The notice of race and the sailing instructions for the Spring Tune-Up Race stated that The Racing Rules of Sailing would apply, but made no reference to the prescriptions of the national authority, the sailing instructions, the class rules, the notice of race or any other document or rule. Starts were given for a class of boats racing under a handicap system and for two one-design classes. Buttercup, a J/24, raced in the handicap class and was protested for breaking a J/24 class rule.
Did any of the following apply?
- the prescriptions of the national authority
- the class rules
- the notice of race
- the sailing instructions
- other documents governing the event
(2) and J2.1
(1) require that both the notice of race and the sailing instructions inform competitors "that the race will be governed by the rules as defined in The Racing Rules of Sailing." If the notice of race or the sailing instructions includes such a statement, then the prescriptions of the national authority, the class rules, the notice of race and the sailing instructions,as well as the six World Sailing Codes, all apply because they are all defined to be rules (see the definition Rule
In this case the notice of race and the sailing instructions for the Spring Tune-Up did not comply with rules J1.1
(2) . It stated only that "The Racing Rules of Sailing
would apply." Nevertheless, documents 1, 2, 3 and 4 all applied. The reasoning that leads to this conclusion is presented in the next paragraph.
If a term appears in italics in a racing rule, that term is used in the sense stated in the Definitions (see Terminology in the Introduction). Rule 4.1
(a) and 4.3
(a) , in which "rules" is in italics, makes it clear that, by participating in the race, each competitor and boat owner agrees to be governed by the racing rules and by the rules in the documents listed in the definition Rule
. Rule 5
, in which ‘rules’ again appears in italics, implies that the rules in all the documents listed in the definition Rule also govern the organizing authority, the race committee, the technical committee and the protest committee while they are conducting and judging an event. The list in the definition Rule
includes items 1, 2, 3 and 4 in Question 1.
Other documents governing the event (item 5 in Question 1) apply only if they are listed in the notice of race (see rule J1.1
May a national authority prescription, or a rule in the notice of race or in the sailing instructions, be changed?
Yes, provided that the procedures stated in the racing rules for making such a change are followed. (Note that an addition to a rule, or deletion of all or part of it, is a ‘change’ to the rule. See rule 85.1
The notice of race or sailing instructions may change a prescription or state that some or all of the prescriptions will not apply, provided that the national authority has not restricted changes to those prescriptions in a prescription to rule 88.2
. In the absence of such a change in the notice of race or sailing instructions, all the prescriptions apply.
states that a rule in the notice of race may be changed provided adequate notice is given, and 90.2
(c) covers the procedures for changing rule the sailing instructions.
May a class rule be changed?
Generally, no. However, the notice of race may change a class rule if the class rules themselves permit the change, or if written permission of the class association for the change has been obtained and is posted on the official notice board (see rules 87
Buttercup, a J/24, raced in the handicap class. Did the J/24 Class Rules or the handicap system rules apply to her?
The rules of the handicap system applied to Buttercup (see paragraph (d) in the definition Rule). If her handicap was explicitly based on the assumption that she race in compliance with some, or all, of the J/24 class rules, then those J/24 class rules, or all the J/24 class rules, applied to her. However, if Buttercup's handicap was not based on such an assumption, then none of the J/24 class rules applied to her.
If a rule in the notice of race conflicts with a rule in the sailing instructions, which takes precedence? Can the conflict be resolved?
Neither takes precedence. Rule 63.7
governs a protest or request for redress arising from such a conflict. It requires the protest committee to apply the rule that it believes will provide the fairest result for all boats affected. If such a conflict arises outside of a hearing of a protest or request for redress, the conflict can be removed by changing either the notice of race (as permitted by rule 89.2
(a)) or the sailing instructions (as permitted by rule 90.2