A and B were among boats racing under a rating system in a summer-long series. After its completion, B requested redress on the grounds that the race committee had used an incorrect rating certificate for A throughout the series. After the request was lodged, the rating authority confirmed that there had been an unsuspected error made by the rating authority in A's certificate ever since her first hull measurement some years previously. B then stated that the race committee should have protested A.
The protest committee found that the owner of A was not responsible for the error in the rating, nor was there any evidence that he had broken rule 78.1
. It decided that no action or omission of the race committee was responsible for the error or for its remaining undiscovered, and that therefore B was not entitled to redress. It requested confirmation or correction of its decision under rule 70.2
The decision of the protest committee is confirmed. B claimed that the race committee’s failure to protest A was prejudicial to herself and the other boats in the class. However, the race committee’s right to protest a boat under rule 60.2
(a) is clearly discretionary and not mandatory. Furthermore, in this case the report of the error in A’s certificate came after the completion of the series, and it came from the national rating authority, over which neither the organizing authority nor the race committee had any authority.
When a valid certificate is found to be defective, it may be withdrawn by the authority that issued it, but no retrospective action may be taken in regard to a completed series or any completed races in a series that is still in progress. Thus, when a current, properly authenticated certificate has been presented in good faith and a race or series has been completed, the results of that race or series must stand, even though at a later date the certificate is withdrawn.