The most annoying rule breach sailors talk about on the deck is barging and World Sailing has just upgraded the penalty to DNE – Disqualification Not Excludable from a series score
World Sailing holds an annual conference in November each year where Committees meet and propose and agree on all sorts of changes. The Racing Rues Committee is one of those and it’s meeting minutes have been released showing that they have approved a new Case concentrating on barging with some subtle but very significant changes to the original proposal.
“When a boat knowingly barges at a starting mark where she is not entitled to mark room with no reasonable possibility of avoiding breaking a rule she breaks a basic right-of-way rule for which she cannot be exonerated, and she breaks rule 2 and should be penalized with a disqualification that shall not be excluded from her series score.
During the hearing, Z is asked if she knew that she would break a rule if she went in between X and the committee vessel.
She confirms that. In the hearing, Z confirmed that she knew that by barging in at the committee vessel she would break a rule.
A boat that knowingly barges at a starting mark with no reasonable possibility of avoiding breaking a rule breaks a rule violates the fundamental principle of sportsmanship stated in Sportsmanship and the Rules. For that reasons, Z broke rule 2, and the protest committee should penalize her with a disqualification that shall not be excluded from Z’s series score. This penalty should be applied regardless of any number of places that X and Y may have lost because of the actions of Z. If the damage to X or Y caused by the actions of Z made their finishing positions in the race significantly worse, through no fault of their own, they would be entitled to redress under rule 61.2(d) 62.1(d). Furthermore, the protest committee might consider whether it would be appropriate to act against Z under rule 69.2(b). ”
The interesting aspect is that they have taken out intent. It doesn’t matter if the boat says they “thought it would work” or they “didn’t understand the rule” or “the dog ate my rule book” if there is “no reasonable possibility of avoiding breaking a rule” it is a breach of sportsmanship that earns the boat a DNE.
The original full case can be found here and it has some interesting elements to it and some of the wording might be edited when it is finally published. http://www.sailing.org/tools/documents/15817RacingRulesofSailingNewCase-.pdf.
This case will be welcomed by the race committee and all sailors, except perhaps one. There’s certainly not place for barging with Couta Boats.