Daggerboards to Stay Down While Racing

Daggerboards to Stay Down While Racing Image

In a surprising response to poor compliance with the centerboard restraint rule, the SCIRA rules committee has come to a fresh conclusion: Daggerboards may no longer be raised while going downwind. Instead, everyone must race with their boards fully down from the warning signal to the finish.

“Just think of it like the lifejacket rule,” Arthur Blodgett said, with a shrug. “You can only take off your lifejacket to change your clothing. And now you can only raise your centerboard to clear for unwanted weed.” 

Though this seems like a monumental change to class rules—and it happened well outside the usual channels—many crews agree with the decision. “I’m so damn tired of raising and lowering that board two or three or four times a race, and twice on Sundays!” one complained. “And jibes will be much much, much easier without a big aluminum wall in the middle of the boat. Who designed this thing, anyway?” (Name withheld by request.) 

Rules Chair Gus Wirth says this rule change is necessary because the old wording was simply not enforceable. “We all know it’s just impossible to judge from one moving boat to another when a board is in its legal position,” he said. “Also we were tired of teaching people how to tie a knot in their safety line that wouldn’t somehow ‘slip’. Maybe this is a bit radical, but it will be much, much easier to enforce on the race course.”

Appeals will be considered until midnight, April 1, GMT. Send your email to [email protected]. Note: Locks will not be required below the waterline if there is more than 50 percent fleet compliance in 2022.



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