out the scope of a national authority's disciplinary powers, rule 69.1(b) tells you what the protest committee can do. US SAILING can issue much more severe disciplinary action than the initial protest committee can.

It may take longer that we all wish it would, and I "feel the pain" of the protest committee for feeling its hands are tied when it had what it felt was a compelling case before it. But in the end, let's let the justice in our rules play out. The accused sailor may well be penalized heavily. Our justice system in sailing may not be perfect, but its gotta be better than simply roasting someone iin absentia in an internet forum.

Sandy Grosvenor
Chair, US SAILING Judges Committee


sugargeorge
**


Aug 15, 2006, 2:05 AM

Post #48 of 90 (168728 views)
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Thank you for publishing the details of an incident not shown in the regatta results. You asked if publication of these incidents might have an effect on the rate of such incidents. I believe such publication would have an inhibiting effect, although not a preventive one. the incidents will still happen, but with full airing of the details, most folks would hesitate to get into such a situation.

Certainly, with no publication there is no consequential inhibition.
--Steve Greatrex
Soverel 33 R. Honey Bear
Coronado, California


jmcgs1
*

Aug 18, 2006, 10:02 AM

Post #49 of 90 (168535 views)
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Wow!!!! can't believe some of these comments, who cares what the facts are, Brodie rumbled the guy, because he couldn't get his way. He must be relieved of his tiller! Mandatory RACE COMMITTEE duty for one year, at least one regatta a month, and of course anger management class for 6 months!
Something going on there, I've seen it before, I get mad and freak out sometimes, but to take it past the next mark or after a race, or on to the beach! Let's put this in perspective, we're sailing, out on the water, the winds blowing, we have a race committee, it's a beautiful thing just to be out there, battling for first or 31st, you got ask yourself, what is the real reason we sail for? Hey that would make a good essay!


duckydinghy
***

Aug 28, 2006, 3:00 PM

Post #50 of 90 (168310 views)
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Re: [Sandy] Gross Misconduct at Laser PCCs [In reply to] Log-In to Post/Reply

Thanks for the response, Sandy.

I am glad it is out of the hands of the locals, because, as you say, the NGB can do a whole lot more.

I don't think that this internet forum has been at all unfair nor out of bounds. It is just this type of thing the internet is good for! Yes, you will have the extreme opinions, but in general it is great to have this information shared and it is great to have the ability to see and communicate all different opinions. This happened 3,000 miles away from me and could have be a "local" matter that I never heard of. But because of the internet, it is something we can debate, evaluate ours and others opinion, get witnesses knowledge/insight and feel passion for. That is very good for our community of sailors/sailing.


atefooterz
***


Sep 24, 2006, 6:37 PM

Post #51 of 90 (168089 views)
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In Reply To
This thread is just wrong, airing dirty laundry in public.


I do not agree, for way too long we have had some horrific situations in a "Gentlemans` Sport".

Now thanks to the net we can at least learn about our bretheren and prehaps being "outed Internationally " may make some think before spitting dummies.

We also should report on drunken "Rock Star" behavior for exactly the same reasons + the added
bonus for our own entertainment of those who are high profile and behaving badly.Tongue




twitter @8footerz


Night_Sailor
*

Oct 4, 2006, 6:20 AM

Post #52 of 90 (167942 views)
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In Reply To

Should all 69s be done in secrecy with only US Sailing knowing those involved?

I am not going to address the principal topic. I don't know the fact of the case, I won't presume to judge. However, I am presonally aware of issues that US Sailing covers up. I hate the organization. I quit it and will never join again. US Sailing has too many industry representatives. It represents industry not the sport or the members. If you don't believe me, write or call them with a complaint and see how they handle it. They have no system for handling things like this. Much of this is simply the fact that they are poorly organized, poorly managed, and unable to cope with the scope and magnitude of things. As someone else mentioned, there are other organizations that do many of the same sorts of things in the sport of boating and sailing. And often, they do these things better. Why should US Sailing be the big cheeze? It is all about the money. It is an organization about making money, not about furthering the sport. It is arrogant of US Sailing to presume they do a better job because they have all these so-called experts who they have given titles to. A title doesn't make you a better sailor, manager or anything. Particularly with the inbreeding where cronyism and turf building and turf defending is rampant.


ColinS
*

Nov 28, 2006, 5:42 PM

Post #53 of 90 (167560 views)
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4 months to decide a rule violation is rediculous. Both racers should have been thrown out with out question and the matter should have been dropped. The fact that the skippers were punching each is despicable and it is good the event was publicized.

If I was the teenager that got popped by the Master sailor, I'd sue your sorry ass. Mr. Master, you should be banned from sailing for life. You dont deserve to be allowed to sail in governed races.- period.





Snappy
***


Nov 28, 2006, 7:04 PM

Post #54 of 90 (167531 views)
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Ditto. Four months is ridiculous. However, it will likely be worse, as for the only suspension listed on the US SAILING website, it took the review board SIX MONTHS to hand out a ruling:

US SAILING Review Board Decision
Pursuant to the provisions of Rule 69.1(c), following a hearing, the jury for the 2005 Laser North American Championships concluded that Andy Casey had committed a gross breach of good manners and may have brought the sport of sailing into disrepute and he was disqualified from the event. The jury immediately reported the incident to US SAILING. The Review Board took action to investigate the matter. A decision was made by a panel of the US SAILING Review Board following a hearing held by teleconference on December 6, 2005.


Summary of the Case
The 2005 North American Laser Championships took place in June in Seattle, Washington. After the 3rd day of racing, a social event was held onshore. Mr. Casey was engaged in conversation with the chair of the event and became loud using foul language, verbally abusive and demonstrating a demeanor suggesting potential physical aggression. Remaining calm, the chair continued on with other business. Mr. Casey continued this behavior and was drinking beer in the parking area which was a violation of the park rules; and when advised to stop, did not do so.
At the hearing, Mr. Casey apologized and stated that he had violated 8 of the 15 conditions to which he had agreed as a member of the U.S. Sailing Team. The Panel determined that being disqualified from the 2005 Laser North Americans was not a sufficient punishment for the actions of Mr. Casey. The Panel recognized that Mr. Casey is a member of the U.S. Sailing Team, but concluded that fact should not cause the Panel to recommend any lesser sanction that it would impose on any other competitor who had acted as Mr. Casey had. Indeed, it felt that because Mr. Casey was a member of the team, he should be held to at least the same if not a higher standard than would apply to any other competitor.

http://www.ussailing.org/art14/suspensions.htm




yachtguy
**

Nov 29, 2006, 5:31 AM

Post #55 of 90 (167446 views)
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Hey, folks, let's pay attention here.

First, this is a sailboat race!! Nothing more, nothing less. For a competitor to get physical is absolutely, unquestionably unacceptable. For all those defending Mr. Cobb, I'd like to hear their justification for his behavior.

Second, the protest committee has irrevocably determined the facts and it is on these facts that the 69 hearing will take place. The facts don't have the teenager throwing any punches.

Last, since the facts have been found, our system of justice doesn't preclude a discussion of the charges. In fact, it encourages such a public airing so that the rights of all parties are protected.

The only question remaining is the penalty.


rt_/)
***

Nov 29, 2006, 7:23 AM

Post #56 of 90 (167402 views)
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While I'm intimately familiar with the problems of getting volunteers together to decide a complex matter, four months does seem like a long time to resolve this issue.

Apparently, it's the "investigation" that's taking the time. One has to wonder: Is it "due process" or inefficiency?

We seem to be in conflict with the principles of Skinnerian psychology. To extinguish unwanted behavior, punishment need not be severe, but should be certain and speedy. It works in humans just as it does in housebreaking a dog.

Along this line, I believe we should see more Rule 69 hearings by protest committees, addressing the bad behavior precursors that lead up to the extreme in this case. The penalties need not be so severe as a suspension, but should tell the perpetrator that what he's done is outside the bounds accepted in the sport. Without those warnings and minor penalties, bad behavior tends to get worse.


m1lamb
*

Nov 29, 2006, 8:53 AM

Post #57 of 90 (167355 views)
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At the very least he should have been charged with Assault. As a parent who cannot wait for the day that my son becomes part of the sailing community and race competitively, the last thing I would expect is for a grown man to assault a teenager. He seems to be an arrogant, egotistical ("don't you know who I am?") a-hole from most accounts and deserves every bit of punishment headed his way, including outside of our little world we call "sailing". We shouldn’t have to stretch too far to realize this guy shouldn't be on the course. Some have more invested than others but what are we really racing for?......fun and bragging rights. As we wonder why the community is having problems with participation, this would be one reason for some to shy away. I have sailed at CBYC and some of the nicest people in and out of the sailing world race there. I'm no vigilante but I certainly would have gladly stepped in front of his thrown punch for just one reason to teach this guy who he "really is".


Mark Osterman
*

Nov 29, 2006, 9:05 AM

Post #58 of 90 (167350 views)
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It would be inapropriate for Buttheads to be prosecutors, judges and juries, and to sentence anyone via the Internet. Lord knows there are enough inaccuracies on the Internet already. But as sailors in a self policing sport, it is not too much to expect that the matter be resolved expeditiously.

Given the gravity of the allegations and the potential of this incident to taint our sport and turn off competitors, four months is too long. I recognize that those who are responsible for the administration of justice in our sport are all volunteers who give freely of their time and therefore there may be delays. But rule 69 violation allegations are exceptional; they are serious; and they have repercussions beyond the immediate parties. They should be prioritized.

Justice delayed is justice denied.


Glenn
***

Nov 29, 2006, 10:36 AM

Post #59 of 90 (167318 views)
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A few years ago, I heard the process that US SAILING took on an Article 14. Yes they recieve the information relatively quickly after the incident occurred. Next, the Review Board looks at the situation (volunteers like Vince Brun have to give up their time). Think about this, the local club holds the hearing and takes the testimony. Just how much of the testimony is forwarded to US SAILING? Just a protest form write-up! That isn't enough to go on. They don't get a stenographers write up of the questions and testimony. So, US SAILING hired an attorney in the area of the competitor, and the attorney then brought in the accused and basically did a deposition. This way US SAILING has the information "first hand" eliminating any potential biases (and I repeat ANY). This information is then delivered to the Review Board for consideration. I didn't study the process in the new bylaws, but in the old ones the "recommendation" that the Review Board makes is then delivered to the Board of Directors who makes the final decision on a penalty, if any.

What problems are there? The Review Board might not feel that the questions asked were adequate and might order the attorney to ask more questions (bringing the accused in for another line of questions). The Board might not feel that the questions asked were adequate and might order that more questions are asked. While the Review Board can meet at random, the Board of Directors meets only monthly. I can see how a lot of time lag gets built into the process.

Think about it this way, if you were brought up on charges of this nature, wouldn't you want to have a system that provides the fairest outcome?


drbenwaa
*

Nov 30, 2006, 11:15 PM

Post #60 of 90 (167124 views)
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Over 6 years ago a very similar incident happened to me. In fact it also happened in lasers and by accounts of this event, it is also action for action. (By the way my incident was also reported in scuttlebutt). The fact of the matter is that once a competitor steps off his vessel to attack another sailor, not only is he committing a gross breach of the Fair Sailing rule, but he is also acting in an illegal way. A way that if the authorities were contacted would have the attacking sailor put in jail. If the attacking sailor refuses to show up to the scheduled protest, they should have no voice and the protest should go on as scheduled. The least he (the attacking sailor) could do is submit a document describing their story. There is no need to be accommodating regarding such a matter. In my case, the attacking sailor was thrown out of US Sailing for 3 years! In hindsight, I don't know if that was too much time but at the time it wasn't enough. Our sport does not need sailors who, in a fit of rage will seek physical violence. It is unsportsmanlike and most of all, unsafe. US Sailing can do what they will, but if the attacked sailor is serious, a call to the police is in order. US SAILING should give the attacking sailor a lifetime ban. No matter how good this sailor thinks he is, he most certainly isn't worth the time and effort of our community and we should get rid of such black-eyes like this. -Adam Bennett


Montrose
***


Dec 5, 2006, 8:56 AM

Post #61 of 90 (166903 views)
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Got to hand it to US SAILING, they are really making progress. In 1999, it took them 11 months to hand out the penalty in Bennett's case, but were unwilling to publish their findings. In 2005, it took them 'ONLY' 6 months to penalize Andrew Casey, and they also published the findings.

I sure hope they can continue this trend with the Brodie Cobb debacle.


Montrose
***


Dec 7, 2006, 6:20 AM

Post #62 of 90 (166856 views)
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This comes from the US SAILING BOD minutes:

"A contentious Review Board hearing which will be coming up around the end of November was

discussed, as it may have some financial impact to US SAILING. It was suggested that a

member of the Board sit in as an observer. President Baxter will have further discussions with

individuals regarding this issue to determine the criteria for the observer."

Could Brodie Cobb be getting ready to sue US SAILING if they care to award him with a Rule 69 penalty? What an ass!






PaulK
****


Dec 7, 2006, 6:47 PM

Post #63 of 90 (166840 views)
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OTOH, the financial implications they refer to may be from the thousands of people who might decide to quit US Sailing if they think it condones unsportsmanlike behavior. If you're not going to follow the rules, why play? If they (US Sailng) isn't going to follow its own rules, why belong?


The Publisher
*****


Dec 13, 2006, 3:46 PM

Post #64 of 90 (166745 views)
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For the last couple weeks, I have been working to get an update on the case. but not getting too far. This email I received pretty much summed up my progress:

"In order to protect those involved, US SAILING will not comment on any
individual US SAILING Review Board grievance or disciplinary procedure.
All cases are decided as promptly as is reasonably possible and with the
strictest confidentiality, even though we understand that sailors who
are aware of the situation are probably interested in the outcome.

"US SAILING fully understands the gravity of grievance and disciplinary
hearings and continues to review and improve the process. In recent
years, we have adopted regulations to elevate these cases to the top of
the in-box of every committee involved, created the ombudsman position
to assist sailors in understanding their rights and obligations, and
revised the organization's regulations to ensure justice and fairness.
Further, we are working on material to post on our website that will
make it easier yet for our members to understand and use the Review
Board process."


However, today I traded emails with US Sailing President Jim Capron, and Jim has offered to write a short article for Scuttlebutt on the role and responsibilities of the Review Board, and what may impact time to decide any particular case. Apparently Jim was the one who reworked the regulations applicable to the RB, and likely knows a bit about the processes and the time to milestones.

Hopefully we will have something to publish next week.



- Craig Leweck, Scuttlebutt


The Publisher
*****


Dec 15, 2006, 10:28 AM

Post #65 of 90 (166714 views)
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Word on the street is that folks are flying to Los Angeles this weekend for a hearing. Could the end be near?


DrKen
*

Dec 22, 2006, 4:03 PM

Post #66 of 90 (166559 views)
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I just read through this thread, and I am really puzzled.

Is sailing a sport that should be taken seriously, or is it a sport that should be considered a joke?

We apparently have a situation where an adult assaults and batters a minor, assaults with a deadly weapon (the boat), and continues sailing the next day.

Obviously not behavior that organizers comprehend or expect. Doing the investigation process is proper, but it is not adequate. USSailing needs to have provisions for what local sail groups should do in the event of a physical assault.....they should call 911, immediately. You think it can't get worse. Ha. Good thing he found the kid to ram and hit, otherwise, later, it might have been a tire iron to the head. If you let these things go, they WILL escalate.

Biking has serious allegations, they suspend the riders while investigating. They are taken seriously.
Do we sailors want to be taken seriously?


The Publisher
*****


Jan 5, 2007, 12:37 PM

Post #67 of 90 (166438 views)
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Look for Jim's report in the Monday, Jan 8th issue of Scuttlebutt. Also, we understand that the final hearing has been held, which might mean that a decision could be forthcoming. Current time since incident - Five months, twelve days.




YCYC
***

Jan 8, 2007, 6:38 AM

Post #68 of 90 (166383 views)
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While I appreciate Jim Capron's attempt at information on 'Butt, it seems he leaves out a lot.

Who starts such an action? Does the sailor on the receiving end? The RC? The YC? Leaving it to a sailor who might feel intimidated seems wrong. Can a 3rd party protest this, sailor or observer? Does it have to do through the protest committee?

It would be helpful if Mr. Capron could tell us all how these actions get started in "the process". What does it mean that he "believes" the protest committee has "the obligation"?


ArtEngel
**

Jan 8, 2007, 7:16 PM

Post #69 of 90 (166317 views)
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In Reply To
While I appreciate Jim Capron's attempt at information on 'Butt, it seems he leaves out a lot.

Who starts such an action? Does the sailor on the receiving end? The RC? The YC? Leaving it to a sailor who might feel intimidated seems wrong. Can a 3rd party protest this, sailor or observer? Does it have to do through the protest committee?

It would be helpful if Mr. Capron could tell us all how these actions get started in "the process". What does it mean that he "believes" the protest committee has "the obligation"?

Jim assumed some knowledge of the Racing Rules of Sailing and rule 69. That probably wasn't as helpful as it could have been.

Rule 69 is about "gross misconduct" by an individual. At the local PC level it is an action by the PC [69.1]. At the national level it is an action by a national authority (in the US that is US Sailing) [69.2].

Lets look at how things work at the local PC level. The process starts with a "report" to the PC. That report might come from the RC, an observer (such as journalist) or another competitor. It need not be in writing. Once the PC has somehow learned of the alleged "misconduct" then it can decide whether it wants to act. [Jim stated that in his opinion the PC should act if it gets info alleging conduct that the average person might think rises to the level of "gross misconduct." However, the PC is not required to act.]

If the PC decides to act it must give the competitor certain info in writing, such as the exact alleged "gross misconduct" and the time and place of the hearing. Only the competitor alleged to have misbehaved is a "party" to a 69 hearing. If the alleged gross misconduct involves a "victim" then the victim will be a witness at the 69 hearing, not a party to the hearing.

The PC runs a 69.1 hearing. It decides what witnesses to call and other evidence to present. The concept is that the alleged "misconduct" was so gross as to shock the conscience of the average person (i.e., the members of the PC). This is not about the victim "getting even" or "getting justice"; it is about disciplining a "bad actor" in our sport.

If the alleged "bad actor" fails to attend the 69 hearing then the PC has to decide if the hearing was held at a time and place when it should have been reasonably possible for the "bad actor" to attend. If so, then the PC can go ahead and decide the matter and impose a penalty. If the hearing is held at a time when it would not be reasonable for the "bad actor" to attend (say a week after the event when everyone has flown home) then the PC either has to reschedule the hearing to a later more convenient time or to gather relevant info and submit a report to the national authority (if they feel that is appropriate).

At the national level the procedures are somewhat similar although in addition to rule 69.2 US Sailing has certain regulations that will apply (see the 2006 Regulations, Section 15). At the national level the US Sailing Review Board acts like the PC does at the local level.

US Sailing took some time to arrange a hearing in this matter. That isn't a surprise since the "victim" is the chief witness and in this case was a college student living in Hawaii. You wouldn't expect him to be able to fly back to the mainland at just any time. It is probably significant that the hearing was apparently held within a few days after the start of the holiday break. For the record, there is a fairly good size pool of individuals who can be on the hearing panel so that usually isn't the source of any delay (if one person cannot sit on the panel because of a time conflict you simply ask someone else who is available for that date - no big deal). In my experience the major reason for the time required to arrange a hearing is due to the scheduling conflicts of the witnesses, not the party (the alleged "bad actor") or the hearing panel members. Waiting until witnesses can be available is important because you don't want someone accused of misconduct to get off scot-free merely because you couldn't get all the necessary witnesses to the hearing.

Hearing rumors and reading postings on this site it is sad but 90% of the info circulating is wrong in one way or another. And, much of that info has been significantly wrong. I hope this helps to explain a bit about the rule 69 process. It shouldn't be as much of a mystery as it seems to be.

Art Engel
Senior US Sailing Judge
my opinions and views are my own and do not represent the official views of US Sailing





morty
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Jan 8, 2007, 10:37 PM

Post #70 of 90 (166296 views)
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I wish someone like Art, from US Sailing, would have explained all this before. I just checked on US Sailing . org , and Art has been on the US Sailing RULES COMMITTEE. He makes the rules. Thank you Art !

Art I have a couple questions for you, and I hope you can make a little time to answer.

You stated "The PC runs a 69.1 hearing. ...it is about disciplining a "bad actor" in our sport. " What kind of discipline could the Protest Committee have issued to the "bad actor"? Why didn't they discipline this individual?
Have you asked the Protest Committee why they did not discipline this individual?

Morty


timc3
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Jan 9, 2007, 5:44 AM

Post #71 of 90 (166281 views)
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"The more things change. The more they stay the same." Alfred E. Newman Mad Magazine


ArtEngel
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Jan 9, 2007, 11:13 AM

Post #72 of 90 (166248 views)
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In Reply To

I wish someone like Art, from US Sailing, would have explained all this before. I just checked on US Sailing . org , and Art has been on the US Sailing RULES COMMITTEE. He makes the rules. Thank you Art !

Art I have a couple questions for you, and I hope you can make a little time to answer.

You stated "The PC runs a 69.1 hearing. ...it is about disciplining a "bad actor" in our sport. " What kind of discipline could the Protest Committee have issued to the "bad actor"? Why didn't they discipline this individual?
Have you asked the Protest Committee why they did not discipline this individual?

Morty

I know I could have said more yesterday but didn't want to write a book! I'll try to clarify and expand a bit.

Let me start out by saying that rule 69.2 deals with actions by a national authority under rule 69. In the USA that is US Sailing. At US Sailing, rule 69.2 matters are under the Review Board which is under the Board of Directors. My comments are like the city dog-catcher commenting on how the schools are run - totally and completely unofficial.

It is important to understand how rule 69 relates to the rest of the rules. First, notice that rule 69 is an action by the PC not by another competitor. As I indicated yesterday, the report that starts the PC in motion may come from another competitor but it is the PC that decides to act (with a protest, a competitor files a protest and the PC must hold a hearing - the PC is not required to hold a 69 hearing just because it receives a report of alleged gross misconduct).

One reason the PC is given discretion to act is because rule 69 is not really about fairness of the competition. If a competitor breaks a rule in a gross manner they can always be disqualified. If they intentionally break a rule to gain an unfair advantage during a race then they have broken rule 2 - which means they can be disqualified (not excludable) and the victim will be entitled to redress under rule 62.1(d). Rule 69 goes beyond those two rules and allows the PC to give a significant additional penalty to a competitor who has committed "gross misconduct." That is why a competitor can protest under a right-of-way rule or rule 2 but not under rule 69 - only the PC can initiate a rule 69 action.

Since it is the PC that must act that means that at least a majority of the PC must think that the reported conduct was not only "misconduct" but was also "gross." In other words, rule 69 is aimed at conduct that most people would think is clearly grossly improper. Conduct that offends one person but not others undoubtedly doesn't rise to the level of "gross."

Consider the incident at issue in this matter. It happened after both boats had finished. So, it really had no impact on the race. The point of a rule 69 penalty would not be to "make the victim whole" but to discipline a competitor for inappropriate conduct.

What kind of penalty can a PC give? The first thing to recognize is that any penalty is limited to "action within [the PC's] jurisdiction." A PC is normally appointed for a specific event so the PC will be limited to giving a penalty at that event. It might DSQ the boat on which the competitor sails from all or some races of the event. It might prohibit the competitor from sailing in the remaining races of the event. It might prohibit the competitor from launching his or her boat from the host club. It might order the competitor not to come on the premises of the host club during the event.

The PC has a lot of flexibility but the important restriction to recognize is that it cannot prohibit the competitor from sailing in other events at other times or locations (the host club might restrict entry at later events under rule 76 but that is another matter).

The PC in this matter didn't act based on a pre-2005 interpretation from US Sailing about how to handle a rule 69 hearing if the alleged "bad actor" doesn't attend the hearing. That interpretation had been repudiated by US Sailing because the language of rule 69.1(d) changed effective Jan-1-2005. I cannot speak for the members of the PC (all of whom I know and consider friends) but I think it fair to say there is a good chance that if the same situation presented itself today they would act differently.

Without action by the PC at the event this matter fell into rule 69.2 and US Sailing. Such matters never move rapidly. Had the PC held a hearing and made a determination at the event (possibly imposing a penalty) I think we would all be somewhat less upset about the time it has taken US Sailing to hold its hearing and reach a decision. The wheels of the system may turn slowly but they grind finely (meaning that if a penalty is appropriate it won't be avoided just because it took a while to hold the hearing).

Art Engel
Senior US Sailing Judge
my opinions and views are my own and do not represent the official views of US Sailing


The Publisher
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Jan 9, 2007, 2:10 PM

Post #73 of 90 (166225 views)
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Thanks Art for the great info. Looks like we should have checked in with you awhile ago.

I just got a report from US Sailing that a summary of the decision on the Brodie Cobb case will be posted within the next week.


- Craig Leweck, Scuttlebutt


The Publisher
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Jan 10, 2007, 10:50 AM

Post #74 of 90 (165902 views)
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US Sailing Review Board decision has been made. Details in Scuttlebutt 2257




PaulK
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Jan 10, 2007, 7:20 PM

Post #75 of 90 (165690 views)
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Is two years enough? I'm not sure I'd ever want to have this guy on the same course as me, if I thought he might come over and punch me out afterwards.


jah
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Jan 10, 2007, 8:16 PM

Post #76 of 90 (165718 views)
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Two years is not enough. He certainly will not be eligible to enter a regatta at my club. It will be a major black mark on SFYC if he is allowed to continue as a member. Thanks to Scuttlebutt for allowing a forum so that all sailors can be informed of both the incident, and the process. I am very proud to be a participant in a sport that does not hesitate to severely penalize unsportsmanship behavior. It is sad how rare that is. For those that defend this non-sailor, imagine if it was your kid on the other side of his fist. Good bye Brodie, and good riddance.


Alicia
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Jan 11, 2007, 6:37 AM

Post #77 of 90 (165566 views)
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In our society even rapist only go to jail for a certain amount of time. Think about being a sailor who can not race for two years. That is a harsh penalty. If at the end of two years he is allowed to come back and sail I doubt he will ever repeat that action ever again. If he were a life ban would be appropriate. Sportmanship is a key part of sailing and of life. However, at a certain point forgiveness should reign. Yes he was a jerk and punched a teenager but if we as a society can rehabilitate real criminals then we can deal with a old man who lost his temper and spent two years learning from this mistake.
To clarify :I think he should serve the two year punishment but after that time he should be given the ability to prove that he had learnt sportsmanship and if so be allowed a fresh slate.





GuestSailor
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Jan 11, 2007, 10:03 AM

Post #78 of 90 (165427 views)
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I think there might be some legal aspect that have not been touched on in this thread. These accusations if substantiated, may, could, or should be cause for serious criminal prosecution. One, under Maritime Law is it not a felony and an act of piracy to board a ship or vessel with the intent of doing bodily harm to its owner and crew? Two, is it not assault with a weapon to purposely ram another boat with the intent of damaging or sinking it? Three, is it not assault and battery with intent to maim to repeatedly strike a child or teenager?FrownPirateUnsure Where were the police and/or Coast Guard during all this? Where is the state prosecutor? Why hasn't the teenager or his parents filed suit in a civil action?MadMadMad IT SEEMS TO ME THAT THIS INCIDENT IF TRUE, IF WITNESSED, GOES WAY BEYOND GROSS MISCONDUCT. AND I HOPE THE MODERATOR WILL UPDATE US ON THESE LEGAL ASPECTS AND WILL CONTINUE TO KEEP US INFORMED OF DEVELOPMENTS IN THIS CASE.UnimpressedUnimpressedUnimpressed


Oldensloh
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Jan 11, 2007, 10:22 AM

Post #79 of 90 (165417 views)
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With all due respect to Alicia's plea for forgiveness, I'm a mid-fleet SF Bay Laser racer. I first encountered Brodie Cobb at a no-account regatta several years ago at Redwood City. I recognized his name ("Do you KNOW WHO I AM!!") from the 1980s. He was clearly a really good sailor, but rusty. I witnessed him shamelessly rocking his boat past me downwind in every race. Another racer, I think it was Chris Boome, called him out on this, but Cobb continued rocking since no protest was filed. This is the kind of stuff I have seen the past couple years. He also tended to interact only with a few guys at the top of the fleet, so gets some sympathy from that crowd, but wouldn't deal socially with most of us in the "cannon fodder" division.

I'd like to see Brodie Cobb use this as a life-changing experience, begin to develop some anger management skills, maybe volunteer to discuss his lessons learned with our local junior racers and acknowledge those of us who aren't champion-caliber. I'm skeptical. It is troubling to me that he sailed every Grand Prix masters event while under indictment for this outrageous breach, and was allowed to harvest a bunch of trophies up to the world level.

Folks, dinghy racing is in trouble in the US. We don't need this kind of a competitor help us to build our sport. Until Brodie Cobb cleans up his act and starts to think "give back" I say the punishment is lenient, and I say good riddance


WillieT
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Jan 11, 2007, 10:27 AM

Post #80 of 90 (165413 views)
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These were the trophy winners from a Laser regatta a few years ago, with some of the identities concealed to protect the innocent.




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