Wednesday, January 27, 2016

A Question for Sea Lawyers

I was just browsing the Notice of Race and Sailing Instructions for the Sailing World Cup (as one does.)

The Sailing World Cup Miami Round is under way this week and this event will be the first of two regattas by which US sailors will be selected for the 2016 US Olympic team in eight of the ten Olympic sailing classes.

Among the usual gobbledegook you find in NORs and SIs, the table below caught my eye. It defines the minimum third-party liability you need to enter each of the round of the Sailing World Cup.

Can anyone explain to me why it varies so much from country to country?

For example...

On the one hand, Australia - 5 million dollars and UK - 3 million pounds

On the other hand, USA - 300,000 dollars

And don't tell me the answer is exchange rates. The Aussie dollar and the GB pound are not THAT weak against the US dollar!

I thought the USA was the home of litigiousness, and ambulance chasing lawyers willing to sue on a contingency basis for personal injury, and outrageously high awards of damages (as well as being the home of the brave and the free, of course.)

Why do you need so much higher liability insurance to compete in the UK, Australia or Europe?


Tillerman said...

I really need to go sailing soon!

Alden Smith said...

Whoops - grammar again! - Can someone explain to me how and why the world has become so bloody complicated? I think the whole thing is the fear of litigation gone mad - none of this nonsense was around back in the good old days, now all honest sports experience tries to dodge the quagmire of drug scandals, various litigations, match fixing and corruption - bloody pathetic. Quite frankly I think we need to go back to grass roots, take the money out of the whole equation and go back to non professional weekend club sport. Run national sailing contests and club racing ourselves through the volunteer work of participants. Who needs the Olympics? Just think, a country could give an OK Dinghy (The best small yacht in the whole god damned world) to every adult person instead of paying billions to host a dubious world contest shrouded in various scandals - (Just think how cool the racing would be if everyone in your country sailed an OK DINGHY LOL

Tillerman said...

Well said Alden. I've done my share of the big regattas, Worlds, CORK, Masters Worlds, national and continental championships in my time, but I must admit that lately I am much happier participating at the "non professional weekend club sport" level.

There is just too much "faffing around" at these big events these days - in the Laser class anyway. Too many people who seem to need a "mommy boat." Lining up for ever for nit-picking measurers to find something to reject on your boat (even though the measurers at the last similar event approved it!) Crazy liability insurance requirements. NORs and SIs as long as books that read like they were written by a committee of lawyers.

That's one reason I am enjoying the RS Aero so much. Just think how cool the racing would be if everyone in your country sailed an RS Aero.

I have heard of the OK dinghy. I think my grandfather might have sailed one.

Damian said...

The first line of this piece really made me laugh. It's nice to know that someone actually reads these things.

Tillerman said...

Thanks Damian.

I was actually reading that shitload of legalese because one of my friends sailing in the event had been scored with one of those 3-letter acronyms that I hadn't heard of before. Even after reading the whole document I was still confused about what she had actually done to deserve that particular scoring penalty.

Hey. What can I say? I haven't sailed for 39 days and I am getting a serious case of cabin fever. If I don't go sailing soon I may have to write a post about obscure scoring penalties!

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