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aarhus 09-26-2010 09:32 AM

General recall sound signal mistaken for next class preparatory sound signal
*note: it was the sound signal that was mistaken, not the flag

I am subbing in as crew in a race series (local races, scored independently for spring and fall, one race every Tuesday). Last Tuesday, the weirdest thing happened: the race committee had the black flag displayed, and apparently quite a few boats where over the line. The race committee boat did not have the support from a line boat, and apparently could not identify those who were over, so they flew the general recall flag but only gave one sound signal. I figured it was the preparatory signal for the next class. My skipper noticed one boat turn back, but he figured that she knew she was over the line under black flag. All the other boats in the class continued the race.

The second start followed the start procedure of the other classes (rule 29.2 was modified by the sailing instructions in this sense), and only one boat started then. She was scored first, with ALL the other boats (15?) receiving a DNC. My skipper (who's also subbing in) didn't want to get involved.

If I had been racing all season and it was my standing on the line, I would definitely have submitted a request for redress, arguing that although rule 29.2 was modified to move the next start after other classes, the race committee still should have made TWO sounds rather than one. A fellow crew member from the boat that returned argued that it is the flag that counts, not sounds.

What do you guys think?

paulk 09-26-2010 09:06 PM

The Race Committee should have sounded two signals to call attention to the general recall. If I had been on the RC, I think I would have kept trying to get a pair of sound signals out. Maybe they heard two on the RC boat and the fleet only heard one. In any case, however, if for any reason a sound signal is missed, the visual signal pertains. Hails from the RC would have perhaps been helpful in this instance.

Ajax_MD 09-27-2010 06:54 AM

The race committee should have had a backup signal device and announced the recall over VHF in addition to the flags.

tommays 09-27-2010 09:54 AM

The flags RULE

There are two many times the horns cant be heard

The VHF is NOT required

stuartmartell 09-27-2010 10:06 AM

sounds and flags
I agree, the flags/ shapes are the signals that count.

paulk 09-27-2010 08:22 PM

A Race Committee would also have to be REALLY quick or crazy to get another starting sequence going in the space of time that they'd be hoisting a General Recall signal in. Mistaking the one sound signal - which should have come very shortly after your start - for a prep signal for the next class is a bit ... beyond the pale. If they waited five minutes and THEN hoisted the General Recall, (with one sound signal) you'd have a better case. (Sorry.)

maxmunger 09-27-2010 11:09 PM

Wow! is this story ever short on facts.
Why was the balck flag flying in the first place? Was this already a restart of a previous failed start?
Black flag means ALL of the OCS boats are DSQ even if that class is restarted. None of theidentified (black) starting boats can be scored!
Are you trying to say that the RC LATER restarted all the boats? The RRS 29-30 is unclear as to what happens when all black flag class boats are recalled and restarted.
The Gen recall should have been signaled immediately and not even close to another warning signal.
The Gen recall CANNOT be signaled later! It must be immediate, same as an Individual recall. Nor can it have repeating sounds!
WHo was watching your time. You knew that 29.2 had been changed. Should know that flags always count, not sounds.
Why did only one boat of the next class start? Why did 15 NOT start? Assume you were one of the non-starters. The one boat obviously wins! You are responsible for your own start!
lastly, which decision of the RC is being questioned? The recall? The sound signals? The scoring of the first class? second class? We don't have any info on what happened to the (black) class!

aarhus 09-28-2010 02:33 AM

Some facts then. The black flag was up at the first start, not sure why the race committee decided to do that. As I wrote earlier, the committee apparently sounded a general recall because they could not identify ANY of the OCS boats (I presume this is why all but one were scored DNC and no DSQ/BFD around. The RC went through a second start sequence (for the one boat that turned back). As to why one boat restarted and the other 15, I can only say that the one boat saw the general recall flag, and in out boat we did not; if I am to assume that everyone else's reasoning went like mine, then the other 15 boats also ignored the one sound as a preparatory sound for the next class, since general recall should be signaled with the first substitute up and TWO sounds. Finally, I argue that the boats who ignored the general recall deserve redress (so i guess I am questioning their scoring).

Several of you have noted that it is only the flags and not the sounds that count. Is there a rule in the RRS that states this? Rule 29.2 states that the Race committee should signal general recall with two sounds, and case 71 in the RRS Case Book explains that when the necessary sound signal is skipped in the (similar?) case of an individual recall, the boat deserves redress. Is there any rule/case/other that could be used as argument on the "only flags count" side? (not a rhetorical question)

Thanks for the input...

paulk 10-13-2010 08:42 PM

Rule #26: Starting races states that "Times shall be taken from the visual signals;the absence of a sound signal shall be disregarded. "

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