The simplest level, the Advisory Hearing, exists to educate those involved in such incidents especially when they may not know who was in the right or wrong. The next level, RYA Arbitration, offers exoneration penalties rather than disqualification and is a simpler procedure than a full Protest Hearing.
The aim is to encourage everyone to follow The Racing Rules of Sailing. The procedure adopted as the entry level at an event is dependent upon the nature of that event, e.g. Advisory Hearings would not be offered at a World Championships but this process may be very appropriate for club events and junior and youth open meetings when education is important.
The detailed Rules Disputes Procedures may be downloaded in pdf format and are also contained along with other guidance in the RYA’s Racing Rules Guidance book.
Use this if you want to lean whether you were in the right or wrong.
Use this if you want the dispute resolved quickly and simply. This is not as formal as a Protest Hearing and the potential penalty is not as damaging to a boat's score.
Use this if the dispute is complex, or if there has been injury or serious damage or a boat gained a significant advantage by her breach, or if it's a request for redress.
For guidance on protests view our 'What is a Protest' page.