Sunday, 21 August 2011

Racing Rules Correlator (1972)

Looking for an appropriate picture for Sunday, I inadvertently clicked on the wrong button in Google and was linked to a Patent Search with the words "Racing Rules of Sailing".

Low and behold, there was one!
The Racing Rules Correlator, invented by Greg A Field and patented in 1972!

In the illustrated embodiment, the present invention consists of a simple and rugged construction and in one series of settings depicts the apparent relative situation between two racing yachts and additionally gives in short form the particular rule applicable to the existing situation.

More particularly, the invention employs two flat circular discs made of metal, wood, plastic, cardboard or other suitable rigid sheet material. The discs have preselected nautical data recorded on both faces thereof. On one face, the data relates to yachts sailing on the same tack, and on the other, for both discs, data relating to yachts sailing on opposite tacks and miscellaneous racing situations. The two discs are mounted in a frame of like material defined by spaced panels housing the discs with the discs mounted for rotation within the frame: the axis of rotation for one disc being laterally offset with respect to the other allowing the discs to rotate within the frame in overlapped position. With the two discs mounted in overlapping fashion, the frame covering the same is provided with a viewing window cut in each side and preferably aligned with the frame are further provided selector marks on the periphery of upper edge portions which are curved and which correspond in general to the periphery of the discs carried thereby. The diameter of the disc is such that a peripheral marginal portion of each disc extends beyond respective curved portions of the frame panel. In the preferred embodiment, nautical data relating to the various situations of each yacht allows the disc to

be rotated so that the particular yacht situation is set at or between the frame marks. Preferably, the various yacht situation data is carried by first disc sector portions, in this case on the uncovered margin of both discs, allowing initial setup of one disc for the operator and another for that of the competing yacht. Upon setting of both discs, the operator readily reads through one of the windows a specific rule governing the instant situation between the yachts.

I wonder if it actually ever got made?

If so, I would very much like to get in touch with someone who still has one or, even better, who has used one in a regatta... Its already 40 years ago that this patent was granted, but that at least is still valid.

Read all about it on:

In today's world this would be an made into an APP on our iPhone :-)....

1 comment:

  1. "Was the red flag displayed in a timely manner?"

    "Why yes ma'am. As soon as I dialed up the correct orientation of the boats on my 'correlator machine', I threw the flag and shouted 'Protest'"



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