1) On the Water
Sailing is essentially a self-policing sport. The protest committee (PC) expects that boats will take a penalty promptly when appropriate. The primary responsibility for protesting breaches of the rules is with the competitors, not the PC.
The Jury Rooms are located downstairs from the race office, below the purple ocean restaurant in the old ferry terminal, which is next to the Royal St George Yacht Club. Before the time of your hearing, walk down the steps from the race office and you will find the jury rooms located on the left-hand side of the building. They will be clearly sign-posted. The volunteers at the race office will be happy to provide assistance.
Each party may bring observers to the hearing, unless the panel decides in a particular case that it is inappropriate. Observers must sign and comply with the requirements in the document titled Information for Observers.
The schedule of hearings will be posted on the official noticeboard, and is also available at the link below
3) Requirements to Protest
Competitors are reminded of the requirements for protest validity in rule 61. In order to comply with rule 61.1(a), it is essential that the protestee is informed of the intention to protest. If it is not possible to inform the protested boat by hailing on the water, this must be done as soon as reasonably possible, which may be upon arriving ashore. Where multiple boats are to be protested for the same incident, it is required that each is informed of the intention to protest.
Protests must be lodged as soon as possible after the incident. This also applies to protests regarding breaches of sailing instructions, class rules etc. For example, if it is discovered that a boat has broken a rule on the first day of the regatta, a protest lodged on the last day will likely be invalid. Competitors should note that the Sailing Instructions only allow measurement protests to be lodged by a boat on the first day of the regatta. After this, alleged breaches should be reported to the race committee, who may choose to take action.
4) Requests for Redress, Claiming RC Error in Scoring a Boat OCS, ZFP, UFD or BFD
Boats sometimes want to challenge the race committee’s decision to score them OCS, ZFP, UFD or BFD by requesting redress under rule 62.1(a).
Competitors are advised to consult the race officer prior to a hearing, to learn the race committee’s evidence that the boat was OCS, UFD or BFD. Evidence beyond a video or the relative positions of two boats that are scored differently is usually needed for the protest committee to find that the race committee made an error in scoring the boat OCS, UFD or BFD and to award redress.
5) Misconduct (Rule 69)
Any form of cheating, including not telling the truth in a hearing, is a breach of sportsmanship and may result in a hearing under RRS 69 and a very heavy penalty. Other examples of behaviour that would justify action under rule 69 include:
- Bullying, intimidation or discriminatory behaviour.
- Fighting and assaults.
- Theft, or damage or abuse of property.
- Abuse of any participant or official.
- Using foul or abusive language offending, or inappropriate to the occasion/location.
- Intentional refusal to comply with OA, RC or PC requirements or requests.
6) Video and Photographic Evidence
If a party to a hearing wish to bring video evidence it is their responsibility to provide adequate equipment to view the video.
7) Failure to attend a hearing
Competitors should be aware that if they fail to attend a hearing, the protest committee may proceed [under rule 63.3(b)] in the absence of one of the parties. This will not be grounds for reopening unless the panel is satisfied that the competitor had made every reasonable effort to find out the time of the hearing and to attend.
Competitors are reminded that on the last day of the regatta, it is the intention of the protest committee to hear all protests as soon as possible, including any request for redress based on decisions made that day or any requests for reopening of any case from the previous or same day. It is the responsibility of the competitors to monitor the official notice board until all hearings are concluded for the day. The protest committee will endeavour to deal with all protests as efficiently as possible, and will where possible minimise waiting times for parties.
8) Protest Committee Members
The members of the Protest Committee are: Chris Lindsay IJ, Mike Butterfield IJ, Vincent Delany NJ, Emmet Dalton NJ, Enrica Mameli RJ, Clare Hogan, Neil Murphy, Craig Evans, Jill Fleming, Mike Tyrell, John Fitz, Eunice Kennedy & Brendan Duffy.
Competitors may discuss procedure and policy with the Protest Committee Chairman. The Chairman may be contacted through the race office and will be available each day before and after sailing.