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Re: The Unspoken PFD Conundrum [Re: Team_Cat_Fever] #209641
04/27/10 03:29 PM
04/27/10 03:29 PM
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Jake Offline
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Originally Posted by Team_Cat_Fever
If you get knocked out the inflatables are useless. The auto ones will deploy on a cat due to the amount of spray and a manual won't do a thing when your bell got rung. To me they are WAY less safe than a CE approved vest, yet they are deemed CG certified and if I recall the logic was they are more comfortable and users are more likely to wear them. Exactly the same argument FOR a CE approved vest.


With all your gear on I doubt you would float face up with a regular PFD anyway (lots of rear flotation in the harness)...so if you're unconscious, you still have a problem...though at least you have a better chance at being near the surface.


Jake Kohl
-- Have You Seen This? --
Re: The Unspoken PFD Conundrum [Re: Jake] #209642
04/27/10 03:31 PM
04/27/10 03:31 PM
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Roanoke Island ,N.C.
Team_Cat_Fever Offline
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Originally Posted by Jake
Originally Posted by Team_Cat_Fever
If you get knocked out the inflatables are useless. The auto ones will deploy on a cat due to the amount of spray and a manual won't do a thing when your bell got rung. To me they are WAY less safe than a CE approved vest, yet they are deemed CG certified and if I recall the logic was they are more comfortable and users are more likely to wear them. Exactly the same argument FOR a CE approved vest.


With all your gear on I doubt you would float face up with a regular PFD anyway (lots of rear flotation in the harness)...so if you're unconscious, you still have a problem...though at least you have a better chance at being near the surface.


It's still gonna be fun to watch your eyes bug out when I yank your "chain".


"I said, now, I said ,pay attention boy!"

The cure for anything is salt water - sweat, tears, or the sea
Isak Dinesen
If a man is to be obsessed by something.... I suppose a boat is as good as anything... perhaps a bit better than most.
E. B. White
Re: The Unspoken PFD Conundrum [Re: Tony_F18] #209643
04/27/10 03:32 PM
04/27/10 03:32 PM
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From what I have observed over the years.

The US rules have evolved from:
-requiring a pfd on board
-requiring a pfd to be worn while racing
-requiring a USCG Type-X pfd to be worn while racing

Re: The Unspoken PFD Conundrum [Re: Isotope235] #209644
04/27/10 03:36 PM
04/27/10 03:36 PM
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Isotope235 Offline
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In all fairness, I should also say that I am not entirely happy with this prescription either. I believe that US SAILING's intent was to make the sport safer (by providing a racing penalty for failure to carry appropriate life-saving equipment). Unfortunately, they did it in the context of law enforcement. That makes competitors, race committee, and especially protest committee responsible for interpreting law - which is not our area of expertise. The USCG regulations are not all cut-and-dried, and I certainly don't look forward to researching state and local laws when I attend a regatta. Likewise, I don't want to turn a competitor over to a LEO just to get a competent opinion.

Sailors will already be upset for getting disqualified - imagine how unhappy they'll be getting fined too.

Regards,
Eric

Re: The Unspoken PFD Conundrum [Re: Isotope235] #209648
04/27/10 03:48 PM
04/27/10 03:48 PM
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Annapolis, MD
Mark Schneider Offline
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Quote
I ask you the same question. What makes you think the rules shouldn't apply to you?


Ah... but its not ME....

It's my Class and their collective unwritten consensus that has decided that the CE/USG and Type 4 rule is not relevant to sportsmanship, competition in the class, nor is this disruptive to the general order of sailboat racing world wide.

Your example speaks to the unfair interference of one sailor with the race of another sailor. The RRS managed the conflict.

I don't see the parallel to this issue. My not having a thowable does not impact on your racing. My wearing a CE vest does not interfere with your racing. My competitors in the class don't care either.



crac.sailregattas.com
Re: The Unspoken PFD Conundrum [Re: mikekrantz] #209649
04/27/10 04:18 PM
04/27/10 04:18 PM
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Isotope235 Offline
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Regarding:
Originally Posted by Tony_F18
From what I understand it isnt even required to actually wear the PFD? But it must only be easilly accesible?
So basically you could stuff both into a bag and tie it to the tramp and no-one would be able to protest you?
(Assuming you sail in open-class obviously).
Originally Posted by mikekrantz
From what I have observed over the years.

The US rules have evolved from:
-requiring a pfd on board
-requiring a pfd to be worn while racing
-requiring a USCG Type-X pfd to be worn while racing

Now, I'm no expert on USCG regulations, let alone state or local boating laws. Furthermore, there are several exceptions, and exceptions to the exceptions the way things are written. Also, US SAILING has no control over when, where, and how the laws may change. That said, here are some of the basic laws/rules as I understand them:
  • Children under 13 must either wear an appropriate USCG approved PFD, or be below deck in an enclosed cabin.
  • If RC has correctly displayed code flag "Y", competitors must wear PFDs while racing. Rules 27.1 and 40 do not specify that the worn PFDs meet any particular certification standard.
  • A recreational vessel may not be used unless at least one USCG Type I, II, III, or V PFD is on board for each person. Furthermore, the PFDs must be readily accessible, in good condition, and of an appropriate size.
  • USCG Type V PFDs only count as being aboard if they are being worn, and may only be used by persons 16 years or older.
  • If the recreational vessel is 16 or more feet long, it may not be used unless a Type IV (throwable) PFD is on board in an immediately accessible location.

Except for children under 13 years old, or when the "Y" flag is flown, or for Type V PFDs) there is no requirement that PFDs actually be worn - just that they be on board.

Except for children under 13, there is no requirement that the PFD worn be USCG certified - just that certified PFDs be on board.

Regarding the "Y" flag, there is an ongoing discussion in the race management community. Some people feel that RC should use it when prudent. Others think it's a de-facto admission of liability and an invitation to lawsuits. The skipper of each boat is ultimately responsible for the safety of all those on board.

Regards,
Eric

Re: The Unspoken PFD Conundrum [Re: Isotope235] #209652
04/27/10 04:30 PM
04/27/10 04:30 PM
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Class rules and Offshore Regs also come into play. Quite often, PFDs are specifically required to be worn.

Lots of OAs like to "emphasize" the point by adding language for PFD requirements to NORs and SIs. As a PRO, all I care about is whether such language conflicts with the "trump" rules, such as class rules or RRS (including Rx). The RRS tells us what can (or cannot) be changed by SIs...

Interesting point about the throwables on 16 foot boats. Most, if not all, Hobies at points regattas fall into this size range, and I think I can count on one hand how many throwables I've ever seen on any Hobie Cat in a points regatta. I've never seen a protest for this at a Hobie event, either. That would be an interesting way to "win" a North Americans...

Mike

Re: The Unspoken PFD Conundrum [Re: brucat] #209653
04/27/10 04:37 PM
04/27/10 04:37 PM
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Long Beach, California
John Williams Offline OP
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Mike and Eric - this is the sort of discourse I was hoping for from you two in particular. Thanks for your continued indulgence.


John Williams

- The harder you practice, the luckier you get -
Gary Player, pro golfer

After watching Lionel Messi play, I realize I need to sail harder.
Re: The Unspoken PFD Conundrum [Re: Mark Schneider] #209654
04/27/10 04:55 PM
04/27/10 04:55 PM
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Isotope235 Offline
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Originally Posted by Mark Schneider
Quote
I ask you the same question. What makes you think the rules shouldn't apply to you?


Ah... but its not ME....
Does that mean you acknowledge that this rule does apply to you, and that you are obligated to comply, whether or not anybody protests you?

Quote
It's my Class and their collective unwritten consensus that has decided that the CE/USG and Type 4 rule is not relevant to sportsmanship, competition in the class, nor is this disruptive to the general order of sailboat racing world wide.

Try weighing "collective unwritten consensus" against "authoritative written rule". Sportsmanship includes following the rules. Implicit group collusion to ignore the rules does not constitute good sportsmanship.

Quote
Your example speaks to the unfair interference of one sailor with the race of another sailor. The RRS managed the conflict.

I don't see the parallel to this issue. My not having a thowable does not impact on your racing. My wearing a CE vest does not interfere with your racing. My competitors in the class don't care either.

Personally, I don't care what PFD you choose to wear either. My point is that you both rationalized your infractions with the argument of "no harm, no foul". Furthermore, both you and he blame not yourselves for breaking a rule, but others for enforcing it.

If you break a rule (especially with premeditation and intent), don't blame someone else when you get penalized. It is your own fault.

Re: The Unspoken PFD Conundrum [Re: brucat] #209655
04/27/10 04:58 PM
04/27/10 04:58 PM
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Originally Posted by brucat
I've never seen a protest for this at a Hobie event, either. That would be an interesting way to "win" a North Americans...

Mike

But...if you are at an event which uses foreign charter boats I guess they would qualify as "passing through" and then the USCG requirement wouldn't apply?

Re: The Unspoken PFD Conundrum [Re: Tony_F18] #209656
04/27/10 05:13 PM
04/27/10 05:13 PM
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Isotope235 Offline
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Originally Posted by Tony_F18
But...if you are at an event which uses foreign charter boats I guess they would qualify as "passing through" and then the USCG requirement wouldn't apply?

Yes, I said there were exceptions to the exceptions. Foreign nationality boats throws another variable into the equation. I hope this shows why I don't relish the thought of adjudicating one of these protests.

Regards,
Eric

Re: The Unspoken PFD Conundrum [Re: Tony_F18] #209657
04/27/10 05:16 PM
04/27/10 05:16 PM
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Originally Posted by Tony_F18
Originally Posted by brucat
I've never seen a protest for this at a Hobie event, either. That would be an interesting way to "win" a North Americans...

Mike

But...if you are at an event which uses foreign charter boats I guess they would qualify as "passing through" and then the USCG requirement wouldn't apply?


That would apply to the "foreigners" but if a US sailor won on a US boat in US waters...

And now we've officially come full-circle back to the original post in this thread. frown

Mike

Re: The Unspoken PFD Conundrum [Re: Isotope235] #209659
04/27/10 05:25 PM
04/27/10 05:25 PM
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Annapolis, MD
Mark Schneider Offline
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Quote
If you break a rule (especially with premeditation and intent), don't blame someone else when you get penalized. It is your own fault.



Who am I blaming?

Don't tag me that way... I have repeatedly said.. the rules apply. If protested... I will either RAF (you were correct) or Go through the hearing and get DSQ'd.

Look... as Sarah Palin would note... I am one of those fish just going with the flow set out by the class

Mike notes how few of the Hobie sailors carry a throwable in points regattas ... They are also going with the flow.

Quote
Sportsmanship includes following the rules. Implicit group collusion to ignore the rules does not constitute good sportsmanship.


Hmm... playing basketball... the rules describe a foul. Every player understands the court rules and what the threshold for a foul is. At the NBA level... you don't see a player standing up and calling a foul on himself. When there is a consensus of the competitors that the aformentioned rule is not significant to the competitive game. I assert that this is not poor sportsmanship... Your milage may vary.

The interesting question is what role does the PRO and Race Committee and marks boat people have in enforcing these rules.

Should they go looking for violations?

Should they listen to competitors who want some one else to raise the issue and go check out the gear of tagged sailor and file the protest?

Should they ignore the complaint and tell the competitor to file their protest themselves?

Should someone in another class on the race course be able to protest this violation?



crac.sailregattas.com
Re: The Unspoken PFD Conundrum [Re: Mark Schneider] #209660
04/27/10 05:38 PM
04/27/10 05:38 PM
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Vancouver, BC
Tornado Offline
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Originally Posted by Mark Schneider

Look... as Sarah Palin would note... I am one of those fish just going with the flow set out by the class


Actually, I think her quote was something about being all mavericky and going against the flow...dead fish "go with the flow"

smirk


Mike Dobbs
Tornado CAN 99 "Full Tilt"
Re: The Unspoken PFD Conundrum [Re: Mark Schneider] #209664
04/27/10 07:12 PM
04/27/10 07:12 PM
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Isotope235 Offline
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Originally Posted by Mark Schneider
Who am I blaming?

If I've misunderstood your previous posts, I'll gladly retract my statements. Perhaps you can shed some light on:
Originally Posted by Mark Schneider
If protested by a class member who does not exercise good judgment, I will dsq myself before the hearing and allow the class members to deal with the aftermath.
and
Originally Posted by Mark Schneider
...some individuals will use the rules as a weapon to win.
and
Originally Posted by Mark Schneider
If the class you sail in does not have members with good judgment... instead of changing the vest... change the class or switch to a class with no fools!
and
Originally Posted by Mark Schneider
I think the choices are Change the Class... or Change classes.
where it looks to me like you plan to blame other competitors if they ever enforce this rule.

Also:
Originally Posted by Mark Schneider
If the PRO or RC protests me... I will dsq myself and never return to the event.
where it looks like you will blame RC.

Quote
Don't tag me that way... I have repeatedly said.. the rules apply. If protested... I will either RAF (you were correct) or Go through the hearing and get DSQ'd.

Look... as Sarah Palin would note... I am one of those fish just going with the flow set out by the class

Really, I don't want to tag you or anybody that way. I'd be much happier to be wrong, but when you say things like:
Originally Posted by Mark Schneider
My observation is that the class members ignore this prescription.... therefore, I choose to fall in line with the class philosophy.
that sounds uncomfortably like "everybody else cheats so why shouldn't I?".

Quote
At the NBA level... you don't see a player standing up and calling a foul on himself. When there is a consensus of the competitors that the aformentioned rule is not significant to the competitive game. I assert that this is not poor sportsmanship...
I wouldn't hold up the NBA as the epitome of sportsmanship.

Here's another anecdote. A couple of years back, I was helping out on RC for a Special Olympics regatta. In one of the classes (sailed on Hobie 16s), each athelete was paired with a "unified partner". Coming up to the finish line in light wind, I saw one partner blatantly and repeatedly ooching. I said to her "You're ooching" and she replied "that's what they teach us to do in college sailing". I then said "This is not college sailing, we expect a higher standard here".

At the professional level, you can count on sailors using any rule they can to beat another boat. After all, that is what they're paid for. At the club level, sailors let a lot of infractions slide because social harmony is more important than winning. In a sport with "corinthian values", however, this places a higher ethical standard on the sailors to obey the rules without outside enforcement.

Quote
The interesting question is what role does the PRO and Race Committee and marks boat people have in enforcing these rules.

Should they go looking for violations?

Should they listen to competitors who want some one else to raise the issue and go check out the gear of tagged sailor and file the protest?

Should they ignore the complaint and tell the competitor to file their protest themselves?

Should someone in another class on the race course be able to protest this violation?

I refer you again to the "Basic Principle" section of the rules:
Quote
Sportsmanship and the Rules
Competitors in the sport of sailing are governed by a body of rules that they are expected to follow and enforce. A fundamental principle of sportsmanship is that when competitors break a rule they will promptly take a penalty, which may be to retire.
Sailing is a self-policed sport. The competitors themselves are primarily responsible for enforcing the rules. Note the fundamental principle of sportsmanship means that you take a penalty when you break a rule - even if you aren't protested.

While race committee may protest (see RRS 60.2(a)), they are usually under no obligation to do so (exceptions exist). When competitors are in a position to witness and infraction and protest but do not, RC rarely takes it upon themselves to do so. Think of it as a hierarchy of responsibility:
  1. You are primarily responsible for following the rules.
  2. If you don't, competitors are primarily responsible for enforcing them.
  3. If RC witnesses an infraction where competitors could not, RC may enforce them. RC also enforces rules when appropriate, such as starting penalties and measurement violations. Protest Committee can also get involved if the need arises.
Sometimes, RC does perform safety inspections (especially for youth regattas). I have heard equipment protests filed by RC regarding lack of personal safety equipment witnessed on the dock.

A boat may protest a boat in another class. The rules don't make any distinction on class membership.

Sincerely,
Eric
US SAILING Certified Judge
Member Area D Appeals Committee

Re: The Unspoken PFD Conundrum [Re: Isotope235] #209669
04/27/10 09:39 PM
04/27/10 09:39 PM
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Asuncion, Paraguay
Luiz Offline
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Sea lawyers/politicians tend to act as if properly written regulation could protect people from everything and anything - even from their own ignorance. This is simply not true.

The real answer is education. Informed people CHOOSE to wear a proper jacket for safety, not because it is required by a rule.

As a result, the rules become longer and more complex every year. Sailors will soon need legal advisors to compete. Actually, a few olympic teams already include lawyers. If it continues this way only lawyers will be able to compete... Hey! Maybe this is their secret goal!

You know how some governments tax more than is legal? They make complex/long/contradictory regulations to the tax law, so that it becomes (nearly) impossible to comply with it. Then people become permanently exposed to extorsion and fines.

The complete ruling on any issue should be inconstitutional if it is too complex/long/contradictory to be understood and complied with.

Anyway, about ten years ago I decided that what I like is sailing, not rules, so I simply don't cross the finish line anymore. It works. I have all the fun and zero exposure to sea lawyers.

Have fun!

Last edited by Luiz; 04/27/10 09:42 PM.

Luiz
Re: The Unspoken PFD Conundrum [Re: Isotope235] #209671
04/27/10 10:14 PM
04/27/10 10:14 PM
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Annapolis, MD
Mark Schneider Offline
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Eric
This is becoming a semantic argument on the meaning of terms "cheat" and "blame".

Obviously, I am not bent out of shape at the catch 22 necessity to nullify the US Sailing prescription. The class I sail in does not have a problem with this nullification. As a judge, it would be inappropriate for you to agree with any move to nullify one of the rules.

I reject the use of the loaded words of "cheat and blame".

Quote
My observation is that the class members ignore this prescription.... therefore, I choose to fall in line with the class philosophy.
that sounds uncomfortably like "everybody else cheats so why shouldn't I?".


You say cheat... I say the class (or 100 percent of the sailors in the class in the last three years that I have encountered in the class) ignores that prescription and chooses not to enforce that rule. The term would be nullify.

I use the word cheat to mean that I seek an advantage through some shady or unethical means or breaking a rule to gain an advantage. When there is no advantage gained or lost I believe the term cheat is mis applied. Ignored or nullified would be a better word.

You suggest that I am blaming an individual who chooses to ignore the class culture and file a protest based on this prescription. The word blame to me means that I assign some misplaced moral judgment on the individual and defer some of my responsibility to the individual filing this protest.

I would say that I have identified an individual who was uninformed about the class culture with respect to this prescription. He was essentially ignorant of this unwritten rule. I don't blame that individual. I chose to not follow the rule and follow the class culture. I am clear that I accept responsibility and am not shifting any of that to the protesting individual.

I would assign BLAME to someone who was NOT ignorant of the class unwritten rule and used the Class 4 rule as a weapon to get a win in the jury room in defiance of years of class history. I can't say he would be cheating, he is exercising the letter of the rule ... I would blame him for his unsportsmanlike behavior in getting a win this way.

My statement about changing the class or change classes is simply a practical course of action when the culture is in doubt

With respect to regattas and PRO's.
Just like I don't return to regattas that don't spell out the class splits before hand because in my opinion they don't demonstrate good judgment or follow the guidelines for an official notice of race. I would not choose to return to a club that chooses to have their PRO go out of the way to challenge the class culture on this rule.

I take responsibility for my nullification of the Sailing prescription... the PRO takes responsibility for people not showing up the next year. I would not use the word blame to describe this turn of events. I would use the word accountability.



crac.sailregattas.com
Re: The Unspoken PFD Conundrum [Re: Mark Schneider] #209675
04/27/10 10:38 PM
04/27/10 10:38 PM
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South Florida & the Keys
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I am not responding to anyone or taking a side, I just can't see myself checking my race mate's PFD.

I understand that safety is paramount. I do everything that I can to comply and a few more things as well. I admit that I don't know the tecnical differences between the two devices. Why would somebody competing with me give a crap about what PFD I am wearing? Are CE PFD's faster? Am I getting an unfair advantage? Is it just a way to win when you didn't win? Rules are rules, I get that.. But come on... win at all cost? For whatever reason?


Eric Arbogast
ARC 2101
Miami Yacht Club
Re: The Unspoken PFD Conundrum [Re: Isotope235] #209687
04/28/10 03:52 AM
04/28/10 03:52 AM
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Off topic, but I just learned this recently after getting into a discussion with a college racing team person. The person that was ooching was not cheating by college rules, and most probably aren't informed that they have their own set of rules so they don't know any better. The person I was talking to was certain they were right, so I did some research and found these links.

from: http://www.collegesailing.org/archive/2009-2012_PR_And_2009_CDCR.pdf
7.4.2 RRS 42.2(c) is changed to read: “Except on a beat to windward, when surfing (rapidly
accelerating down the leeward side of a wave) or planing is possible, ooching (sudden
forward body movement, stopped abruptly) is permitted in order to initiate surfing or
planing.”


I also said something to the effect that changes would have to be in the NOR, and they said it wasn't. Near the top of the above link it says that in an ICSA regatta that this document is to be considered in the NOR.

Originally Posted by Isotope42


Here's another anecdote. A couple of years back, I was helping out on RC for a Special Olympics regatta. In one of the classes (sailed on Hobie 16s), each athelete was paired with a "unified partner". Coming up to the finish line in light wind, I saw one partner blatantly and repeatedly ooching. I said to her "You're ooching" and she replied "that's what they teach us to do in college sailing". I then said "This is not college sailing, we expect a higher standard here".

Member Area D Appeals Committee

Re: The Unspoken PFD Conundrum [Re: John_C] #209689
04/28/10 05:21 AM
04/28/10 05:21 AM
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Cape Town, South Africa
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My take :
If the rules of the country say you must wear a USCG compliant pfd for you to sail offshore, whether racing or not, then you`re breaking the US law by not doing so. Separate issue from the Sailing Instructions altogether.
If the SI or NOR say the pfd must be USCG certified, it`s a closed subject. Don`t comply, don`t race.
My opinion on why the RO did not disqualify the girl in John`s original post : They would have to disqualify half the fleet from the regatta after the regatta was run. Not good for getting them to come back next event. They should have either issued a warning at the skipper`s briefing, or dsq-ed those guilty after the first race, and given them time to return to shore to change pfd`s before the 2nd race (not always possible, but a reasonable way to resolve this). By issuing a warning to only the winner, they have acted rather badly in my opinion, as the rest of the fleet did not receive the same treatment.
The question of which one is more comfortable, floats you better etc is not relevant, until you get the law changed.

Curious question : How does the CG feel about you floating at sea in a non-CG certified pfd when they pick you up, are you then liable for the cost of the rescue mssion ? Can you justify this by saying your CG certified one is strapped to the tramp of your recently sunk catamaran ? If so, you`d better be sure it sank. wink

I`m just contributing to this thread as I see two distinctly separate issues here : Obeying the rules of sailing, and obeying the law. When the SI`s refer to a specific law to be obeyed, then there is no room for not doing the right thing, even if it`s uncomfortable, which "safe" pfds almost always are, and life-vests even more so, unfortunately.

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