Every four years, the Racing Rules of Sailing are updated. In 2013 we will be racing under a new set of rules. While the changes are not major, every racer owes it to himself and to his fellow racers to know and follow the racing rules. When some sailors don’t know the rules, or worse, choose to ignore the rules, racing at the EYC is made less fun for all of us.
Every person who is a 2013 member of US Sailing receives a free copy of the new racing rules booklet. To join US Sailing, or to renew your US Sailing membership, at a significant discount due to your EYC membership, click here.
Attending a North University rules seminar is a great way to update your rules knowledge. One is scheduled in Milwaukee on March 9, and another in Chicago on March 10. For a complete seminar schedule, click here.
Parents, please help your junior sailors understand the importance of following the racing rules. A book on the racing rules makes a great gift for your junior sailor! Winter is always a good time to study the rules.
Resources for learning about the racing rules include Dave Perry’s book Understanding the Racing Rules of Sailing Through 2016 (available online at Amazon or from the US Sailing online store), and U.S. Sailing’s nine-minute video entitled “Animated Handy Guide to the Racing Rules of Sailing” which can be viewed for free here.
If you compete, please learn the fundamental right of way rules and perform penalty turns when you know you fouled another boat. If you learn after the race that you were in the wrong in a right-of-way incident, tell the race committee that you are withdrawing from the race.
To help motivate other competitors to obey the rules, if you have been fouled, please protest the boat which fouled you. Protesting another boat which has fouled you is not an unfriendly act; it’s just a necessary part of the game in a sport which depends on competitors, not referees, to enforce the rules.
Knowing the rules is a big advantage for racers, because the rules are the basis for all boat-on-boat tactics. You can’t be a good sailing tactician without a good understanding of the rules.