March/April 2019 - Making It Fair? - Request For Redress II

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March/April 2019 - Making It Fair? - Request For Redress II

In the last article, I started a discussion about redress. I discussed two grounds for redress, an improper action or omission of the race committee (62.1a) and giving assistance (62.1c). There are two additional grounds for redress listed in the rules and I will discuss them this month.




A sailboat and the crew on board.


Any boat or ship.


A boat and her owner shall compete in compliance with recognized principles of sportsmanship and fair play. A boat may be penalized under this rule only if it is clearly established that these principles have been violated. The penalty shall be either disqualification or disqualification that is not excludable.



62.1    A request for redress or a protest committee’s decision to consider redress shall be based on a claim or possibility that a boat’s score or place in a race or series has been or may be, through no fault of her own, made significantly worse by

  1. an improper action or omission of the race committee, protest committee, organizing authority or technical committee for the event, but not by a protest committee decision when the boat was a party to the hearing;

  2. injury or physical damage because of the action of a boat that was breaking a rule of Part 2 or of a vessel not racing that was required to keep clear;

  3. giving help (except to herself or her crew) in compliance with rule 1.1; or

  4. an action of a boat, or a member of her crew, that resulted in a penalty under rule 2 or a penalty or warning under rule 69.2(h).


62.2    A request shall be in writing and identify the reason for making it. If the request is based on an incident in the racing area, it shall be delivered to the race office within the protest time limit or two hours after the incident, whichever is later. Other requests shall be delivered as soon as reasonably possible after learning of the reasons for making the request. The protest committee shall extend the time if there is good reason to do so. No red flag is required.


64.2    Decisions on Redress

When the protest committee decides that a boat is entitled to redress under rule 62, it shall make as fair an arrangement as possible for all boats affected, whether or not they asked for redress. This may be to adjust the scoring (see rule A10 for some examples) or finishing times of boats, to abandon the race, to let the results stand or to make some other arrangement. When in doubt about the facts or probable results of any arrangement for the race or series, especially before abandoning the race, the protest committee shall take evidence from appropriate sources.

Rule 62.1b covers the situation of a boat damaged by another boat that was either breaking a rule of Part 2 – the right-of-way rules – or by a vessel that was required to keep clear. Why make the distinction between the “boat” and the “vessel”? Because it makes this portion of Rule 62 more inclusive. A boat might be entitled to mark-room at the moment when it is struck by a boat that is not required by any other rule to “keep clear”. The requirement that a boat not break a part of Part 2, and in this situation, to provide mark-room, puts the onus on the second boat, so if there is a collision resulting in damage, the boat entitled to mark-room might be entitled to redress. The second part of the rule refers to vessels. While this could include boats racing, it also includes boats that are not racing, whether they are sailboats or power boats. I have once heard it expanded to include a helicopter, but I think that is stretching the rule.


The most common applications of this rule are between boats that are racing. It may be the result of a protest hearing between the two boats. It may be a request for redress filed outside of a protest. In either case, the protest committee first must decide who broke a rule of Part 2. Once they have decided that, they can consider awarding redress to the other boat. Redress will only be given if there is injury or physical damage, and the injury or damage must be enough that the boat’s score was made significantly worse. Very common situations include damage that significantly slows the boat – ripping the spinnaker so that it cannot be flown, for instance, or that forces a boat to drop out of the race altogether. Last summer, the boom of one boat knocked a sailor out of a nearby boat, hitting hard enough to knock the unfortunate individual into the water, and causing sufficient injury that the injured party was unable to continue. No request for redress was filed, but I believe that if it had, he would have been entitled to redress.


The final grounds for redress in 69.1d address a breach of rule 2 (the fair sailing rule) or rule 69 (Misconduct). These two situations are very unusual, so I won’t spend more time on them.

The last key point to understand about redress, is that it only applies in these four situations and remedies are not guaranteed. There are many other “unfair” situations on the race course, but as I used to say to my kids, “sometimes life isn’t fair”, which is why I said above that the injured boat “might be entitled to redress”, not “would be entitled to redress”. If your situation does not fit into one of these categories, there is no redress.

© Copyright 2017 Andrew Alberti


Posted: 5/1/2019 9:14:27 AM by Andrew Alberti | with 0 comments

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This page provides links to a set of articles original published in Kwasind magazine. The versions here include animated diagrams. The original articles can be found within the original magazines which are available online back to January 2007. 

Articles before December 2016 are based on the Racing Rules of Sailing 2009-12 or 2013-2016 and have not been updated to reflect the changes that apply as of January 2017 with the publication of the Racing Rules of Sailing 2017-20. A copy of the new rules can be found on
Andrew Alberti has been writing these monthly articles in the Kwasind since early 1997.  They explain the Racing Rules of Sailing. Andrew is a National Judge and National Umpire. He is a member of the Sail Canada Rules and Appeals Committees. The interpretation of the rules contained in the articles is Andrew's and not that of the RCYC or any of the committees he sits on. 

Send your questions to Andrew at


166 Years of Tradition | World-Class Sailing | Toronto Island & City Clubhouse
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