Conflict of Interest

Published on March 12th, 2018

RacingRulesOfSailing.org is an online platform that assists in the understanding of the racing rules and provides answers to rules questions. Participants are all quite skilled and offered interesting responses when Paul Zupan posted this scenario about conflict of interest:


The protest committee at a large regional event (that is a ladder event for qualification for the World Championship) is a three member panel of nationally certified judges. A protest has been received from a boat called Wicked against boat Wanton on an RRS 10 (On Opposite Tacks) question. The judges assemble and review the protest prior to the hearing.

Judge C explains to the panel that he is the coach for Wicked which is preparing for the World Championship. C explains that he has coached Wicked in two training sessions and will do two more in the future.

Judge T explains to the panel that she is normally the tactician on Wanton. She has sailed with the boat for the previous three events and will sail with the boat during the remainder of the ladder events leading up to the World Championship.

The chair of the panel requests that the parties come into the room and she starts the hearing. The situation is explained to the parties and the chair asks the parties if they have any objection to the members of the protest committee. Neither party objects.

It’s 16:30 on Sunday with the awards ceremony scheduled for 17:00. Wicked is in second and Wanton is in first in the standings.

Should the panel proceed with the hearing? Click here.



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