What We Cannot Do While Racing
A boat is racing from her preparatory signal ...
Shroud adjustment while racing
In recent years, more and more crews have been seen working on the shroud adjusters, just before the start, by changing the length of the shrouds, after the 4 minute signal.
This is prohibited by the Class Rules!
Indeed, our Class Rules state:
Class Rules:C.9.6 CONDITIONS FOR USE, STANDING RIGGING
(a) The length of the shrouds and the forestay shall not be adjusted while racing.
What does “while racing” mean?
In the Definitions of the Racing Rules of Sailing it is written verbatim:
RRS – DefinitionsRacing: A boat is racing from her preparatory signal until she finishes and clears the finishing line and marks or retires, or until the race committee signals a general recall, postponement or abandonment.
Therefore it should be clear that from the preparatory signal (-4 from the starting signal) it is not possible to modify the length of the shrouds, and the tension, by adding or removing turns on the stamasters, or on similar shroud adjusters, or by moving the pins (or fast pins ) on traditional shroud adjusters.
Of course, it is also illegal to change the length of the shrouds after starting, for example downwind when the wind drops.
Obviously a boat that violates Class Rule C.9.6 can be protested. No one can ignore or pretend not to know this rule which is too often blatantly violated.
Delivery of bags or personal equipments to the Race Committee vessel and support boats
Another bad habit is to give, before the start, to the Race Committee vessel (or other organizer’s boats) a bag (with full weather jackets, hiking pants when the wind is light, tools, bottles of water etc.) in order not to bring too much weight in the boat.
In some cases the RC tolerates this bad habit, but let’s imagine that everyone behaves the same way (in a fleet of 20-30-40 boats or more). There would be traffic jams that would hinder the work of the RC and there would also be security problems (in addition to the subsequent difficulty of returning the bags to their respective owners).
But even before being bad, this habit is prohibited by the Racing Rules, if the bag or equipment is handed over by the sailor, “while racing” after the preparatory signal and before the start (RRS definitions, RRS 41, RRS 48). If, while racing, it is not possible to get any help or support from any support person, even more so it is not possible to get any help from the Race Committee! This could be a cause for protest against the boat and a “trap”, cause of problems, for the RC.