A boat may be protested after the Crew Deadline and before the Classification Protest Time Limit (or 24 hours after a changed Crew List is posted) if:
- information, which would have led to a higher classification, was not disclosed when a competitor applied for a classification; or
- a competitor has, since being classified, engaged in activities incompatible with his classification;
.. and in either case, the boat would then break the crew limitations in the Notice of Race, Sailing Instructions or Class Rules.
These types of protest are difficult and will need close liaison with the Commission. The protest committee will also need to consider the types of Group 3 activity (see World Sailing Regulation 22.2.2 for the list of activities) in the Code and how to best assess if a competitor falls into one of these categories.
The FAQs issued by the Commission can be very helpful in applying these to different situations.
The Commission can give an indication of the types of questions and evidence that should be presented.
As with measurement protests, where the protest committee is in doubt as to the classification of a competitor, a protest committee can refer the facts found to the Commission to seek its opinion on them. The response of the Commission then binds the protest committee.
Under the Code, which changes RRS 63.3
(a), the protestee is entitled, on request, to present evidence of a personal or private nature in the absence of the protestor. The protest committee must not then record that evidence in its decision. If the protest committee, on hearing the evidence, is not satisfied that it is of a personal or private nature, it must disregard the evidence unless it is offered again in the presence of the protestor.
The penalties are set out in the Code. If the boat has not yet raced, she is not to be penalized. If she has completed a race or races, then the penalty is disqualification from each race (unless the protest arises as a result of a mandatory protest by the race committee acting on a report from the Classification Commission, in which case the penalty is at the discretion of the protest committee (see section WSJM - O6
below for more details).
The protest committee has no power to change a classification, only to determine whether it should be different. It must report its decision on a protest to the Commission, together with details of all the evidence heard by the committee (including any evidence given in private).