Reopening Details

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It’s less than a week to go until we can welcome you back to the club for casual sailing and club racing with water opening from 10 am til 7 pm.

We do anticipate that the Draycote site will be busy at weekends, especially over Easter and more so if the weather is good.  The rangers during lockdown have needed to close the site by around 10.30 am due to STW car parks being full and this can cause a queue of traffic on the main road.  Sailing Club members are still given access at all times, however the queue of traffic make this very difficult to reach the entrance.
We strongly advise that you arrive at the club early for racing to avoid this issue.

Wednesday 31st March
Wednesday evening racing starts (1st warning signal 18.30): 1 average lap race, 4 starts:Start 1:  Handicaps of GL 1100 or lower (incl. Fireball)Start 2:  Flying FifteensStart 3:  Lasers, Laser Radial & Laser 4.7Start 4:  Handicaps of GL 1101 or higher (incl. Solos & Aeros (9,7,5))
Sunday 4th April
Club racing (1st warning signal 11.00), 2 average lap races back-to-back, with 3 starts:Start 1: Handicaps of GL 1023 or lower (incl. Fireball & Flying Fifteen)Start 2: Handicaps of GL 1024 to 1108 (incl. Laser, Aero 7 & Aero 9)Start 3: Handicaps of GL 1109 or higher (incl. Laser Radial, Laser 4.7, Solo, Aero 5 & Topper)
The racing for this week will be run by staff. Volunteers from the Committee and Fleet Captains will then run the racing till the end of Step 1.
From Step 2 (no earlier than Monday 12th April) the racing will be run as per the schedule of ODs published on DutyMan.

There have been changes to the racing rules and details of these are further below.


Remember, your 2020/21 membership entitles you to free membership for the months of April and May – there is no need to renew your membership until 1st June and your direct debit will not be taken out in April & May! (Those who are wishing to make a donation to the Club to help us cover the £30k costs of these 2 months are very welcome to do so below.)

We will send out renewal emails in early May, there’s no need to do anything at the moment.

Given that we haven’t been racing since the new Racing Rules of Sailing came into force there hasn’t been the need to ask the question: What’s changed? But now we will meet on the start line on 31st March it is time to ask this question.
The rules are updated every 4 years – traditionally after each Olympic cycle but, of course, a little health crisis means that the 2020 Olympics didn’t happen – but the rules still changed on 1st January 2021. A global pandemic may disrupt the Olympics, but it doesn’t upset World Sailing’s rules timetable!
There are always lots of little changes tidying up things and some of the rules have changed number but I think the precise number only matters to one person at DWSC, so there’s no point in talking about those changes.
As far as Club racers are concerned there are a few changes worth knowing:
When You Start And Finish
Yes, fairly fundamental, but this has changed. It used to be the leading part of its boat, crew and equipment that measured this, but now it’s only the hull. My personal view is that will make it more difficult for ODs to identify who is over the line, but I have seen others argue the opposite.
This gets more complicated (and you really need to read a full commentary on this rule change) but basically you don’t need to take a penalty and cannot be penalised for breaking certain rules if:You are compelled to break a rule by another boat breaking a rule (e.g. if a leeward boat luffs you so quickly you cannot keep clear)You have rights to room and a boat required to give you that room causes you to break certain rules (e.g. if you are forced to hit the mark because you weren’t given enough mark room)But, of course, someone who saw the incident differently can still protest you and it would be up to the Protest Committee to decide if these circumstances applied and you were exonerated.
Sailing the Course
Previously a Race Committee could not disqualify / fail to finish a boat that had sailed the wrong course – they had to take it to protest. Now they can disqualify them without a hearing (and we have a new 3 letter code: NSC – not sailed course). The penalised party can, of course, request redress if he believes he did sail the correct course.
Proper Course
This is now the course the crew reasonably believes to be the course their boat would sail to sail the course and finish as soon as possible. There is no longer a requirement for it to actually be the quickest route, you just have to believe it was at the time.
You are now allowed to pump upwind to initiate surfing or planning, but for most of us, we’re still only allowed one pump. But to promote foiling you’re allowed to pump any number of times.
Yo-Yoing Trapeze Harness Weights
Amazingly in January World Sailing reversed one of the rule changes they had made! I think that must be the shortest-lived rule change. The new rules, when published back in July, increased the minimum weight of trapeze harnesses to 4kg. Previously it was 2kg unless the class rules specified a higher weight, maximum 4kg. It’s now back to that again!
From 2023 your trapeze harness must have a quick release mechanism complying with ISO 10862 (I am told no current trapeze harnesses do, so they may be forced to change this one as well!).
Other Changes
There are lots of other smaller rule changes:
Flags: New ‘Search & Rescue’ Flag V; new meaning for orange and blue flags.
Falling Out: Change in requirements if you fall out of the boat.
Finishing: Now you can’t finish if you hadn’t started (the mind boggles sometimes!).
Marks: Now include anything intentionally attached to them.
Mark Room: Now clearer when the obligation to give room ceases.
Obstructions: Can now be defined in the Sailing Instructions.
Support Persons: Their definition has changed as have some of their obligations.
Notice of Race: Now needs to be available before a boat enters.
Protest: The Race Committee can inform a boat they are protesting it simply by posting on a noticeboard. A boat still has to inform another it is protesting as soon as possible.
Request for Redress: Have to be in no later than 30 minutes after a decision is posted on the last day of a regatta.
More detail in all these changes can be found in books on the Racing Rules of Sailing available in the shop.