The Solstice Challenge Regatta held four qualifying events in different time slots on Saturday, June 23. The winners of those four timeslot race groups all advanced to a final race series on Sunday, June 24 in Sailors Cove.
That added up to 25 races involving 16 boats, and each boat could hold as many as five sailors. It was great fun, and a large number of sailors, spectators, and plain-old good friends came to the events and watched the competition.
The sailing conditions were very good over the weekend as well; only a few of the qualifying races were disrupted by grid problems or crashing boats, and the fleet took it in stride. During the Finals on Sunday there was significant lag in Plum Gut, the starting sim. This was certainly no surprise, given the fact that each of the four boats had four or five sailors aboard, and a large crowd was clustered on the perimeter of the starting area watching the boats cross the line.
The race teams all took this in stride, however. after all, this was certainly not the first nor the last big race for them. These teams were real pros. 🙂
As further evidence of the wonderful knowledge and experience of the fleet, in each of the four final heats a number of protests were called, involving a variety of Race Rules. The protest committee (Silber Sands (#1 Judge), Joro Aya, Bea Woodget, and Samlara Vintner) had their hands full as they efficiently – and expertly – adjudicated the protests and weighed the penalties.
After two hours of racing, the first-place slot came down to an incredibly exciting, photo-finish duel between NEW HORIZON (skippered by Armano Xaris) and FASTER PUSSYCAT (skippered by Trapez Breen).
Although I’ve already posted the race times, you may have to wait another day or two to find out who truly won. Just as the lead boats crossed the Finish line, NEW HORIZON protested PUSSYCAT and Armano’s protest was allowed by the Judges. The sailors aboard FASTER PUSSYCAT loudly disagreed with that ruling however, and moved to Appeal the judge’s decision.
Protest appeals are fairly common in RL sailboat racing, and they often happen in major SLSailing regattas as well. Given all the time, effort and enthusiasm invested by the competing teams, it made sense to give this protest a second look and affirm or reverse the protest committee’s original decision.
So, with the unanimous agreement of the Solstice Race Committee and Finals Protest Committee, the following notice was released yesterday:
The Solstice Race Committee grants the Triumphal Yacht Club team FASTER PUSSYCATS KEEL KEEL the right to an extraordinary appeal in Finals Race #4.
In yesterday’s Finals fourth heat, Trapez Breen and Armano Xaris were involved in a protest event on the last leg as they approached the Finish line.
The Judges considered the protests, and ruled in favor of Armano’s NEW HORIZONS. PUSSYCATS was scored ‘DSQ.’
However, sailors aboard PUSSYCATS immediately asked to appeal the judges’ finding.
For this Regatta, the Appeals Committee consists of members of the Race Committee that are present for a given heat and available to hear the appeal motion.
In this case, Kentrock and Jane are both members of the Race Committee and were also present ‘on the water’ during heat #4.
They witnessed the event-in-question and heard the judge’s discussion. However, neither Kentrock nor Jane were judges for yesterday’s regatta.
As Regatta Chair, I rule that Jane Fossett made an error yesterday by not formally hearing PUSSYCAT’s Appeal.
The Race Committee/ Appeals Judges will correct that error now, and hear the appeal this week.
Kentrock and Jane will represent the full Race Committee in that process.
Here is how we will manage the hearing: In the next 24hr, each skipper will submit a notecard to Jane Fossett explaining his/her understanding of the event-in-question, the protest, and the race rules as they apply.
The Finals Race Judges will also submit a notecard on their rulings in this instance.
Kentrock and Jane will then review that information.
They will also consider the material already posted online about this protest, the transcripts from all the chat threads during the race,
and the opinions of sailors as needed.
Kent and Jane will then post an Appeal decision.