I suppose it is up to RORC how they interpret their own rule. Maybe the profile of the race could be something to be taken into account, though I don't think it would be a good idea. I suspect RORC did not intend the definition of valid interest to extend to permitting those who have no direct, or even indirect, involvement in a race involving a particular boat to initiate a review because they believe one to be in the interests of the sport generally.How can you not connect the dots?
The Sydney-Hobart plays out before a worldwide audience. It is a bucket list regatta that many around the world dream of sailing in. If a regatta such as this falls in disrepute, it jeapordizes the reputation of yacht racing in general.
Have a talk with non-racers at your club and ask them why they don't race? Read through the forums and ask yourself why people leave sailboat racing for less burdensome hobbies like golf.
You will find the reasons are cost, stress, yelling, cheating, lack of fun, petty politics, rating arguments, rule changes, etc. This instance calls into question all of those reasons.
The powers that be (Yacht Clubs, National Organizations, Rating Rules, Judges, etc.) operate with the wherewithal of a bunch of 12 year olds in a tree house, playing childish political games to fluff their egos rather than taking a broad and holistic look at what they can do to improve the sport for the all of the stakeholders. When you look deeply at the motivations of many at the helm of our sport, it is deeply saddening in many instances.
The stakeholders of sailing are not just yacht club members, boat owners, and people in board seats. Yachting as a whole has a history and prevelance that influences spectators, readers, dreamers, and more. This is the heartbeat of the industry that has long been forgotten.
So what is Mr. Beales valid interest? Ensuring the sport maintains its values, ethics, and place in history as an honorable and inspirational pastime worthy of participation.
If you ask me, Mr. Beale should be applauded for his willingness to stand up for the integrity of our game.