Update on Racing Rules Changes from World Sailing Annual Conference 2022
Each year World Sailing considers suggestions for changes to the Racing Rules at its Annual Conference (these are known as ’submissions’ and each has a unique number ending in the year e.g. 001-22). This year the conference was held in Abu Dhabi in the UAE and was attended by four Irish delegates.
Submissions which are approved will form part of the next rule book (effective 1st Jan 2025) unless they decide to make the change urgent (which become effective 1st Jan 2023).
This year, the World Sailing Racing Rules Committee voted on 58 suggestions this year, of which 30 were approved. Below is a very brief summary of the most important changes that are coming for Race Officials.
For those who are rules experts, you can find more details in the ‘Yellow paper’ at the link here. If you have any questions on any of the changes below, you are welcome to contact me at email@example.com.
Summary of the important changes for Race Officials
002-22 Definition of Finish
This submission corrected an accidental error that was introduced in the rules this cycle. When the words ‘after starting’ were added to the definition finish, it meant that a boat that never started could not finish. However, since a boat needs to finish and clear the finishing line in order to stop racing, this meant that an OCS boat (for example) was racing forever! The change in this submission fixes this problem.
Finish A boat finishes when,
after starting, after her starting signal, any part of her hull crosses the finishing line from the course side. However, she has not finished if after crossing the finishing line she….
007-22 Rule 17 (proper course)
This submission deletes the last sentence of rule 17. This means that this rule will apply even if the overlap began while the windward boat was subject to rule 13 (i.e. tacking). This will be of most interest to team racers.
011-22 Rule 27.2 and match racing
This submission was approved in form specific to match racing. It adds a new rule for this discipline which states: “no later than the warning signal, the race committee may move a starting mark”. This was to prevent the race committee from moving the starting line while boats are attempting to enter. Note that in fleet racing this rule will still apply only from the preparatory signal (rule 27.2).
017-22 Time limit for protests
This submission makes it clear that for protests or requests for redress that are to do with incidents outside the racing area, the time limit is 2 hours after the information is made available. This means that competitors have to be diligent in looking for relevant information (such as checking the results and looking for new video). They don’t simply get 2 hours after discovering it, it will now be 2 hours after it was made available.
This submission would have made the default in the rules zero discards (as opposed to the one discard which is currently the default). RRC voted to defer this submission until 2023 to allow further discussion with stakeholders. The view is that the submission is more of a policy decision and it should only be decided once everyone has had a chance to weigh in. Anyone with a strong view is encouraged to contact Irish Sailing.
026-22 Scoring boats NSC (URGENT)
This was approved as an urgent submission, meaning it will become effective on 1st Jan 2023. This change corrects an unintended error which allows the new scoring abbreviation NSC to be used properly.
A6.1 If a boat
did not sail the course and is scored accordingly, or is disqualified from a race, or retires after finishing, or is scored did not sail the course, each boat with a worse finishing place shall be moved up one place.
There were many more submissions considered and voted on, however, many are straightforward/housekeeping changes.