Question details:

Are the sail marks shown below compliant with the RRS as modified by Appendix E?


RRS Appendix E8 G1.4 (a) requires national letters to be in 'capital letters'. The 'K' in this set of letters does not look like a capital letter in the same type face as the 'U' and 'R' so these do not comply.



RRS Appendix E8 G1.4 (a) requires marks to be of the 'same colour'. It also requires them to be 'clearly legible'. These numbers are formed by infilling a black outline with green so they do not comply with the requirement to be of the same colour. They may also fail on legibility because the green is not as opaque/dark as other colours.



This set of national letters fail to comply for the same reason.



RRS Appendix E8 G1.4 (a) requires marks to be 'clearly legible'. Where the body of the sail is a mix of materials of different colours there can be problems choosing a colour for the sail marks that will meet the 'clearly legible' requirement.

Here the owner has used white marks instead of black. Are they 'clearly legible'? Would black sail marks be more 'clearly legible'? If the appointed equipment inspector at an event reports this to the race committee they shall bring a protest against the boat which the jury will decide on. 



RRS Appendix E8 G1.4 (a) requires marks to be 'clearly legible'. The race committee at the world championships in Lake Garda, 2016, complained about marks that had strokes that were relatively thin because they were not very legible at a distance.

The same or better legibility than Helveitica is acceptable. Assuming the standard (not bold, narrow or condensed) font is meant by this the ratio of stroke thickness to height for Helvetica is between 12 and 14% of the height. The example below looks less than this and is likely to be less 'clearly legible'.

P1030960        22


This set of national letters probably fail to comply for the same reason. The gaps created by the use of a stencil do not help.



The vertical spacing of marks is controlled by RRS Appendix E8 G1.5 (a). Where there is sufficient space available on the sail this is currently a minimum of 60 mm.

The example here does not meet that requirement.



The height of marks is controlled by RRS Appendix E8 G1.4 (b) which specifies the height of numbers to be 100 mm mimimum and 110 mm maximum. The variation in these is greater than the permitted variation.

The spacing of marks is controlled by RRS Appendix E8 G1.5 (b) which specifies the spacing of numbers to be 20 mm mimum and 30 mm maximum. The spacing in these is less than 20 mm.



Question details:

What does a race committee do when a boat has sail marks that are not clearly legible or compliant with the RRS?


A little history first - going back a couple of decades the sail identification marks rules were in the class rules and measurers were required to check that marks complied with those rules. In principle this ensured boats had compliant sail identification marks. But in practice, for various reasons, a proportion of boats had marks that did not comply.

Race committees and juries tended to avoid pressing the issue - it was a measurement issue not a racing rules issue and, therefore, not their problem. Taking the sail marks (except for the insignia) out of the class rules solved several problems - most importantly, compliance with the sail marks rules was a racing rules issue and was clearly something the race committee and jury had full and sole responsibility and authority for dealing with. Other problems solved were harmonisation across the classes, the possibility of sail certification (measurement) without application of the numbers and letters, a saving of measurer time when certifying (measuring) sails, and the freedom for the owner to change the sail numbers without having to engage the measurer (something that was rarely done anyway).

A boat that has marks that are not clearly legible infringes RRS App G1.1. There are several other ways that marks may fail to comply with this rule and App E - please see the Q&A under Sail Identification for some examples. In either case the race committee may be affected because it may have difficulty identifying the boat in question during a recall or when finishing. Competitors, umpires and judges may be affected when attempting to protest the boat. This is a fairness issue and, therefore, one which an international jury can be asked to advise on by the race committee (see App N2.1).

In the first instance the race committee, or an equipment inspector or technical committee at a major event, should advise the sailor that his sail marks do not comply with the RRS and that the boat will be protested if it races without suitable amendment to the marks. Hopefully he will respond appropriately. Provision of a black marker pen may help him comply. Provision of acetone to remove inked marks may also be useful. With average care self adhesive numbers can be removed without damaging sails and no are excuse for non-compliance.

If the sailor fails to respond in an appropriate way the race committee or technical committee can (and should) proceed as soon as the boat races as it would for any other breach of the RRS by making a protest against the boat under RRS 60.2/60.4.

When a protest committee finds that a boat has sail identification marks that are not compliant it shall either warn her and give her time to comply or penalise her. See App G4. As the penalty is not prescribed by the RRS it is one that is discretionary i.e. it can be scaled to suit the specific case. International juries will be familiar with the Discretionary Penalties guide - there is one in preparation for RC sailing.











Question details:

How large can the sail maker label be on sails? Or the manufacturer label on other items of equipment? The class rules do not restrict this?


The relevant rules are contrained in the World Sailing Advertising Code, also known as Regulation 20.

Clause 20.7.1 states that the display of manufacturer's and sailmaker's marks is permitted at all times as detailed in Table 2 but not in areas that area reserved for Event Advertising. For radio controlled boats the area reserved for Event Advertising is 40% of the hull length on each side of the hull from the foremost point on the hull. No Event Advertising is permitted on the boom(s), backstay or sails.

20.7.2 tells us a manufacturer's mark may include the name, logo or other identification marks of the designer or manufacturer of the equipment.

20.7.3 tells us that a sailmaker's mark may include the name, logo or other identification marks of a sailmaker or of the sail cloth manufacturer or the pattern or model of the sail.

Table 2 – Manufacturer’s and Sailmaker’s Marks

Radio-controlled boat

Hull  - On each side of the hull, and may include the name or mark of the designer or builder - One mark to fit within a rectangle measuring 15% of hull length x 150mm                     

Spars and Equipment - On each side of spars and on each side of other equipment - One mark not exceeding 50mm length                    

Sails - On each side of sails and kites - One mark to fit within a 50mm diameter circle






Question details:

In Appendix E8 G.1.5 (b) (4) requires the prefix ‘1’ before a mainsail number only. Why?


This is a drafting error in the Appendix E rule E.8.

The following addition to the Standard Sailing Instructions used by IRSA Members for their events should be made.


1.4  Racing rule E8 will be changed as follows:

Add new G.1.5 (a) (6) ‘with sufficient space in front of the sail number for a prefix ‘1’.’

Delete G.1.5 (b) (4).


Question details:

An owner has purchased a boat and wants to register change of ownership. The boat, K4172, was registered in May 1989.

The previous owner(s) had not registered their ownership and can provide no certificate to the new owner. The CA has copies of the 1988 format certificates for the boat registered in the name of the original owner(s).

The new owner has the measurement form.

Note     K was the national letter for GBR in 1988.


What is required to obtain current certificate?

Can the boat compete without alterations?

Does the hull identification have to be brought up to date by using GBR instead of K?

Does the sail identification have to be brought up to date by using GBR instead of K?



At an event for Marblehead Class boats the current (2016, 2018 after 1st April 2018) Class Rules apply.

Section B states:

For a boat to be eligible for racing, it shall comply with the rules in this section.
B.1.1 The boat shall:
(a) be in compliance with the class rules.
(b) have a valid certificate.
(c) have valid certification marks as required.

The boat shall comply with the class rules and have a valid certificate. However, 1988 class rule 2.6.2 indicates change of ownership invalidates the certificate. Therefore racing by the new owner under the original certificate, even if it exists, is not an option.

The boat has no valid certificate. In order to race a valid certificate is required. CR A.12.1 (b) applies – by application of A.9. A.9 describes the process for obtaining a new certificate.


The boat shall be re-certified as per CR A.9.

The following points should be noted:
*The hull may comply with the class rules that applied at the time of its initial certification. This may be useful if any current class rule would prevent the hull from obtaining a certificate. On this basis the national letter in the hull may remain as K.

*The appendages shall comply with the current class rules.

*The rig shall comply with the current class rules.

*The sails shall comply with the current class rules or the class rules in force at the time of their initial certification. See 1988 CR 3.7.

*At world and continental championships the sail marks shall comply with the current RRS. The national letters shall be GBR.

*At other events the sail marks shall comply with the current RRS or the rules in force at the time of their initial certification. See 1988 CR 3.7 (f) to (h). Note that the use of national letters is not mandatory except at international events.

*If it is not clear when sails were certified they should be re-certified according to the current class rules.