Refining the Kite Rules

Published on February 20th, 2013

Kiteboard course racing continues to grow, and while kiteboards ably compete on a typical buoy course, they have enough unique attributes that required the establishment of Appendix F – Kiteboard Racing Rules – in The Racing Rules of Sailing (RRS).

The International Kiteboarding Association held their Annual General Meeting a few weeks ago and took the recently revised RRS 2013-2016 and revised them further. One of the issues they addressed was the manner in which the rules addressed alternative penalties. Here is the current rule and the revised rule

CURRENT: A kiteboard may take a 360 Degree Turn Penalty when she may have broken one or more rules of Part 2 in an incident while racing. Sailing instructions may specify the use of some other penalty. However, if the kiteboard caused injury or serious damage or, despite taking a penalty, gained a significant advantage in the race or series by her breach her penalty shall be to retire.

REVISED: The previously used 360 Degree Turn Penalty only required the hull to be in the water during the turn – with no gybe nor tack required. This penalty was not felt anymore to be appropriate for a breach of a rule of Part 2 – right of way rules. The new penalty turn which is introduced through the Sailing Instructions requires the turn to include a tack and a gybe, with forward movement established after each manouvre. This turn requires much more time now and also makes the movement of the kite during the term more predictable, reducing the risk of tangles while someone is taking a penalty.


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