Protest Appeals



1. These Guidelines have been prepared in reply to questions commonly raised by Appellate Parties. As such, they are intended to supplement the instructions in ISAF Rules and US SAILING Prescriptions, whose requirements continue to take precedence. Refer to Rules 70, 71 and Appendix F.

2. It is recommended that the most careful consideration be given to the question of whether to appeal from a Decision on Protest. While the yachtsman’s right to appeal is fundamental to the spirit and strength of the sport, that right is not to be abused by the presentation of petitions which are arbitrary, capricious or do not involve a meaningful controversy over Interpretations of the Rules. Mere disagreement or disappointment should not be considered reasonable grounds.

3. A careful study should be made of US SAILING’s Appeals Decisions and ISAF Cases for cases with dispositions similar to the one in question. Protest Committees and the ECSA Appeals Committee are required to decide all cases in conformity with those precedents. Where great similarities exist, it is unlikely that the appeals process will furnish a different result.

4. By Rule F1.1, the ECSA Appeals Committee has jurisdiction in appeals resulting from any race sailed under the sponsorship of any member club of ECSA. Appeals relating to non-member organizations located within the geographical territory assigned to ECSA also fall under that jurisdiction. Note that an extra fee will be charged to individuals who are not members of ECSA and US SAILING and to organizations that are not members of ECSA and US SAILING.

5. Except in the case of a decision of an international jury, or where the Notice of Race and the Sailing Instructions specifically state otherwise, in accordance with Rule 70.4, the right to appeal is fundamental. Consent to appeal is not required.

6. Where the Notice of Race and the Sailing Instructions prohibit appeal, appeals may still be taken to ECSA as to whether the Race Committee or Organizing Authority properly exercised its rights to limit appeal. Such appeal shall be confined to the issue of the right to appeal, until a ruling on that issue has been given. See Paragraph 14, below.

7. The facts found in a Protest Hearing are final and are never subject to further review. Appeals are limited to:
a. interpretation of the Rules and the application of the Rules to the facts, and
b. specific improper actions or omissions of the Race Committee which have the effect of interpreting the Rules. See Rules 70.1 and F5.

8. The party wishing to petition for an appeal initiates the proceedings by the careful preparation and submittal to the ECSA Appeals Committee of its Appeal. The appeal shall be dated and shall be accompanied by a $50 filing fee, to cover administrative costs such as copying and postage. (The filing fee is $100 for non-members of US SAILING and $75 for non-members of ECSA.) It shall include the grounds for appeal, that is, why the Appellant believes the Protest Committee was incorrect in its procedures or in its interpretation or application of the Rules. Do not generalize. Cite precedent where possible. The Appeal shall be postmarked, or otherwise delivered to the address below, not later than 15 days after the receipt of the Written Decision on Protest, and shall be accompanied by:
a. A copy of the Protest Committee’s Written Decision on Protest,
b. Any of the documents listed in Rule F2.2
c. A statement as to the status of the Appellant’s membership in ECSA and US SAILING and a listing of the organizations comprising the Organizing Authority of the race (see Rule 87.1) and the status of membership of each in ECSA and US SAILING.
d. Note that Rule 65.2 provides that the Written Decision on Protest may be requested within seven days of the oral decision, in writing, by a party to the hearing.

9. Upon notification by the ECSA Appeals Committee, the cognizant Protest Committee is required by Rule F4.1 to cooperate toward the objective of rendering a swift and equitable decision by furnishing to the ECSA Appeals Committee the documentation listed in Rule F2.2 not supplied by the Appellant, together with any comments it wishes to make on the Appeal.

10. The ECSA Appeals Committee will copy and distribute the documentation so that each Party to the Hearing and the Protest Committee will have a copy of each document.

11. Note that Rule F7 provides that comments on the Appeal may be submitted to the ECSA Appeals Committee by any of the Parties to the Hearing and by the Protest Committee. Comments must be timely, i.e., sent within 15 days of the receipt of the Appeal by the party of the committee.

12. Documents to be transmitted to the ECSA Appeals Committee shall be sent to the address given below, unless directed otherwise by the Appeals Committee. It is requested that documents be typewritten or otherwise enhanced, as all documentation must be photocopied for distribution to each Appeals committee member.

13. There is no appeals hearing. The Decision on Appeal is announced only in writing and, once published, the Appeals Committee will make no further explanation or comment concerning the case.

14. Appeals also may be submitted relating to actions of the Protest Committee where a decision has not been made or has not been supplied to a requesting Party to the Hearing or where the right to limit appeal is being contested. Such Procedural Appeal shall be submitted to the ECSA Appeals Committee, at the address given below, within 21 days of the date of the filing of the original protest or the date of the hearing, whichever is later, and shall be accompanied by a $10 filing fee ($50 for non-members of the ECSA and US SAILING). This Procedural Appeal shall include such elements of Rule F2.2 as are available and shall include the information listed in Paragraph 8.C, above. Action on such an Appeal will be limited to resolving the question of improper Race or Protest Committee actions or procedures. Depending on that action, further appeal relating to the decision may subsequently be submitted in accordance with Paragraph 8 above, and Rules 70, 71 and Appendix F.

15. Should a Party to the Protest wish to appeal to US SAILING a decision of the ECSA Appeals Committee, that Party shall submit the dated Appeal to the US SAILING Appeals Committee, Box 1260, Portsmouth, RI 02871-6015 (within 15 days of receipt of the Written Decision on Appeal), accompanied by a $25 filing fee ($75 for non-members of USSAILING). The procedural steps are given in Rules 70, 71 and Appendix F and are similar to the procedures given herein for appeals to ECSA.

16. Address appeal correspondence to ECSA Appeals Chairman.