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Appendice E

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Voici quelques commentaires de Roy Granich (Président de la commission des règles de course de l'IRSA) qui a travaillé avec l'ISAF à la réécriture de l'appendice E. Ces explications viennent en réponse à une lettre du MYA critiquant les changements de l'appendice E

To All IRSA Association Members.

You will have received an email from the MYA which states their position on the changes to Appendix E.

Like several other IRSA Members the MYA made submissions and while being happy to accept those they proposed (which may have been opposed by others) it would appear the reverse is not the case.

Why was Appendix E changed in the first place?

Well, it had been some time since it had be revisited and there were aspects where ISAF considered the radio sailing community to wanted boast that they sailed by the same rules as our full sized counterparts but wanted concessions that put a lie to that boast. In addition, Appendix E has to be able to be complied with at all levels of radio sailing, not just the major events. Many aspects of the appendix were simply ignored in local club events because the administration aspects were not practical – everyone in the club knew what the situation was so why go to the effort of actually complying with the appendix.

The new appendix is a providing document which allows for things that are specific to radio sailing but not necessarily essential for a day’s good sailing. Higher levels of event should have higher level of administrative experience and thus be able to produce sailing instructions that cater for the level of competitors and seriousness of competition. Why impose those requirements on a fun Sunday afternoon?

One of the defining aspects of radio sailing is that it is a SINGLED HANDED sailing discipline. So why do we need rules that provide for pit crews?

Let us look at some of the comments made.

Hailing requirements.

This change was introduced by the ISAF members of the working party after canvassing of non English speaking radio sailors and was supported by the IRSA members.

This was introduced so that a standard method of calling could be adopted and a method that was easier for those whose first language was not English. It is considerably easier to learn and be competent with 10 digits than it is to learn all the variations comprising 0 to 99 PLUS the random other numbers that may appear through conflict resolution. I wonder what the reaction would have been if radio sailing had adopted Swedish or Croatian as the official language and the English speaking world had to learn all the combinations with those.

IRSA has been told that it MUST revert to the former method of calling numbers. What former method? There was nothing laid down so in a single heat it was possible that numbers would be called using words (in many different forms depending upon the domicile of the competitor) or numerically. We have even heard some competitors and officials mixing the two.

IRSA has also been told that numeric calls take longer than the equivalent word format. Considering that there are almost 30% more syllables required to call 0 – 99 in word form as opposed to numeric form this is a little hard to understand. If the time saved by not saying those extra syllables is used to create a longer gap between boat numbers there is very little likelihood of calls being misunderstood.

Calling in words is very much dependant upon the quality of diction, accents and colloquialisms. Why do military and airlines use numerical calls if they are less efficient and more subject to misinterpretation?

Single Digit numbers.

Consideration was given to adopting the UK symmetrical number solution. However, while it may work within a single country if all countries were to introduce it the possibilities of having to make changes at an event would increase considerably. With the UK solution what happens if there are 4 101s in an international event? Of course we have been told by the UK that it is statistically improbable that more than 4 boats would have the same number. Yet in a UK Nationals of that year 32 of the 72 entries had conflicts and 8 of those conflicts were between 2 groups of 4. What are the probabilities if we have 10 or so countries entering all adopting the “symmetrical” solution?

Apart from the “symmetrical” numbers there are other combinations that can easily be misread if one isn’t thinking and the typeface used is more square than what one is used to. Going to single digits not only eliminated some of the symmetrical numbers but also provided more opportunities for conflict resolution. If people get over their aversion to calling digits and use the extra time available there will be no problem.

Further, during Appendix E deliberations the MYA member who was then on the RRC accepted that single digits were useful and actually submitted wording incorporating such in January 2011


While the concept of grandfather is attractive the practicalities open a can of worms. Most classes have three or more sail sets and in many cases the smallest set is used only rarely. I have gone for 3 years without having need to a “C” on my IOM. So I get a new “A” which needs to comply with the new rule but my “C” is grandfathered. I then am in a regatta that uses all three rigs and can have a different number on my sails in different races on the same day.

What happens at club level can be left to the members to decide, but once an event becomes “international” the rules need to be applied.

Retiring before a protest hearing.

It is totally arrogant of the MYA to suggest the Working Party did not understand the importance of the old E5.4. The fact of the matter is that it was redundant, as pointed out by the MYA in their accompanying advice notes, the ability to retire at anytime including during a hearing is inherent in the Basic Principles. This point was in fact specifically raised in the Working Party and the ISAF representatives confirmed that is available. Look at it this way, you go to the protest hearing thinking you were in the right. However, in the course of the hearing evidence is presented which makes you realise you were in fact at fault. You are perfectly at liberty to accept liability and retire, thus ending the hearing.

From the Advice notes:

Outside help

Appendix E prohibits outside help whilst racing. This is in the spirit of single handed sailing and avoids the possibility of suitable retrieval facilities (launching area in MYA parlance) being clogged up by numerous helpers with sail boxes, cradles and the like. No other form of single handed racing allows physical help in sailing the race and we need to act in a manner that shows we are serious about being part of the wider sailing community. Having said that, wow betide the R/O who does not provide the authority for a physically disabled competitor to be designated an able bodied assistant.

Space for prefixes:

The MYA statement here is misleading. The actual words are “When possible …..a numeric prefix”. In most cases space for a “1” will be the only option, and even then on smaller sails it may be necessary to reduce the size of the “standard numbers” to accommodate a “1”. On the single digit numbers, however, there would normally be space to put a prefix of a suffix.

Roy Granich


IRSA Racing Rules Committee

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