An allegation made under rule 61.2 by a boat, a race committee or a protest committee that a boat has broken a rule.

But what is a protest in VSK? Edit

In a manual penalty race a skipper must manually make a protest (the default key for this the P key) rather than merely focus on racing and delegate the assignment of penalties to the auto-umpire. The auto-umpire algorithms are still used to test whether the skipper's protest is upheld and a competing boat is penalized or whether the protest is denied. No response in the chat window indicates a manual protest has been denied while a penalty announcement clearly indicates which penalty the offending boat was given.

In a highly competitive race the protested skipper will counter-protest immediately after being protested if there is even the slightest chance that the maneuvering of the protestor may have also violated a rule of Section B: General limitations.

The formal protest hearing process used by each VSK club may or may not be the same from club to club.

File:Protest chat upheld.png
File:Protest chat denied.png
File:Protest counter.png
illustrations wanted

I protested but nothing happened Edit

The right-of-way boat (ROW) is usually the one to protest the action of a keep-clear boat (KC) however, it is not uncommon for a protest to be followed by a counter-protest. In some cases two boats may protest one another and both protests may be upheld by the respective auto-umpires. To understand why this can happen you need to be keeping a close eye on the so-called ISAF window which is the top right panel of the UI.

When a skipper protests, a yellow message appears in the chat window of all skippers using that server. The auto-umpire at each user's game client has already determined whether or not the local user has violated a rule and so if the incoming protest is from a boat that is the subject of the last rule violation calculated then the auto-umpire (at the KC boat's game client) acknowledges the protest by identifying the rule. viz.

  • When a KC boat protests then a record of their protest appears in chat but none of the other auto-umpires will confirm a penalty. Silence means protest denied.
  • When a ROW boat protests then shortly after their yellow protest appears in chat the auto-umpire at one or more remote game client(s) confirms the penalty using the format:
    KC-boat-name <- Pen ## / ROW-boat-name
  • At each KC skipper's screen a red 360 icon and a 60 second countdown timer appear immediately.

Timing of the protest is important. If the ROW skipper waits too long (i.e. ignores the rule violation) or if a subsequent rule violation takes place either against a 3rd boat or even against the protesting boat then that skipper's protest will be tested against only the most recent rule violation at each of the other game clients. Based on the most recent violation calculated by each of the remote auto-umpires, the protest will either be upheld or be silently denied.

There is no point protesting before a rule is violated. It only clutters the chat window and might make you appear to be hunting for a penalty.

When it comes to requesting penalty cancellations timing is also important but the precise time limits are not well enough understood to describe here.

What you see on screen may look like a rule violation but that could be because there is a lag in delivery of position, heading and velocity data from nearby boats. If the incident at the other skipper's game client does not reflect a rule violation then the protest is silently denied.

Tell-tale signs of lag
  • If you are observing boats skip from one location to another then there is lag and you should anticipate the possibility of protest being denied even though it clearly looks like a violation happened.
  • If when you joined the server you saw the message "UDP failed, falling back to TCP" then there is an increased likelihood that you game play and your protests will be affected by lag. TCP requires that received packets be acknowledged while UDP does not. The additional delay in sending an acknowledge packet could be a few tenths of a second and as you will know from near-miss experience a few tenths of a second can make the difference between contact and no contact.