Monday, 9 July 2012

(pillow)Case of the week (28/12) - 04

(This is an instalment in a series of blogposts about the ISAF Case book 2009-2012 with amendments for 2011. All cases are official interpretations by the ISAF committees on how the Racing Rules of Sailing should be used or interpreted. The cases are copied from the Casebook, only the comments are written by me.)
(pillow)Case picture
Case 4
(Case 5 has been withdrawn for revision during 2009)
Rule 49, Crew Position
Rule 50.3(a), Setting and Sheeting Sails: Use of Outriggers

A competitor may hold a sheet outboard.
Is it permissible for a competitor to hold the sheet of a headsail or spinnaker outboard?
Rule 50.3(a) prohibits the use of an outrigger and defines it to be a fitting or other device. A competitor is neither a fitting nor a device. It is therefore permissible for a competitor to hold a sheet outboard, provided that rule 49 is complied with.
RYA 1962/41
For those of you who are wondering about rule 49:
49.1 Competitors shall use no device designed to position their bodies outboard, other than hiking straps and stiffeners worn under the thighs.

49.2 When lifelines are required by the class rules or the sailing instructions they shall be taut, and competitors shall not position any part of their torsos outside them, except briefly to perform a necessary task.
On boats equipped with upper and lower lifelines of wire, a competitor sitting on the deck facing outboard with his waist inside the lower lifeline may have the upper part of his body outside the upper lifeline.
When holding a sheet outboard your torso will be most likely outside the lifelines on a yacht that is equipped with those. Therefore you can only do it briefly to perform a necessary task. Taking the spinnaker pole down just before lowering and then a crewmember holds the sheet outboard to keep the spinnaker drawing, complies with rule 49 and with rule 50.3(a). If you do the same for half a leg – provided you are that strong – it breaks rule 49 and the boat can be protested and DSQ-ed.
And since it is in part 4 of the RRS – no alternative penalty can be taken to exonerate this infringement.
A sheet is not a device designed to position a crew’s body outboard, so you even comply with rule 49.1 by using that same spinnaker sheet as support to prevent you from falling in the water. But, like stated, only briefly!


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