2021-24 Rule changes

The Racing Rules of Sailing are updated on a four-yearly cycle, and the latest version came into force at the beginning of 2021. The full text is available here , and a "study version", detailing the changes, can be accessed through the same index page.

This note looks at the updates from an HLSTC viewpoint, and in fact, there is very little to affect racing at HLSTC.

Numerous changes have been made in the areas of race organisation and formal procedures; these generally need not concern us.

Two flags have been added: a plain orange to mark one end of the starting line, and a plain blue to mark one end of the finishing line.

The definitions (and therefore timing) of Start and Finish are now based on when the first part of the boat's hull crosses the line. Previously, any part of the crew or equipment crossing the line could count.

(Note: this change has NOT been applied to the definitions of Overlap and Clear Astern, which are still based on "the aftermost point of the other boat's hull and equipment in normal position".)

Various changes have been made to the wording or structure, in the interests of clarity, with no change of meaning intended. Amongst these are the following:

The definition of "Sail the Course" is moved from rule 28 to the Definitions section. (This is about representing the boat's track by an imaginary string, stretched taut around/between the relevant marks.)

"Exoneration" is moved from rule 21 to new rule 43. (This is about protecting a boat that is caused to break a rule because of another boat's breach of a rule.)

Please advise Webpages if you are aware of any other changes that ought to be mentioned here.