Protest An allegation made under rule 61.2 by a boat, a race committee or a protest committee that a boat has broken a rule.
A protest is against a boat - not against the helm or crew. A boat is disqualified or exonerated, not the person. You can't protest the race committee, nor organizing authority. If you have a problem with them, request redress. To do a successful protest there a couple of "must does", a couple of "would be good to do" and a couple of "don't s". To start with the latter:
- shout, curse, blame or otherwise engage in inappropriate behavior. Emotional is ok, upset is 'fine', but not angry or threatening.
- tell lies. First of all you will get caught and then serious things will start to happen, to the extent that you can be banned from competing. And secondly, it is suppose to be a sport, a competition, not a matter of live and death. It is not worth lying about.
IT WOULD BE GOOD
- to have a decent preparation. Most sailors go in and expect the PC to believe them, no matter what. There are always two sides to a story and even though the other is telling the truth as they saw it, it can be totally different. If you need time to prepare, ask for it, it must be given (within reasonable limits). Oh, ask for a copy of the form!
- to have some basic understanding of the process and how to present your case. A polite person with normal appearance, will be more "simpatico."
- to look at PC-member when you are trying to convince them. Look into their eyes and see if your argument is getting across. Watch your body-language!
- if you can, to talk the lingo. Use the language of the rules, get the PC to understand that you know them.
- have hailed "protest" on the water at the other boat. Not "He you, do your turns", not "F.. Ba...." or words to that effect. No, only "Protest" at the first reasonable moment. "thisisthethirdtimehehasfouledmeprotesttingistogoodforhimandiwantmymommy" does not constitute a proper hail.
- - if your boat is six meters or longer - fly a red flag conspicuously, not a red hat or a red bailing scoop.
- describe the incident on a piece of paper including when and where. Preferably on a protest form, but on a piece of cardboard if needed. Find out the sail number or name of the boat you are protesting, before the hearing starts and all other things, like your name, your boat, rules broken, can etc be added/corrected during the hearing if need be.
- hand in your protest before the end of protest-time, or have a good reason not to. And a good reason is not first taking a shower or clearing your boat for the night.