Forum: The Racing Rules of Sailing

Exploring the absolute, bare-minimum protest filing

Angelo Guarino
Nationality: United States of America
Certifications:
  • Fleet Measurer
Paul Z's recent protest-filing post had me thinking (which as you all have found can be a dangerous thing).

What would the absolute bare-minimum protest filing look like if we went only by what the rules describe?

According to Rule 61.2 ... only a description of the incident is required at the time of filing, as items a, c, d, and e can all be provided before the hearing, which is obviously a time after the filing deadline.

In summary .. a filing must at least include:
a) the protestor and protestee; (before hearing)
b) the incident;
c) where and when the incident occurred; (before or during hearing)
d) any rule the protestor believes was broken; and (before or during hearing)
e) the name of the protestor's representative.(before or during hearing)

Furthermore, 61.2 (a) specifically states that the protestor and protestee's identity need not be provided at the time of filing (which I think is weird that the protestor is not required, but there you have it). Also, I guess it has to go without saying that the race in which the protest is being filed is required information, but is not specifically stated anywhere in the RRS that I can see.

So, if the following protest was filed in writting (either via supplied email or written on paper) within the deadline, is the following protest filing valid within the filing-deadline (and items a, c, d and e all provided in writing prior to the hearing) .. and if not, why not?

"Protest in ABC Regatta

I was on starboard, the other boat was on port. We were both sailing on a beat to windward. The port boat did not keep clear and I had to take evasive action to avoid collision"


Note, only the incident is described without naming the protestor or the protestee (which isn't required at filing). The time or place is also not indicated (not required).

Paul Z had made the comment that competitors would file more protests timely if they only knew how easy it was with the online tool. How much easier is it to only scribble/email the incident description ... excluding any specific details about who, when and where, what rules where specifically broken or diagrams?

Would be very interested in seeing arguements on both sides.

Ang
Created: 17-Oct-12 02:33

Comments

Paul Hanly
Nationality: Australia
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Can you give us a link to the on line protest tool pls
The form on this site requires very complete information and doesn't seem to get sent anywhere.
I cant see how to delete a protest I created on this site.
I cant see how to email it to an address at my club to lodge it.
A minimalist protest form is crying out for a mobile phone app as lots of yachts do not return to the clubhouse where protests are normally required to be lodged and so lodging a minimal form by email created by mobile phone app would be ideal.
Created: 17-Oct-12 03:26
Angelo Guarino
Nationality: United States of America
Certifications:
  • Fleet Measurer
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Paul H .. log-in to this website .. go to the homepage .. scroll down and the "File a Protest" link is on the bottom right of the homepage.  It generates a PDF that you can email to the PC (assuming a email address is indicated as a possible protest filing method in the SI's for the event).

This is the "tool" we are all referring to.

The point of my starting this thread is to explore which minimum fields and info are actually required within the filing deadline.

Ang
Created: 17-Oct-12 03:52
Paul Hanly
Nationality: Australia
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Thanks.
A separate mobile friendly tool requiring only the minimum amount to be valid (all the fields might be there but only the minimum would be required by the form) and allowed you to input an email address to send the form would be great.
Most people don't carry a computer with them on a yacht and certainly not in a dinghy.
The webmaster of the site might give it some thought.
Created: 17-Oct-12 06:23
Leo Reise
Nationality: Canada
Certifications:
  • International Judge
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Interesting - 
Agree that 61.2(a) can be met before the hearing according to the rules, but it will make the job of the protest committee a little difficult to fulfill its requirements under 63.2, especially at an event when SIs specify a time requirement for posting Notice of Hearings.


Question - if the information is still missing at the time the protest committee must post the Notice of Hearing, what do they post? Unknown Boat on Starboard protest Unknown Boat on Port?
 

Question - If the protest committee does not meet the SI requirement, can they "extend " the posting time limit if the information becomes available later - that is act outside the SIs?

Created: 17-Oct-12 11:48
Paul Zupan
Nationality: United States of America
Certifications:
  • National Judge
  • International Judge
  • Regional Umpire
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Can I suggest that perhaps every phone can send an email and if a competitor sends an email with a statement of the incident, doesn't that meet the requirements of 61.2?  

The purpose of the form is to provoke the competitor to provide the necessary information.  It should be easy, no question, but do we want to dumb it down so much that the jury spends their time on administrativie tasks?

And just to clear up what is pretty uniformly misunderstood, the form on RRS.org is not just meant to produce a protest form printed on a piece of paper.  It is the start of a process, captures information that is necessary, notifies the parties, notifies the jury, populates the pending hearing schedule and prepares the form used by the jury during the hearing.  It's the start of automating the process that is probably more important than what is on the form.  If relevant information is missing, it just slows the process of getting a hearing done.  So there is a balance necessary between making it easy and getting the information necessary to have an efficient hearing.
Created: 17-Oct-12 12:15
Angelo Guarino
Nationality: United States of America
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  • Fleet Measurer
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Paul Z

Can I suggest that perhaps every phone can send an email and if a competitor sends an email with a statement of the incident, doesn't that meet the requirements of 61.2?

That's the exactly the point I got out of your comments in the previous thread Paul ... and maybe the conclusion I think we'll end up with.  That within the protest filing deadline, the minimum information is so basic and simple that, if the SI's allow for an emailed filing, a simple email stating the incident (without the requirment of using a form) is all that is needed.

Of course as Leo points out, my example was meant to test the limits and is pretty rediculous ... but rediculous as it is, seems to meet the minimum.  Since Rule 61 isn't excluded in 86.1, it appears SI's can add to the list of minimum information required.

Ang

Created: 17-Oct-12 12:32
Pat Healy
Nationality: United States of America
Certifications:
  • International Judge
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I think the RR committee goofed when they ‘adjusted’ RRS 61.2 in the last cycle. The submission by the RRC Chairman (199-15) stated the purpose was, “… so that fewer protests are found to be invalid because the protest failed to state correctly where and when the incident occurred. …”. Common sense would say the test is whether the protestee can look at the written protest and prepare the boat’s defense.

The rule should require the written protest to include:
(a) the protestor and protestee AND (b) the incident, including where and when the incident occurred. 
      AND
allow changes before the end of the protest time. (i.e. the RRS 63.3 notification is correct.) 

The rest of the requirements can stay as they are. 
Created: 17-Oct-12 20:53
Paul Hanly
Nationality: Australia
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I have now had a chance to trythe  form on a phone and the mobile website is quite good.

How do you delete a protest? I created a couple to test the form but can't work out how to delete them.
 
Created: 17-Oct-13 01:09
Paul Zupan
Nationality: United States of America
Certifications:
  • National Judge
  • International Judge
  • Regional Umpire
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Well, you can't delete them.  Once you submit them, they exist and just like a paper protest, you can't just delete it.  You have to get PC approval to withdraw it.  Having said that. I beleive any judge on the PC has authority to delete it (in the case of a mistake), but can't quite remember if that is true.
Created: 17-Oct-13 01:35
Pat Healy
Nationality: United States of America
Certifications:
  • International Judge
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Allowing a protest to be withdrawn by the judge assigned to the protest desk is a common mistake. The rule talks about the Protest Committee deciding whether it can be withdrawn and there are a number of things that should be considered. No where is that authority allowed to be delegated.

If someone came up to me and said, “I now know the boat I’m protesting did their penalty turns. There was no contact and they finished last. I want to withdraw my protest,” I would probably let them. However, I know I’m putting myself on thin ice and I wouldn’t be able to complain if it broke.
Created: 17-Oct-13 02:33
Paul Hanly
Nationality: Australia
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All Ive done is submitted a form to a website to test functionality and understand how it works and see what is required.
I have not lodged it with any protest committee.
How do I delete a protest I draft but I don't proceed with from the website?
Created: 17-Oct-13 11:52
Angelo Guarino
Nationality: United States of America
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  • Fleet Measurer
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Pat H .. regarding withdrawing protest filing..

However, I know I’m putting myself on thin ice and I wouldn’t be able to complain if it broke.

I found your comment interesting.  In my experience, filing a request for a protest hearing and then requesting it be withdrawn after you discover the protestee "took a proper penalty" is pretty much the rules of the road.  This is especially true when the SI's turn-on US Appendix V2 - Penalty Taken After the Race (USS Prescriptions) or when Scoring Penalties are used and the boat taking the scoring penalty has a certain time (usually the same time limit as the protest filing) to submit their Scoring Penalty Acceptance form.

In both these scenarios, it's always been my SOP (and my recommendation to anyone who's asked) to file the protest then check the Board.  This is especially necessary as the Protestor if the filing deadline for both Protests and Scoring Acceptance are the same or very close. If the boat files their Scoring Penalty, then I file a writtten request to withdraw my protest with the explaination that the protestee took their penalty..

Seems that US Appx-V2 especially is designed to keep people out of the Hearing and avoid conveening the PC .. so having to convene to accept the withdraw-request would seem counter productive.

The ice you're on might be thicker than you're giving it credit :-)

Ang
Created: 17-Oct-13 12:56
John Siegel
Nationality: United States of America
Certifications:
  • National Race Officer
  • National Judge
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Pat Healy suggests that "no where is that authority (to permit a protest to be withdrawn) allowed to be delegated".  That's correct, but I would submit that "no where is that authority denied in the RRS".  In my experience it's pretty common for a PC to delegate that authority to the PC representative at the protest desk.
Created: 17-Oct-14 15:44
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