JSpot's Unconventional Finish

After checking with the international committee, and referral to our local international judge, the following decision has been made:

There is no breach of any rule – including 42, 47.2, 49.1, 49.2, and the definition of finishing – as follows:

§         There is no breach of rule 42 unless, of course, the person in the water is kicking his legs to propel the boat.

§         There is no breach of rule 47.2 when the person who fell overboard is making a reasonable attempt to get back on board – as opposed to swimming away or making no attempt to get on board. There is also no definition of what constitutes ‘back on board’ and a person hanging on to the boat is, arguably, back on board within the meaning of the rule. The rule is intended to prevent someone (a crew member) from leaving the boat and swimming away / going ashore / getting on to another boat / etc. In those circumstances, the rule is breached if leaving was deliberate and, if not, the crew member must be back on board before the boat continues in the race.

§         There is no breach of rule 49.1 as the pulpit is not a device designed to position a competitor’s body outboard.

§         Rule 49.2 does not apply to someone who has fallen overboard. In this situation, the person overboard is not ‘positioning’ himself outside the lifelines in the context of the rule. For what it’s worth, there is no difference between a wire lifeline and a stainless steel tube pushpit as far as the restriction on positioning a crew member outside them is concerned.

§         The definition of finishing reference to ‘in normal position’ refers to equipment and not the crew.

Therefore NO rules were broken – just a crew member!

Peter Stevens

ITC Committee

4 thoughts on “JSpot's Unconventional Finish”

  1. Pete
    You obviously have too much time on your hands to pursue what happened to be a funny accident.
    You realy need to get out more often.

  2. You know he was kicking …… and screaming, trying to get the attention of his crew! Think he was more of a drogue than a propeller. But he managed a wave and smile for the cameras – we gave him a 7/10 for his efforts…. he forgot to point his toes!

  3. There are three rules to consider in this situation. In numerical order 42, 47.2 and 49.2

    For Rule 47.2, whilst ‘on board’ is not defined in the rules it is standard practice that if you need a definition of something that is not defined in the RRS, you go to the common use/definition in the (nautical) dictionary.

    Webster: On shipboard; in a ship or a boat; on board of; as, I came on board early; to be on board ship.

    To me that means, the person should be at least ‘out of the water’…. So it is very likely that Rule 47.2 was indeed broken.

    The wording in Rule 42 states: ……using only wind and water to increase, maintain or DECREASE her speed. Sticking an arm or a leg in the water to slow down for the start is breaking Rule 42! Let alone a person.

    By staying outside the lifelines and not attempting to get back on board, a case could be made that a person hanging onto the boat is positioning their body outside the lifelines, and certainly are not performing a necessary task (Rule 49.2).

Comments are closed.