Official PROTEST HEARING: One World Cup Round 4

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Re: Official PROTEST HEARING: One World Cup Round 4

Postby Jane Fossett » Thu Feb 03, 2011 3:16 am

I disagree with noodle's assessment.
Here is my understanding:

SVC's protest:
"From Liv Leigh:
I protested the Race Committee at the 6AM timeslot at One World Round 4 under rule 32.1, demanding them to abandon the race completely due to highly unfair racing circumstances. This was done in a race in which already 2 recalls had taken place and several dozens of region handoff-crashes with all 4 involved sailing teams."

The RC's reply:
"From Jane Fossett (on behalf of the Race Committee)
Liv protested the 6am race under Rule 32, claiming that race conditions were not sailable. ...
The weather conditions were poor, and there were two general recalls. The third attempt went much better, but each of the teams did crash at some point during the race. lag in several sims was significant.
However, all four boats completed the course and all had valid finish times.
"Crashes" are anticipated in ONE WORLD races, and crash-recovery is written into the Rules so teams can keep racing over a long course.
It's true that bad sim function can interfere with sailing, and that often may seem unfair. However, in this race no sim went 'off-line' and no sim was so overloaded it blocked entry (several boats did appear to 'hang up' at a particular sim edge however for unclear reasons).
The protest committee reviewed the evidence and unanimously denied Liv's protest. The group consensus was that lag, slow sim boarder crossings and crashes were not sufficient reason under Rule 32 to cancel an SL race. It's easy to think of truly terrible grid condition that would make sailing impossible, but in this case all four racing boats completed the course and had valid Finishes.
That fact alone seemed to negate any Rule 32 claim, since by definition the weather was not unsailable; the whole race fleet successfully sailed it."

The RC then added:
"... Liv's protest is invalid, and the specific details of lag, crashes, etc. are not relevant. A boat cannot protest the RC for failing to abandon a race."


That's the protest and the reply.
Everything else in this thread not related to the Rules basis of the protest claim is irrelevant.

noodleqt exonar wrote:... Slanty is right, - it is amazing... only it might require a half hour instead of fifteen minutes.
Noodle, why is this taking so long?
Because Liv requested the extension,
the RC had no objection,
and the Appeals Judge granted it.
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Re: Official PROTEST HEARING: One World Cup Round 4

Postby noodleqt exonar » Thu Feb 03, 2011 4:32 am

Fair enough Jane.

I outlined how the process of a real process and appeal would be.
You just showed us how the process of protest and appeal has been in the OW.

The two processes do not compare very well, and that was my point.

That alone calls for cancellation by RRS rule 32.1e (fairness). Had their been a hearing it would have been about reedress and cancellation as laid out in 64.2.

Now, we're in an appeal, and there are no facts to work with (see 70.1). The appealing commity is left with process error leading to unfair racing, and we're back to cancellation.

If the RC sees the protest as invalid, then the appealing commity apparently does not, since the appeal has been opened.

Rule 32.1 was mentioned to assert the fact that a cancellation is within the boundaries of the rules. The ruling IMHO should be, that all boats are entitled to redress. Since this cannot be done in a fair way, it leaves cancellation as the only way out.

:-)
Noodle

Jane, this whole thing is a little bit far fetched, but... I hope you agree, that it's fun to push the limit and see where it goes. Otherwise, just tell Liv to make me stop. In any case - please know that my state of mind is exploring... not anything else, ok :-)
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Re: Official PROTEST HEARING: One World Cup Round 4

Postby Liv Leigh » Thu Feb 03, 2011 4:45 am

The protest was issued by team SVC-472, which is represented by me, Momomos and Noodleqt. Noodle has every right here to speak on behalf of the team, as far as I am concerned.
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Re: Official PROTEST HEARING: One World Cup Round 4

Postby Jane Fossett » Thu Feb 03, 2011 6:12 am

Liv Leigh wrote:The protest was issued by team SVC-472, which is represented by me, Momomos and Noodleqt. Noodle has every right here to speak on behalf of the team, as far as I am concerned.

Agreed.

noodleqt exonar wrote:Fair enough Jane.
I outlined how the process of a real process and appeal would be.
You just showed us how the process of protest and appeal has been in the OW.
The two processes do not compare very well, and that was my point.
That alone calls for cancellation by RRS rule 32.1e (fairness).

I strongly disagree.
The Appeals judge sets the terms and process
for the Appeal Hearing; I do not.

noodleqt exonar wrote: ...If the RC sees the protest as invalid, then the appealing commity apparently does not, since the appeal has been opened. ...

The Appeals Judge has not ruled on whether the protest is invalid (for the reasons outlined by Kentrock).
That seems to me to be the first order of business.

If the Appeals Judge decides that lag and poor sim crossings are worth considering as a valid basis to appeal and overturn a completed race,
I'd then put into evidence the transcripts of multiple past cup competitions that were decided under race conditions far worse than Round Four 6:00am.
That seems a pretty counterproductive discussion, imho.
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Re: Official PROTEST HEARING: One World Cup Round 4

Postby MarkTwain White » Thu Feb 03, 2011 6:28 am

noodleqt exonar wrote:Has the process of this appeal stopped?

In RL an appeal is usually based on the facts already established by the protest commity. However, we never really had that questions and answers session, so facts are yet to be established. The jury ruled immediately based on their own feelings and experiences.

So how are we to proceed. I ask this because I don't see any progress or process ownership here.
Noodle


This is from my opening post to this process:

------------------------------------------
Since it is not practical to get the number of people together that need to be part of this hearing, we are going to conduct the hearing by way of a Topic Dicussion on the SL Sailing Forum. The public is encouraged to observe but is asked to remain silent. The participants in this protest hearing are:
1. The Race Committee members that made the original ruling.
2. Liv Leigh and any witnesses she asks to participate (which at this point appear to be two in number)
3. Myself as the appeals judge

In the SL version of administering the appeals process, I declare that this hearing is called to order at the time stamp of this post and shall remain open for 24 hours. After which time I will issue a ruling in a timely manner.
-------------------------------------------

Liv sought a delay to the process because she was going to be out of town for several days. It was granted and the appeals hearing deadline was extended to NOON THURSDAY (that's today).

This hearing is being conducted exactly as announced.

When I originally extended the deadline to Thursday Noon I was going to be able to be home at that time in order to read the final bits of testimony and make a decision. My work schedule may not permit that. There is a good chance I will not be able to make my ruling until after 6pm SL time tonight.
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Re: Official PROTEST HEARING: One World Cup Round 4

Postby noodleqt exonar » Thu Feb 03, 2011 8:05 am

Well, its after noon.

I am in no way questioning the way the appeal is handled.

I am questioning the process that lead to the appeal.

First the RC accepts the protest.
Then the RC rules - without any hearing whatsoever.
Then they add, that the protest is invalid.

Doesn't look much like the announced full RRS. So we appeal.

If this is full ISAF, then the RC cannot rule without hearing and establishing facts.
If this is full ISAF, then the appeal cannot function without the facts, because RRS specifically says the appeal has ONLY the facts established in the protest.
So the process is invalid, and the appeal should address that.

All that aside, I feel sorry for the people in boats that day. Racing it was not. Is that how the sailing community want's to present its finest regatta to the world?

:-)
Noodle

PS: Please understand this it not about increasing our chance to win. It is about increasing the chance for everybody to have good racing experiences. It is about getting more peope to race. We don't think upholding a result under these conditions will have a positive effect on future racing.
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Re: Official PROTEST HEARING: One World Cup Round 4

Postby Orca Flotta » Thu Feb 03, 2011 10:45 am

noodleqt exonar wrote:Is that how the sailing community want's to present its finest regatta to the world?

What "the comunity" wants or not is completely irrelevant for this case. I, as well as many others, don't even believe in the existence of a community. Not as a legal or otherwise constitutionalized body. Not in the way a commmunity is usually defined. We're not working in unison towards a set goal. We're not even working towards the same goal. Huge parts of our "community" won't race at all, others wouldn't race in the One. Others do object to the OW regatta and the general idea of huge events like the those cup races, since it interrupts the ongoing activities of other parts of the community. Club racing literally came to a standstill since the OW has started. So, what community, or small part of the community, are you talking about?

PS: Please understand this it not about increasing our chance to win. It is about increasing the chance for everybody to have good racing experiences. It is about getting more peope to race. We don't think upholding a result under these conditions will have a positive effect on future racing.

Irrelevant yet again. Race directors and judges are no publicity managers. They aren't politicians neither. They mustn't be hassled with a SL sailing marketing campaign. Would they worry about consequences of their decisions in the eyes of some noob sailors, they would be jaded and biased - they would be the wrong people for the job. All the race committee has to worry about is strictly following the rules and making sure all concerned parties are following those rules as well.
As the responsible RD for the race in question I already expressed my compasssion for the racers in that timeslot. The conditions were very difficult. I see that as well as everybody else sees it. Still, the 3rd start worked out and we achieved the goal as set out by "the community (of OW racers)" of getting valid results ... and a valid race.

Hard: Yes
Complicated: Yes
Difficult: Yes
Unfair: No
Invalid: No
Reason to protest: NO!
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Re: Official PROTEST HEARING: One World Cup Round 4

Postby Liv Leigh » Thu Feb 03, 2011 11:12 am

Ok. I am going to state my case as skipper for SVC-472 in the 6AM timeslot last saturday. For convenience: I will divide my plea into a couple of posts.

1. The fairness of the racing conditions
2. The responsibilities and possibilities of the Race Committee
3. My appeal for redress and resulting abandonment of the race
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Re: Official PROTEST HEARING: One World Cup Round 4

Postby Liv Leigh » Thu Feb 03, 2011 11:43 am

1. The fairness of the racing conditions

The race committee states that 'all 4 teams in the 6AM timeslot finished the race'. If we take a simple look at the facts from the race, we will come to the understanding that this statement of the Race Committee says nothing about the actual racing conditions, which gave us an event that had nothing to do with fair racing.

1.1. The race duration
The 6AM timeslot gave us a race that lasted for over 2 hours, over 2.30 hours if we count the aftermath with the protest hearing. For a course that should only cost 40-45 minutes of racing One would expect no more than an hour for the entire event, not over twice that time. The duration of the race constitutes an inequality for the competing teams themselves, as they live in different timezones The likeliness of obligations outside of SL after the planned race time varies therefore. The race's extra claim on time was simply too much for a fair event.

1.2. The recalls
The 6AM timeslot was the only timeslot out of 4 in which a recall was made. Actually the race was recalled twice and could only start at 6.50, 50 minutes late. This does not give the impression of fair conditions to anyone

1.3. The crashes
All teams in the timeslot suffered multiple crashes. SVC-472 lost 3 boats and had 5 crashes during the race. The 3 other teams had similar issues. The competitor finishing behind us, Floating Boaters, had to replace Porter Tracy who mentioned to me 'she crashed on every sim border'.
Similar problems were seen with crashes of race officials and the security officers of the SLCG, as Tig stated already.
The image that is left of the race, is that of a highly chaotic event, which was decided by Secondlife problems rather than by sailing skills. If you would look for an RL equivalent of such a race, you would have great troubles in doing so. No one would dare to call it 'fair'.

1.4. The finish times
These are the finish times of the winning boats at the various timeslots:
4PM: 40.26
6AM: 46.08
12PM: 40.03
6PM: 40.58

The 6AM timeslot had a winning team that was 5 minutes slower than any of the other timeslots, which were quite similar. 5 minutes on a 40 minute race is over 12% loss in time.

The last finishers:
4PM: 46.34
6AM: 1.06.21
12PM: 51.33
6PM: 47.45

The 6AM timeslot's last finishing boat needed 15 minutes more than any other timeslot's last finishing boat. Here you see how the claim 'everyone finished' is quite worthless when it comes to describing the conditions.

1.5. Conclusion
This leads us to the inescapable conclusion that the 6AM timeslot saw a highly unfair race, not representative of the level of it's competitors and not in line with what is generally acceptable within the SL Sailing community.
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Re: Official PROTEST HEARING: One World Cup Round 4

Postby Jane Fossett » Thu Feb 03, 2011 11:54 am

noodleqt exonar wrote:Well, its after noon.
I am in no way questioning the way the appeal is handled.
I am questioning the process that lead to the appeal.

First the RC accepts the protest.
Then the RC rules - without any hearing whatsoever.
Then they add, that the protest is invalid.

Doesn't look much like the announced full RRS. So we appeal.

If this is full ISAF, then the RC cannot rule without hearing and establishing facts.
If this is full ISAF, then the appeal cannot function without the facts, because RRS specifically says the appeal has ONLY the facts established in the protest.
So the process is invalid, and the appeal should address that.

All that aside, I feel sorry for the people in boats that day. Racing it was not. Is that how the sailing community want's to present its finest regatta to the world?
:-)
Noodle
PS: Please understand this it not about increasing our chance to win. It is about increasing the chance for everybody to have good racing experiences. It is about getting more peope to race. We don't think upholding a result under these conditions will have a positive effect on future racing.

Noodle, I agree completely with you about the need to have a hearing at the end of the race to resolve any outstanding protests.
If you look in the Round 4 update notecard, I added a few paragraphs with guidelines about how I thought that should be done in SL.
That mostly applies for Rules 10-19, but the principles are the same for any other protest a racing team wishes to make:
1. The Protest Committee needs to know exactly what the protest is;
2. The Protest Committee needs to hear any related testimony the protestor wants to add; and
3.The Protest Committee needs to be aware of any related evidence that supports or detracts from the protest claim.

After the Round Four 6am race, I thought we did exactly that.
I think the brief note I sent to MTW when I requested the Appeal
matches up pretty well with the note Liv sent him the same day.
MTW posted both statements at the beginning of this thread.

Since last Saturday I'm not aware of any issue or claim
that had not been discussed or considered Saturday morning.

I'll review those transcripts again.
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Re: Official PROTEST HEARING: One World Cup Round 4

Postby Liv Leigh » Thu Feb 03, 2011 12:11 pm

2. The responsibilities and possibilities of the Race Committee

2.1. General responsibilities of a committee
While the RRS do not seem to state that a race committee is obliged to abandon a race under certain conditions, there are clear cases, at least in real life, when races would be abandoned. Rule 32.1 states not only unfairness, but also dangerous situations. In case of no abandonment a race committee may in some cases in real life well be subject to either civil or criminal prosecution.
While there exists no apparent danger in Second Life when sailing, there are still issues of fairness of the competition, where the race committee has certain responsibilities.

Towards the One World Series
First of all there would be the responsibilities towards the racing series and it's guiding principles. The One World series is not very critical here, having 'fun' and 'community' as main standards, yet it has rules to ensure a certain degree of fairness in the competition. A Race Committee could be expected to use these rules when needed to ensure a race lives up to standards.

Towards the racers
Racers in Second Life tend to take their races in competitions like One World seriously. Many hours are spent throughout the week to explore and practice the course, learn to deal with location and wind peculiarities, optimize boat handling and so on. A Race committee could be expected to ensure that a race can be held in such a way that the work and resulting skills of the sailors are honoured, not ridiculed.

Towards the credibility of Second Life as a platform for virtual sailing
Videos, like Mark's, Surfwidow's and many others.. Blogs, like Noodleqt's and websites like SLSailing.com and ISail are created to attract people and companies from 'real life', seduce them to find their way into Second Life and have virtual races here. Race Committees are one of the tools we have to safeguard the quality of those races and make them live up to those outsider's expectations. One would expect they act accordingly.

2.2. The options for abandonment of a race
The options for abandoning a race are described in the ISAF RRS as rule 32.1 and are one of the last straws for a Race Committee to ensure a race can be held fairly. It clearly describes the conditions under which a race can be shortened or even abandoned if the conditions for a fair race are not met:
32.1 After the starting signal, the race committee may shorten the course
(display flag S with two sounds) or abandon the race (display flag N,
N over H, or N over A, with three sounds), as appropriate,
(a) because of an error in the starting procedure,
(b) because of foul weather,
(c) because of insufficient wind making it unlikely that any boat
will finish within the time limit,
(d) because a mark is missing or out of position, or
(e) for any other reason directly affecting the safety or fairness of
the competition,
or may shorten the course so that other scheduled races can be sailed.
However, after one boat has sailed the course and finished within the
time limit, if any, the race committee shall not abandon the race
without considering the consequences for all boats in the race or
series.


While the text clearly states 'may' and not must, it only takes a look at a real life case to see how a case of abandonment can work and under what conditions it would apply:
http://raceadmin.ussailing.org/Assets/Race+Admin/Appeals/Appeals+Book+2009-2012.pdf

Case 100 out of this PDF describes a race in which a mist came up and which was subsequently abandoned after all boats had finished. The following questions are being answered:

Question 1
Is it a proper action for a race committee to abandon a race for one of the reasons listed in rule 32.1(a)-(e) after all boats have finished or retired?
Answer 1
Yes. Rule 32.1 allows a race committee to abandon such a race, provided it first considers “the consequences for all boats in the race or series.” The phrase “after one boat has sailed the course and finished” specifies the beginning of a time period that has no specified ending. Therefore, the time period does not end when two boats have finished, or when all boats have finished, or at any other specific later time.
Question 2
If abandoning such a race is a proper action of the race committee, does it make any difference whether the race committee does so while it is still on station, has left the racing area, or is on shore?
Answer 2
No.
Question 4
If a race committee abandons a race when it is on shore, is there a time limit before which it must do so?
Answer 4
No.


2.3. Conclusion
A race committee has options to ensure fairness of a race, in the most extreme case by abandoning the race. Abandoning can be done after the race has finished, without a time limit being set for doing this. While a race committee 'may' abandon a race and is thus not obliged to do so, the responsibilities of their task will mean they will often be expected to do so, if they wish their event, their racers and the platform to be taken seriously.
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Re: Official PROTEST HEARING: One World Cup Round 4

Postby Liv Leigh » Thu Feb 03, 2011 12:26 pm

3. Application for redress and subsequent abandonment of the race

Based on the conditions during the race, as described in chapter 1 of this plea and the omissions of the Race Commitee that are clear when reading chapter 2, I am going to apply for a redress, rule 62:

62 REDRESS
62.1 A request for redress or a protest committee’s decision to consider
redress shall be based on a claim or possibility that a boat’s score in a
race or series has, through no fault of her own, been made significantly
worse by
(a) an improper action or omission of the race committee, protest committee or organizing authority, but not by a protest committee decision when the boat was a party to the hearing;
(b) injury or physical damage because of the action of a boat that was breaking a rule of Part 2 or of a vessel not racing that was required to keep clear;
(c) giving help (except to herself or her crew) in compliance with rule 1.1; or
(d) a boat against which a penalty has been imposed under rule 2 or disciplinary action has been taken under rule 69.1(b).

64.2 Decisions on Redress
When the protest committee decides that a boat is entitled to redress under rule 62, it shall make as fair an arrangement as possible for all boats affected, whether or not they asked for redress. This may be to adjust the scoring (see rule A10 for some examples) or finishing times of boats, to abandon the race, to let the results stand or to make some other arrangement. When in doubt about the facts or probable results of any arrangement for the race or series, especially before abandoning the race, the protest committee shall take evidence from appropriate sources.


Abandonment

Since all boats in the race were affected by the issues I described in chapter 1, the only option left in case of a redress, will be to abandon the race. Whether this should result in a rerun of the race on the original or a shorter course, an adjustment in the scoring or any other arrangement is up to the appeal judge, I guess.

Since all four boats in the 6AM series were affected by the unfairness caused by the Race Committee's neglicence, I don't see any other fair solution in this case.
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Re: Official PROTEST HEARING: One World Cup Round 4

Postby MarkTwain White » Thu Feb 03, 2011 1:00 pm

It is Noon SLT time. Testimony in the OW Appeals Hearing is now closed.

I will issue my ruling before 10pm SLT time tonight.

I want to thank everyone that participated in the process. You were all very professional.
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Re: Official PROTEST HEARING: One World Cup Round 4

Postby Jane Fossett » Thu Feb 03, 2011 1:29 pm

Liv Leigh wrote:3. Application for redress and subsequent abandonment of the race
Based on the conditions during the race, as described in chapter 1 of this plea and the omissions of the Race Commitee that are clear when reading chapter 2, I am going to apply for a redress, rule 62:
62 REDRESS
62.1 A request for redress or a protest committee’s decision to consider
redress shall be based on a claim or possibility that a boat’s score in a
race or series has, through no fault of her own, been made significantly
worse by
(a) an improper action or omission of the race committee, protest committee or organizing authority, but not by a protest committee decision when the boat was a party to the hearing;
(b) injury or physical damage because of the action of a boat that was breaking a rule of Part 2 or of a vessel not racing that was required to keep clear;
(c) giving help (except to herself or her crew) in compliance with rule 1.1; or
(d) a boat against which a penalty has been imposed under rule 2 or disciplinary action has been taken under rule 69.1(b).

64.2 Decisions on Redress
When the protest committee decides that a boat is entitled to redress under rule 62, it shall make as fair an arrangement as possible for all boats affected, whether or not they asked for redress. This may be to adjust the scoring (see rule A10 for some examples) or finishing times of boats, to abandon the race, to let the results stand or to make some other arrangement. When in doubt about the facts or probable results of any arrangement for the race or series, especially before abandoning the race, the protest committee shall take evidence from appropriate sources.


Abandonment
Since all boats in the race were affected by the issues I described in chapter 1, the only option left in case of a redress, will be to abandon the race. Whether this should result in a rerun of the race on the original or a shorter course, an adjustment in the scoring or any other arrangement is up to the appeal judge, I guess.
Since all four boats in the 6AM series were affected by the unfairness caused by the Race Committee's neglicence, I don't see any other fair solution in this case.


When all the Round Four races were completed, I had a chance to go back and look at the results, and see how the Round 4 6am race compared to the whole regatta profile.
I'm still looking at it, but here are a couple comments:
1. If we remove the teams that were DNF, DSQ, or DNC, a total of seventeen teams successfully completed the Round Four course in one of the four time heats. The average lap time in that combined group was 46:39, with a Standard Deviation of 07:01 (assuming a normal distribution).
2. Team SVC finished the course in that ill-fated 6:00am group with a lap time nine seconds faster than the fleet average. They were runner-up to Oceans 11, who finished the course well over a minute faster than the fleet average. That's pretty great sailing considering the weather was 'not sailable.'
3. Another way to look at the results is to see how it compared to the prior three Rounds. There were four boats sailing at 6am, and their rank scores for three rounds were:
SVC: 1-2-1
O-11: 2-1-2
FIYC: 3-3-4
FLBO: 6-4-3 (the '6' was a DNS, so doesn't reflect their ability)

The Finish rank points in Round Four 6am were:
SVC: 2
O-11: 1
FIYC: 4
FLBO: 3
At 5am that morning before the start, if you wanted to place a bet on the rank order at the Finish line, you'd get short money on the above ticket.
It came out as you might guess based on the prior 3 events.

I'm not making too much of the above numbers; I'm just saying the 6am numbers actually fit within the whole fleet and across all the Rounds so far.
Last edited by Jane Fossett on Thu Feb 03, 2011 1:34 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Official PROTEST HEARING: One World Cup Round 4

Postby Jane Fossett » Thu Feb 03, 2011 1:31 pm

I apologize; I missed MTW's last note.
I wont post again here and I'll leave the post up just for interest.

I agree it should not factor into any decision.
(and I appreciate the numbers themselves actually are irrelevant, but still interesting). :-)

ADD:
Pardon me; I just saw Liv also posted the times and uses them to support her view;
GRIN-- Wow we think alike!!! (I know that's scary) :-)
I admit Liv has a point (the distribution may not be normal), if she admits she and Oceans 11 sailed a great race under bad circumstances. :-)

ADD2:
Personal comment:
Before we get whatever appeals decision emerges here, let me make a personal comment:
I think this thread is just an 'exercise.'
It's part of the process through which we might bring more 'realism' to SLSailing.
I personally don't know how well the full ISAF rules might work for SLSailing;
that's certainly a topic for another thread.
However, I want to give a shout-out to Liv, Momomos, and Noodle.
I've known Liv and Momomos a long time here,
and although we do not always agree on everything,
they are always ready to offer their advice and input,
and I'm always marvelling at the stuff they accomplish.
Noodle's a great addition to that TYC team! :-)
I'm just saying wow... I appreciate you all.

Now... what's that phrase...????

NEXT RACE!
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