A look at the new Racing Rules of Sailing

The New Rules

As we get ready for another great C420 Midwinters we must all remember that we have a new set of Racing Rules to follow.  The club 420 class is committed to keep you informed about any changes that might change how you approach and sail each regatta.  In this short Article I highlight some key rule changes as well as give you some quick resources to stay in the know about all rules. 

A few things to remember when getting ready for a regatta to start:

  1. Read the documents!  In the new set of rules the Notice of Race becomes even more important, the new rules allows for key rule changes in the NOR which were not there before.  These rule changes should still be in the SI’s but remember if there is a conflict between the SI’s and the NOR the jury could choose either document depending on what they think is fair.  So make sure you always read that NOR!
  2. Support person: New this year in the rulebook is the addition and definition of a support person.  This is critical to know as a support person, meaning a parent, coach or other, could get in trouble for misconduct in a regatta and it could influence your racing and score.  Take a look at the new definition of the support person and how it might impact your regatta.

Some good resources:

  1. It is always good to get a rule book either on your device or as a paper copy.  You can follow this link and see how you can get a copy of the rules and look at some great resources to explain the rules:

  1. Here is a paper written by rules expert Dave Perry which explains the significant rule changes in this new book.  This is an incredible cheat sheet explaining the new rules like the support person, a new rule on “crabbing” and some new Mark-Room and obstruction rules. 

Dave Perry’s New Rules Cheat Sheet

The C420 class rules are also important to know.  Our builders are setup to give you quality and premeasured in equipment and boats, but if you make any changes to that equipment or make any repairs it is worthwhile to read up on the class rules to make sure your boat and equipment is still legal.  There are two great resources for you on our website to help you with the class rules:

  1. The c420 Class rules:
  2. The measurers corner where interpretations and questions are answered:

In the end knowing the rules of the game is important knowledge that prepares you for any situation.  The RRS are there to help guide you not use as a sword in a situation, knowing the rules makes you a better sailor and a better citizen of our sport. 


We will see you at midwinters!

John Vandemoer

Executive Director, C420 Class