Monday, 9 June 2008

Racing Rules of Sailing 2009-2012 | 1

When I came home tonight after an extended work day, I found an unexpected present in my mailbox. The complete new RRS 2009-2012 as were send to all MNA's for translation!
(Thanks Bruno!)

Since our series on definitions is almost run out - only two more to go - I thought I would start a new series about the changes in the rules. So we can discover the subtleties in the words and talk about the interpretation together. I will - just like you - have to think about the impact some of the changes will have. Perhaps together we can learn, before we need to use them next year?

Here's the first one, the changes are in red:

1.2 Life-Saving Equipment and Personal Buoyancy Flotation Devices

A boat shall carry adequate life-saving equipment for all persons on board, including one item ready for immediate use, unless her class rules make some other provision. Each competitor is individually responsible for wearing a personal flotation device buoyancy adequate for the conditions.

At first glance this is only a wording change. However one which does have some impact.
A small balloon already has some buoyancy, but a flotation device must be able to keep the person floating, above water. If you ever have any doubt about if a flotation device is adequate for the person wearing it, ask him/her to show you - in safe conditions - that it is capable of keeping them afloat.

Oh, and better check your own as well.


  1. Wow, this is very interesting. I've never really looked into this type of racing before. But I'll check it out. If you're interested in reading poetry, you can check out my blog at

  2. Dear Marie Abigail,
    Visited your blog and saw that you just starting out on the www. I can't say that I read much poetry.... unless you count the odd limerick as such.
    Nevertheless, good luck with your blog.

  3. So what is this rule saying? That we HAVE to wear personal floatation? I don't wear a bouyancy aid when dinghy racing due to the type of boat I sail, it's jsut too cumbersome and can easily get you stuck. If yacht racing in bad weather I will wear a manual inflating life jacket. Is this rule saying that we must wear one regardless?

  4. for tom g:
    The rule hasn't changed in respect of you having to wear one or not. You are individually responsible, like the rule states.
    You have to wear one when the RC signals this with a Yankee-flag.

    If your manually inflatable life jacket is capable of keeping you afloat, you are fulfilling the requirements of this rule.


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