Case 48
Rule 63.2, Hearings: Time and Place of the Hearing; Time for Parties to Prepare
Part 5 of the racing rules aims to protect a boat from being unfairly treated, not to provide loopholes for protestees. A protestee has a duty to protect herself by acting reasonably before a hearing.
Boat Y was protested by boat X over an incident between them. Y was disqualified, and she appealed. 

Her appeal alleged that, contrary to rule 63.2, Y's helmsman became aware that a hearing was being held only when he was told to attend it; he was refused permission to read the protest outside the hearing room but was required to read it while the hearing was in progress; and he was not given a reasonable time to prepare a defence.

The protest committee commented upon the appeal as follows: the time of the hearing was posted on the official notice board; X's protest was lodged with the race office and was available for reading for well over an hour prior to that time; her helmsman informed Y's helmsman that the protest had been lodged; he made no effort to prepare a defence; and he had to be summoned from the club's dining room when the protest committee, the other party, and the witnesses were assembled and ready to proceed.

Y's appeal is dismissed for the reasons given by the protest committee in its comments. Y's helmsman knew that his boat was being protested, and it was his duty to protect himself by acting reasonably, which included seeking out X's protest form, reading it, and using the ample time available to prepare his defence.

GBR 1980/5
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