Submitting a late protest

Published on August 17th, 2020

The World Sailing Racing Rules Question and Answer Service is to support Race Officials, Member National Authorities and World Sailing Class Associations whereby they may submit questions through World Sailing concerning the Racing Rules of Sailing (RRS). This inquiry concerns submitting a late protest.

Situation:
A few days after an event concludes, boat A learns from photographs posted at the event media website that boat B may have broken a rule during the event. The alleged breach happened during a long-distance race where it was not possible for boat A to notice it. Boat A delivers a protest as soon as possible after learning about the evidence.

Question 1
When the race office is not available anymore, does delivering the protest to the organizing authority meet the requirements in rule 63.1 and the sailing instructions, if the wording follows Appendix L?

Answer 1
Yes. The protestor may deliver the protest to the organizing authority.

Question 2
Does the protest committee of the event have jurisdiction over such a protest?

Answer 2
Yes. Since the protest concerns an incident during the event, the original protest committee appointed by the organizing authority of the event has jurisdiction over such protest unless the organizing authority decides to appoint a different protest committee to consider the protest.

Question 3
If the answer to question 2 is yes, can the protest committee extend the time until after the event concludes and for how long?

Answer 3
The protest committee shall hear all protests and requests for redress that have been delivered to the race office, unless it allows a protest to be withdrawn. When establishing the validity, the protest committee shall extend the time limit if there is a good reason to do so. It is not possible to give a fixed time as to how long a protest committee should allow as it would depend on a number of factors.

NOTE: From 2021, rule 90.3(e) will be introduced. The new rule makes it possible to prescribe in the notice of race a time, after which there shall be no changes to race or series scores. This may make such a protest moot, unless it is for other purposes.

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