What are the issues in the spotlight?

Bermuda continues annual conference of World Sailing, which was attended by over four hundred delegates from 68 countries.

Official website of the WFTU continues to publish reports of Russian representatives in committees and subcommittees World Sailing. We believe it is necessary these reports to reprint.

Natalia Chubenko – on the Committee’s work rules:

– Committee of the rules of the World Sailing one of the key technical committees of the international Federation. Any sport, any game, cannot exist without rules that define the game. Sailing is a complex technical sport, constantly changing with the advent of new disciplines, new racing formats, new types of sailing boats.

Sailing rules of racing is constantly changing to reflect new trends in sailing. How do these new trends fall within the rules? Working on that a lot of specialists, sending their Proposals (Submissions) through the committees of the WS and through the national Federation. In principle, any competitor or member of a national Federation if it considers that rules need to improve, can send their proposals to their national Federation, which, in turn, can guide them in the World Sailing in a Proposal.

The Chairman of the Committee rules is always a very important figure in WS. And the unwritten rule is almost always the Chairman of the rules Committee is headed by the Olympic jury. Currently the Committee is headed by the “great and terrible” John Doerr, a former sailor class “Finn”, a longtime member of various committees of the WS. He also will head the jury of the Olympic Tokyo 2020.

But most Proposals (Submissions) received from the rules Committee. During the year the Committee members invite the Chairman to their own suggestions which are discussed among the Committee members. And if they are indeed interesting and necessary, the Committee itself, through its Chairman, makes proposals to the WS.

To Suggestions (Submissions) turned into rules, they must be approved by the rules Committee at the Annual conference of World Sailing. The Committee meets only one day and during this time should consider all the received for the year of the Proposal.

This year such Proposals were about 140! It turns out that on average, one Suggestion is to have 3 minutes, despite the fact that the debate takes half an hour. Is the number of Sentences it is impossible to consider in one day, so the Committee is preparing for its meeting in a few months.

All Suggestions after discussions in the Committee through electronic means in advance are divided into 4 groups:

– recommended for adoption without modification, and voted on by the unit;

– recommended for adoption with changes, discuss each separately;

– recommended for refusal, but the idea in any form (possibly in the form of a Case or in the form of a fleshed-out Proposal for the next year or for the next Olympic cycle) is taken into consideration, each is discussed separately;

– recommended to be rejected without discussion.

In the end, the final vote at the meeting of the Committee individually discussed about half of the Proposals for the remaining categories (categories 1 and 4) vote is taken by the block and takes a couple of minutes.

But on some of the Proposals of groups 2 and 3 sometimes ignite heated debate! For example, the question whether the standard Provision about the competition and racing instruction in the rule book or move them to the website WS, the discussion lasted about 40 minutes. It seems a simple question, but it speaks volumes – if you move the documents into the English-language site small clubs in non-English speaking countries will be left without translation of these documents into their languages. Not every Federation is concerned with translation of documents from the web site, but the rule book are all transferred! English-speaking countries do not pay attention to this insignificant question for them. In the result of the vote is split 6 to 6 with one abstention. The good news: the Situation and Ki will remain in the rule book, but in a modified format.

What to expect new in the next rule book

– There will be a new definition of “Walking distance”. Before to finish, the yacht must start and go the distance. If a boat has not complied with the first two points, it will not be able to finish, even if it crossed the finish line. The group will celebrate such a boat as DNF;

In the definition of the “place sign” added that it is a situation in which a yacht touches a mark (important for boards and boards where you are allowed to touch the sign, but, nevertheless, nobody has the right to force them to touch the sign);

– In Rule 2 of “Honest wrestling” deleted option DSQ, there is only DNE (disqualification not excludable);

– All the rules about the justification for the yacht for violations of the rules will be merged into one. The most important and necessary complement – if a yacht has broken a rule because of the actions of another boat, she wouldn’t need to protest to prove it and to justify himself. The rule will be applied automatically!

Another heated discussion ensued on the definition of “sign”. If something attached to the sign is part of it, or not? In other words, if a yacht touches this subject – will she break the rules? The Committee changed the definition so that the subjects intentionally attached to the sign (except for the anchor end), are part of the sign. How to find out “intentionally” or not? The answer is no. After heated debate, the Committee decided that at the moment, nothing better not come up with. Advice to drivers – do not touch if you don’t want then to prove that the subject came to the sign by accident!

– An important change in the rules relating to calls. If the boat asks for a place for tacking, is it possible to shout the boat, “Turn!”? Or still need, even in the domestic competition in Russia shouting “You tack”? The Committee adopted an amendment allowing required by the rules of the calls in any language, provided that all affected yachts understands this challenge. The calls in English always follow the rules.

These and many other modifications will appear in the new book the Rules of sailing competitions 2021-2024, which will be published on the website of the World Sailing next year.


Tatiana Ermakova – on working session panel “Questions and answers” in the racing rules of sailing:

– A meeting of the panel of World Sailing “Questions and answers” on the rules of sailing races. This working group, which is appointed by the Chairman of the Committee of judges of WS and WS racing rules Committee and consists of experienced international judges, experts in different areas of judging – the judges of race committees, protest committees, Amirov. If necessary, the panel calls for consultations to other professionals WS, especially when the issues are narrow, technical focus, or go beyond the rule book. All members of this working group, like others in the World Sailing, are volunteers.

Service “Questions and answers” was created to assist judges in the interpretation and application of the rules of sailing races equally around the world. To date, the panel is composed of 18 people from different countries, including two Russian judges: Natalia Chubenko and Tatiana Ermakova from Vladivostok.

How does the service “Questions and answers”

Questions on how to enter the World Sailing Secretariat, which forwards them to the Chairman and the Deputy Chairman of the working group. Often the question is edited so that it became more universal, more correctly specified and able to approach a number of similar situations. The questions in the “Questions and answers”, can send international judges and national federations – members of the WS.

After the panel gives a ready answer, and it may take a few months, his claim to the Chairman of the rules Committee and the Chairman of the Committee of judges. And “question and answer” is sent to all international judges and published on the website WS.

The booklet “Questions and answers” is constantly updated. It so happens that the answers to some questions are given individually without publishing. Usually it concerns leading to changes in the rules.

Quite often the questions reveal imperfections in the racing rules of sailing, which come to the surface in certain situations and attempts to solve them, using strictly the language of the rules on the one hand, and trying to maintain fairness and common sense on the other.

The most striking of such issues are transferred to the racing rules Committee and then become either the cause of the change of a rule, or receive the status of “the Case of the World Sailing” and included in the Book cases.

Only 2019 six questions and answers gave rise to proposals to amend the Rules of sailing races, the next edition which will be released at the end of 2020, after the Olympic games and will come into force from 1 January 2021.

At the meeting of the panel was summed up the work for the year, discussed the issues of increasing efficiency within the group. It was decided to change the structure of the booklet Q&A and to bring it into line with the Parts and Applications of the rulebook for ease of use.

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