April Newsletter

The clubs March membership meeting was well attended.  The club has 2 new members this year. Please help welcome back to the club Terry and Kathy Krajewski, and new member Mike and Kathy Nolan, who I hear is an avid downhill ski racer!  At the membership meeting, members Chris Hogan and Val Peoples shared with me their concerns and ideas to try to increase membership.  Realistically with our small club, membership issues continue to be an area where we need improvement.  During our April board meeting, club trustee Cathy Weeks accepted the challenge of forming a membership committee to develop and implement a membership strategy to attract new members. This is a very good next step.  Please let Cathy or the board know if you would like to help in this very important area.


Several of our members were in attendance at Edgewater Yacht Club in early March for the rules changes seminar by Dave Perry. Louise Mills, Don & Karen McLeod, Cathy Weeks, former member Grant Edwards and I enjoyed the day. World renowned sailor Dave Perry was on hand to give a very informative and entertaining review of the rule changes for 2005-2008.  The best part of the day was when Mount Gay Rum sponsored happy hour at the end of the seminar with refreshing beverages. Included in this news letter is a copy of the significant rule changes as prepared by Dave Perry.  It is very important that all GRSC racing members familiarize themselves with these rule changes before the first race.


During one of the afternoon breaks several crews from different J 105s in the area went out on the ice at Edgewater Yacht Club and practiced citing rules to each other as they walked the frozen Harbor. Arguments were settled by checking on the ice and sitting in the penalty box.  PETA/PETS (People for the Ethical Treatment of Sailors) disclaimer…. No sailors were hurt in any way what-so-ever during these experiments, no matter what you have heard!


 Dave Perry is a polite well spoken sailor who kindly signed an autograph copy of his newly released book Understanding the Racing Rule of Sailing through 2008 for our club to use as a silent auction item for our Regatta. 


Speaking of which, now is the time for our members to start soliciting for donations/silent auction items for our regatta. Regatta chair Louise Mills will have a very exciting announcement regarding this year’s regatta shortly!


In closing, there has been little or no feedback on the freshening of our club’s code of regulations.  If there are no comments or concerns regarding this matter the board will adopt them as written during the May board meeting.


Hope to see you on the water soon!


Robert Mock


Next Months Issue


Upcoming Dates of interest:


Other Dates at a glance:


If you have a club activity you would like to include in our club calendar please notify Commodore/River Debris Editor Rob Mock.



Keep this as a quick overview to reference your rule book.

SECTION A – Right of Way

10 –On Opposite Tacks

11 -On the Same Tack, Overlapped

12 -On the Same Tack, Not Overlapped

13 -While Tacking                                                                                                          SECTION B -General Limitations                                                                                         14 -Avoiding Contact

15 -Acquiring Right of Way

16 -Changing Course

17 -On the Same Tack; Proper Course                                                                 SECTION C -At Marks and Obstructions                                                                     18 -Rounding and Passing Marks and Obstructions

            18.1 -When This Rule Applies

            18.2 -Giving Room; Keeping Clear

                        (a) Overlapped -Basic Rule

                        (b) Overlapped at the Zone

                        (c) Not Overlapped at the Zone

                        (d) Changing Course to Round or Pass

                        (e) Overlap Rights

            18.3 -Tacking at a Mark

            18.4 -Gybing

            18.5 -Passing a Continuing Obstruction                                                                      19 -Room to Tack at an Obstruction                                                                        

SECTION D -Other Rules                                                                                                       20 -Starting Errors; Penalty Turns; Moving Astern                                                              21 -Capsized, Anchored or Aground; Rescuing                                                                     22 -Interfering with Another Boat




The following is a list of the significant changes in the 2005-2008 edition of The Racing Rules of Sailing (RRS). These are changes from the 2001-2004 edition of the RRS. NOTE: These brief   summaries are not intended to be actual representations of the rules; nor is this a complete list of all the changes in the 2005-2008 RRS.

Portions of this document are excerpted from Dave Perry's 'Understanding the Racing Rules of Sailing Through 2008' available from US SAILING by calling 1-800-US-SAlL-1 or ordering on-line from http://www.ussailing.org

Preamble to Part 2 (When Boats Meet): The preamble now clarifies that when a racing boat meets a boat having no intention of racing, the racing boat is required to comply with the International Regulations for Preventing Collisions at Sea (IRPCAS) or government right-of-way rules, or risk disqualification. However only the race or protest committee can protest the racing boat.

Rule 14 (Avoiding Contact): The rule clarifies that a right-of-way boat that breaks rule 14 can be penalized when the contact causes injury to a person, as well as when it causes damage to the boat or its equipment, etc.

Rule 16.2 (Changing Course): This rule now applies only when P is keeping clear by passing astern of S. If P is crossing ahead of S (upwind or downwind), S may change course and make P "immediately" change course to continue keeping clear provided P can do so in a "seamanlike" way.

Rule 19.1 (Room to Tack at an Obstruction): Now, a boat that hails for room to tack when it does not need to make a substantial course change to safely avoid the obstruction breaks rule 19.1. The boat being hailed must still respond to the hail, but she can now protest under rule 19.1 when she thinks the hail was unfounded.

Rule 25 (Notice of Race, Sailing Instructions and Signals): Now it is mandatory that the notice of race, as well as the sailing instructions, be made available to each boat before a race.

Rule 30.1 (Round-an-End Rule) as well as rule 26 (Starting Races) and Race Signals mean that the I flag, when used, is flown as a preparatory signal (i.e. it cannot be flown before a preparatory signal). The same is true for the Z flag (rule 30.2, 20% Penalty Rule) and the black flag (rule 30.3, Black Flag Rule).

Rule 30.3 (Black Flag Rule): Now, if the race committee intends to disqualify a boat for breaking rule 30.3 and there is a general recall, the race committee must display her sail number *before* the next warning signal for that race.  The same is true if the race is abandoned after the starting signal.

Rule 31.2 (Touching a Mark): Once a boat that has touched a mark has done one turn that includes a tack and a gybe (in either order), it may continue in the race; i.e., it does not need to do a complete 360 degree turn.

Rule 32.2 (Shortening or Abandoning After the Start): Now the race committee can shorten a race at a gate (the finish line is between the gate marks), or at a line boats are required to cross at the end of each lap.


Rule 33(a)(2) (Changing the Next Leg of the Course): Now instead of displaying the new compass bearing when changing a mark, the race committee may use a green triangular flag or board for a change to starboard, or a red rectangular flag or board for a change to port.

Rule 40.2 (Personal Buoyancy; Harness): As of January 1, 2006, trapeze and hiking harnesses must have a device that allows competitors to quickly release themselves from the boat at any time while in use.


Rule 41 (Outside Help): Rule 41 now "legalizes" many things that were common occurrences in the past, such as listening to a weather radio during a race or having the race committee hail your sail number 30 seconds before the starting signal when the "Round-an-End" rule was in effect, or a helpful someone remind you which way to round a mark or point out seaweed on your rudder during a race.

Rule 42 (propulsion): "Sculling" has been redefined to include repeated "forceful" movement of the helm, regardless of its effect. Furthermore, any repeated helm movement that propels the boat forward or keeps it from moving backward is also "sculling." "Sculling" is permitted when a boat is above close-hauled and is slow or stopped and is trying to turn to close-hauled. A boat can also reduce speed by repeatedly moving her helm.

Rule 44 (Penalties for Breaking Rules of Part 2): A boat no longer needs to do a complete 720 degree turn to take a penalty for possibly breaking a rule. Once a boat has done two turns in the same direction, that includes two tacks and two gybes, it may continue in the race; this is now called a Two-Turns Penalty (rule 44.2). Note that a boat that may have broken a rule and in the incident has caused injury (to anyone, including her own crew) must now retire from the race; she is not entitled to do a Two-Turns Penalty (rule 44.1).

Rule 60 (Right to Protest; Right to Request Redress or Rule 69 Action): Rules 60.2 and 60.3 state that the race or protest committee cannot protest a boat based on information learned in a request for redress, though the protest committee can always protest a boat if it learns (in any way) that a boat was involved in an incident that may have resulted in injury or serious damage.

Rule 61.1(a)(3) (Protest Requirements): In an incident in which it is obvious to the boats involved that there was damage or injury, the boats involved do not need to say "Protest" or fly a protest flag to protest; they simply have to inform the other of their intent to protest within the time limit for lodging a protest.

Rule 62.1(a) (Redress): The actions or omissions of the organizing authority can now be the subject of a redress request.

Rule 63.7 (Conflict between Rules): this new rule instructs protest committees to resolve a conflict between a notice of race and a sailing instruction in the way which provides the fairest result for all boats affected.

Rule 69.1(b)(2) (Allegations of Gross Misconduct; Action by a Protest Committee): If the protest committee decides to remove the boat from a race or races, it "disqualifies" the boat; and furthermore a disqualification under this rule is now non-discardable.

Rule 75.3 (a US prescription to rule 75, Entering a Race): The organizing authority can no longer require a competitor to assume any liabilities of the organizing authority, race committee, protest committee, host club, sponsors, or any other organization or official involved with the event (commonly referred to as an 'indemnification' or 'hold harmless' agreement).

Rule 86 (Changes to the Racing Rules): Note that rule 42 (Propulsion) cannot be changed by prescriptions or by sailing instructions (rule 86.1(a) and 86.1(b)); but it still can be changed by class rules (86.1(c)).

Rule 88.2(a) (Notice of Race; Appointment of Race Officials): Rule 88.2(a) now clarifies that the notice of race may be changed provided adequate notice is given.

Rule 89.3 (Scoring): Now the default scoring system is the Low Point System.

Appendix F (Appeals Procedures): All appeals of protest committee decisions in the U.S. are now to be sent directly to US SAILING, which in turn will forward them, at no charge, to the appropriate association appeals committee. (Note that the association appeals committee may charge a fee for considering an appeal.)