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Let's play fair - changes to RS200 racing rules

Let’s play fair – changes to class racing rules

Those following the current 6 Nations tournament may be aware of controversy surrounding video refereeing and the clampdown on a range of issues in the game.  Thank heaven we don’t face this sort of thing in dinghy sailing. Or do we?

Our sport has always been self-policing – competitors are expected to embrace a sportsmanlike conduct, to play fair and to take their penalties if they make a mistake.  Sadly we have had a number of RS200 events where rule observance by some has been less than ideal, whether through deliberate cheating (yes it is cheating), pushing the boundaries to the limit, ignorance of the rules or inability to get the boat out of a situation the sailors have found themselves in – probably a combination of the above.

We want our class to be as welcoming on the water as it is in the bar, with fair, competitive and fun racing for all. 

So what are we going to do about it?

The issue was raised and discussed at the Nationals Class Meeting and again at the AGM.  We’ve formed a working group of experienced sailors Tom Hewitson, Rob Henderson, Pete Vincent and Emma Hivey to monitor the situation and introduce initiatives to improve the situation.

  • We have made 2 changes to the racing rules for the coming season as a trial. For all RS200 events this year, you will no longer be permitted to hit marks, and the 2-turn penalty will be replaced by a 1-turn penalty.  The aim of this is to discourage boats from barging in at marks where there really isn’t room and to encourage those who have made an infringement to take the new lesser penalty.
  • We will be introducing an on-the-water official with full jurisdiction at big events to dissuade those tempted to push the boundaries and enforce our rules
  • We will be introducing an arbitration process, with a penalty system, less time consuming and less punishing than a protest
  • We are asking YOU and every other RS200 sailor to embrace the spirit of RS200 racing by playing fair and by bringing up any instances where other sailors are not playing ball.

Enjoy your 2018 RS200 season


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