Administering Rule 42 at the Laser World Championship

Published on November 18th, 2013

The manner of how the Racing Rules of Sailing have addressed ‘propulsion’ has evolved as techniques and culture has changed. The basic Rule 42 states…

“Except when permitted in rule 42.3 or 45, a boat shall compete by using only the wind and water to increase, maintain or decrease her speed. Her crew may adjust the trim of sails and hull, and perform other acts of seamanship, but shall not otherwise move their bodies to propel the boat.”

But it is one thing to state the premise of how boats shall be propelled; it is much more complex to clearly state the permitted and prohibited actions. Here are the terms that assist the mission of Rule 42.

– Background rolling is the minimum degree of rolling caused by the waves.

– Body pumping is the movement of a sail caused by in and out or up and down body movement.

– A flick is the effect caused by body movement or pulling in or releasing a sail that is so abrupt that the normal shape of the sail is changed and almost immediately returned to the original shape.

– A pump is a single pull on a sail that is unrelated to wind or waves. Repeated means more than once in the same area on a leg.

– A roll is a single – cycle athwartship movement of the boat during which the mast goes to leeward and back to windward, or vice versa.

– Torquing is repeated fore and aft or rotating movement of the body.

– Yellow light area is a phrase used when it is not clear that an action is prohibited. It is unlikely that a boat in the yellow light area would be penalized, but it is possible. If the action is repeated, the likelihood of a penalty will rapidly increase.

Typically, Rule 42 is only well administered with on-the-water judges. At the Laser World Championship this week, here is the information that is guiding the judges and competitors:

Information from the Jury to Competitors
Interpretations of Rule 42, Propulsion

Additional details:

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