right or wrong?

Please don’t think I am trying to take Mozzy’s thunder at all but he doesn’t often come on here to voice his opinion, which in this case I completely agree with.

The SailGP version of the RRS changes 18.1 but doesn’t change the definition of Mark Room.

GBR allowed more than sufficient room for JPN to a) sail to the mark (she was on the other side the course approaching the mark and b) when JPN actually reaches the point where they would tack to round the mark – all the Mark Room they are entitled to – GBR is sailing a course at 90 degrees to JPN and is not even yet in the zone.

If JPN sails beyond the point where they need Room to tack they as the port tack boat they are subject to Rule 10 as they have clearly taken more Mark Room than they are entitled to. So I cannot see how GBR deserved the penalty that was given against them. 

In fact had JPN tacked for the mark late then, having taken more room than they were entitled to then surely it would be them who received the penalty.

As it transpired JPN went for the other mark. Why? Would be pure supposition without speaking to Nathan but to tack under GBR would most likely mean falling off the foils given the light air.

In my view, the umpire(s) got it wrong. JPN had room to tack and chose not to, GBR did not impede their ability to tack round the mark.

So sackcloth and ashes for the umpires? NO! Of course not. 

Anyone who has done any umpiring at all knows that it is not the easy task that those who haven’t done any proper umpiring, think it is. I have seen International Judges ruling on Appendix Q getting it completely wrong because they are not trained on the ‘on the water stuff’.  

It is more than just about the rules, it is positioning, perception, and often a split-second decision on what they saw. It may take a little longer to figure out in their head what to rule but we should always remember that an umpire doesn’t have the benefit of video replays and a post mortem.

An umpire who has been full-on for a day’s racing comes ashore as knackered as the sailors they have been watching over. It is not an easy job.

Do errors happen? Of course, they do but having watched match racing live, on video over hours and over the years, and a little bit of umpiring myself those errors are a lot less frequent than those made by the highly paid full-time soccer referees. 

Could you imagine the who-ha if a sailing umpire got in the way of play like soccer referees appear to do far too frequently? I’ll tell you for a fact it would be an automatic fail in your umpire exam.

Sure Si Ben isn’t happy, no one likes t think they have been hard done to but the speeds these boats approach only serve to make the umpire’s job tougher than ever.

Let’s not throw the baby out with the bathwater.

Those penalties where a team is not only penalized for an incident but also if the other boat sails badly for a time are a different matter. It forces the penalized team to not only take a penalty but they are forced to sail as badly s the other boat

PS: You can view Mozzy’s video hereI can assure you it is well worth it.