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Can you bring a phone along or papers when you race?

ClaVaPa1

New Member
I do often find myself going out alone, and for safety reasons I bring a phone along.

My question is if I can still do this during races and If I am allowed to stick a piece of paper with weather data inside the cockpit.
Don't worry, I still haven't tried, and I am asking because I want to stick to the rules and don't get an unfair advantage over others.

After a long university break from racing I signed up at a local club with no coach, just to save (quite a lot of) cash.
This actually makes me quite unique in the fleet, mostly because litterally everyone in Italy attends races with a coach, that offers support, data and motivation.

I just want to whip my phone / paper sheet out for some reminders and info before and after the races...
 

LaLi

Well-Known Member
No restrictions on notes that you can take with you on board. A phone, however, counts as "outside assistance" which isn't allowed.

_
 

ClaVaPa1

New Member
No restrictions on notes that you can take with you on board. A phone, however, counts as "outside assistance" which isn't allowed.

_
Understood, will have to find a solution for safety during races, last year at a national, I found myself with no wind, no one willing to give me a tug, and barely enough light to make it back to shore. Just not keen to repeat that.
 

Wavedancer

Upside down?
Staff member
Racing is defined in the RRS. It starts at the preparatory signal and ends when you finish (properly).
Therefore, it's my opinion that using your phone after (or before) Racing is OK.

I should mention that the RC (and the helpers) should look out for you, and see if you need help of some sort. This should include dragging you home, if necessary.
 

kraken

New Member
No restrictions on notes that you can take with you on board. A phone, however, counts as "outside assistance" which isn't allowed.
I have been racing for decades and have never heard of this interpretation of outside assistance. Unless there is some Laser specific class rule against certain instrumentation, there is no problem with a phone. It's no more outside assistance then a starting watch or other tactical devices commonly used. Now, if the phone is used to get coaching while racing that would be a violation. However, it would not be a violation to get information like weather or tide / current data which is "freely available to all competitors." Note that "freely available" has been interpreted to mean free as in no subscription or other fees, not open to everyone who wants to buy it (for example, the paid version of Predict Wind).

So go ahead, bring your phone, and even feel free to use a free racing app if you like. Just don't call your coach in the middle of a race :)
 

LaLi

Well-Known Member
if the phone is used to get coaching while racing that would be a violation.
That’s the big ”if” :rolleyes: The problem is that you’d have the ability to easily get outside help, and you may have a hard time to prove that you were reading pre-recorded notes instead of your coach’s text messages :oops:

And as this in the ”Laser talk” section: the Laser class rules do prohibit all ”electronic equipment” except a compass and a timing device.

_
 

AlanD

Former ISAF Laser Measurer
Understood, will have to find a solution for safety during races, last year at a national, I found myself with no wind, no one willing to give me a tug, and barely enough light to make it back to shore. Just not keen to repeat that.
There is a legal requirement under International Maritime Law, for them to provide assistance to any vessel in distress. Distress can be in many forms but it could include getting back to shore in a safe and timely manner. This applies to not just the coach boats but also the boats used by the race committee (start boat, course laying boats, jury boats etc). There is also a major onus on the race committee to make sure that all competitors are safely back on shore before they leave the water.
 

kraken

New Member
That’s the big ”if” :rolleyes: The problem is that you’d have the ability to easily get outside help, and you may have a hard time to prove that you were reading pre-recorded notes instead of your coach’s text messages :oops:
Well it's unreasonable to presume that because someone has the ability to cheat that they are in fact cheating, and and such accusation would have to be backed by actual evidence. I think the jury would place the burden on the party making such an accusation, as it's pretty hard to prove a negative. This rule concerning outside assistance is the same for keelboats, and I assure you, every keelboat crew member has their cell phone on board.

And as this in the ”Laser talk” section: the Laser class rules do prohibit all ”electronic equipment” except a compass and a timing device.
Class rules are a completely different issue and, in my own defense, I did say that unless there is a class rule provision. As you said, rule 22(e) prohibits the "use" of electronic equipment not otherwise permitted:

(e) Any use of electronic equipment not specifically allowed in the rules is prohibited unless the rules are modified by the sailing instructions.

Note the term "use of" as opposed to "possession." If a racer has a phone in his or her possession and they do not use it, then they are not violating rule 22(e). So if the OP wants to carry a cell phone or a VHF handheld that's okay. He could even use it in between races, even to check in with a coach. Further, he could petition his OA to make a provision in the SIs to make whatever changes he feels are needed.
 

kraken

New Member
Holy crap, I just looked at Intensity. $500 for an electronic compass that is nothing more than an electronic compass!??!!? I think I'll go into business making these... I'll add a timer feature too.
 

beldar boathead

Well-Known Member
Holy crap, I just looked at Intensity. $500 for an electronic compass that is nothing more than an electronic compass!??!!? I think I'll go into business making these... I'll add a timer feature too.
Look at the Nautalytics before you spend big bucks developing a digital compass.
 

kraken

New Member
Thanks that one seems reasonable. I like the big digits and orange backlighting. Still at $300 people are making good money, and no license issue with the class. But it’s a niche product so I can see why the price is high.
 

AlanD

Former ISAF Laser Measurer
Class rules are a completely different issue and, in my own defense, I did say that unless there is a class rule provision. As you said, rule 22(e) prohibits the "use" of electronic equipment not otherwise permitted:

(e) Any use of electronic equipment not specifically allowed in the rules is prohibited unless the rules are modified by the sailing instructions.

Note the term "use of" as opposed to "possession." If a racer has a phone in his or her possession and they do not use it, then they are not violating rule 22(e). So if the OP wants to carry a cell phone or a VHF handheld that's okay. He could even use it in between races, even to check in with a coach. Further, he could petition his OA to make a provision in the SIs to make whatever changes he feels are needed.
You then need to take into account what the class fundamental rule says. To paraphrase, it's illegal unless the class rule says it's legal. So having it in your possession is illegal, because the class rules do not say you can have it in your possession.
 

ProATC

Active Member
That is the first mistake when interpreting law or rules, never paraphrase. If you cannot interpret or cite the rule directly, then your are adding only conjecture making matters complicated, muddying the waters, if you will. To paraphrase what you said, since the class rules don't mention that eating on your boat is legal, then it must be illegal. I think for the purposes of safety for ClaVaPa1, I wouldn't protest, if that was his intention. If he is sailing in waters with a bunch of "coaches" who knows if they would mention something to their sailor.
 

beldar boathead

Well-Known Member
I have been in a few regattas that have (either in SIs, NOR, or maybe both - cannot recall) that having a phone or radio aboard is illegal. That clarified things!
 

AlanD

Former ISAF Laser Measurer
That is the first mistake when interpreting law or rules, never paraphrase. If you cannot interpret or cite the rule directly, then your are adding only conjecture making matters complicated, muddying the waters, if you will. To paraphrase what you said, since the class rules don't mention that eating on your boat is legal, then it must be illegal. I think for the purposes of safety for ClaVaPa1, I wouldn't protest, if that was his intention. If he is sailing in waters with a bunch of "coaches" who knows if they would mention something to their sailor.
Ok, I paraphrased; I wasn't in a position at the time to type out or copy the actual rule. As you may not be aware, I was an International Measurer for the Laser Class, unlike most people on the forum or even the internet, I probably understand the class better than most, yet you don't complain about their interpretations. There is only one person in the world that can make an interpretation of the Laser Class rules and that is the World Measurer. Other measurers from district to international can make interim decisions until an official interpretation is received. Those official interpretations are usually discussed amongst the other international measurers and the class technical committee before being issued.

Whilst each re-issue of the class Measurement By-Laws cancels all previous issues, one of the things we look at in making decisions in making interpretations is the historical changes in the rules. So let's have a look at the class rules historically.

In 1998 Electronic Compasses were banned. They really weren't around before then for something suitable for a laser that was economically viable.
In 2012 Rule 22 was extended and clarified that timing devices were permitted, the use of all other electronics were banned, with the exception of an timing device that included an electronic timing device as long as it was worn on the wrist. Importantly the history section of the By-Laws specifically state that mobile (cell) phones, radios and cameras are prohibited, unless modified by the sailing instructions.
In 2017 the rules on compasses were modified to permit electronic compasses as long as they were not capable of GPS tracking. Further to this Rule 22(d) was introduced states that "A compass or Timing Device must not be capable of displaying, delivering, transmitting, receiving, calculating, correlating or storing information about wind speed, wind direction, boat speed or boat position." The rule about other electronic equipment use remained. Cameras were also permitted at the same time (Rule 28).

So back in 2012, the mobiles phones were specifically mentioned and prohibited in the introduction to the measurement bylaws. In 2017 the specific rule stating that electronic equipment other than timing devices was further modified and extended to permit digital compasses, however limitations on what timing devices and compasses could do were introduced. So what does that mean for the mobile phone? All mobile phones are also clocks and hence a timing device. Are mobile phones capable of transmitting, receiving or storing information about the wind or boat position? Yes, they can receive a phone call on and get told the wind is 15 knots from the NE or let someone know that you’re out sailing on the bay. So they are banned under Rule 22(d). The OP wanted to whip out the phone and check "reminders and info before and after the races"; well if it's about the wind it would be illegal as its stored digital information, potentially about the wind, so his intent of the use of the phone makes it clear that its purpose was illegal.

Rule 22(e) could permit the carrying of mobile phones as long as it's written in the sailing instructions. There is a precedence of carrying of illegal equipment like GPS trackers (used at the Olympics and some other events), which are not permitted under Rule 22(d), so the sailing instructions could permit the carrying of mobile phones. Any discussion about having the item inside a bag not being used, as apposed to in use is largely irrelevant because it's already prohibited under 22(d).

Let’s also consider the mobile phone as a piece of safety equipment. My oldest handbook is 1993, and the wording remains unchanged say that "Any additional equipment required by an International, National or other governing authority for safety purposes may be fitted or carried provided it is not used in contravention of the Fundamental Rule. However, the governing authority only recommends the carry of equipment, then it is not a "requirement" and hence illegal. In Australia we had this situation, when it used to be a requirement that all boats were fitted with a stainless steel tow ring of a certain diameter etc., this was changed to being recommended and suddenly tow rings on lasers became illegal. The grey are in this rule is that a piece of safety equipment can't be used in contravention of the Fundamental Rule, it can be carried but not used during racing from my reading of it. I'll point out that sailing instructions normally refer to governing authorities and hence their safety requirements, so sometimes this may conflict with the fundamental rule (New Zealand used to run a 24 hour laser race with navigation lights set up on the boats). But it still comes back to a competitor can't decide themselves to carry something which is a piece of safety equipment unless it is a requirement that everyone carries it.

As for your comments on the fundamental rule, it specifically talks about the hull form, construction, equipment placing of equipment, fittings etc .... as supplied by the builder except when such an alteration or change is specifically authorised by Parts 2 or 3 of the rules. Part 3 includes Rule 22. At no stage does the fundamental rule discuss consumption of food which most people would not consider a banana a piece of "equipment". However, I'm sure the World Measurer would happily respond to any discussion you want to have about whether eating broke the fundamental rule. While you're at it, bring up drink bottles are aren't actually mentioned in the Measurement By-Laws but have often appeared in the interpretations.

So in brief. The carrying of a mobile phone breaches rule 22(d), its presence on the boat is prohibited, not just it's use. Rule 22(e) could be applied if the sailing instructions specifically permitted mobile phones to be carried but not used during racing. A mobile could be considered a piece of safety equipment, but only when there is a specific requirement for a governing body for all competitors to carry one, a bit grey on whether it is permitted to be used during racing, but probably not permitted under the fundamental rule.
 

kraken

New Member
Wow, so much stuff here it's hard to know where to begin...

In summary:

1 - Class rules and the RRS only apply while actually racing.
2 - "Use" does not equate to "possess" and there is support for this in the class rules.
3 - The rule against outside assistance is not part of laser class rules but rather part of RRS, and needs to be interpreted accordingly.

There is only one person in the world that can make an interpretation of the Laser Class rules and that is the World Measurer. Other measurers from district to international can make interim decisions until an official interpretation is received.
Wait, what? In this class, the entire field of class rules interpretation is occupied by a single person? Worldwide? Who writes and approves the rules? Who appoints this person? Does this person have a defined term? You're saying that this person is essentially answerable to no one? His or her decisions set precedent and are not subject to any review?

Whilst each re-issue of the class Measurement By-Laws cancels all previous issues, one of the things we look at in making decisions in making interpretations is the historical changes in the rules. If there is an appeals decision somewhere that shows I am wrong, please link us to it.
Legislative history is often instructive, but generally not relied upon unless for some reason the plain language of the statute (or in this case rule) is unclear. While it's true that the standard for deciding if language is unclear can vary depending upon the type of document and the age of the provision, the idea remains that it has to be unclear. But okay...

So back in 2012, the mobiles phones were specifically mentioned and prohibited in the introduction to the measurement bylaws. In 2017 the specific rule stating that electronic equipment other than timing devices was further modified and extended to permit digital compasses, however limitations on what timing devices and compasses could do were introduced. So what does that mean for the mobile phone? All mobile phones are also clocks and hence a timing device. Are mobile phones capable of transmitting, receiving or storing information about the wind or boat position? Yes, they can receive a phone call on and get told the wind is 15 knots from the NE or let someone know that you’re out sailing on the bay. So they are banned under Rule 22(d).
This is a bridge too far. First, you're arguing against your own point. If cell phones were banned in 2012 but that restriction was lifted later, then there was an affirmative action that allows cell phones. To argue that a cell phone is a compass, merely because it can function as a compass under certain circumstances, is specious. If the approvers of the class rules had intention to continue to ban cellphones under the notion that they count as a compass, then (1) they didn't need to remove the language specific to cell phones and (2) they really should have defined "compass" differently. They did neither. Now, if you were to argue that a racer using a compass app on his phone, and the compass app uses GPS data, is banned during a race, I can find support for that in the class rules.

Further you go on to say:

The OP wanted to whip out the phone and check "reminders and info before and after the races"; well if it's about the wind it would be illegal as its stored digital information, potentially about the wind, so his intent of the use of the phone makes it clear that its purpose was illegal.
For any given boat, racing begins at the preparatory signal and ends when that boat has completely crossed the line. "Before and after races" clearly means, he is not racing. So he can gather all the information he wants when he is not racing, whether he is sitting on his boat or has returned to the dock or whatever. He is not racing. Then you say "well if it's about the wind..." So you are willing to assume that everyone who uses a phone is cheating? This is all well established through the RRS cases and appeals process.

There is a precedence of carrying of illegal equipment like GPS trackers (used at the Olympics and some other events), which are not permitted under Rule 22(d), so the sailing instructions could permit the carrying of mobile phones.
I do not dispute that the SIs could allow or prohibit carrying a cell phone, regardless of whether it is even turned on.

Any discussion about having the item inside a bag not being used, as apposed to in use is largely irrelevant because it's already prohibited under 22(d).
Well it's not, as I said, because a cell phone is not a compass (there is nowhere in the class rules or RRS that defines a compass to include cell phones), because legislative history stated by you demonstrates that an earlier ban on cell phones was lifted. And again, rule 22 contemplates "use," not mere possession. The term "use" is well understood and there is nothing in the class rules to define "use" otherwise.

Let’s also consider the mobile phone as a piece of safety equipment. My oldest handbook is 1993, and the wording remains unchanged say that "Any additional equipment required by an International, National or other governing authority for safety purposes may be fitted or carried provided it is not used in contravention of the Fundamental Rule.
Emphasis added. This is support in the class rules for drawing a distinction between use and mere possession.

As for your comments on the fundamental rule, it specifically talks about the hull form, construction, equipment placing of equipment, fittings etc .... as supplied by the builder except when such an alteration or change is specifically authorised by Parts 2 or 3 of the rules. Part 3 includes Rule 22. At no stage does the fundamental rule discuss consumption of food which most people would not consider a banana a piece of "equipment".
Again, you argue against your own conclusion. You're right that it does not discuss food, but let's take a look at the entirety of the relevant paragraph:

No addition or alteration may be made to the hull form, construction, equipment, type of equipment, placing of equipment, fittings, type of fittings, placing of fittings, spars, sail and battens as supplied by the builder except when such an alteration or change is specifically authorised by Parts 2 or 3 of these Rules. (emphasis added)

The scope of "equipment" discussed is limited to that which was "supplied by the builder." A fair and strong argument could be made that any such equipment not supplied by the builder is not impacted by the fundamental rule. Support for this proposition is the existence of rule 22, as compasses are not supplied by the builder as part of the hull or rig and therefore need independent regulation.

So the fundamental rule does not apply to this discussion. Drysuits, boots, gloves, PFDs are all "equipment" but would you argue that they can not be used because of the fundamental rule? Can we use a grease pencil to write on the deck?

However, I'm sure the World Measurer would happily respond to any discussion you want to have about whether eating broke the fundamental rule. While you're at it, bring up drink bottles are aren't actually mentioned in the Measurement By-Laws but have often appeared in the interpretations.
Please supply some links to interpretations from an appropriate body that speaks to this. I'm not saying they don't exist, but it would be very interesting to see how water bottles are somehow considered equipment under the fundamental rule. In fact, any written decisions that interpret the fundamental rule would be helpful.

So in brief. The carrying of a mobile phone breaches rule 22(d), its presence on the boat is prohibited, not just it's use. Rule 22(e) could be applied if the sailing instructions specifically permitted mobile phones to be carried but not used during racing. A mobile could be considered a piece of safety equipment, but only when there is a specific requirement for a governing body for all competitors to carry one, a bit grey on whether it is permitted to be used during racing, but probably not permitted under the fundamental rule.
Rule 22 clearly uses the term "use." Use is not possession, and there are other places in the class rules where use and possession are distinguished. If this has actually been litigated by a jury or if the class association has issued a written opinion on this topic, or even issued written guidance, please point us to it. Your arguments just don't support your conclusions.

To add a bit, a reading of rule 22, IMO, indicates it is intended to ban integrated instrument systems like those used on keelboats and also self contained instrument packages, such as those that use a GPS to help with start line approaches and the like. Rule 22(a) contains the phrase "Electronic, self-contained, digital compasses using only magnetic input are permitted."

I agree that:

1 - Rule 22 bans the use of a cell phone during a race if it is running a sailing tactical application.
2 - RSS bans the use of a cell phone if it is being used to gain outside assistance

However, I find no support for the argument that mere possession of a cell phone, or even certain uses of it, during a race is prohibited. Certainly I see no rule prohibiting use of a cell phone between races for any purpose whatsoever.
 
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ProATC

Active Member
I think the rules needs to be updated regarding cell phones, Smart Phones, etc., to include an iWatch, which is an extension of an iPhone. A lot of technology has occurred since 2012, last update. Also, and this is no offense to AndyD (who I respect as a past Measurer) or any other World, Local or International Measurer, measuring boats for legalities is one thing, but it does not include whether someone is carrying or using a cell phone during the race. I highly doubt that a cell phone lying in the cockpit of a boat going through an inspection would yield a fail from a measurer. If a person is using a cell phone on the race course during a race, it is up to the individual racers to file a protest against said racer. I guess if the RC or committee boat sees a violation they could report it (I'm not too certain about this being in the rules, I could be wrong). If there is a protest from a racer, then the Protest Committee would have to rule on the matter. And in my experience with the law in general, no lawyer knows exactly how a judge (or Protest Committee in this case) will rule. Anyone with multiple protest experience can probably attest to thinking they had a clear case to win, only to be ruled against.

Back to the original post, I always say safety first, and if ClaVaPa1 (or anyone else) uses their cell phone outside of the race, I personally would not protest. It would be no different than having a coach at the race, who most likely is on a cell phone checking weather, and talking to them outside of the race.
 

beldar boathead

Well-Known Member
Kraken, I’m not sure what your purpose is, but a lot of your arguments don’t make a lot of sense. A good example of this is:
The scope of "equipment" discussed is limited to that which was "supplied by the builder." “ A fair and strong argument could be made that any such equipment not supplied by the builder is not impacted by the fundamental rule. “. Under that theory you could use a spinnaker on your Laser.

If you are that concerned with the legality of having a phone on board, Id contact the class and ask.

I agree with ProATC that some updates are needed. And it does not seem fair that you can get coaching after the race from a coach on a boat, but you couldn’t talk by phone to someone on shore with a view of the course.
 

kraken

New Member
Kraken, I’m not sure what your purpose is, but a lot of your arguments don’t make a lot of sense. A good example of this is:
The scope of "equipment" discussed is limited to that which was "supplied by the builder." “ A fair and strong argument could be made that any such equipment not supplied by the builder is not impacted by the fundamental rule. “. Under that theory you could use a spinnaker on your Laser.
I'm not at all concerned about having a phone on board.

I'm certainly not arguing that anything not covered by the fundamental rule is permitted. There are plenty of rules to cover a variety of things.

My point is that the wording of the fundamental rule qualifies it's scope to the boat's standard equipment. What that equipment is, is also covered in the rules. This all makes sense, but you can't just read the fundamental rule as if it was infinitely broad, covering all aspect of everything. Such broad rules become vague, and then become impossible to interpret.

BTW, a race committee can protest a competitor. Then it's up to the protest jury to decide the case. And yes, you never know what a jury will come up with.
 
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AlanD

Former ISAF Laser Measurer
Wow, so much stuff here it's hard to know where to begin...
Firstly go read the class by-laws instead of making stuff up.

22(a)One compass mounted on any part of the deck or the cockpit is permitted if the hull cavity is
not pierced by anything other than the fasteners. Compasses may not be fitted to inspection
ports. An additional wrist mounted compass is permitted. Electronic, self-contained, digital
compasses using only magnetic input are permitted.
22(b)Timing devices are permitted.
22(c)A timing device and electronic compass may be integrated in the same device.
22(d)A compass or timing device must not be capable of displaying, delivering, transmitting,
receiving, calculating, correlating or storing information about wind speed, wind direction, boat
speed or boat position.
22(e)(Any use of electronic equipment not specifically allowed in the rules is prohibited unless the
rules are modified by the sailing instructions.


Almost everything you wrote is covered by 22(d). A mobile phone is a timing device capable of displaying, delivering, transmitting, receiving and storing infomation about wind speed, wind direction or the boats position. Further, because of they way they work, capable of calculating and correlating a boats speed or position. It is irrelevant if the phone has a compass app etc. At no point does 22(d) mention the word "use", it is solely discussing what is permitted on a laser when racing. You can go get your phone between races from a support boat, it's just not permitted on the boat when racing, even if it's inside a storage bag.

Yes, the World Measurer is the sole person that can make interpretations that have a life beyond an event. Generally until the 1st January the following year when the modified class rules are issued. However, there is a list on the website of equipment deemed illegal.

The class rules are written by the Technical Committee. They also modify the class rules to clarify interpretations made by the World Measurer, in doing so they clarify the rule, making the interpretation no longer required.

All other measurers can only make interim decisions that last the length of an event, this is covered in By-Law 4 (iii).

In a protest a jury will ask the event measurer to provide the technical support on the class rules, i.e. what rule applies. It's not up to either group to interpret the rules.
 
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ProATC

Active Member
A mobile phone is a timing device capable of displaying, delivering, transmitting, receiving and storing infomation about wind speed, wind direction or the boats position.
If you are talking about an iPhone or similar Smart Phones I would agree with you. People still carry and use flip phones (beater phones), and the like, that perform none of those functions. So ClaVaPa1 could use/carry/store/race with on his boat one of those.
 

AlanD

Former ISAF Laser Measurer
If you are talking about an iPhone or similar Smart Phones I would agree with you. People still carry and use flip phones (beater phones), and the like, that perform none of those functions. So ClaVaPa1 could use/carry/store/race with on his boat one of those.
I thought the most basic function of a phone was to receive or make a phone call. If a phone is capable of doing those functions, it's capable of the person at the other end letting you know what the wind is doing or you letting them know where you are, if the same phone has a clock display then it's prohibited under 22(d). You could find one of the original bricks ....
 

beldar boathead

Well-Known Member
I'm not at all concerned about having a phone on board.
Since virtually your entire post at 12:59 PM was about cell phones, I was under the impression you were concerned about them on board.

I see you are new to the class. Despite the fact the class doesn’t work perfectly, it has thrived for 50 years and has been an Olympic class for quite a while. So I personally think you should have confidence that the organization of the class pretty much makes sense. If it didn’t, the class would have imploded by now.
 

kraken

New Member
Firstly go read the class by-laws instead of making stuff up.
I am absolutely not the one making things up and I absolutely read the class rules. I even correctly parsed them.

Here is the entire text of rule 22:

22. COMPASS, ELECTRONIC EQUIPMENT AND TIMING DEVICES
(a) One compass mounted on any part of the deck or the cockpit is permitted if the hull cavity is not pierced by anything other than the fasteners. Compasses may not be fitted to inspection ports. An additional wrist mounted compass is permitted. Electronic, self-contained, digital compasses using only magnetic input are permitted.
(b) Timing devices are permitted.
(c) A timing device and electronic compass may be integrated in the same device.
(d) A compass or timing device must not be capable of displaying, delivering, transmitting, receiving, calculating, correlating or storing information about wind speed, wind direction, boat speed or boat position. (e) Any use of electronic equipment not specifically allowed in the rules is prohibited unless the rules are modified by the sailing instructions.

(e) Any use of electronic equipment not specifically allowed in the rules is prohibited unless the rules are modified by the sailing instructions.

Your entire argument rests on your made up notion that a cell phone is a compass. Nowhere in these class rules is compass defined, yet there are other definitions. Therefore we rely on the ordinary meaning of the word compass:

noun
an instrument for determining directions, as by means of a freely rotating magnetized needle that indicates magnetic north.
the enclosing line or limits of any area; perimeter: You can find anything you want downtown within the compass of ten square blocks.
space within limits; area; extent; range; scope:the narrow compass of the strait; the broad compass of the novel.


The class rules do specify an "electronic compass" so we can accept that it's an electronic device that indicates direction.

Further, notice how the heading distinguishes between a compass, a timing device and electronic equipment, as separate items. It even goes so far as to say that a compass and a timing device can be combined.

At best, a cell phone is "electronic equipment" and therefore is governed by 22(e) which clearly says "use of..." and not possession of.

This is not some twisted, unrealistic, unnatural interpretation. I based my argument on ordinary rules of interpretation, which apply in most of the free world (okay, maybe not in Italy). Remember, this entire dispute is: May someone have a cell phone on the boat during a race. It is not, may someone use a cellphone as navigation equipment, may someone use a tactical app while racing, may someone receive text messages coaching them during a race, none of that. A fair argument can be made that the rules prohibit that stuff. Whats I am taking issue with is your assertion that merely having a phone on board violates class rules and also RSS 41, even between races when boats are not actually racing.

I'm still waiting for links to the written interpretations of "fundamental rule" that prohibit water bottles. Will you be providing that, and any other links to actual interpretations that in any way support your assertion that a cell phone is considered a compass? Now if that exists, things change. But until then, I stand by my claim that a cell phone is not a compass, that it instead other electronic equipment and as such its actual use of which is prohibited, not mere possession. And even then, only while actually racing, since the class rules and RSS have no force except during a race.
 

kraken

New Member
I thought the most basic function of a phone was to receive or make a phone call. If a phone is capable of doing those functions, it's capable of the person at the other end letting you know what the wind is doing or you letting them know where you are ....
Let me blow your mind. You have kitchen knives in a drawer. That knife is capable of cutting food. You could therefore use it to cut food. If it can cut food, it can cut a person. You could therefore use it to cut a person and kill them. But you don't do that, do you? Or will you advocate banning kitchen knives?

Just stop assuming everyone who can cheat does.
 

kraken

New Member
No it's Alan that is concerned about having cell phones on board. I have no issue with it at all.

I see you are new to the class. Despite the fact the class doesn’t work perfectly, it has thrived for 50 years and has been an Olympic class for quite a while. So I personally think you should have confidence that the organization of the class pretty much makes sense. If it didn’t, the class would have imploded by now.
Hm... I don't dispute much of that, but... Have you seen any of the litigation going on?
 

AlanD

Former ISAF Laser Measurer
Rule 22(e) is irrelevant to the discussion. So the word "use" doesn't come into the equation. So forget that whole argument.
Rule 22(d) covers mobile phones as they have are timing devices with the ability of making or receiving a call, where information about the wind or the boat's position can be transmitted, hence they are prohibited as pieces of equipment to be on the boat when racing.
 

beldar boathead

Well-Known Member
I'm still waiting for links to the written interpretations of "fundamental rule" that prohibit water bottles. Will you be providing that, and any other links to actual interpretations that in any way support your assertion that a cell phone is considered a compass? Now if that exists, things change. But until then, I stand by my claim that a cell phone is not a compass, that it instead other electronic equipment and as such its actual use of which is prohibited, not mere possession. And even then, only while actually racing, since the class rules and RSS have no force except during a race.
Are you sure you don't care about carrying a phone on your boat as you claim?

And just out of curiosity, did you recently buy your first Laser to sail, to race, or just to argue about rules you say you don't care about?
 

beldar boathead

Well-Known Member
Hm... I don't dispute much of that, but... Have you seen any of the litigation going on?
The litigation is pretty much due to the former builder LP, and that litigation is over. The fact the class was able to break away from LP is a great sign of extreme functionality and willingness to change.
 

kraken

New Member
Are you sure you don't care about carrying a phone on your boat as you claim?

And just out of curiosity, did you recently buy your first Laser to sail, to race, or just to argue about rules you say you don't care about?
At first I cared about accurate information being posted in response to the OPs question, and then I became intrigued by the bizarre insistence that a cell phone is a compass. Finally, I was offended by the repeated insistence that because a person is equipped to cheat, that he or she will cheat. This last bit is particularly concerning since it comes from someone who is a former official in the class association.

If you feel I am wrong, then demonstrate how my argument is in error. I have used standard rules of interpretation in support of my position. Alan has supported his position by simply repeating it, and no one has bothered to explain why the class rules don't actually say what I think they say.

As for arguing, I could as easily point out the Alan is also arguing, yet you choose to come after me about it. Is it that you just don't like dissenting opinions, or are you making some implication? I'm quite sure what I care about, there is no need to read anything in it that's not there.

Finally, if you don't like my posts, feel free not to read them. However, other people may be interested in a different point of view.
 

ProATC

Active Member
kraken, I truly appreciate your point of view, which to me is not different but accurately points out that the rules do not automatically infer (which others have) that 'possession' of a cell phone in your boat during a race is an infraction. The "use" of electronic equipment....is a different story. Also, I was trying to picture myself or someone racing, one hand on the sheet, the other on the tiller, and trying to hold a iPhone shoulder to ear to listen to a delayed weather report. :rolleyes: Or, better yet, trying to tap the weather icon, missing the button and mistakenly starting a FaceTime call with my wife, then cursing at the phone to which Siri replies, "I cannot seem to find that on the internet." :mad: And, then I turtle the boat on the start line and have both beldar and Alan run me over, because I was obviously beating them at that point! ;)

Rule 22(d) covers mobile phones as they have are timing devices with the ability of making or receiving a call....
Alan, I'm afraid you've done it again, you are trying to make an inference about all mobile phones. That, to me, is just wrong. If that was truly the case whenever the rule was written, and whomever the person was that specifically wrote that language is a true novice at correctly writing rules, and all rules written by said person should be heavily scrutinized. If the rule was last corrected in 2012 (can't remember if that was what I read earlier in this thread), and they are supposedly updated yearly, why haven't the rules been corrected since then to specifically state "mobile phones?" Doesn't seem that difficult to update one rule. Or, maybe, since it never happens or nobody cares to protest someone about it, the Rules Committee doesn't know it is a problem.

Sorry kraken that this thread turned on you and became personal (not cool:() versus an adult discussion on the OP's question. I feel a lot better about carrying my smart phone while I race, I have a lot of good ammo to fight with now if there ever is a question. :D
 

AlanD

Former ISAF Laser Measurer
Whatever. I have better things to do in life than waste my time with people who whose to read what they want as opposed to what is written and who are just upset because the rules don't agree with their viewpoint. Take it up with the world measurer and the technical committee.

148A.jpg
 
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Cactus Cowboy

Well-Known Member
Horsies!!! And a doggie too... nice pic!!! I like the construction of that near fence, looks very workmanlike... :cool:

As for phones, I usually left mine in the car prior to each voyage, but I wasn't racing and I had no other reason for a phone during party voyages. ;)

Who needs a phone if ya already have a friend or date aboard? If it rang, I'd probably hurl it overboard, lol. :rolleyes:
 

Cactus Cowboy

Well-Known Member
Somehow, that last line o' mine reminds me of a humorous incident involving a cell phone... my nephew used to work at a pizza joint on Newport Avenue in O.B. (or Ocean Beach, Kalifornia), not far from the foot of the pier. Place was popular due to its location, and many of the younger set would hang out there to party & socialize. Well, one evening, as the place was crowded and going off, some young hand got too wasted and he stumbled into the can to puke in the toilet. His cell phone was in his shirt pocket, so when he leaned over or bowed down to the porcelain god, the phone slipped out of his pocket and fell with a splash into the cr@pper, lol. :eek:

Here's where the story gets funny... this young hand was heller drunk, and when he saw his phone take a dive into the toilet, he just said to hell with it and FLUSHED the damned phone, BWAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!! Of course, the phone got stuck in the pipes and caused a massive back-up, a regular plumbing nightmare which cost the restaurant owner a few bucks to set straight. Now, an interesting observation could be made here upon human psychology, especially where modern technology is concerned. Haven't any of you ever wanted to "flush" your phone and be done with it? I know I have, and I once took a hammer to a phone that gave me grief... solved the problem, that's for sure, lol. ;)

I just wanted to share that humorous anecdote with y'all... life's too damned short to be arguing, aye? Maybe that's why I never really got into racing, though I like watching the Cup races and all. I already have too much competitive bull$h!t to deal with in real life, and sailing is SACRED to me, it's almost SPIRITUAL due to the personal freedom I find out there, ya know? Y'all go ahead and argue if you want, I've seen everything from fisticuffs to crackheads with Uzis, this will be no different... might even be entertaining at times, lol. Moi, I'm still racking my brain for a way to take my three cats with me if I relocate, and I might still take 'em with me no matter where I go... :rolleyes:

CARRY ON!!! Cue the line from 'ZULU' with the color sergeant telling the troops: "ALRIGHT... NOBODY TOLD YOU TO STOP WORKING!!!" :cool:

P.S. When I was living in the White Mountains, I took a problematic old desktop computer to an outdoor firing range in the middle of nowhere, then proceeded to BLAST that computer (monitor, tower, hard drive, etc.) with a lever-action .45-70 rifle, big ol' slugs tearing through that p.o.s. and ventilating it like nobody's business. This blasting was actually like THERAPY, since the computer had given me so much grief in the past. I highly recommend doing this if you're angry or frustrated with a technological device... show the damned thing who's BOSS, LOL. Believe me, you'll feel better for it... I KNOW I DID!!! I even posted pics of the damage and destruction afterward, but those were posted at another website, where they met with unanimous approval, LOL. :D
 
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