your 15 minutes are up

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Hi, this is my first post and Im asking for help in understanding how on earth the protest committee could rule that it took the protester 15 minutes to find the first reasonable opportunity to raise the protest flag.

The incident  happened at the start of an offshore race in drifting conditions between 4 and 8 knots both boats were heavy displacement 44 footers.

The Protestor’s reason for the delay was that the pitman was standing in the companionway and no one else could get past to the chart table downstairs to get the flag until the spinnaker was set 15 mins after the start.

Our evidence was that we clearly heard the 3 hails of “you have no rights” but there was no hail of protest.

The committee found that we acknowledged a Hail (presumably of protest) but the protesters evidence was that we ignored his hail of protest  and our evidence was that there was no hail protest.

I strongly disagreed with the committee’s decision and asked to reconsider 3 times. The committee has told me they will be referring me to the disciplinary and misconduct committee for refusing to accept their ruling of validity in the first instance and insisting that they  reconsider 3 times; and for being too “aggressive” in my cross examination of the protester.

I have redacted the names of the boats and the club posted the protest and decision below. I feel I have a good chance of appealing this decision and welcome any comments or advice. Thanks.

Whaddaya think?