Written by: Michael Osborne
As a club DBSC makes a huge effort to make sure that every Saturday afternoon we host well organised races for large and competitive laser fleets. It’s the top of our priority list, and one of the central things that defines us as a club.
To that end it’s important all competitors are familiar with the Sailing Instructions. The Sailing Instructions have been revised for the current season. They are published on the web site and can be accessed here.
The most significant change is to the penalty system at paragraph 17. If you infringe a rule it’s now one turn rather than two, unless you’re in the zone (the area around a mark with a distance of three hull lengths) in which case it is two turns. However, if you hit a mark, it is one turn. This is the same revised penalty system that the NSW Laser Association often adopts for interclub and state events.
One of the main reasons we’ve adopted this rule is to encourage sailors to take their penalty if they infringe. We strive to maintain a friendly collegiate atmosphere within the Club. However, you can’t have great competitive racing on Saturday afternoons unless we’re all familiar with the basic rules and we all adhere to them. It’s a fundamental requirement of good sportsmanship.
So please, make sure you understand the basics, and do your turn(s) if you infringe.
Other changes to the Sailing Instructions are:
- Paragraph 9.2 to 9.5 now makes it clear there will be three starts (i.e. standards, radials and 4.7s) at the discretion of the race officer. Normally that discretion will be exercised where there are more than 6 or more 4.7s but the race officer can take into account other factors (like time and conditions).
- 15.3 is the new rule about shortening the course by just taking out one leg.
- 18.4, the Race officer now has a discretion to finish stragglers early for club championships.
- There is no longer an alternative windward mark 1A for the 4.7s.