US Sailing Introduces New Rules for 2009-2012

The start of a new year often brings about big changes: a new diet, a new destination, and a new attitude. But for US Sailing, 2009 means the start of a new edition of The Racing Rules of Sailing, the legislating guidebook that gets a facelift every four years. The new edition for 2009-2012 includes some major amendments that will have sailors rethinking their race strategy. Dave Perry,
Author:
Publish date:
Updated on

The start of a new year often brings about big changes: a new diet, a new destination, and a new attitude. But for US Sailing, 2009 means the start of a new edition of The Racing Rules of Sailing, the legislating guidebook that gets a facelift every four years. The new edition for 2009-2012 includes some major amendments that will have sailors rethinking their race strategy. Dave Perry, chairman of the US Sailing Appeals Committee, posted his summarized version of the rules. Major changes include:

So long, proper course:Rule 17.2 (On the Same Tack; Proper Course) once stood as the limiting reagent that kept windward boats, and boats clear ahead, from dipping into their neighbor's pathway. Now that the rule has been removed, this limitation no longer applies and boats are free to sail below their proper course, a change that could make a big difference in boat positioning for mark roundings and team race maneuvers.

Expanding the circle:Rule 18, which determined rights at a mark or obstruction based on when boats were "about to round," was completely revamped. Under the original ambiguous language, there were contentions as to when the rules began to apply. "Room at the mark," after all, could mean a lot of things. The new phrase "mark-room" specifies that a boat should be given room to reach the mark in a seamanlike fashion, round it, and sail proper course away from it without interruption. With this new language, the ruled area is referred to as "The Zone" and its parameters are clearly defined as a three-boatlength circle around the mark or obstruction. (It was two boatlengths under the old version of the rule.) Using the Zone, outside boats now have a clearly defined point at which they must give room to inside boats. (If an outside boat exits "The Zone" at any point, Rule 18 stops applying.) The details of "The Zone" vary between two and four boatlengths depending on the type of race, but by defining it more specifically, this rule seeks to avoid vague protests in the future.

Go ahead, Interfere: Rule 23.2 (Interfering with Another Boat) was changed to say that if a boat remains on her proper course and encounters a boat exonerating for a penalty, the first boat has rights to continue on her proper course.

There are a dozen other adjustments that vary from a change in vocabulary ("personal buoyancy" became "personal flotation devices") under Rule 40, to a change in the details of a redress under Rule 62. To help spell out the details of the alterations, US Sailing is teaming up with North U. to present rule seminars throughout the nation. You can find a seminar near you. Instructors will include Dave Perry, Brad Dellenbaugh, Pete Dellenbaugh, and Peter Isler.

New Year's resolutions are fleeting, but new rules will linger for at least four years, so learning the details of the changes is a wise resolution.

Related

01-Lead-show

France’s Annual Multihull Show

If a boat show could be described as intimate, the annual Salon International du Multicoque in La Grande Motte, on France’s Mediterranean coast, is it. Held in the latter part of April, the multihulls-only in-water show is a boon for builders, because the people who attend come ...read more

TOTW_PromoSite

SAIL's Tip of the Week

Presented by Vetus-Maxwell. Got a tip? Send it to sailmail@sailmagazine.com Check the waypoint  Most errors with GPS and paper chart navigation are caused by the operator punching in the wrong numbers or plotting the lat/long incorrectly. The surest way to double-check a ...read more

Furlex-Electric

Gear: Seldén’s Furlex Electric

Furl Power Seldén’s Furlex Electric offers an easy path into the world of sweat-free headsail furling. The compact unit can be retrofitted to an existing manual Furlex unit or installed as a replacement for whatever you’ve got now. Its DC-DC converter accepts your boat’s 12V or ...read more

11_DSC8423Tom-Zydler

Cruising: Nova Scotia

There’s a unique cruising ground that combines access to urban locations with easy escapes to wilderness and nature. Its native people may be the friendliest on the east coast of North America. Its coastline runs 250 nautical miles in a straight line, but that should be ...read more

01-LEAD-shutterstock_727849660

Boat Monitoring System

Boat Oversight In a world where you can track your friends’ locations in real time and stream yourself live on the internet, it should come as no surprise that you can also keep a close eye on your boat from the comfort of home. In fact, not only is there a plethora of options ...read more

pilot_saloon_42-_en_navigation_11

Boat Review: Wauquiez Pilot Saloon 42

Old salts grouse about modern aesthetics. It’s just what they do, and the hard lines and spartan interiors of today’s production boats give them many reasons to complain. French builder Wauquiez, however, seems to consistently be able to marry contemporary elements with ...read more