Protests and Appeals


The following FAQs give guidance on how to appeal a protest committee's decision. While based upon, and often quoting the Racing Rules of Sailing, this document does not replace or change the relevant sections of the racing rules, in particular RRS 70 and 71, and Appendix R, Procedures for Appeals and Requests. For all relevant documentation, visit the Protest and Appeals Library

How to Appeal a Protest Committee Decision

An appeal is a formal procedure available to parties to a protest or redress hearing who believe that the protest committee ‘s decision or procedures may have been incorrect. This also includes incidents in which the protest committee has :

  •  decided not to reopen a hearing;
  •  failed to hold a hearing within 30 days of the hearing request being delivered;
  • failed to inform the parties to a hearing of the committee’s decision.

An appeal is not a reopening of the hearing. An appeal may be based on a belief that the protest committee’s conclusions or decision are incorrect, not on the basis that the facts found were incorrect. Irish Sailing shall accept the protest committee’s finding of facts except when it decides that the facts are inadequate. In that case the protest committee will be required to provide additional facts or reopen the hearing.

At certain events Irish Sailing may approve the denial of right of appeal; This includes all events to which an international jury has been appointed.

Only a party to the original hearing may appeal. There are similar procedures for protest committee to request confirmation or correction of its decision and for clubs and other affiliated organisations to request an interpretation of the rules.

The first step is to request a written copy of the protest committee’s decision. This request should be made in writing no later than seven days after being informed of the decision. If no written copy of the decision is available, the appellant shall instead send a statement of its substance.

No later than 15 days after receiving the written decision (which may be a decision not to reopen the hearing) the appellant should send to Irish Sailing a document stating why they believe the protest committee’s decision or its procedures were incorrect. A copy of the decision should be attached.

Appeals should be delivered to: Irish Sailing Racing Dept., 3 Park Road, Dun Laoghaire, Co. Dublin.  Further enquiries to 

If the protest committee has failed to hold a hearing within 30 days then the appellant should attach a copy of the hearing request and any relevant correspondence.

For the appeal to proceed a certain number of documents are required. The appellant should send these documents with the appeal, or as soon as possible afterwards. However, the delivery of the appeal should not be delayed by the need to procure documents. The appeal panel will ask the protest committee to provide the any documents not sent by the appellant.

The documents include:

  • the written hearing request form (SEE HERE);
  • a diagram of the incident, prepared or endorsed by the protest committee;
  • the notice of race, the sailing instructions, any other documents governing the event, and any changes to them;
  • any additional relevant documents
  • the names, postal and email addressed and telephone numbers of all parties to the hearing and the protest committee chairman.

Irish Sailing appeals are heard by the Irish Sailing Racing Rules Committee and Appeals Board (ISRRC), who will appoint a panel, usually with 5 members, to instruct the appeal.

The documents for a receivable appeal will be distributed to all the parties and the protest committee. The protest committee will be requested any documents not already available. The parties then have 15 days to make comments on any document.

The appeals panel may require the protest committee to provide additional facts.

There will be no appeal hearing. The proceeding or the appeal panel are in writing only.

Once the appeals panel is satisfied that it is in possession of the relevant documents and has provided an opportunity for the parties and protest committee to comment the panel will propose a decision. This decision will then be submitted to the ISRRC for approval.

This procedure may take several weeks.

Irish Sailing makes no charge for appeals.