5 Expert Tips To Win A Protest
Yachting World|January 2020
How to win a protest

ANDY RICE talks to STUART CHILDERLEY about how to make your best case in the protest room and set yourself up for success in a dispute

You spend so much time and money honing your craft as a sailor, making the boat go faster... and then it can all blow up with a protest. In the blink of an eye, you’ve been transported out of a sporting contest and into a law court. This is not what you signed up for, but now you have to switch from sportsman to being your own legal representative. No wonder we’re so uneasy about going into a protest room.

Stuart Childerley has operated in every part of the sport, from grassroots to elite level, and from both sides of the fence as competitor and race official. Going into the room requires a completely different set of skills from those of sailing a boat, and very few equip themselves properly. It’s an adversarial process that can be intimidating unless you’re prepared for it. These are Stuart’s tips for making sure you end up on the winning side.


The first rule of protests is don’t get involved in a protest if there’s a way of avoiding it. Once you go into the room, regardless of the circumstances of the incident in question, you’re in going with a 50/50 chance of winning. Do you really want to subject your race result to those kinds of odds?

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