Posted: 3/1/2014 10:34:05 AM
The Racing Rules of Sailing begin with Basic Principles and the first of these is, “Competitors in the sport of sailing are governed by a body of rules that they are expected to follow and enforce.” Ideally sailors will follow the letter and spirit of this principle and protests aren’t necessary, but sometimes things happen on the race course that require a protest committee to sort out. I am going to spend the next couple of articles discussing some of the key points about hearing protests. I will deal with the structure and process of a protest itself, rather than who was right and who was wrong on the water. This should help you, whether you find yourself serving on a protest committee as a volunteer or as a competitor on the other side of the table.
by Andrew Alberti
This page provides links to a set of articles original published in Kwasind magazine. The versions here include animated diagrams. The original articles can be found within the original magazines which are available online back to January 2007. 

Articles before December 2016 are based on the Racing Rules of Sailing 2009-12 or 2013-2016 and have not been updated to reflect the changes that apply as of January 2017 with the publication of the Racing Rules of Sailing 2017-20. A copy of the new rules can be found on
Andrew Alberti has been writing these monthly articles in the Kwasind since early 1997.  They explain the Racing Rules of Sailing. Andrew is a National Judge and National Umpire. He is a member of the Sail Canada Rules and Appeals Committees. The interpretation of the rules contained in the articles is Andrew's and not that of the RCYC or any of the committees he sits on. 

Send your questions to Andrew at


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