Forum: The Racing Rules of Sailing

Ok to give instruction after parties are in informed?

Al Sargent
Nationality: United States of America
A question about RRS Appendix M, rule 3.5 (

I'm going to be on a protest committee for a junior regatta this weekend. Once we conclude a protest hearing, per M3.5:

Inform the parties (rule 65).
  • Recall the parties and read them the facts found, conclusions and rules that apply, and the decision. When time presses it is permissible to read the decision and give the details later.
  • Give any party a copy of the decision on request. File the protest or request for redress with the committee records.

... is it okay for me to explain to the kids, Here's what you could have done differently to avoid this protest in the first place? The goal being to help the kids learn how to sail clean, and present alternatives while the protest facts are still fresh in their mind.
Created: 20-Feb-15 01:56


Angelo Guarino
Nationality: United States of America
  • Regional Judge
  • Fleet Measurer
Al, both the USS and WS Judges Manuals have sections on judges and youth events (WS being more in-depth). If you haven’t already, you might want to read through those sections along with the guidance you get here. 

WSIJM is online on the site.  Here is the junior section
USSJM pg 16
Created: 20-Feb-15 03:23
Philip Hubbell
Nationality: United States of America
  • Club Race Officer
  • Judge In Training
More useful and safer might be a scheduled presentation to all competitors, not just to parties, after all protests are finished, giving obligations and maneuvering options in anonymized situations covered in the day's hearings.
Created: 20-Feb-18 18:52
Al Sargent
Nationality: United States of America
Thanks for the feedback. 

Philip, interesting suggestion. However, giving a debrief that's open to all competitors wouldn't really work. There was only one protest that day, and the kids all gossip, so such a briefing would not be anonymous and would actually be pretty embarrassing for a kid. 

Another idea that someone sent by email -- briefing the coaches also isn't really feasible -- since the coaches are typically busy working with other kids, or have left the regatta venue by the time the hearing is done.

What we ended up doing is, after reporting our facts found and conclusion, was to say (I'm paraphrasing): "This concludes the official part of the protests. Now, here's an unofficial briefing to help explain the rules. The critical part of the case was: how far starboard was from port when they altered course. Under rule 16.1, if starboard altered course when they were very close to port, then starboard would have been disqualified. As it turned out, starboard altered course when they were still far enough away for port to tack or duck, so they weren't disqualified under 16.1. For this reason, port was DSQ'd until rule 10, port/starboard."

This seemed to work. The kids in the protest room learned an important subtlety about the rules, without any embarrassment.
Created: 20-Feb-19 02:10
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