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New RRS 2017-2020 is out

John Ball

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Here is the link


Appendix E has several changes.

Addition of Code Flag U ( a less severe version of Black Flag)

Recognition of 'Disabled Competitors' and make equal arrangements.

More detail in 'Outside help'

Deletion of the words 'and as a result, retiring' from Redress.

Change to E8 sail Numners. The old E8.b.2 to drop the leading zero in the range 00-09 has disappeared, so we are back to two digit sail numbers.


In the main part of the RRS, some changes are listed here (from Sailing Anarchy)

Outside Appendix C (match racing), AFAICS, no major changes, particularly to part 2. it's mostly housekeeping.

Definitions now include one for "support person".


Penalty for breaking rule 2 can now be DSQ or DNE.

3 (Acceptance of rules) completely re-written. Includes support people

New rules 6 and 7 - betting/anti corruption & disciplinary code.

Part 2 preamble: boats can now be DSQ for breaking 14 and causing injury or serious damage (as well as 24.1) when not racing.

New 18.2.d Rules 18.2(b ) and (c ) cease to apply when the boat entitled to mark-room has been given that mark-room, or if she passes head to wind or leaves the zone. (Old 18.2.d and 18.2.e renumbered e and f respectively).

18.3 Only applies at port hand marks.

New 19.1.b Rule 19 applies between two boats at an obstruction except (b ) when rule 18 applies between the boats and the obstruction is another boat overlapped with each of them.

20. Re-written. Now states when boats may hail, rather than when they shall not.

21 now part of section D, no longer refers to section C.

22.3 applies to boats moving sideways to windward by backing a sail.

24.2 rewritten. Now "if reasonably possible".

30.3 New "U flag" rule. Aka a black flag that doesn't carry over if the start is general recalled. Black flag is now 30.4.

32.1. Can now shorten to allow time for subsequent races, and can only abandon for starting errors.

32.2 Can now shorted at a line that boats have to cross.

40 - Y ashore = PFDs when afloat at all times.

44.2 Scoring penalty now 20% of DNF score (not entries, as before).

49.1 now refers to when lifelines are required by class or any other rule.(not just SIs)

55 Trash. Penalty now discretionary.

60.4 New rule. Technical committees may protest.

60.5 However, neither a boat nor a committee may protest for an alleged breach of rule 5, 6, 7 or 69.

61.1.a.4 No flag required if the crew is in danger.

53.4 New rule - conflict of interest.

63.7 Broadened to conflict between rules, not just NoR & SIs.

64.3 - housekeeping on class rule protests.

64.4. New rule: Decisions concerning support people.

69 Rewritten.

78 Housekeeping.

84, 85, 86 housekeeping.

Appendix C

Big changes: 17 deleted completely, 18 now the test rules.

Appendix D

17 has not been deleted, contrary to much rumour.

John Ball

IOM CAN 307 (V8)

In my private capacity

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  • 2 months later...

This was a subject of great debate. There was strong feeling that one digit numbers were confusing for hails - particularly when there were multiple boats OCS.

I am not convinced that there is an ideal solution.

Regarding other rule changes - family members attending an event in company with a competitor may now be considered as support persons and are thus subject to the Racing Rules, in particular rule 69 Misconduct. This means, for instance, that a spectator who berates an umpire or observer for a hail (or lack of hail) may be sanctioned by the Jury.


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The problem of how to deal with 0 ( zero ) as a leading digit seems never ending.

Reading Sail numbers is hard enough

One believes that the long term solution is not to issue registration and personal sail number that would give rise to this.

Similarly boat that are already registered with these cherished numbers should be given 1 year to re-register and similarly personal sail numbers falling in this category should be cancelled.

To be honest ALL personal sail number should be cancelled since not many people use one rig on multiple boats.

Simple ! Problem gone in one year - no need for MYA to make up local rules


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Should boats that have multiple certificates have a different sail number for each certificate? This would avoid the temptation for a Marblehead owner of one hull with 3 certificates switching between the 27 rigs that he can potentially register.

IRSA Technical Committee, who proposed the changes, have issued explanatory notes.

Personally I have not studied the new rules in detail yet - to avoid confusion when I am at events. I once spend a morning team racing umpiring with a highly respected umpire who was working to next years rules that he had been working on - very disconcerting. I still have 3 big events this year.


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