The Notice of Race is, in effect, an agreement or contract between the organizers of the event and the competitors. The organizers set out the conditions under which they are prepared to run the event and competitors use the information to decide whether they will invest the time, effort, and money to attend.
It is therefore important that the Notice of Race contains the information necessary to enable a competitor to decide whether or not to compete in the event. Competitors need information on variations from the racing rules, advertising, eligibility, (crew weight restrictions, nationality, measurement or rating certificates, etc.), type of courses, alternative penalties, scoring, and prizes, together with the other requirements of RRS J1
. A wise judge will use Appendix J and the Notice of Race Guide of Appendix K to review the Notice of Race and ensure that all the required information is covered, and that the standard wording is used for consistency and to prevent future problems.
However, even after a thorough effort, changes to the Notice of Race may be necessary (e.g. harbor blocked by a vessel or available radio frequencies changed by government authority). In most cases competitors will understand and accept the change; but changes must be kept to a minimum. For example, someone who ships his boat from Australia to Europe has a right to complain, and perhaps a right to compensation, on finding that the terms of the contract have been altered to such an extent that he would not have come had he known.
Check the Notice of Race and the Sailing Instructions for any differences or omissions of the requirements of Appendices J, K, and L. Appendix K advises that care should be taken to ensure that there is no conflict between a rule in the notice of race and a rule in the sailing instructions. If there is conflict between the Notice of Race and the Sailing Instructions rules in the notice of race, the sailing instructions, or any of the other documents that govern the event, RRS 63.7
instructs the protest committee to apply the rule that it believes will provide the fairest result for all boats affected when deciding any protest or request for redress. However, good practice is to amend the Notice of Race and/or Sailing Instructions as soon as the conflict is discovered.
The Chairman and Vice-chairman of the protest committee (and, if possible, the other members) should review the Sailing Instructions before the final draft is agreed upon. Members should send their comments to the Chairman who reviews these before submitting them to the Race Committee. All members of the protest committee should review the final document so that any corrections can be suggested to the race committee before the competitors' briefing. However, last minute changes should be limited to only those required to sail the regatta.