Win or lose, do it fairly – Knute Rockne
Fair Sailing is a key concept in the racing rules of sailing. What does Fair Sailing actually mean? Do you have to be perfect in following the rules to be a Fair Sailor? Is it OK to go easy on your friends when they break a rule?
In this article, we’ll summarize the key points, answer questions, and give examples.
In 2018, the Inland Lake Yachting Association (ILYA) and SailZing, LLC partnered on a Fair Sailing initiative. As part of this initiative, SailZing worked with the ILYA and UK Sailmakers to develop a series of articles on the rules. With the rules changes in 2021, SailZing is updating these articles and adding video summaries.
Over the next 13 weeks or so, we’ll publish the updated rules articles and videos here.
Watch the video on Fair Sailing or read the summary below.
What Does the Rule Book Say About Fair Sailing?
The Racing Rules of Sailing (RRS) for 2021-2024 cover Fair Sailing in the following sections:
Basic Principles: Sportsmanship and the Rules
“Competitors in the sport of sailing are governed by a body of rules that they are expected to follow and enforce. A fundamental principle of sportsmanship is that when a boat breaks a rule and is not exonerated she will promptly take a penalty or action, which may be to retire.”
Rule 2 – Fair Sailing
“A boat and her owner shall compete in compliance with recognized principles of sportsmanship and fair play. A boat may be penalized under this rule only if it is clearly established that these principles have been violated. The penalty shall be disqualification that is not excludable.”
Rule 4 – Acceptance of the Rules
“4.1 (a) By participating or intending to participate in an event conducted under these rules, each competitor and boat owner agrees to accept these rules.
(b) A support person by providing support, or a parent or guardian by permitting their child to enter an event, agrees to accept the rules.
4.2 Each competitor and boat owner agrees, on behalf of their support persons, that such support persons are bound by the rules.
4.3 Acceptance of the rules includes agreement
(a) to be governed by the rules;
(b) to accept the penalties imposed and other action taken under the rules, subject to the appeal and review procedures provided in them, as the final determination of any matter arising under the rules;
(c) with respect to any such determination, not to resort to any court of law or tribunal not provided for in the rules; and
(d) by each competitor and boat owner to ensure that their support persons are aware of the rules.
4.4 The person in charge of each boat shall ensure that all competitors in the crew and the boat’s owner are aware of their responsibilities under this rule.
4.5 This rule may be changed by a prescription of the national authority of the venue.”
Rule 69 – Misconduct
69.1 Obligation not to Commit Misconduct; Resolution
(a) A competitor, boat owner or support person shall not commit an act of misconduct.
(b) Misconduct is:
(1) conduct that is a breach of good manners, a breach of good sportsmanship, or unethical behavior; or (2) conduct that may bring, or has brought, the sport into disrepute.
(c) An allegation of a breach of rule 69.1(a) shall be resolved in accordance with the provisions of rule 69. It shall not be grounds for a protest and rule 63.1 does not apply.