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The Rules and RYA Prescriptions

The Racing Rules of Sailing (RRS) are revised and published every four years by World Sailing, the international authority for the sport.

The RYA makes prescriptions to the RRS and publishes the RRS together with the prescriptions and other addenda in the RYA booklet YR1.

The RRS 2017-2020 can be downloaded from the World Sailing website.

Member National Authorities (the RYA for the UK) are allowed to make variations to certain areas within the rules - to be known as 'National Prescriptions'.  The RYA prescriptions can be  downloaded in isolation.

The RRS together with the RYA prescriptions can be purchased  as an RYA publication RYA Racing Rules of Sailing 2017-2020.

The changes introduced in 2017 are described in the RYA Racing Rules Guidance Book. The documents available are:

  • Changes from the competitors' and judges' perspective. 
  • Changes with implications for race management.

Changes and Corrections to the Rules

From time to time, World sailing publishes corrections and urgent changes to the RRS. The latest changes were published on 08 December 2017.

Questions and Answers on the Rules

There will always be questions on what the rules mean and how they should be interpreted. World Sailing offer a Q&A service and publish updates of these regularly.

Future Changes

The process for changing the rules in the future is prolonged as you may expect.  Anyone with a 'good idea' may submit a proposal to the Racing Rules Committee. This proposal will then be considered, together with the implications it may have on other rules within the RRS. This first stage itself can be a complicated process. The refined proposal will then, if considered appropriate, be put before the RYA Racing Committee before it is presented to the RYA Council.  If the 'good idea' has survived this process it will then be submitted to World Sailing for consideration along with other 'good ideas' from around the world.

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