Sailors Who Cry “Wolf”…….!!

Whilst I am in no way condoning the blatant and obvious flouting of rules by the few, I personally believe that the problem lies in the sheer lack of commitment to the protest process. The number of times you hear people correctly hail “protest” when someone has been in the wrong or turn around to say “did you witness that”, but never do anything about it off the water astounds me!

When getting off the water everyone is more concerned about having a beer in the bar or packing up to travel home than to follow through on what is act of cheating. I am all for catching up with friends over a few beers but if you protest someone on the water, why is it that they choose not to when they get ashore. For some it will be because they beat them, therefore protesting does not affect them (forgetting the benefit to others), and others potentially it may simply be due to chronic laziness. In either case it does not deter the party in the wrong to do not re-offend.

Remedies of on the water umpiring, efficient juries and self policing are only effective if people actually protest. If no one chooses to do it then these efforts are redundant. Another solution is to declare someone has done their turns.

In some countries I believe it is not possible to claim on insurance unless there is proof that there has been a valid protest.

In my mind we need to change the attitudes of competitors before investing in solutions which might not change the outcome. If there is no substantion to claim then what forces the other boat to do their turns, if they know they can get away with it.

Tom Waples

2 thoughts on “Sailors Who Cry “Wolf”…….!!

  1. Tom has hit the nail very firmly on the head; no one wants the hassle of spending time in a protest room rather than in the bar. A prime example occurred during an event I attended recently, a clear port and starboard, witnessed by several, but the starboard tack helm just didn’t want the grief and had nothing to gain as the result would not affect him. But it did allow the port tack boat to win the series (I think), at the expense of a 3rd party, and that cowboy continues to flout the rules with gay abandon!! It is within the rules for 3rd parties to make a protest against both parties in such a situation, for failing to make a valid protest, and this it what we should start to do.

  2. The other problem is when people do protest, it is not unknown for you to end up with a protest committee who don’t appear to understand the rules themselves.

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