2017 BERG RIVER MARATHON – RACE APPEALS COMMITTEE
REPORT OF INVESTIGATION REGARDING USE OF A REPLACEMENT BOAT
During Day 2 of the race, one of the invited international paddlers, Keith Moule, broke his boat at Drieheuwels weir. He used a replacement boat to complete the approximately 4 kms of that day’s stage. Mr Moule then commenced Day 3 in a third boat, which he used for both days 3 and 4 of the race.
The Race Organising Committee imposed a 30-minute time penalty on Mr Moule for changing his boat. The Committee considered the change to the third boat to be part and parcel of the same incident, and therefore not worthy of a second 30-minute penalty.
Although no objection has been lodged against the decision of the Race Organising Committee, the Committee has requested the Race Appeals Committee to review its decision and the process followed in dealing with this incident.
We are informed that, some years ago, the then Berg Organising Committee decided to change the penalty for a competitor replacing his/her boat from disqualification to a 30-minute time penalty. This has been the standing rule since that time. However, the race rules, as published for the 2017 event, did not contain this information. They state merely that CSA rules apply. CSA rules, in turn, state that ICF rules apply. It must be noted, however, that there is provision for local race organisers to make other rules at variance with the ICF rules where this is deemed by the race organisers to be appropriate.
At the time that the incident occurred, the manager of the international team, Wayne August, informed a member of the Race Organising Committee thereof. Mr August was informed that the race rules provided for a 30-minute penalty. The incident was reported to the race commentator who relayed the incident over the public-address system, as well as the 30-minute penalty provided for in the race rules.
The Race Organising Committee then met later that afternoon and, after both confirming the rule and verifying the position with an official of CSA, implemented the 30-minute penalty. In the interim, provisional results, which did not include the penalty, had been published. However, the start batches for day three were drawn up taking the penalty into account and Mr Moule started in row 2.
APPEAL COMMITTEE FINDINGS
1. It was within the powers of the Berg Organising Committee to make the rule, which varies the standard CSA/ICF rules.
2. The race rules were correctly applied.
3. The Race Organising Committee was justified in viewing the change to the third boat as being part and parcel of the same incident.
4. The Appeals Committee is of the opinion that the Race Organisers erred in not publishing the relevant rule. Although no other paddler was directly affected by the incident, it did have an effect of overall race positions, and it is important that all competitors be aware of all race rules.
Daantjie Malan/ Brian Longley/ Mynhardt Marais