This past weekend we had an interesting situation:
The sailing instructions called for two starts for ILCA 6 (Laser Radial) and ILCA & (Laser Standard) fleets. The ILCA 6s were to start first. Their sequence was to be indicated by a red flag with a white "Laser" logo. The ILCA 7s were to start second, their start indicated by a white flag with a red Laser logo.
As luck would have it, for the first start, the race committee displayed white flag with a red Laser logo -- indicating ILCA 7s -- even though the first slot was supposed to be for the 6s.
As a result, all Lasers -- 6s and 7s -- started in that first race, including myself in an ILCA 7.
After about 60 seconds into the race, once I had established my lane, I started looked back frequently at the committee, to see if there was anything that the race committee indicated around a restart. I couldn't see anything. Given the light air, there was one flag at the top of the small mast on top of the committee boat, but it was hanging limp, so no one could read it.
It wasn't until the race committee started pulling the flag down that we saw it -- blue and yellow -- the general recall signal. I'm glad I happened to be looking back at just that moment, otherwise I wouldn't have seen the signal.
My questions for this group:
What counts as a "display" of a flag? Is a flag displayed if it can't be read because it isn't flying? If so, how is this different from an unhoisted flag, which we also can't read?
And, is a flag actually displayed if it's fully flying for literally two seconds?
Yes, I understand that rule 29.2 lets a race committee execute a general recall if there's been an errror in the starting procedure, as we had here. And yes, I understand that the race committee *may* (not shall) display First Substitute. My question isn't about 29.2, but rather what counts as actually displaying a signal flag more broadly?
Bigger point, for anyone that might be on the rules committees:
"Display" comes up over 80 times in the RRS, and "signal" over 200 times, but neither term is defined. Seems like such a commonly used term should be defined. After all, "mark", which is a pretty obvious term, comes up less than "signal" (186 times).