I’ve had enough favourable comments from sailors and umpires about these
cards to circulate the latest version for wider use.
File is in Word97 or later – In case you can’t open it the text is below.
Circulate and use as you think fit
Printed 2 sided, they cut to A5 size. Mine are then laminated, and so
The section on hand signals for an admitted fault is used when the sailors
want it or the SI’s require it. It was originally written when we were
experimenting with a one flag system, where the common complaint is that
the umpires jump in „just before I was going to take a spin anyway“. The
wording says a competitor ‚may choose‘ – there’s no implication that the
rules require it, only that it may protect them.
FR2 is fundamental rule 2
Think before protesting
1. A fair protest means both boats think they are right
ß „Why isn’t my opponent exonerating?
Did she (and the umpire) see something I didn’t?
ß Around 40% of calls still go against the protestor.
2. We can penalise either, neither, both, or a third party.
3. On the same tack, just being too close is an infringement.
4. In a continuing incident you might get rights later, but if you wrongly
caused it, admit.
5. Calling on the umpire means what we saw are the facts found. We can’t
What we saw, happened.
What we didn’t see, didn’t happen.
ß Think what the umpire saw.
ß If in doubt, say why you are protesting.
6. A penalty is „to sail clear [ ] then spin“
A tack or gybe which is part of the infringement can’t count towards the
7. A penalty is 360° or 720°, not 270° or 630°
8. Post race: Telling us your story misses the point.
We, and your opponent, all saw it differently.
Listen and learn.
9. We hear very little over the engine noise. Get loud & clear; visible
(arm signals); or close.
Step #1: A protest exists when
1. There’s a prompt hail of „Protest!“
2. There’s a reasonably prompt red flag
3. Intent is apparent to the opponent and the umpire
Step #2: If you admit then
1. You may choose to raise an arm (palm open and upwards) and shout
2. This protects you against an imposed penalty if you broke an
It stops the umpire from intervening too early.
3. You must then spin. To not do so breaks Fair Sailing (penalty: FR2 and
the original breach)
Step #3: A call to umpire happens when
1. There’s been a valid protest and
2. The sailors have failed to resolve it and
3. A protesting boat promptly waves a yellow and
4. The yellow is seen by their umpire.
This may not be the closest umpire.
In addition to red or green, umpires may wave
1. Yellow (observed races only) = „Not sure, protest ashore if you wish“
2. Black = Discuss later (keep sailing)
3. Two reds = both boats infringed
4. Further red = one or more additional turns
5. No flag = Guilty boat span or is getting ready to spin or an invalid
6. Green may also mean the umpires disagree.