Definitions

missing mark

Racing Rules of Sailing

The Racing Rules of Sailing (often abbreviated to RRS) govern the conduct of yacht racing, windsurfing, kitesurfing, model boat racing, dinghy racing and virtually any other form of racing around a course with more than one vessel while powered by the wind. A new revision is published every four years (after the Olympic Games) by the International Sailing Federation, the world governing body for the sport. The current edition (2005–2008) came into effect on 1 January 2005.

1997 saw the most dramatic simplification to the Racing Rules of Sailing since the 1940s. They are based on the five main right of way rules;

  1. Boats on a port tack shall give way to boats on starboard tack (Rule 10).
  2. When boats are on the same tack, the boat to windward shall keep clear of a leeward boat (Rule 11).
  3. Overtaking boats shall keep clear (Rule 12).
  4. A boat that changes course, even if it has the right-of-way, shall do so in a manner that gives the burdened boat a chance to "keep clear" and give way (Rule 16).
  5. Even if you have right-of-way, it is your duty to avoid a collision, once it becomes apparent that the other boat is not giving way (Rule 14).

In total there are 90 rules but (since the major simplification in 1997) only 12 rules govern what boats do when they meet on the water (part 2 rules). It is not necessary to know all of the rules to successfully compete in a dinghy race, but a knowledge of the basics is recommended.

Sailboat racing is a self-policing sport. As stated by the Racing Rules of Sailing, "Competitors in the sport of sailing are governed by a body of rules that they are expected to follow and enforce. A fundamental principle of sportsmanship is that when competitors break a rule they will promptly take a penalty or retire.. Depending on the nature of the infraction, the penalty may be either (1) performing a turn consisting of one tack and one gybe or (2) performing two turns consisting of two tacks and two gybes (except for windsurfing). For most rules infractions, a competitor may absolve himself or herself from disqualification from the race by taking such a penalty. However, if she caused injury or serious damage or gained a significant advantage in the race or series by her breach her penalty shall be to retire. If the competitor fails to take appropriate action she may be protested by the race committee or, more likely, another competitor. If successful, this will result in the disqualification of the protested competitor. The aforementioned principles do not apply to match racing (like the America's Cup) where on-the-water umpires impose penalties immediately after an infraction occurs.

Race signals

Sail races are governed with flags and sound signals to indicate flag changes. The flags used are taken from the International maritime signal flag set. During a race and for any signal concerning the race, these flags are defined in the ISAF Racing Rules of Sailing but the signal can be modified by the Sailing Instructions.

The raising (hoisting) or removing of a visual signal is accompanied by the emission of a sound signal to draw attention to the new signal. The type of the sound signal (one short sound, two short sounds, one long sound, etc.) is described by the rule according to the type of signal. The usual meanings of these flags are as follows:

Postponement signal

The Answering Pennant (AP) with or without a numerical pennant is used to indicate a postponed race. A numerical pennant below the AP denotes the time, in hours, of the race postponement.

Flag signal Number of sound signals when raised Number of sound signals when lowered Description
AP Races not yet started are postponed.
AP
1
Races not yet started are postponed 1 hour.
AP
2
Races not yet started are postponed 2 hours.
AP
3
Races not yet started are postponed 3 hours.
AP
4
Races not yet started are postponed 4 hours.
AP
5
Races not yet started are postponed 5 hours.
AP
6
Races not yet started are postponed 6 hours.
AP
A
Races not yet started are postponed. No more racing today.
AP
H
Races not yet started are postponed. More information ashore.

Preparatory signal

These signal flags are used before a race start and most commonly as part of a start sequence/procedure.

Flag signal Number of sound signals when raised Number of sound signals when lowered Description
P Normal preparatory signal - no starting penalties are in effect. A boat over the line at the start can return through the line or round an ends but must keep clear of boats not returning.
I The Round-an-End Rule 30.1 will be in effect. A boat over the line during the minute before the start must sail to the pre-start side of the line around either end before starting.
Z The 20% Penalty Rule 30.2 will be in effect. A boat within the triangle formed by the ends of the line and the first mark during the minute before the start will receive a 20% scoring penalty
I
Z
Both the Round-an-End Rule and the 20% Penalty Rule will be in effect during the minute before the start.
The Black Flag Rule 30.3 will be in effect. A boat within the triangle formed by the ends of the line and the first mark during the minute before the start will be disqualified.

Start signal

These signal flags are used in the pre-start procedure. Class flags can be numeral pennants 1 , 2 , and 3 however they can be substituted to avoid confusion with the postponement signals relating to a particular class.

When one race signal is displayed over one class flag, the race signal is intended to be read only by that class, and has no effect for the other class.

For some classes the class flag is a special, own designed, flag, while for some other classes the flag is taken from the International maritime signal flag set.

The following table shows an example start sequence for Class or Division 3 fleet.

Flag signal Number of sound signals when raised Number of sound signals when lowered Description
3 Warning Signal. 5 minutes to race start when class flag raised.
3
P
Preparatory signal. 4 minutes to start when P flag raised. Flag P used or if a starting penalty applies I, Z, Black flag or I over Z is used in place of P.
3
P
Long sound Preparatory signal. P flag removed 1 minute before start. Flag P used or if a starting penalty applies I, Z, Black flag or I over Z is used in place of P.
3 Start Signal. Race start when class flag removed.

Recall signal

Flag signal Number of sound signals when raised Number of sound signals when lowered Description
X Individual recall. One or more boats did not start correctly and must return back and do a proper start. The X flag is displayed until the earliest of the following: all boats over the line early have returned correctly, 4 minutes from the start or until one minute before the next start. (The sound signal is in addition to the start sound signal)
1st Sub General recall. All boats are to return and then a new start sequence will begin. Signaled when there are unidentified boats over the line or subject to one of the starting penalties, or there has been an error in the starting procedure. The new warning signal for the recalled class will be made 1 minute after the 1st substitute is removed. (The two sound signals when the first substitute is displayed are in addition to the start sound signal)

Course change signal

Flag signal Number of sound signals when raised Number of sound signals when lowered Description
S Shortened Course. When displayed at a rounding mark the finish is between the nearby mark and the mast displaying the S flag. When displayed at a line that boats are required to cross at the end of each lap the finish is that line. When displayed at a gate the finish is between the gate marks.
C ... Course Change. When displayed at a rounding mark, the position of the next mark has been changed. If the direction to the mark has changed it shall be indicated by displaying the new compass bearing or a green triangular flag (or board) for a change to starboard or a red rectangular flag (or board) for a change to port. If the length of the leg has changed then this shall be signalled by displaying a "-" if the leg will shorter or a "+" if the leg will be longer. Repeated sound signals should be made to draw attention to the signal.

Abandonment signal

Flag signal Number of sound signals when raised Number of sound signals when lowered Description
N All races that have started are abandoned. Return to starting area for a new start. The first warning signal will be made 1 minute after N is removed.
N
A
All races are abandoned. No more racing today.
N
H
All races are abandoned. More information ashore.

Other signals

Flag signal Number of sound signals when raised Number of sound signals when lowered Description
L When displayed afloat means: Come within hail or follow this boat. When displayed ashore means: A notice to competitors has been posted.
M ... Indicates a boat or an object displaying this signal replaces a missing mark. Repeated sound signals should be made to draw attention to the signal.
Y All people on board should wear a personal life jacket or personal buoyancy.
BLUE When displayed the race committee boat is in position at the finishing line.

Notes

See also

External links

Search another word or see missing markon Dictionary | Thesaurus |Spanish
Copyright © 2014 Dictionary.com, LLC. All rights reserved.
  • Please Login or Sign Up to use the Recent Searches feature