Racing Charter 

The Charter promotes good rule observance and encourages good sportsmanship and good communication between competitors and organisers.

The RYA Racing Charter is included within the RYA Racing Rules of Sailing 2013-2016 (see RYA shop item on the right of the page).  It is a set of guidelines designed to help make racing more fun, fair and welcoming for competitors and organisers at all levels. At a time when our sport is seeing falling levels of participation at some clubs and class association activity, whilst others thrive, the RYA hopes this initiative will provide impetus for renewed vigour and enthusiasm.

RYA Racing Charter


  • To provide the framework for everyone to enjoy the sport of sailboat racing in whatever capacity and to whatever level the individual desires.
  • To ensure that the sport of sailboat racing welcomes all people and treats them equally.
  • To ensure that those who experience sailboat racing are encouraged to continue.

Principles and Practices

  • The sport welcomes all participants; it relies largely on self-compliance and self-policing. Those that deliberately take unfair advantage of this or behave in an inappropriate manner, either on or off the water, can expect action to be taken against them.
  • Competitors agree to compete in compliance with the rules and behave in accordance with accepted standards of sailboat racing. When involved in a genuine dispute, all parties to the dispute and those deciding the matter will use the established procedures for achieving resolution.
  • Foul or abusive language, intimidation, aggressive behaviour or lack of respect for others and their property will not be tolerated.
  • Organizers, officials and other providers of sailboat racing agree to provide the fairest racing possible. This includes encouraging feed-back and facilitating the resolution of genuine disputes (including protests) in a timely and proper manner.
  • Coaches and other advisers agree to encourage their competitors to compete, and behave in compliance with the above principles and practices.

This Charter applies equally to those who organize, manage, coach, advise, judge, provide services and compete (including those who support competitors) in sailboat racing.

The RYA encourages the adoption and implementation of this Charter, and provides guidance and support to individuals and organizations to assist implementation.

This guidance and support is consistent with the practices of the International Sailing Federation.

Application of RYA Racing Charter

Through the Racing Charter, the RYA seeks to promote fair and enjoyable racing for all.

What competitors should expect:

  • racing that, as far as possible, is fair, enjoyable and safe.
  • shore facilities, administration and race management to acceptable standards and appropriate to the event.
  • a way to complain or make a suggestion, and a response to complaints and suggestions.
  • prompt resolution of any disputes.

What is expected of competitors:

  • courtesy and respect to other competitors, officials, and other users of the water, both afloat and ashore.
  • compliance with the rules, and take a penalty when required by the rules.
  • use of the provided services to resolve any disputes.  

Resolution of Racing Disputes

The RYA encourages the adoption of the Exoneration Penalty, Advisory Hearings and RYA Arbitration in addition to protest hearings to improve the understanding of and compliance with the Racing Rules of Sailing.

Unacceptable Behaviour

The RYA encourages the use of rule 69 and rule 2 to penalise and deter unacceptable behaviour both on and off the water. Guidelines on their application in the UK are included on the RYA website.

Charter Resources

The full pdf version of the racing charter can be downloaded by clicking the link on the right side of the page as well as the logo. The spirit of the charter is encompassed by policies and practices embraced by the RYA.

Wording used in the Notice of Race and Entry Forms at events for those clubs encompassing the RYA Racing Charter can be found here.

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Article Published: June 23, 2010 8:43

Article Updated: November 18, 2015 14:48


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