Scroll down to download the US Sailing Appeals Book and the World Sailing Case Book, to read recently published appeals, and to find links to other useful appeals-related papers and books.
What is an Appeal?
An “appeal” is when a party to a protest or redress request disagrees with the protest committee’s or association appeals committee’s decision or procedures. In the U.S. we have a two-tier system where typically an appeal of a protest committee decision goes to a regional appeals committee, called an “association appeals committee” (AAC); and an appeal of an AAC goes to the US Sailing Appeals Committee.
The appeals process is covered in Appendix R of The Racing Rules of Sailing, as well as rules 70 and 71. Note: only the protest committee’s decision or procedures may be appealed; its facts found may not be appealed (rule 70.1(a)). All appeals are filed directly with the Race Administration office of US Sailing which in turn sends the appeal to the appropriate appeals committee (rule R1).
For a full description of the appeals process, please read Appendix R in the US Sailing edition of The Racing Rules of Sailing and the Appeals FAQ.
Filing an Appeal
Is there a time limit for submitting an appeal?
Yes. The decision being appealed (the protest committee or association appeals committee decision) and a letter clearly stating why the decision is incorrect must be sent no later than 15 days after receiving the written decision being appealed (see rule R2.1(a)). An appeals committee cannot extend this time limit, so do not be late.
What do I include in my appeal?
You are required to include three (3) items (see rule R2.1(a)). Items 1 and 2 must be sent within the 15-day time limit.
- The written decision that you are appealing (note that if you are appealing the decision of an association appeals committee, you are required to include the AAC decision)
- A clear statement of *why* you think the decision you are appealing is incorrect
If your appeal does not include these two items, the appeals committee cannot consider your appeal.
- In addition to the two required items above, you also must send, with the appeal or as soon as possible thereafter, the US Sailing Appeals and Requests Information Form (rule R2.2).
To obtain the form, click on the link above, or go to appeals.ussailing.org and click on the US Sailing Appeals and Requests Form. The form will ask you for all the pertinent information required by rule R2.2.
Where do I send my appeal?
All appeals from events held in the U.S. are emailed to US Sailing at: email@example.com (rule R1.1),
or mailed to:
US Sailing Race Administration Director
1 Roger Williams University Way
Bristol, RI 02809
May I email my appeal and supporting documents?
Yes. Email is preferred, as it cuts down on time and costs for everyone involved. However, please send your appeal only once; that is, if you send it electronically, please do not also send it in hard copy.
Is there a fee for my appeal?
There is no fee to send an appeal to US Sailing if the appeal will be considered by an association appeals committee (AAC). Appeals considered by an AAC are appeals from protest committee decisions, other than protests involving rule 69 (Misconduct) or made at a US Sailing Championship (in which case those appeals go directly to the US Sailing Appeals Committee). After US Sailing sends the appeal to the AAC, the AAC will inform the appellant if it requires a fee.
If the appeal will be considered by the US Sailing Appeals Committee, there is a fee of $25 for US Sailing members and $75 for non-members (rule R3). The US Sailing Appeals Committee considers appeals from decisions of association appeals committees and the Intercollegiate Sailing Association (ICSA) / Interscholastic Sailing Association (ISSA) Appeals Committee, and appeals from protest committee decisions involving rule 69 (Misconduct) or from protest committee decisions made at US Sailing Championships.
When required, how do I pay my fee to US Sailing?
You may pay the fee online by purchasing the item in the US Sailing Web Store (search “pay appeal”). You may also send a check for the fee to US Sailing at the address above.
US Sailing members may download a PDF of The Appeals Book for 2017-2020 from Race Official Publications page.
Ombudsman for Filing a Grievance or Appealing a Rule 69 Decision
Do you have questions about the process for filing a grievance under Regulation 15 or an appeal of a rule 69 decision? An ombudsman is available to help racing sailors understand what procedures to follow when filing a grievance or an appeal of a rule 69 decision. This position was created by the US Sailing Board of Directors to provide sailors with quick answers to their questions and to help them avoid the pitfalls associated with these processes. Any sailor or official who has questions or needs direction about the filing process may email Robert Lane.
Expedited Appeals from US Sailing Protected Competitions
“Protected competitions” are events held in the U.S. that US Sailing uses to directly select sailors to represent the U.S. in international competition (see US Sailing Regulation 12.03). Examples are qualifying trials for the U.S. Olympic and Pan American Games, Youth Olympics or Youth World Championships. If an event is a “protected competition” it will state that in the Notice of Race for the event. For those specific events, an expedited appeals system is available (see rule R8).
Recently Published Appeals from the US Sailing Appeals Committee
Appeal 114 (posted 01/2017)
Question 115 (posted 01/2017)
Question 116 (posted 05/2017)
Appeal 117 (posted 01/2018)