Do the crime, Do the time

Published on April 22nd, 2020

The World Sailing Racing Rules Question and Answer Service is to support Race Officials, Member National Authorities and World Sailing Class Associations whereby they may submit questions through World Sailing concerning the Racing Rules of Sailing (RRS). This inquiry involves the provision within the RRS that provides, when available, an extra step to the protest resolution process:

Situation
At the start of a race, in which Appendix T (Arbitration) applies, a boat that was aware of touching a starting mark did not take a One-Turn-penalty at the time of the incident but instead took a Post-Race penalty under rule T1(a) upon returning ashore.

Question
Is the Post-Race Penalty under rule T1(a) appropriate for her breach?

Answer
No. A fundamental principle of sportsmanship under the Racing Rules of Sailing is that when competitors break a rule they will promptly take a penalty. The Post-Race penalty under rule T1(a) is not an additional penalty option available to boats at the time of an incident. It is only available to boats realizing that they might have broken a rule when it is too late to comply with rule 44.2. By knowingly breaking a rule and not promptly taking a penalty, the boat violated a fundamental principle of sportsmanship, therefore she also broke rule 2.

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