Section H
Best Practice of the International Jury During the Event
The Initial Meeting of the Protest Committee
The more members who arrive during pre-racing activities, the better. At the latest, all members should be in attendance the day before racing commences. This allows for the competitors, regatta staff, race management and judges to get to know each other. It also allows the protest committee to be available to respond to questions about measurement or equipment inspection or the Sailing Instructions and other
race documentation. If it is not practical for all members to arrive early, there should be at least a majority of the panel present including either the chairman or vice chairman.

The entire protest committee should meet on the day before the first race.

The most important duty is a last-minute check of the Sailing Instructions. Correcting a mistake may avoid many hours spent in later hearings. However, at this late stage it is important to limit changes to those that are essential changes. 

Any changes thought necessary to the Sailing Instructions must be approved by the race committee unless the protest committee has been specifically authorized to initiate changes. Diplomacy during this first interaction is very important. It is often that a cooperative first experience between the race committee and the protest committee will lead to respect between the race committee and the protest committee over the event.
Procedure for Casual Questions from Competitors
Before the event the protest committee should decide how to answer queries from competitors about a regatta procedure or the rules. 

This procedure is recommended for responding to inquiries from competitors or coaches: 

If the question is not complicated, the answer is straightforward, and the judge is confident of the answer, the judge should answer the question. 

  • However, the judge should emphasize that the opinion expressed is his own opinion and the opinion of the protest committee might be different. If the competitor wishes an official answer to the question, he should submit it in writing and the Jury’s answer will be posted on the Official Notice Board. 
  • If the answer is not clear to the judge, he should say so and ask for the question to be submitted in writing in order for an answer from the protest committee to be provided. 
  • If the judge thinks that other competitors might have the same question, then the competitor should submit the question in writing to the Jury. The Jury will post the question and their answer on the Official Notice Board. 
Fairness and impartiality should be maintained with even the most difficult competitors. The tone used should be patient but firm. If the competitor begins to debate the answer, avoid an argument, and ask for the question or questions to be provided in writing. Individual judges should never act alone with a difficult competitor. If you are alone and an argument seems likely, delay any discussion until another member of the Jury is present or request that the competitors’ question be put in writing. 
Protest Committee Policy on Protests Initiated by the Protest Committee
The protest committee should discuss and agree on guidelines for protests initiated by the committee when they observe an infringement (e.g. rule 31). Generally, the judge who has knowledge of the incident discusses it with the chairman. They decide whether or not to lodge the protest. It is important to not discuss the incident with the other members of the protest committee, so that they may judge the matter at the hearing without prior knowledge from any discussion. Although it is the protest committee as a body which brings a protest against a boat, the duty of filing the protest form is delegated to individual protest committee members. 
Pre-Race Meeting with Race Committee Chairman, Principal Race Officer and Other Officials
A meeting should be arranged before racing begins between the jury members and the chairman of the race committee, the principal race officer and other key personnel, e.g. safety officer. The objective of this meeting is to develop a spirit of cooperation as well as a level of mutual understanding and respect. The chairman or representative of the jury also should meet with the measurement personnel and review the wet clothing control equipment and equipment weighing procedure if being used. 
The protest committee should communicate with the race committee only through the chairman or his appointee. The chairman should speak to the race committee only through its principal race officer or someone delegated by him. This helps to avoid competitors receiving conflicting instructions and reduces the possibility of a request for redress under rule 62
Briefing of Competitors
It is highly desirable to have a competitors' briefing. The briefing’s main purpose is to introduce the key individuals of the Race Management Team and protest committee to the competitors. This will allow a competitor to know who to speak to if he needs help solving a problem during the regatta. 
Anyone from the organizing committee, race committee or jury could chair the meeting. The meeting should be held in English if the competitors speak different languages. This means that the chairman of the meeting should be proficient in English, and be experienced with speaking to multi-lingual groups. 
The following points in relation to the service provided by the jury will help to promote an atmosphere of friendliness, fairness, and impartiality: 

  • Introduce the protest committee members. 
  • Emphasize that the jury is there to provide a service to competitors. 
  • Comment on Appendix P Special Procedures for Rule 42, if it is in effect, and post the World Sailing interpretations on the Official Notice Board. 
  • If there are likely to be specific problems in certain areas, describe what action the protest committee will be taking to monitor those areas. It is comforting for rule observing competitors to know that the protest committee is aware of likely problems and is ready to address them. 
  • At regattas, with youth or less experienced competitors, it may be appropriate to remind them of the importance of taking a penalty promptly for breaking a rule, whether or not the boat is protested. Also remind them of penalties in rule 44 for breaking a rule of Part 2 or hitting a mark. Stress also the importance of one or both boats protesting after a collision when no penalty is taken. 
  • Competitors often ask questions concerning a Sailing Instruction or some other regatta procedure question. Great care must be taken in responding. On the one hand, the protest committee wants to help competitors by answering their questions quickly. On the other hand, questions are often more complicated than they first appear. If the answer is not obvious, it is best to ask for the competitor to submit the question in writing so the protest committee can give it proper attention, and answer in writing. It is also helpful to emphasize that no answer to a question becomes official until both the question and answer are posted on the Official Notice Board. 
When a protest committee is dealing with inexperienced or young competitors an even greater empathy and understanding is required. Make every effort to answer all their questions. Upon request, explain all decisions so the competitor and their coach/parent understands. At all times protest committee members should maintain an atmosphere of fairness and impartiality. 
 A document to competitors titled INFORMATION FROM THE PROTEST COMMITTEE TO COMPETITORS can list guidelines that will apply. It includes: 

  • Penalty Turns and Retirements 
  • Observers at Hearings 
  • Requests for Redress for Alleged Race Committee Error in Scoring a Boat OCS, UFD or BFD 
  • Doping Control
  • Video Evidence 
  • Protests 

Standard documents that provide consistency at Events are posted on the World Sailing web site ( It is advisable for the reader to access this site regularly to obtain any new documents posted there. 

Inspection of Boats
When boats are to be measured, or measurement checks made, nominated protest committee members should watch the procedures if there is time to have an understanding of the process if an issue arises later in the regatta. 

In a series where crews switch boats during the regatta, the jury may wish to inspect the boats for equality during the competition. However, jury members should not replace the work of the boat inspection personnel. 
Weighing of Competitors and Clothing
Crew weighing is becoming increasingly common throughout the sport when a maximum total weight of a boat's crew is specified in the Class Rules and/or Notice of Race and Sailing Instructions. 

The boat owner's objective is to have a total crew weight at or near the optimum. This can mean starving and exercising the crew before the weigh-in to be under the maximum weight, then feeding them again for the races. 
The best practice is a system where crews weigh in before the regatta and at some stage during the regatta. At a high-level event, daily crew weigh ins for all crew should be considered. At other events, sufficient weight ins should be done to prevent the practice of starvation and binge eating. 

Some class rules require random weighing of a set percentage of the crews periodically through the regatta.  

A typical sailing instruction would be 'the total weight of the boat's crew dressed in a minimum of shorts and T-shirts shall not exceed 450 kilograms at the time of weighing. Crews shall present themselves for weighing between [time] and [time] on [date].' 
The organizing authority must provide an accurate weighing machine (either a balance arm weighing machine, or pressure pads fed to an electronic read-out), and make it available for use by competitors for checking their own weight. If a spring balance is to be used, a standard test weight near to the critical weight should be on hand to verify the accuracy of the weighing machine. The current practice is to have the scales calibrated and certified by the local government authority who certifies the scale’s accuracy. 

The responsibility for weighing rests with the race committee or the technical committee. However, it is wise for the protest committee to monitor the method and equipment. In this way, any shortcomings can be corrected before they cause problems which may result in a request for redress. 

When stated in the class rules or Notice of Race and Sailing Instructions, the race committee or the technical committee should carry out the weighing of clothing after racing to check the limit imposed by rule 43, in accordance with Appendix H. A wise protest committee will monitor the method and equipment used. 
Communicating with Support Persons
Judges should treat all support persons with respect. Among them, coaches and team leaders, are professionals. They often have much more immediate experience than the regatta race officers or protest committee members. It is common for an Olympic team coach to attend world championships in four or five different classes in one year. This gives them a unique understanding of what specific issues are currently being discussed and might arise during the regatta. 
It is often desirable for the organizing authority to arrange a meeting of support persons before racing begins and, if possible, each morning during the regatta. Such meetings provide an informal interface between the competitors, the race management team and the protest committee. The meetings in no way replace official communications to competitors posted on the Official Notice Board. 
From the regatta organizer’s point of view, these problems and procedures can be addressed: 

  • rule observance 
  • acting as safety cover in bad weather and towing 
  • regatta administration such as parking, opening ceremony, social events, boat launching, and recovery 
  • support boats entering the racing exclusion zone 

On the morning of the last race, discuss their recommendations for future regattas. 
These regular meetings provide an opportunity for competitors to offer constructive suggestions, either directly or through their coaches. 

Discussions with a coach often can prevent problems from occurring. One example is that through the discussion, a coach may work with a competitor to change a behavior that is approaching the stage of a breach of sportsmanship. 
Communicating with the Media
The media play an important part of any regatta. Journalists and others involved in communicating with the general public are an essential part of the sport. Every assistance and cooperation should be accorded to the media without compromising the fairness of the competition. 

The protest committee should agree on which member should be its representative to communicate with the media. Quite often the local vice chairman is asked to do this. All communications should be channeled through the protest committee spokesperson. A copy of the hearing results should be passed to the media center promptly. The protest committee representative should offer to explain protest committee decisions to members of the media or attend press briefings. Such efforts can avoid misunderstandings that could harm the way the sport of sailing is viewed by the public 
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