Description of incident:
During pre-start manuevers Blue on port did not keep clear of Yellow on starboard. There was a contact resulting in cutting one of two stern lines holding the cameraman at the stern of Yellow. There was Y flag.
Umpires penalized Blue for breaking rule 10. Few seconds later it turned out that cameraman standing on Yellow’s stern is not able to hold on in his previous position and have to get on board.
Umpires initiated black flag penalty on Blue due to safety issues claiming that Yellow was not able to continue racing.
Note: Cameramen were present at all boats standing at the stern and being supported by two additional lines.
1 Penalize Blue, however;
- What should the call be?
- Was the action by umpires appropriate in terms of rule C8.3?
- Can you consider cameraman as the normal part of equipment?
- Can you consider safety issues as the reason to initiate black flag penalty?
(a) There need not have been contact with the boat; if Yellow had to take avoiding action could be sufficient.
(b) If the contact was only with the cameraman or part of his equipment (support rope- camera etc) then it would be a green and white flag.
A cameraman and any equipment he carries is not part of the boat (Call MR 21) another example would be contact with an observer
2 No. The situation described does not fit any of the criteria contained in C8.3, (a), (B) or (c).3 No (call MR 21)
4 Yes - but not for this reason.
A better course of action in this case would be for the umpires to request the race be abandoned, which a race officer should do in these circumstances. (This is what the umpires should do if the ropes simply broke without there being any contact.)
Alternatively the umpires could do nothing and Yellow should request redress. The PC would then make an appropriate decision. (Which in this case would probably be a re-sail).