New Finishing definition in 2021-2024

Published on July 14th, 2020

UK Sailmakers, as one of the world’s most established groups of sail makers, has long been on the forefront of teaching the Racing Rules of Sailing. So with the 2021-2024 Racing Rules of Sailing now published and available online for download, they are preparing for them to take effect on January 1, 2021.

As they comb through the new edition and prepare to update their animated quizzes, one change that jumped out on the first read-through was the revision in the definition of Finishing. Here’s their observation:

“Under the rules for the last few decades, a boat finishes when any part of her hull, crew or equipment in its normal position crosses the finish line. However, in the 2021-2024 edition, a boat finishes when any part of her hull crosses the finish line. This by itself is a big change.”

But what’s the hull? Merriam-Webster Dictionaries define hull as “the outer covering of a fruit or seed” (we didn’t know that) but also as “the frame or body of a ship or boat exclusive of masts, yards, sails, and rigging.”

More relevant will likely be how The Equipment Rules of Sailing define hull, and while only the 2017-2020 version is available, we are betting there will be no changes in which the wording and diagrams for hull show only the shape of the hull excluding fittings, so no permanent appendages such as prods, racks, etc.

UK Sailmakers Racing Rules Quiz Program, click here.
To download the 2021-2024 Rules, click here.

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