Case 44
Rule 5, Rules Governing Organizing Authorities and Officials
Rule 62(a), Redress
Rule 64.1,Decisions: Standard of Proof, Majority Decisions and Reclassifying Requests
A boat is not permitted to protest a race committee for breaking a rule. However, if she tries to do so, her ‘protest’ may meet the requirements of a request for redress, in which case the protest committee shall treat it accordingly.
In the sailing instructions for a multi-class event, instruction 18 provided for the starting line and first mark to be laid so that the first leg would be sailed to windward. After the race committee did so and had started one class, the wind backed some 55 degrees. The Finn class was next to start, but the first mark could not be moved, since the prior class was still sailing towards it and was well short of it. When the Finns started, none could fetch the first mark on a single tack, but subsequent further backing of the wind permitted some to do so. Boat A "protested the race committee", asserting that, under rule 84 and the definition Rule, sailing instruction 18 was a rule and the race committee had broken it.

The protest committee was satisfied that the first leg of the course was not a "windward" leg within the meaning of the sailing instructions. On the other hand, it found no evidence to suggest that, within the terms of rule 62.1(a), A's score in the race or series had, through no fault of her own, been made worse because the first leg was not a "windward" leg. The protest committee ruled that the results of the race were to stand.

A appealed, asserting that her protest had not been based on a claim for redress under rule 62.1(a). It was based simply on the fact that the race committee had failed to comply with sailing instruction 18, a rule, and with rule 5, which bound race committees to be governed by the rules. The protest committee had based its decision on rule 62.1(a), which was, in her opinion, incorrect. To allow a race to stand when it had not been sailed as required by the rules contravened rule 5 and could not come within the scope of rule 62.1(a).

The racing rules do not permit a race committee to be protested or penalized. However, the protest committee recognized A’s invalid ‘protest’ as having met the requirements of a valid request for redress under rules 62.1(a) and 62.2, and correctly acted under rule 64.1(c) to treat it accordingly. It found that there was no evidence that A’s score or place had been made worse by an improper action or omission of the race committee. Accordingly, A’s appeal is dismissed.

GBR 1978/8
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