Please select your home edition
Edition
BIA 2016 Sydney Boat Show 728x90

Dianshan Lake Winter Match Racing Regatta- An Uncalled-for Penalty

by China Boating Intelligence (CBI) on 29 Nov 2013
Briefing on the alternative rules of Match Racing. Mr Liu rearranges the Rules for the Dianshan Lake event China Boating Intelligence (CBI)
With the Monsoon Cup presently running in Kuala Terengganu, Asian sailors are getting an eyeful of match racing at the moment. And on that subject, here’s a question from one of the spectators at the recent Dianshan Lake Winter Match Racing Regatta, 23-24 November: When is a penalty not a penalty?

'In one of the early matches, one boat sailed to leeward of the other, no room asked or given, and certainly no 'Y' flag from either team. This was confirmed by one of the other people on the umpire boat. So imagine this viewer’s surprise when suddenly a blue flag shot up on the umpire boat. ?

(The Dianshan Lake Regatta organisers claimed that the rules were the same as the China Club Challenge Match (CCCM) run just two weeks earlier, with the event 'managed by a referee (sic) from the CCCM').

On coming ashore a rightly aggrieved Shanghai Airport team asked 'why the penalty when there was no Y flag?' to be told by Mr Liu QiDong that 'If neither boat raises a flag in a boat-on-boat situation then the umpires can give a penalty if they think there should be one.' When it was suggested that this wasn’t the case, Mr Liu informed the team that the rules had changed with the 2013 update'.

Sorry, Mr Liu, but as one of the bloggers suggested on Chinese Weibo social media site, you must have a cheap Chinese copy of the Racing Rules of Sailing! The RRS 2013-2016, Appendix C Rule C6.5(A) clearly states 'After flag Y is displayed, the umpires shall decide whether to penalize any boat.' In other words the umpires cannot penalize a boat-on-boat incident without a ‘Y’ flag. We checked with an America’s Cup jury member, as well as a former member of the ISAF Rules Committee, both of whom agree that this is a very basic error and is clearly in conflict with the fundamental umpiring concept of ‘No Flag – No Foul’.

They also clarified that an umpire can give a penalty on certain occasions, including contact with a mark (Rule 31), illegal propulsion (Rule 42), starting errors (in other words being in the box early or not over the start line at two minutes to go), and finally non-compliance with either a second existing penalty or a red flag penalty. In all other cases the aggrieved boat must fly a ‘Y’ flag before a penalty can be given.

Background info: Race Management was led by Lu QiDong, know in English as ‘Tony, who had indeed been a Race Officer of the CCCM in the past, which involved him setting the course and raising and lowering flags - but at no time had he umpired a match in the event.

In fact, such was his performance at the Club Cup that, as the event grew, he was not up to the task and a number of years ago he was replaced even in his relatively minor role. This replacement roughly coincided with Lu QiDong being ‘dropped’ by the CYA (Chinese Yachting Association) after a 470 sailor died during an event at which he was Principal Race Officer.

At the Dianshan Regatta skipper’s briefing Mr Lu declared that no boat was allowed into the ‘box’ before four minutes – the actual rule states that they must be ‘outside the box AT four minutes’ which any match racer knows is more than a small difference.

We would like to believe that the organizers simply believed what they were told by Lu QiDong, but when they were informed that his claim of experience was clearly untrue they declined to issue a correction to potential competitors.
It is sad that someone who obviously doesn’t understand the rules to a basic level should use the name of China’s top match racing event (the China Club Challenge) to further their own ends at the expense of competitors who entered this local event in good faith.

Alistair Skinner, who has been part of the umpire team of the China Club Challenge Match for each of the past seven years, confirmed that Mr Lu QiDong has never umpired any match at this event (which next year reaches its 10th birthday). Additionally, Mr. Skinner resents the reputation for accuracy and fair play that the Club Cup has built up over the years being abused for personal gain by an individual in this manner, and is concerned by the potential damage to the Club Cup’s reputation by such a poorly policed event claiming to be run by the same team, which it clearly wasn’t.
On the other hand, perhaps when sailors sit back and compare the two events it will only serve to further boost the already high reputation of the China Club Challenge Match.

[For the record, the author of this story was NOT part of the team incorrectly penalised. Ed]
Harken and Fosters -  Harken WinchesSailutions - SeldenSailWildwind 2016 660x82

Related Articles

Collinson FX Market Commentary - July 29 - Italy sweats on stress test
This took the shine off the recent rally in the NZD which slipped back to 0.7060 The JPY remains firm, trading around 105.25, in preparation. Commodity demand was slack on the energy and agricultural front, while metals eked out some gains. This took the shine off the recent rally in the NZD which slipped back to 0.7060, while the AUD continued to toy with the 0.7500 mark.
Posted on 30 Jul
Gladwell's Line - Last waltz for Olympic sailors at Takapuna Beach?
Last week, Yachting NZ was one step away from achieving an area of hard stand at the northern end of Takapuna Beach. Last week, Yachting New Zealand was one step away from achieving an area of hard stand at the northern end of Takapuna Beach. That would have been a vital beachhead for High Performance and Olympic sailors, who for almost 50 years have trained from the area without any special facilities.
Posted on 30 Jul
North Sails showcase new loft on Shore but retain Westhaven presence
North Sails NZ have opened a new loft in Archers Road on Auckland's North Shore. North Sails NZ have opened a new loft in Archers Road on Auckland's North Shore. The move is the fifth for the near 40year iconic sailmaker, and the design and layout of the new loft represents a marked break with sailmaking traditions and practices.
Posted today at 10:15 am
Bali attracts early interest
Interest in the 2017 Bali adventure, even at this early stage, is encouraging. Interest in the 2017 Bali adventure, even at this early stage, is encouraging. At first, the 2017 race and rally retains its traditional route to Benoa but from there it offers greater attractions than ever with the inclusion of an extension to the Javanese port of Banyuwangi and an organised “Spice Islands Rally”, a one-week circumnavigation of the island of Bali.
Posted today at 7:04 am
Brewin Dolphin Commodores' Cup - Lone bullets for the Brits
Despite three more inshore races being held on day five France Blue leads with a similar 11.5 point margin to yesterday 2016 Brewin Dolphin Commodores' Cup - Despite three more inshore races being held on day five of the Brewin Dolphin Commodores' Cup, the Royal Ocean Racing Club's biennial flagship event for three boat teams with Corinthian crews, France Blue leads with a similar 11.5 point margin to yesterday, but Flanders North Sea is now the team that has relieved France White of second place overall.
Posted today at 2:10 am
Supermaxi Scallywag has her first outing on Sydney Harbour
Scallywag is a 100' Super Maxi Yacht (ex Ragamuffin 100) owned by a HongKong Business man. Scallywag is a 100' Super Maxi Yacht (ex Ragamuffin 100) owned by a HongKong Business man. Yesterday the boat took it first sail on Sydney Harbour in preparation for this weekend's start of the CYCA Land Rover Sydney to Gold Coast Yacht Race
Posted on 28 Jul
Extreme Sailing Series– Oman Air sneak early lead despite bump on nose
Hamburg’s River Elbe in the HafenCity area was transformed into the ultimate test in Stadium Racing today Hamburg’s River Elbe in the HafenCity area was transformed into the ultimate test in Stadium Racing today, with the narrow river, passing traffic, high walls, shifty light winds and strong currents challenging the fleet on the opening day
Posted on 28 Jul
Oman Air quick to master light airs on Day 1 of Extreme Sailing Series
Last year’s wild and gusty winds gave way to light simmering airs but the Oman Sail was quick to master the conditions. The compact River Elbe race course, bordered on all sides by cargo containers and all the handling equipment associated with one of the busiest ports in the world, was expected to be tricky for the GC32 fleet even though the race area had been expanded.
Posted on 28 Jul
Collinson FX Market Commentary - July 28 - Japan lights afterburner
The AUD settled below 0.7500, while the KIWI rallied to above 0.7050, despite all efforts by the RBNZ. The AUD settled below 0.7500, while the KIWI rallied to above 0.7050, despite all efforts by the RBNZ. The NZ Central Bank has done all it could to jaw-bone the currency lower but will now need to cut interest rates. The RBNZ has been reactive since the 2008 economic collapse
Posted on 28 Jul
Trans-Atlantic record- Comanche sets new monohull record
Comanche has crossed the virtual finish line off the Lizard, England in her attempt to set two new world sailing records Jim Clark and Kristy Hinze-Clark's supermaxi Comanche has crossed the virtual finish line off the Lizard, England in her attempt to set two new world sailing records. She finished at 11:45 UTC on Thursday July 28,2016, having left New York on Saturday July 23, 2016.
Posted on 28 Jul