Changes to The Racing Rules of Sailing (RRS) occur every four years. These changes go into effect the January 1 following the Summer Olympics. The publisher of the racing rules is the International Sailing Federation (ISAF), who extends permission to publish The Racing Rules of Sailing to national authorities worldwide. US Sailing is the national authority in the U.S. and publishes The Racing Rules of Sailing for 2013-2016, including the US Sailing Prescriptions.
How do the rules get written and included in the new edition of the RRS? National authorities like US Sailing have a Racing Rules Committee that works on rules and ideas from racing sailors to make the sport better, and makes submissions to ISAF for review. If the rule or rewritten rule is deemed ready for prime time, they are submitted to the ISAF Council to be voted on and then added to the next rulebook. Occasionally a rule is added outside the 4-year cycle, if deemed necessary.
The 18th edition of Sperry TopSider Charleston Race Week – now the country’s largest regatta of its kind – will be held April 18 - 21 in Charleston, SC. Approximately 2,000 sailors from 25 states and 7 countries raced 260 boats at last year’s Race Week, and this year should be bigger and better. “For 2013 we’ve got all the action you’re accustomed to, plus a few new twists including new classes, new sponsors and – as always – some of the best race management anywhere,” said Event Director Randy Draftz. “You just gotta be there.”
One of the biggest developments at this year’s Race Week is the advent of a new one-design class – the J/70. “If we were expecting just a handful of these boats, you wouldn’t be reading about it here, but the J/70’s debut in Charleston is going to be big,” Draftz continued. “Can you say 30 boats? That’s what class members are saying. We had 13 J/70s registered by mid-December, and if everything goes as planned, we’ll also have a class of Swan 42s joining the offshore action.”
In addition to title sponsor Sperry Top-Sider, Race Week is supported by corporate sponsors Gosling’s Rum (this event boasts the most Gosling’s consumed at any regatta in the U.S.), vineyard vines and the Charleston Harbor Resort & Marina and a large number of associate sponsors, contributing sponsors and patrons. Signed on for 2013 are Torqueedo, a German manufacturer of high-tech, electric outboard engines, and Eel Snot, a new brand of lubricant.
All competitors sailing on the offshore courses can sleep a little longer each morning, because the warning signal on all offshore racing circles will be 30 minutes later than last year. (Check the Notice of Race on the website for details.)
In an effort to meet the launching and hauling needs of outof-town boats arriving on trailers, organizers are working closely with several area yacht clubs and one local boatyard. The J/22s and J/70s will be launched and hauled at the James Island Yacht Club. Larger boats will be launched and hauled at Pierside Boat Works on the Old Navy Base in North Charleston. All others will either be launched and hauled at the Charleston Yacht Club or at various ramps around Charleston Harbor.
Is Your Team Best Around the Buoys?
Presented by SAIL Magazine, Best Around the Buoys is a grassroots racing initiative to reward sailors for their team’s performance at the local racing level and encourage teams to set a goal of racing on the national level. SAIL is sponsoring a contest in which the winning team earns free entry to Sperry Top-Sider Charleston Race Week.
The winner will have the use of a Beneteau First 35 well equipped by industry partners, including a new suit of North racing sails, a go-fast bottom paint job supplied by Pettit, an electronics package provided by B&G, and rulebooks from US Sailing. Housing and dockage are also included, although airfare to Charleston is not.
To enter, you must submit your 2012 - 2013 race resumé (including any PHRF boat and minimum of three PHRF events) and 200-word (max) essay describing why you and your team are ready to compete at Sperry Top-Sider Charleston Race Week (indicate you have a team of minimum six (6) crew ready to go). The entry deadline is February 22. Visit sailmagazine. com/charleston-race-week-2013 for more information.
The organizing authority for Sperry Top-Sider Charleston Race Week is the Charleston Ocean Racing Association. In addition to several IRC and PHRF divisions and a Cruising class, there are one-design divisions for Ultimate 20s, J/22s, J/24s, J/70s, J/80s, Audi Melges 20s, Melges 24s, Viper 640s and Tartan 10s. For more information, check out charlestonraceweek.com.
Editor’s note: My first sailboat, purchased with summer job earnings when I was 16, was a Force 5. I was considering a Laser, but was drawn to the Force 5’s mahogany blades, thwart and splash coaming, Harken blocks and 91 square foot North sail that gave the Force 5 more horsepower than the Laser. A friend of my father’s worked for AMF (the builder of the Force 5), and when he offered his employee discount I became the proud owner of #4935. Incidentally, AMF owned Harley-Davidson at that time and I was also keen on the 350 Sprint, an Italian import built by Aermacchi. Alas, my assertion that it would provide practical, economical transportation fell on deaf parental ears.
Just when you thought you were rid of me. Guess what? I’m baaaaaack. But only for this issue as Anne and Chris asked me to do one last column on my favorite event – the 71st annual gathering of the International Society for the Perpetuation of Cruelty to Racing Yachtsmen (ISPCRY), better known as the Moosehead luncheon, held on Sunday, October 28 at Indian Harbor Yacht Club in Greenwich, CT.
With superstorm Sandy raging up the East Coast, most clubs hauled their committee boat or put them out of harm’s way. Those diehards from Riverside and Sea Cliff, however, still managed to arrive by boat with cannons blazing and return volleys from the shore battery. While the storm limited those coming by boat, it didn’t stop people from attending, with over 215 race committee personnel in attendance. Special kudos go to the Indian Harbor staff, who were hosting their third major event in 42 hours and could easily have begged off.
Rhode Island sailing brothers Ken and Brad Read know their way around the winner’s circle. Throughout their competitive sailing careers, they have become accustomed to front-row positions in one-design and world-class fleets. But on a September morning at Newport Yacht Club, the Reads were given a different kind of award when the Rhode Island Marine Trades Association (RIMTA) presented them with the “Anchor Award” for nurturing sailing and the marine trades in their home state.
This award was a unique honor for the Reads. Instead of being cheered on by their racing peers, the crowd at the RIMTA event was filled with industry leaders and the presenters were none other than Rhode Island Governor Lincoln Chafee and Senator Sheldon Whitehouse. And instead of being recognized for something they were training for, this award was given to two brothers who started sailing off Rhode Island’s shores for doing what comes naturally: being passionate about sailing.
This fall, 61 Optimist sailors joined the fun to race in what has become the largest junior sailing series in the nation. Since it started on Long Island’s Great South Bay in 1997, nearly 700 sailors have competed in the Dinghy Shop Fall Series, hosted by the South Bay Sailing Center in Amityville, NY.
Jim Koehler, the series founder, wanted to do something special for the 15th year, so he designed a custom McLaughlin Optimist, complete with a really cool stern, to give away to one lucky sailor.
On Thursday, September 27, students of the New York Harbor School sailed New York Harbor alongside expert sailors from the America’s Cup, Olympics, racing teams and m...