Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Laser Battle

There was an interesting battle between two of the world’s top Laser sailors, Tonci Stipanovic from Croatia and Tom Burton from Australia, at the Sailing World Cup regatta a few weeks in Hy√®res.

Going into the 8th race, Stipanovic had a total of 42, with a worst score of 8, which he could exclude, and Burton had a total of 57, with a worst score of 33, which he could exclude. So, if Burton ended the 8th race with a bad score, Stipanovic could be well placed, even if he also had a bad score.  
Going downwind, Burton and Stipanovic were both on starboard with Burton clear ahead. Then Stipanovic established a leeward overlap with Burton. Stipanovic luffed and Burton responded and both boats sailed parallel courses for about a minute and half, both losing a significant number of places and Burton yelling "F** off, proper course" to Stipanovic.

At the finish, Burton was 31st and Stipanovic was about the same. Burton protested and requested redress.
Without peeking at the actual case, can you guess what rules, if any, were broken and what the jury did with respect to Burton and/or Stipanovic for the protest? 
What about the redress?

Bonus points - can you name a big Laser Olympic grudge match where match racing tactics were also a factor in deciding the winner?


  1. I did read about this so I know basically what Rule was broken and what the protest committee decided. But I still have some questions about what other Rules came into play to support the protest committee's decisions on scoring, so I am looking forward to reading your account.

    As to the last part of the question, I think Scheidt and Ainsile had one, if not two, epic match races like this in the last race of the Olympics - for a similar scoring reason to do with the discard. I would have to Google to find out the exact year or years this happened.

  2. Waiting for you-know-who......


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