'You don't need rules until you need rules'. If everyone follows the Racing Rules of Sailing with the same interpretation then you don't need rules, however there are different interpretations, different opinions (we see things how we are not how they are), and grey areas. The ability to protest when you consider a rule has been infringed is the right of every sailor, as is the ability to immediately exonerate by taking the penalty associated. At Bartley we are keen to ensure club racing is fair as well as educational and actively encourage protests where a perceived infringement has occurred. To make this process easier to administer the sailing instructions have been updated based on member feedback.
The Sailing instructions (SI) have been updated to allow more time to lodge a protest, to reinforce the responsibility of the protestor to inform the protestee of their intent to protest, and the arbitration step added to the process to create an environment of learning for all. Updates are as follows:
15.1 Protests must be made on the appropriate form obtainable from the Race Officer and must be handed to the Race Officer within 40 minutes of the time the last boat finishes the relevant race. This changes RRS rule 61.3
15.2 Protests will be conducted with the additional step of arbitration following the arbitration process outlined in Appendix T of the RRS.
15.3 It is the responsibility of the protestor to inform the protestee of their intent to protest at the earliest reasonable opportunity after the protestee has finished the race (i.e. as soon as both parties have returned to shore). All parties involved in the protest are expected to remain on site until the Officer of the Day (Race Officer) has confirmed they are free to depart. Where possible the arbitration should take place at the end of the days racing in an open forum in the club house. This is to ensure facts are not forgotten and to provide a learning experience to others in the club on rules and how they are applied. This requirement is additive to section 61.1 of the RRS.
A link to a full copy of the club SI can be found on the 'Racing' tab
Happy and fair sailing