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Letter of Introduction

From Dave Perry
Chairman of the US SAILING Appeals Committee

Dear Sailor,

I am very pleased that The Appeals Book for 2013-2016 is available on-line at no cost to US Sailing members (view here). To me, The Appeals Book has been too much of a deep dark secret over the years. As a competitive racer, coach and judge, I can say this book is loaded with important and useful interpretations of the rules that will help sailors, race officers and judges from making unnecessary mistakes that sometimes are costly.

The appeals are decisions of the US Sailing Appeals Committee, and the cases are decisions of national authorities from around the world published by ISAF. Typically, protest committees conform their decisions to the appeals and cases when the facts are similar, which makes them invaluable to know and use.


Most appeals and cases are only a few paragraphs long, with a clear explanation of the Facts and often a diagram, followed by a clear interpretation and application of the rules to those Facts. The book can be read as a quiz book. And its best feature is the Index of the summaries of each appeal (called abstracts) sorted by rule number. So, if you are in a protest involving rule 17 (proper course), you can quickly scan through each appeal pertaining to rule 17 to see if one applies to your situation.


Some of the appeals and cases are actual situations, and some are interesting hypothetical situations and questions sent in by yacht clubs and other organizations. Subjects in the appeals and cases include: when does it violate rule 2 (the fair sailing rule) to intentionally slow another competitor down in a race, what rules apply when two boats sailing their proper courses converge, do you have to keep clear of equipment out of its normal position, what does “injury” mean in rule 62.1(b) (Redress), can the race committee score a boat DNF (did not finish) when it sees the boat fail to sail the course correctly, and can you submit written testimony from a witness who had to leave before the protest hearing?


I strongly recommend and urge all sailors, race officers and judges (including any sailor who may be hearing a protest or redress request) to take a look at The Appeals Book for 2013-2016. In addition to being available for free on-line to US Sailing members, the book will also continue to be published and sold in hard copy and also in an e-pub format, and will continue to include the ISAF Case Book. The book can be purchased through the Store on the US Sailing website www.ussailing.org.

As revisions to The Appeals Book occur, the most updated edition will be available on-line. The link will indicate the posting date of the edition so readers can be assured of having access to the most current Book.

Dave Perry
Chairman, US Sailing Appeals Committee