Racing Rules of Sailing

THE RACING RULES OF SAILING

Source: ISAF website

The Racing Rules of Sailing (RRS) govern the sport on the water. They are revised and published every four years by the International Sailing Federation. The current edition is The Racing Rules of Sailing 2013-2016.

Download: ISAF Racing Rules of Sailing (RRS) 2013-2016

For more information and to keep up to date with rules updates and amendments, visit sailing.org.

Race signals

Source: Wikipedia

Sail races are governed with flags and sound signals to indicate flag changes. The flags used are taken from the International maritime signal flag set. During a race and for any signal concerning the race, these flags are defined in the ISAF Racing Rules of Sailing but the signal can be modified by the Sailing Instructions.

The raising (hoisting) or removing of a visual signal is accompanied by the emission of a sound signal to draw attention to the new signal. The type of the sound signal (one short sound, two short sounds, one long sound, etc.) is described by the rule according to the type of signal. The usual meanings of these flags are as follows:

Postponement signal

The Answering Pennant (AP) with or without a numerical pennant is used to indicate a postponed race. A numerical pennant below the AP denotes the time, in hours, of the race postponement.

AP – Races not yet started are postponed.

ICS Answer.svgTwo sound signals when raised, one sound signal when lowered.

AP1 – Races not yet started are postponed 1 hour.

ICS Answer.svg

ICS Pennant One.svg

Two sound signals when raised, one sound signal when lowered.

AP2 – Races not yet started are postponed 2 hours.

ICS Answer.svg

ICS Pennant Two.svg

Two sound signals when raised, one sound signal when lowered.

AP3 – Races not yet started are postponed 3 hours.

ICS Answer.svg

ICS Pennant Three.svg

Two sound signals when raised, one sound signal when lowered.

AP A – Races not yet started are postponed. No more racing today.

ICS Answer.svg

ICS Alpha.svg

Two sound signals when raised.

AP H – Races not yet started are postponed. More information ashore.

ICS Answer.svg

ICS Hotel.svg

Two sound signals when raised.

Preparatory signal

These signal flags are used before a race start and most commonly as part of a start sequence/procedure.

P – Normal preparatory signal – no starting penalties are in effect. A boat over the line at the start can return through the line or round an ends but must keep clear of boats not returning.If they fail to return through the line however they will be scored OCS

ICS Papa.svg

One sound signal when raised. One sound signal when lowered.

I – The Round-an-End Rule 30.1 will be in effect. A boat over the line during the minute before the start must sail to the pre-start side of the line around either end before starting. If they fail to do this they will be scored OCS

ICS India.svg

One sound signal when raised. One sound signal when lowered.

Z – The 20% Penalty Rule 30.2 will be in effect. A boat within the triangle formed by the ends of the line and the first mark during the minute before the start will receive a 20% scoring penalty

ICS Zulu.svg
One sound signal when raised. One sound signal when lowered.

I – Both the I flag rule and the Z flag Rule will be in effect during the minute before the start. If they fail to round and end then they will be scored OCS

ICS India.svg

ICS Zulu.svg

One sound signal when raised. One sound signal when lowered.

The Black Flag Rule 30.3 will be in effect. A boat within the triangle formed by the ends of the line and the first mark during the minute before the start will be disqualified without a hearing.

Auto Racing Black.svg

One sound signal when raised. One sound signal when lowered.

Start Signal

These signal flags are used in the pre-start procedure. Class flags can be numeral pennants 1Start signal

ICS Pennant One.svg, 2ICS Pennant Two.svg, and 3ICS Pennant Three.svghowever they can be substituted to avoid confusion with the postponement signals relating to a particular class.

Start Sequence

Warning Signal. 5 minutes to race start when class flag raised.

ICS Pennant One.svg

One short sound signal when raised.

Preparatory signal. 4 minutes to start when P flag raised. Flag P used or if a starting penalty applies I, Z, Black flag or I over Z is used in place of P.

ICS Pennant One.svg

ICS Papa.svg

One short sound signal when raised.

Preparatory signal. P flag removed 1 minute before start. Flag P used or if a starting penalty applies I, Z, Black flag or I over Z is used in place of P.

ICS Pennant One.svg

ICS Papa.svg

One long sound signal when lowered.

Start Signal. Race start when class flag removed.

ICS Pennant One.svg

One short sound signal when lowered.

Recall signal

X – Individual recall. One or more boats did not start correctly and must return and do a proper start. The X flag is displayed until the earliest of the following: all boats over the line early have returned correctly, 4 minutes from the start or until one minute before the next start. (The sound signal is in addition to the start sound signal)

ICS X-ray.svg

One short sound signal when raised.

1st Sub – General recall. All boats are to return and then a new start sequence will begin. Signaled when there are unidentified boats over the line or subject to one of the starting penalties, or there has been an error in the starting procedure. The new warning signal for the recalled class will be made 1 minute after the 1st substitute is removed. (The two sound signals when the first substitute is displayed are in addition to the start sound signal)

ICS Repeat One.svg

Two sound signals when raised. One sound signal when lowered.

Course change signal

S – Shortened Course. When displayed at a rounding mark the finish is between the nearby mark and the mast displaying the S flag. When displayed at a line that boats are required to cross at the end of each lap the finish is that line. When displayed at a gate the finish is between the gate marks.

ICS Sierra.svg

Two sound signals when raised.

C – Course Change. When displayed at a rounding mark, the position of the next mark has been changed. If the direction to the mark has changed it shall be indicated by displaying the new compass bearing or a green triangular flag (or board) for a change to starboard or a red rectangular flag (or board) for a change to port. If the length of the leg has changed then this shall be signalled by displaying a “-” if the leg will shorter or a “+” if the leg will be longer. Repeated sound signals should be made to draw attention to the signal.

ICS Charlie.svg

Two sound signals when raised, with a short pause in between.

Abandonment signal

N – All races that have started are abandoned. Return to starting area for a new start. The first warning signal will be made 1 minute after N is removed.

ICS November.svg

Three sound signals when raised, one sound signal when lowered.

N A – All races are abandoned. No more racing today.

ICS November.svg

ICS Alpha.svg

Three sound signals when raised.

N H – All races are abandoned. More information ashore.

ICS November.svg

ICS Hotel.svg

Three sound signals when raised,.

Other signals

L – When displayed afloat means: Come within hail or follow this boat. When displayed ashore means: A notice to competitors has been posted.

ICS Lima.svg

One short sound signal when raised.

M – Indicates a boat or an object displaying this signal replaces a missing mark. Repeated sound signals should be made to draw attention to the signal.

ICS Mike.svg

Two sound signals when raised, with a short pause in between.

Y – All people on board should wear a personal life jacket or personal buoyancy.

ICS Yankee.svg

One sound signal when raised.

BLUE – When displayed the race committee boat is in position at the finishing line.

Auto Racing Plain Blue.svg