Thursday, August 1, 2019


There are lots of boats at the Optimist Nationals, many collisions, and very few protests.

Those we have had seem to have been put in in the belief that it will enhance an insurance claim. I believe that this is somehow based on the idea of car insurance where you exchange details and the insurer might do a knock for knock arrangement with the other insurer.

Racing is different, it is why you need to have a policy with "racing risks".  Just because someone has broken a rule will not prove them liable. The risk of collision is inherent if you are racing and damage is to be expected. Even a right of way boat risks disqualification if they are found to have breeched Rule 14 Avoiding collisions, so protesting is a risky business. And besides the protest committee is specifically forbidden feom considring any issue of liability (at least in the UK)

That said, how do we encourage protests? It is all very well saying that sailors are expected to enforce the rules (see Basic Principles) but that doesn't get it done. There used to be a rule that said a sailor seeing two boats collide could protest them if neither protested, and the result of such a protest, if sucessful, would see both boats disqualified.. Perhaps it is time that this old rule was brought back.


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