Wednesday 25 October 2006


This blog is about the Racing Rules of Sailing. Anything to do with the rules. On or off the water, in the protest room or umpiring in a rubber duck, attending a seminar or reading a news item. If it involves the RRS, I will post about it.

This blog is for sailors, for officials, coaches, organizers and anybody who has to deal with the rules. If you are a volunteer helping your club run the Thursday-evening-regatta you can find some tips to help you, or a link to an easy scoring program. For protest committee-members there are rule-explanations and actual protests to study. Coaches can get an insight how officials think and relate to sailors. If you are studying the rules, to become a National Judge or Umpire or an IJ or IU, there are test-questions and links to websites with information. Sailors can ask questions and find out what the rules mean. Umpires can keep up their skill by answering new calls and improve their communication. Race officers can read about things that work to run a smooth event or learn from my mistakes.

This blog tells you about my experiences as a sailor, my insights and thoughts as a judge, umpire and race officer and about the events I attend. How I became an IJ and IU and what I do to improve and stay on top.

My name is Jos Spijkerman and I started sailing when I was 11 years old. Together with two brothers and a sister, I own a 6.5 meter national class keel boat (Valk 742) and we fight about which colour it should be painted.
I’ve been a sailing instructor in the past for 12 years and in more recent years involved in many local, national and international sailing events as a sailor or as an official.

I became an International Judge in 2005 and just recently (November 2007) an International Umpire. Volunteering for two local clubs, KWVL (Langweer) and the KWS (Sneek), doing unpaid work for our National Authority and attending as many events as I have days for, I can say that "the rules" play a big part in my life. And now I've started blogging about them as well....

If you still want to read more about me or why I started this blog, read it in:
All about Look To Windward in eight questions & answers

And even more questions answered on Started Sailing by Alex Dotsch:
Racing Rules of Sailing - interview with Jos Spijkerman

In case you want to know where I am: Events I hope to attend in the near future.
Or you can have a look on my Facebook page.


  1. I am not sure how to e.mail you. Sorry for asking a question in a comment.

    I was umpiring university team racing in firefly dinghys at the weekend. The usual S course.

    At mark 4 (from the run to the reach) a boat was rounding on port tack when an opponent who was well ahead returned on starboard and caught him next to the mark. I was indecisive. Is this a plain rule 10 and a legitimate move or does the returning boat break 23.2?


  2. @Wag
    For email use the address in the sidebar:

    Rule 18 is off; " RRS 18.1: Rule 18 applies between boats when they are required to leave a mark on the same side and at least one of them is in the zone. However, it does not apply
    (c) between a boat approaching a mark and one leaving it, or"
    So we go back to the ROW (rule 10) and 23.2:
    "Except when sailing her proper course, a boat shall not interfere with a boat taking a penalty or sailing on another leg."

    If SB was on her proper course she can interfere with P. If she was not, she breaks 23.2.


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