Photo Credit: FRIED ELLIOTT /


Statement on Measurement Protests

Announcements Technical July 13, 2018


The Rules of the International Star Class Yacht Racing Association (“ISCYRA”) dictate that an ISCYRA-issued Measurement Certificate (“MC”) is the only recognized proof of eligibility of a boat to sail in the Star Class.  The Class Rules (“STCRs”) dictate the superior weight that must be given to all Class-issued MCs.  Procedures are established for the very limited ability for competitors or organizations to challenge the binding authority of an MC:

ANY organization that conducts races for the Star Class is bound by the priority and presumptive validity of an ISCYRA-issued MC that is on file with the Class Office (STCR 33.3); and

A Star Boat holding a measurement certificate from the Class Office shall not be subject to remeasurement or protest on a measurement claim unless:

            (a)   reasonable grounds are established that subsequent alterations have been made to the boat since the MC was issued; or

            (b)   Mismeasurement occurred in the current MC. (STCR 33.3)

Certainly if a protest committee establishes that a Star Boat has been significantly modified since its MC was first issued, it may uphold a protest. 

However, unless such material modification is clearly established under item (a), above, a measurement protest becomes a near impossible burden to prove that a Class-Certified Measurer was patently in error at the time the current certificate was issued

The Star Class has very stringent requirements for who is qualified to measure a Star Boat (see STCR 15.2 and 33.2).  This is because the measurement process for the Star has evolved over more than 100 years of the Class’s existence, and those few who are granted the authority to measure Stars by the Class require superior knowledge of the complexities of the design and its assessment.  Additionally, at all Olympic Games this century, every Star Boat participant has been measured with laser accuracy.  If a Star has been issued an MC, and if it has passed measurement at an Olympic Games, it is impossible for a protest committee to conclude that the MC was issued in error, barring a finding of subsequent material alterations.  A protest committee does not have the authority under the STCR to decide that the Star could not today be issued a valid measurement certificate (except as a result of subsequent alterations).  Rather, it must establish original error in the issuance of the existing MC. 

A “measurement” protest has recently been lodged against Star 8465 for which a valid measurement certificate has been issued and is currently on file with the International Class Office.  In deciding such protests under the STCR, the requirements set forth above must be followed.  Unless the protest committee finds (a) material modifications were made to Star 8465 and continue to exist, or (b) original error by the Certified Measurer who issued Star 8465’s MC, then a measurement protest against Star 8465 (or any other Star Boat of any manufacture or design) cannot be upheld.

Specifically with respect to Star 8465, which we note is a P-Star built before 2012, in 2013 the Technical Advisory Board of the Star Class agreed that all P-Stars built before that date are legal in the eyes of the Star Class, unless subsequently modified.  The measurement rules of the Class are clear and must be adhered to by all builders and confirmed by a Class-approved measurer.  The Star Class governing bodies agree all P-Stars made prior to 2012 were properly measured by laser and MC’s properly issued, as confirmed by the Star Class Chief Measurer.  Therefore, there can be no original error found in the issuance of the original MC.  Added to this confirmation by the Class, 13 of the 16 boats used in the 2012 Olympics were P-Stars and were all subject to additional rigorous measurement requirements.  All were confirmed, and no original error was found in the issuance of their MCs.  There cannot be any additional measurement certificate concern about the legality of the P-Stars built prior to 2012, which includes hull number 8465, unless subsequently altered since the MC was issued.

In summary, unless a protest committee concludes that either (a) there is an existing material modification made to the Star hull since its MC was issued, or (b) substantial error was made by the original measurer in issuing an MC, then it is not authorized under the Star Class Rules to disqualify a Star from a regatta on measurement grounds.


John MacCausland


Technical Advisory Board

International Star Class Yacht Racing Association


July 13, 2018