Forum: Share your SI/NOR language.

Rule 52, Where/When to delete.

Peter Clapp
Nationality: United States of America
Certifications:
  • Race Officer In Training
  • Judge In Training
As more and more handicap rated boats are showing up to our regattas with electrically/hydraulically controlled adjusters installed, applying Rule 52 becomes our burden.

52. MANUAL POWER
A boat’s standing rigging, running rigging, spars and movable hull appendages shall be adjusted and operated only by the power provided by the crew.

Questions:
1) Why do we delete this rule?
2) Which divisions would you delete it for?
3) Which document is best suited for a deletion?

My answers;
1) There is at least a perceived, if not a measurable (however slight), advantage to having this equipment. The rule was written to eliminate this advantage. We keep/delete it because we want more participation.

2) In the PHRF fleets that I oversee, the feeling is that the advantage is negligible enough on fully crewed boats that we delete the rule. In our Solo Challenge we do not delete the rule as the advantage is considerably more measured. One-Designs may have their own class rules to govern this issue. The rule seems to have little relevance to smaller boats.

3) Certainly it should be mentioned in a NOR as it may influence a competitor's desire to participate. I suppose the SI's should then reiterate the rule change. Could a set of Club Prescriptions cover this issue if they are listed as rules to be abided by, thus eliminating the need to include the rule change in the NOR or SI's?

Thoughts?


Created: 20-Mar-27 17:41

Comments

John Christman
Nationality: United States of America
Certifications:
  • Club Race Officer
  • National Judge
  • National Umpire
0
Could you provide some examples of the electrically or hydraulically adjusters.  Hydraulics have been on boats for years and years.  Are you talking about hydraulics with electrically powered pumps instead of manually powered ones?  Manually pressurized hydraulic reservoirs with electrically controlled switches?

RRS 52 is not a rule I have ever seen removed in NORs or SIs.
Created: 20-Mar-27 18:01
Peter Clapp
Nationality: United States of America
Certifications:
  • Race Officer In Training
  • Judge In Training
0
Electric winches, and as you mention, electrically actuated hydraulics. Basically, push button operation of all sail and rig trimming, affording skippers uninterrupted focus on helm duties. Short handed sailing can be quite a grueling endeavor, so any conservation of ‘power in’ will pay benefits over your competition. The rule was written for a reason, so maybe we need a better definition of ‘crew provided power’. This conservation of energy will benefit crewed boats over long distances as well.

IIRC, NOR’s for Charleston Race Week and races to and from Bermuda have language that deletes this rule for some classes. The wording is pretty straight forward. It is a matter of defining what equipment breaks this rule and if your fleet is comprised of boats that have this ‘illegal’ equipment you may be a obligated to delete the rule.
Created: 20-Mar-27 19:18
TJ Shea
Nationality: United States of America
Certifications:
  • Regional Race Officer
0
if there are sufficient numbers, put them in their own class
Created: 20-Mar-27 19:58
P
Angelo Guarino
Nationality: United States of America
Certifications:
  • Regional Judge
  • Fleet Measurer
0
Peter re: “Could a set of Club Prescriptions cover this issue if they are listed as rules to be abided by, thus eliminating the need to include the rule change in the NOR or SI's?”

I do not think so.

Rule  86.1 is pretty clear on who/what can change a rule and what rules can be changed.  Luckily rule 52 is not restricted from change, but  “Club Prescriptions” is not on the list of what can do the changing. It would have to be in the SI/NOR. Also, I don’t think you can simply make a class up and make it a class rule, as rule 52 is not one of the rules a CR can change.

Now, one could be clever. Instead of “Club Prescriptions” you could make it a “Standard [Addendum] Amendment” for your SI’s or NOR’s ... or flip it like Annapolis YC does .... they have a doc which is “Standard Sailing Instructions” and then each regatta basically has an [Addendum] amendment to the standard SI doc (or .

The difference in both the approaches above is that an [Addendum] amendment is fully incorporated into and thus changes the host document, instead of just being referenced from the host doc. With an [Addendum] amendment strategy, the rule 52 change is actually in the NOR/SI. 
Created: 20-Mar-27 22:19
Peter Clapp
Nationality: United States of America
Certifications:
  • Race Officer In Training
  • Judge In Training
0
TJ — Class are defined to separate these boats, however, we do still need to delete this rule if it is deemed that their equipment breaks the rule.

Ang — So how does the hierarchy of authority breakdown? The NOR and SI’s are on near equal footing stating that the RRS will govern racing. Then there are Class Rules and National Prescriptions sharing equal authority? We’re do Club Prescriptions fit in? How binding are these prescriptions?

Could a club’s various but differing NOR’s and SI’s all be subject to a “Standard Amendment” thus having the same effect as on the SSI? Is this SA just posted on the notice board?

Ang — Do you have any thoughts on the subject of what might be deemed ‘illegal’?

This leads to the question of who gets to protest if the OA hasn’t deleted correctly? Does the RC step in or does the OA leave it alone and let the competitors muster the gumption to protest on their own? It seems to me that this might lead to one or two boats in a fleet of 6-8 walking away in fear of being unwanted. Politics in our recreation, Uck.
Created: 20-Mar-28 01:29
Kirsteen Donaldson
Nationality: United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland
Certifications:
  • Regional Race Officer
0
It is usual practice to amend RRS52 in short-handed racing to permit the use of electrically-powered self-steering devices.  Some hold the view that this gives short-handers an advantage over crewed boats, particularly offshore at night (as a short-hander myself, I won't go into that!), but at least one local club has recently changed its practice to allow all boats (fully crewed or short-handed) to use self-steering ("Automatic and wind-vane devices for steering are permitted (this
changes RRS 52)."  

Short-handed, it obviously does influence one's decision to do the race so must be in the NoR.  
Created: 20-Mar-28 10:41
P
Angelo Guarino
Nationality: United States of America
Certifications:
  • Regional Judge
  • Fleet Measurer
0
Peter, note that I changed my reply to you above, replacing "Amendment" with "Addendum".  It was additional content (addendum) not a change of content (amendment).

First, I am not part of the AYC Race Management team.  AYC's RM team is chock-full of and led by highly qualified and experienced Nat'l and International RO's.  So, in relation to this thread, I'm recounting how I remembered these race docs as a competitor-only, racing my J/105.  Maybe someone on that team will see this line of discussion and chime in.

So how does the hierarchy of authority breakdown? 

The hierarchy is set-out in the RRS's .. by rules 85, 86 , 87 , 88  and then also Appx J, specifically J1.2(2) and J2.2(3). 

[note: I just noticed that the RRoS site has (a,b,c .. ) instead of (1,2,3 ..) in Appx J.  I'll fix that this weekend.] [Fixed!]

Could a club’s various but differing NOR’s and SI’s all be subject to a “Standard  [Addendum] Amendment” thus having the same effect as on the SSI? 

Yes, as I recall, that's how it was done.  (I couldn't find a copy from previous years to reference).  Like an Amendment, an Addendum is fully incorporated into the doc and thus together forms the whole, not simply referenced.

Is this SA just posted on the notice board?

It was posted on the NB but also specifically referenced in the regatta specific document.

Do you have any thoughts on the subject of what might be deemed ‘illegal’?

Yea, stay away from 'illegal'.  The RRS references I provided above are pretty clear on what is required.

who gets to protest if the OA hasn’t deleted correctly? Does the RC step in or does the OA leave it alone and let the competitors muster the gumption to protest on their own? It seems to me that this might lead to one or two boats in a fleet of 6-8 walking away in fear of being unwanted. Politics in our recreation, Uck.

This was the topic of an old thread here on RRoS.org.  A boat may protest another boat or file a redress request.  Before the race, R4R is the official process to the OA/  

So, as I see it ... (ordered from most preferred to least) 
  1. This is #1! A boat could reach out to the RC/OA and voice their concerns of why they think it's being done incorrectly and make constructive suggestions on how to fix it.  
  2. A boat could file a R4R for 62.1(a) before the race once the docs are published, making the argument that their score/position "may be" made significantly worse in the future. 
  3. A boat could file a R4R for 62.1(a) after the race, making the argument that their score/position "has been" made significantly worse in the race.
  4. A boat could wait until the race starts and protest another boat for breaking rule 52 during the race.  That would get it to the PC after the race, which could then file R4R for all boats if they determined the rule change was done incorrectly.
Created: 20-Mar-28 13:33
Peter Clapp
Nationality: United States of America
Certifications:
  • Race Officer In Training
  • Judge In Training
0
Thanks, everyone, for your replies.

I’m going to rephrase my question to get at the heart of my dilemma. I believe I have a good handle on how to go about modifying/deleting RRS 52 via NOR/SI without being challenged in the protest room. However, doing so will inherently discourage participation on somebody’s part, something I’m trying desperately not to do, while trying to keep racing on an even playing field.

I’m looking for more of a philosophical opinion on what equipment or practice onboard a racing boat breaks RRS 52. Once that is understood better it will be easier to decide whether to modify or delete altogether this rule. As mentioned, more and more boats are being built with this equipment as standard and making it harder to justify a boat being “operated only by the power provided by the crew.” At what point do the rule writers recognize that this rule may need some caveats?
Created: 20-Mar-28 15:34
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