Although the protest flag is no longer required for our size boats, there is another detail about lodging a protest that can result in the protest not being heard. Rule 61.1 requires the protestor to inform the protestee by hail using the word "protest". Omission of this word was the grounds for not hearing a protest at CLSA this Spring. Hailing "You fouled me - do your 720!" wont cut it. This is not a new rule.

This was not being picky, the rule used the magic word "shall".

Certainly, the corinthian sailor would own up to his transgression and take his penalty anyway, but if had to go to a protest hearing the protestor might find himself out of luck.

61.1 Informing the Protestee

(a) A boat intending to protest shall inform the other boat at the first reasonable opportunity. When her protest concerns an incident in the racing area that she is involved in or sees, she shall hail ‘Protest’ and conspicuously display a red flag at the first reasonable opportunity for each. She shall display the flag until she is no longer racing. However,

(1) if the other boat is beyond hailing distance, the protesting boat need not hail but she shall inform the other boat at the first reasonable opportunity;

Note: There was a recent ruling that if a yacht protests another for not sailing the course, such as missing a mark, she need not notify her until she finishes. This is because the yacht has until she finishes to correct her error.

(2) if the hull length of the protesting boat is less than 6 metres, she need not display a red flag;

(3) if the incident results in damage or injury that is obvious to the boats involved and one of them intends to protest, the requirements of this rule do not apply to her, but she shall attempt to inform the other boat within the time limit of rule 61.3.

The CLSA Sailing Instructions state:

18 Protests

18.1 Protests shall be written on forms available at the Club House and delivered there within 30 minutes after the RC boat lands.

18.2 Protests will be heard in approximately the order of receipt on the day of the race, if possible.  

18.3 Protest flags are not required. This changes rule 61.1(a)

The purpose of SI 18.3 is to exempt Highlanders also from being required to display the protest flag.