Corona revolutionizes regatta sailing

Corona revolutionizes regatta sailing

Every four years, the international racing rules are adapted to new developments. This has been happening for years after the Olympic Games. In 2020 these will now fail, but will be made up for in 2021 as the 2020 Olympics.

Coming soon

Word Sailing is already working intensively on the new rules, which should also take the corona pandemic into account. It is assumed that - wherever in the world - we should sail with the greatest possible avoidance of contagion for the next four years.

The first results leaked from the preparatory working group at World Sailing, which meets in video conferences.

One of the primary principles of the new betting sail regulations will be boat distancing . Rule 14 Avoiding contact avoid is therefore preserved and will probably be tightened again. Otherwise one applies to almost all situations Three-Hull-Length-Rule.

The details are as follows:


The start is the most difficult phase because here the proximity to the boat is greatest for almost all boats. Two variants are discussed.

Start variant 1 one after the other

In this variant, the starting order is drawn and the boats are sent out on the track every three minutes. The times will be charged at the finish.

Start variant 2 in lanes

As with rowing regattas, adjacent lanes are spaced apart at three hull lengths at a 45-degree angle to the starting line. In these lanes the boats have to drive to the start line. If several boats want to travel in one lane, the rear three hull lengths must keep a distance.


Old rules - now new

Upwind that still applies Rule 10: Boats on port tack must keep clear of boats on starboard tack. It is still possible to operate in order to reach the safe leeward position - even without a three-boat-length distance (this is then safe in two respects: on the one hand, the windward boat usually has no chance to catch up, on the other hand, the possible viruses of the leeward boat hit not the crew of the windward boat).

Completely new will be the "mast-abeam" rule (which previously existed in another form): If a boat in the windward section overtakes a leeward boat at a distance less than three hulls, the helmsman in leeward must call "mast-abeam" when the mast of the windward boat is transversely from its normal sitting position. The windward boat shall then tack immediately (and thus move away from the leeward boat).


Downwind, a following boat shall always keep the three-hull distance, i.e. it must not approach a front boat less than three hull lengths, unless it also keeps this distance to the side.

At marks

The rules for passing marks are also being completely redesigned. In principle, the three-hull length distances must also be observed when rounding the windward and downwind marks. It still applies XNUMX rule that the outside boat shall give the inside boat markroom. However, the outside boat shall now sail a wide arc to maintain the three-boat length gap. In order to create an alternative here, several marks, which can be rounded, are laid both as windward and as leeward marks, depending on the field of participants. The previous procedure of the "gate" in Lee is simply multiplied.

Product presentation

Since the three-hull length distance is so constitutive for almost all rules, it should be checked by a jury by tracking.

Without question, these are drastically new rules that also change regatta sailing in a tactically revolutionary way. But that's the way it is and will continue to be with our social, economic and cultural life. As long as we can “sail around the marks” again with the new rules, we should be fine.

New Olympic opportunity for 2.4mR

And further considerations also seem to be very beneficial for us. Word Sailing is considering stopping sailing in teams for the time being. So the Olympic sailing competitions should only be held in one-handed classes. We will soon be Olympic with the 2.4mR in addition to Contender, Finn, Laser and Opti (for children from 12 years old like gymnastics). As always - every crisis has its chances!

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  • It is very good that our class secretary informs us about the new rules in good time. So I just wanted to use Idealo to find out which laser distance measuring device could be used for our needs. You can spend between 60 and 600 euros per device, which in itself causes problems. Since we now have to plot the distance to the front and to each side, we would need 3 devices - quite expensive.
    An alternative would be to mount a device on a rotating plate and control it with the rudder. What do you mean Which solution should we suggest to the TC for inclusion in the class rules?

  • Jörg Feder

    Hello Lutz - Christian,
    The TC already has this question.
    The trend at the moment is that every boat must have an NFC / GPS chip that has to be attached to the mast in front of the mast. The performance of the NFC is tailored to the length of the boat. If you are approaching another boat under 3 lengths, the NFC will give an alarm. Your course can be followed at the same time via the GPS.
    "Video evidence" is automatically available in a protest hearing.
    The system is "Yardstick-Safe" because there are different 3-length circles.

  • Michael Tiemann

    Couldn't you use the newly developed Corona app? You would then see at the same time who is still infected with the regatta virus.

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