changes; episode 4

Racing Rules of Sailing 2021-2024 Episode 4
Protests, Redress, Hearing, Misconduct & Appeals

We now come to the part where breaches, alleged or actual, from the preceding rules are dealt with. First point to note is that the old reference Protest Form has been split in two, with the new versions available for download from the World Sailing site. The two forms are now one a hearing request form and the second a hearing decision form.

There is also a reminder that the Racing Rules of Sailing do not require a particular form to be used although of course if the proper form is used all the correct boxes are there to be ticked. There is also a reminder that ideas for improving the forms are welcome.

RRS 60 Right to Protest; Right to Request Redress or Rule 69 Action

This rule has been tidied and expanded

RRS 60.1  Parts (a) & (b) remain unchanged however part (c) is added to include a report to the protest committee requesting action under RRS 60.3(d) which concerns support persons or RRS 69.2(b)  regarding potential breach of RRS 69.1(a)

RRS60.2 Race Committee Rights

 The same two rules (RRS60.3(d) and RRS 69.2(b)  have been added to the Race Committee’s protest rights.

RRS 60.3 A Protest Committee’s rights  remain unchanged.

RRS 60.4 A Technical Committee  has the wording of what it can protest changed but broadly the same meaning. Rule RRS60.3(d)  is added to the list however in this case they do not themselves  protest but “report to the protest committee requesting action”.  

The limitations on what a boat or committee can protest under are slightly changed. A committee (any committee) cannot protest for an RRS 69  breach or a breach in a Regulation referred to in RRS 6 – unless that particular Regulation permits it.

So, how Do we keep people honest?

By using RRS 61 Protest Requirements

RRS 61.1 Governs Telling the Protestee

The only thing that has changed here is that in RRS 61.1(a) (4) the word “obvious” has been moved up but the intent appears to be the same – obvious danger to a crew member or injury or serious damage resulted means the requirements to inform the protestee are not immediate, however they must still be informed within the time limit of RRS 61.3

RRS 61.1(b) has one interesting line added. It has often been the case that a committee, wishing to protest a protestee is unable to contact them within the time limit for any number of reasons. From January 1, 2021 a notice posted on the official notice board will satisfy this requirement. In the past, tracking down a protestee has had the potential to tie up a member of a committee for an inordinate time. So another good reason to check the notice board after racing.

RRS61.1 (c )  No Change.

RRS 61.2 Protest Contents Take a break guys – no change at all.

RRS 61.3 Protest Time Limit At long last this rule has, what I would consider, a welcome change. “Other protests shall be delivered to the race office no later than 2 hours after the protestor receives the relevant information” There may be times when the protestor receives information after the normal time limit. For example a rule breaker promises to retire then doesn’t and the disadvantaged boat finds out when the results are posted. (Ed – this is already heading towards RRS 2 territory) This could be later than the normal protest time limit.

RRS 62 Redress

Very little change in this rule other that in RRS 62.1 the definition of a non racing boat is changed from “required to keep clear” to required to keep clear or is determined to be at fault under IRPCAS or a government right of way rule;”

In addition the Redress time limit on the last day of racing under RRS62.2(a) is reduced to 30 minutes after the decision is posted.


RRS63 Hearings

RRS63.1 Requirements for a Hearing A slight difference in the numbering of Appendix A results in a minor wording change of this rule but no effect to the meaning.

RRS 63.2 Time & Place of the Hearing; Time for Parties to Prepare

As this rule is for all hearings the wording has been expanded to include “allegations”.

The rule is further expanded to state that when two or more hearings are for the same incident or closely connected incidents they may be heard in the same hearing which makes sense and has often been done (unofficially) in the past. One hearing must stand alone however, that concerning an allegation of a breach of RRS 69 .

RRS 63.3 Right to Be Present Little changed in this rule other than if a party  does not come to the hearing the wording is changed FROM “may nevertheless  decide the protest or request” TO “may nevertheless proceed with the hearing”. This implies that the full procedure should be followed.

RRS 63.4 Conflict of Interest

There is no change to this rule.

RRS 63.5 Validity of the Protest

There is no change to this rule.

RRS 63.6 Taking Evidence and Finding Facts

This rule has been expanded and the ‘Old Rule’ which ran to four sentences has been split into a-d although the main thrust of the rule is unchanged.

RRS 63.6 (a) Evidence taken and Finding Facts

 Hearsay evidence is now specifically included as evidence that shall be taken from the parties and their witnesses.

RRS 63.6(b) covers that if a member of the protest committee saw the incident they may give evidence just as before

RRS 63.6 (c ) That a party to the hearing may question anyone who gives evidence just as before.

RRS 63.6(d) Here the new wording is somewhat different. Instead of going straight to find the facts, it shall “give the weight it considers appropriate to the evidence presented” (Ed – This could be, for example, the difference between a witness seeing the boats colliding or hearing the crash and turning round to then see them entangled).

RRS 63.7 Conflict Between Rules

There is no change to this rule.

RRS 63.8 Hearing Involving Parties in Different Events

The meaning of the new RRS 63.8 is pretty much the same but the wording has been widened to encompass all hearings, not just protests. 

RRS 63.9 Hearings under Rule 60.3(d) – Support Persons

There is no change to this rule.

RRS 64 Decisions

There has been a significant addition to the decision making rules with the insertion of a new         RRS 64.1.

RRS 64.1 Standard of Proof, Majority Decisions & Reclassifying Requests

This new element to RRS 64 and provides clear guidance to the decision making, RRS64,1 (a) states that the decision shall be made on a ‘balance of probabilities, unless provided for otherwise in the rule alleged to have been broken.’

RRS64.1(b) States that the decision shall be by a simple majority with the chairman having a casting vote.

The insertion of the new RRS64.1 naturally moves the previously numbered rules down.

RRS 64.2 Penalties Formerly called penalties and Exoneration the only change with this rule is the reference to another boat breaking a rule in RRS64.1(a). This reference has been moved and is now RRS 43.1(a)

RRS 64.3 Decisions on Redress The only change in this rule is the rule referenced with regard to scoring. Appendix A 10 has become Appendix A 9 

RRS 64.4 Decisions on Protests Concerning Class Rules 

Other than the renumbering from RRS64.3 to RRS 64.4 there is no change to this rule.

RRS64.5 Decisions Concerning Support Persons.

Other than the renumbering from RRS64.4 to RRS 64.5 there is no change to this rule.

RRS 64.6 Discretionary Penalties

This is a further addition to RRS 64

If a boat reports within the protest time limit that she has broken a rule that is subject to a discretionary penalty, the protest committee shall decide the appropriate penalty after taking evidence from the boat and any witness it decides appropriate.

RRS 65 Informing the parties and Others  (of the decision)

RRS 65.1 & RRS 65.2 are unchanged

RRS 65.3 now details that the protest committee may publish the information set out in RRS65.1 (facts found, rules applicable, decision, reason & penalties) They may also direct that this information remains confidential to the parties.

RRS65.4 is the old RRS64.3 

This is regarding penalties under a class rule and is unchanged.

RRS 66 Re-opening a hearing

Largely the same wording but the rule  is split into three parts. Allowed timings for reopening remain the same. The changes are that all requests for reopening shall be considered by the protest committee. That committee shall be made up of a majority of the original committee if practicable if reopening is based only on new evidence. However if reopening is based on a significant error the protest committee, again if practicable, shall have at least one new member.

RRS 67 Damages

This rule remains unchanged.

Section C – Misconduct

RRS 69 Misconduct

RRS69.1 Obligation not to Commit Misconduct

Only one small, but significant addition. The current rule states conduct that may bring… The new rule add “or has brought”. All else remains the same.

RRS 69.2 Action by a Protest Committee

The only are of change in this part of RRS 69 is the list of rules a protest committee shall comply with. The list in RRS69.(e ) now reads 63.2;63.3(a); 63.4; 63.6; 65.1; 65.2; 65.3; & 66

The rest of RRS69.2 remains unchanged 

RRS 69.3 Action by a National Authority and World Sailing

The only change is in terminology with ‘regulation’ now termed ‘code’ in line with the World Sailing general terminology.

Section 4 Appeals

RRS70 Appeals and requests to a National Authority

Rules RRS70.1 through to RRS70.4 are unchanged. RRS 70.3 is changed so that the authority is now where the ‘finish line’ is located

RRS 70.5

Part (a) and (c ) of this rule  remain unchanged. 

RRS70.5 (b)  has been altered to more clearly define boats entered in a particular event. The current wording of “entrants under its own jurisdiction” is perhaps to open to interpretation. The new rule provides a more defined description in that such an event must only be open to boats that are entered by an organisation affiliated to that National Authority, a member of an organisation affiliated to that National Authority or a personal member of that National Authority.


The wording of this rule remains unchanged. 

RRS 71 National Authority Decisions

There is no change to this rule.

Part 6

Entry & Qualification

RRS 75 Entering an Event

There is no change to this rule other than the word Race is changed to Event but the substance remains the same.

RRS 76 Exclusion of Boats or Competitors

 There are only two small alterations to this rule, neither of which changes the meaning. In RRS76.2 the word ‘the’ is inserted in from of “World Sailing” and ‘Regulation 20 Advertising Code’ is simplified to just ‘Advertising Code’.

RRS 77 Identification on Sails

There is no change to this rule.

RRS 78 Compliance with Class Rules; Certificates.

78.2 This rule has been amended to place a time limit on when a boat shall present or to verify a certificate’s existence. That time limit is “before the start of the last day of the event, or of the first series, whichever is earlier”.

RRS 79 Categorization  Called Classification in RRS 2017-2020

Apart from the change in terminology from Classification to Categorization along with “world Sailing Regulation 22, Sailor Classification Code” becoming “World Sailing Categorization Code” there is no change to this rule.

RRS80 Rescheduled Event

As advertising is covered elsewhere in the Rules ( RRS6.1) this rule has been moved up and renamed.

The wording is exactly the same as in the RRS81 (2017-2020)



RRS 84 – There is No Rule 84

RRS 85 Changes to Rules

This rule remains unchanged.

RRS 86 Changes to the Racing Rules

RRS 86.1(a)

The list of racing rules which cannot be changed by national authority prescriptions has been amended to include RRS 47 Trash Disposal & RRS 50 Competitor Clothing and Equipment. 

RRS 86.1(c )

RRS 55 has been added to the rules class rules may change.

RRS 82.2

Previously an exception to the racing rules for a specific international event shall be stated in ‘Notice of Race AND Sailing Instructions.’ This is changed to ‘Notice of Race OR Sailing Instructions’.

RRS 87 Changes to Class Rules

There are no changes to this rule other than ‘displayed’ on the notice board is changed to ‘posted’ on the notice board.

RRS 88 National Prescriptions

This rule remains unchanged

RRS 89 Organising Authority; Notice of Race; Appointment of Race Officials

This rule remains unchanged other than the Capitalisation of ‘Regulations’.

RRS 90 Race Committee; Sailing Instructions; Scoring

RRS 90.1 Race Committee & RRS 90.2 Sailing Instructions remain unchanged.

RRS 90.3 Scoring

RRS 90.3(a) has  “using the low point scoring system” omitted and “starts” inserted in front of ‘sails the course’ and “race” inserted in front of ‘time limit. Otherwise RRS 90.3 (a) to (c ) Is unchanged.

There are additions to RRS 90.3.

RRS 90.3 (d) The race committee shall implement scoring changes directed by the protest committee or national authority as a result of decisions made in accordance of the rules.

RRS 90.3 (e) As long as stated in the Notice of Race no corrections shall be made 24 hours after

  1. The protest time limit for the last race of the series
  2. Being informed of a protest committee decision after the last race of a series or
  3. The results being published.

An exception to this rule is that changes shall be made resulting from a decision under RRS 6; 69 or 70. The Notice of Race may change ’24 hours’ to a different time.

RRS 91 Protest Committee

There is no change to this rule.

RRS 92 Technical Committee

There is no change to this rule.

  • Shanghai Sailor