Tuesday, 1 July 2008

Racing Rules of Sailing 2009-2012 | 3

The preamble of Part Two has changed by deleting one sentence:

The rules of Part 2 apply between boats that are sailing in or near the racing area and intend to race, are racing, or have been racing. However, a boat not racing shall not be penalized for breaking one
of these rules, except rule 2

When a boat sailing under these rules meets a vessel that is not, she shall comply with the International Regulations for Preventing Collisions at Sea (IRPCAS) or government right-of-way rules. However, an alleged breach of those rules shall not be grounds for a protest except by the race committee or protest committee. If the sailing instructions so state, the rules of Part 2 are replaced by the right-of-way rules of the IRPCAS or by government right-of-way rules.

When a boat racing fouls a boat that is not participating in the race - and I don't mean another boat that just is not racing at that particular encounter - only the PC or RC could protest that boat. That always struck me as not very fair. In most cases the RC, and let alone the PC, isn't on the water to look for this and hardly ever at the right place at the right time.

Now another boat who sees this, can protest. It will still be hard to get the non racing party into the hearing (as a witness - never a party, because that boat isn't under the RRS), but at least the likelihood that someone will sees this and can do something, has been increased.

In the four years this rule has been in effect I have never ever been in a protest involving a non racing boat. How about you?


  1. I have never had a protest where the boat racing fouls a boat "not racing", but the rule does come into play.

    In our area, there is a considerable amount of commercial traffic restricted to specific channels (i.e. ships and barges). Most of the time the RC will postpone if they think the traffic will interfere with the course, but there are times when a barge unexpectedly comes through the course after the start.

    I think some people are crazy enough that you need to specify that non-racing boats can have right of way. We can't guarantee race courses that are completely free of casual boaters and commercial traffic. Some racers respond better if there is a rule about it.

  2. In the new rules (2009-2012) once again another competitor can protest a boat that breaks a rule against a non-racing boat. Perhaps that will generate a few more trips to the room....
    On my local racing waters we get an increase in recreational boats and they need to have some protection as well...


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