Racing Rules Weekly Quiz

Each week this season, we will offer a “quiz” question regarding the Racing Rules of Sailing.  Read the scenario below, formulate your answer, then move your mouse over the box to reveal the correct answer.

Need further explanation?
something we can discuss on the porch on Sunday.

This Week's Question

In a post-race conversation, the helmsman of Boat X complains to a member of the protest committee that he clearly saw another boat in his race, Boat Y, touch the gybe mark and not take a penalty turn. The protest committee member therefore decides to protest Y for an alleged breach of rule 31, Touching a Mark. Y is informed that she is being protested, and the protest is filed within the time limit. You are on the protest committee: how do you decide this?


The protest is not valid and therefore its hearing should be closed under rule 63.5, Validity of the Protest or Request for Redress. Rule 60.3, Right to Protest; Right to Request Redress or Rule 69 Action, governs the action by the protest committee in this case, and states that a protest committee cannot protest as a result of a report from a person who has a conflict of interest (with an exception that doesn't apply in this case). Because all the requirements for a protest have not been met, the protest is not valid. When competitors witness alleged breaches of the rules, and they want the incident to go to a hearing, they must act themselves according to rule 60.1, Right to Protest; Right to Request Redress or Rule 69 Action.
This quiz was excerpted from Dave Perry’s 100 Best Racing Rules Quizzes available from US Sailing. For a comprehensive explanation of the rules, read Dave Perry’s Understanding the Racing Rules of Sailing through 2024, which is also available from US Sailing. Permission to reprint this quiz for non commercial use is granted by the author.