When Damage Occurs During Practice
Published on March 26th, 2019
Participating in warm-up races prior to a regatta is a great way to ease some of the pre-event jitters, but what if you are in a collision that keeps you from competing in the main competition? This inquiry was submitted to the World Sailing Racing Rules Question and Answer Service:
The Notice of Race for an event listed a practice race in the schedule of races, to take place on the day before Race 1. During the practice race, there is an incident where boat A on port fails to keep clear of boat B on starboard. There is a collision and physical damage to boat B. Boat B protests and requests redress for being unable to sail on day 1 because of the damage.
Did the Racing Rules of Sailing apply to the practice race?
May a boat protest or request redress because of an incident during the practice race?
If the answer to the previous questions is yes, may a boat be penalized?
If yes, for which race will the penalty be applied, and what would the penalty be?
The penalty is disqualification from the race in question, in this case the practice race (see rule 64.1).
Yes, a boat may be entitled to redress in a practice race. If the damage to the boat entitled to redress is such that repairs expand over subsequent races (in this case races on day 1), redress may be given for these races, provided that the decision follows the provisions of World Sailing Case 116.
Does it make any difference whether the damage was serious or not?
May a breach during a practice race result in a boat being penalized in more races than the practice race?
Generally no, but it may depend on the rule(s) broken. Some rules such as rule 5 and rule 69 are not race specific.
When do the rules, as defined in the Racing Rules of Sailing, begin to apply at an event and when do they cease to apply?
Different rules will begin and cease to apply at times appropriate to the rule in question, for example:
(a) Rules regarding entry may apply from the moment a boat starts the entry process.
(b) Rule 69 applies as detailed in the World Sailing Misconduct guidance, but in general whenever the conduct can be associated with the event.
(c) Rule 5, Anti-Doping, and rule 6, Betting and Anti-Corruption, may apply out of competition.
And, some rules specify when they apply, for example:
(d) The rules of parts 2 and 4 apply as specified in the respective preambles.
(e) Rule 31, Touching a Mark, applies while racing.
Rule 78.1 requires a boat to be compliant with her class rules, but only while racing.