Amended wording to reflect changes in the definitions for the 2021-2024 rules.
Introduction of World Sailing Development Rule DR21-01.
At events with many competitors or spectator vessels, it is sometimes not desirable, for safety reasons, to require a boat that is on the course side of the starting line at the starting signal (OCS) to return to start.
Under the 2021-2024 RRS, it is no longer possible for the notice of race or sailing instructions alone to make the necessary rule changes to allow for this.
Rule 28.1 requires a boat to “start, sail the course and finish.” All three of these requirements are the subject of definitions. A boat that is OCS and does not return has not started as defined, and, because the definition Finish requires a boat to have started as defined, it does not finish even if it correctly sails the course and passes through the finishing line in the required direction. The notice of race or sailing instructions are not permitted to change definitions in the Racing Rules of Sailing (See RRS 86.1 (a) and (b)).
World Sailing have recognised that this causes problems for event organisers that do not want OCS boats to return to the pre-start side of the line and have introduced Development Rule DR21-01 to address the issue.
The Development Rule provides a change to the Definition Start that permits a boat to start either by crossing the starting line at or after the starting signal, or by crossing the line within a specified time window before the starting signal.
A boat that crosses before the starting signal but within the specified window can receive a finishing position provided it accepts a penalty described in the notice of race or sailing instructions.
The notice of race or sailing instructions may forbid boats that cross the starting line early from returning to cross again.
The notice of race must amend the definition start as follows:
Start A boat starts when her hull having been entirely on the pre-start side of the starting line, and having complied with rule 30.1 if it applies, any part of her hull crosses the starting line from the pre-start side to the course side either
(a) at or after her starting signal, or
(b) during the last [insert time] before her starting signal.
It must also state that the change is made in accordance with WS DR21-01.
World Sailing recommend that this change is included in the section of the notice of race that describes the rules that apply to the event.
Note: with the exception of the time window defined in paragraph (b), no changes to the wording of the definition are permitted.
Note: rules 30.2 (Z Flag), 30.3 (U Flag) or 30.4 (Black Flag) should not be used with this development rule.
The notice of race or sailing instructions should specify whether a boat that crosses the starting line before its starting signal is:
Option 1) will be appropriate when, as described in the introduction, environmental factors in the starting area make it unsafe for boats to attempt to return.
See the World Sailing recommended wording below.
Note that for option 1) the World Sailing wording only prohibits returning by boats that cross the starting line early within the specified window. If option 1) is adopted, further wording should be included to ensure that boats crossing the starting line earlier than permitted by the definition are also not permitted to return.
If no wording is specified, boats are permitted to return by default.
The notice of race or sailing instructions must specify the penalty that will apply to a boat that starts in compliance with paragraph (b).
The World Sailing recommended wording shown below gives options for the most common situations. These can be modified to meet local event requirements.
A boat that starts in accordance with paragraph (b) of the definition and takes the specified penalty has broken no rule and no further penalty can be applied for this incident.
Starting in accordance with paragraph (b) is permitted by the definition and a boat that does so and takes the appropriate penalty does not break rule 2 even if it does so deliberately in an attempt to gain an advantage.
If a boat crosses the starting line within the window permitted by paragraph (b) and the specified penalty is an action to be taken by the boat, the boat has started but if it does not take that action it has broken the relevant rule in the notice of race or sailing instructions and may be protested under that rule.
A boat that crosses the starting line earlier than permitted by paragraph (b) and has not returned (even if prohibited from doing so) has not started and should be scored as OCS and may be protested by a competitor under RRS 28.1.
DR21-01 – Suggested wording for Options and Penalties
In the NoR or SIs
Delete the option that does not apply
Add the penalty that will apply – some common options are shown below:
When a boat starts in accordance with item (b) of the definition Start,
[she shall not return to the pre-start side of the line, and]
[she may return to the pre-start side of the line to comply with item (a) of the definition of Start, but, if she does not]
the starting penalty shall be:
OCS Scoring penalty
she shall receive a Scoring Penalty calculated in accordance with RRS 44.3(c).
OCS Time penalty
[insert time] shall be added to her elapsed time.
OCS Turns penalty
she shall take a Two-Turns penalty in accordance with RRS 44.2
OCS Stop/Go penalty
she shall cross [insert description of a line] and then she shall wait [insert time] before crossing [describe a line] from [describe direction] and resume sailing the race.
Consideration must be given as to whether or how boats will be notified that they have crossed the starting line before the starting signal and amend rule 29.1 accordingly.
It may also be appropriate to specify whether or how a boat is to be informed that it has not started in accordance with the definition (i.e., earlier than the permitted time window).
Careful consideration should be given to the time window specified in paragraph (b). This will depend on the specific circumstances of the event, but the permissible window should be considered together with the applicable penalty (or range of penalties) to ensure that there is no advantage gained by a boat that starts in compliance with paragraph (b).