Following the publication of the 2009-2012 edition of The Equipment Rules of Sailing, read our simple guide to the new edition highlighting the changes made.
The Equipment Rules of Sailing (ERS) govern the equipment used in the sport. They are revised and published every four years by ISAF.
Following the publication of the 2009-2012 ERS, which come into affect on 1 January 2009, Jason SMITHWICK, Head of Technical and Offshore Department, talks about the new edition of The Equipment Rules of Sailing.
Are there any major changes in the new edition of the ERS? If so what are they and how did they come about?
The changes in the 2009-2012 edition of the Equipment Rules of Sailing are primarily adding detail to what was already there. The rig definitions have seen the biggest area of development with rig types and spar types now more extensive than in previous editions. There have also been updates to reflect the more modern type of sailing such as including a definition of canting keel and kite-board. Other changes have been made, based on feedback from MNAs and Classes to improve and simplify the definitions and measurement methods wherever possible
Why do we need Equipment Rules, as well as individual Class Rules?
The Equipment Rules of Sailing defines much of the equipment used in the sport of sailing. By having a separate book of definitions, it allows individual class rules books to be more concise, referring to a standard set of definitions and a standard method of measurement for any particular piece of equipment.
With over 90 classes with ISAF status, ranging from dinghies designed for under 15s to giant multihulls, how is it possible to write Equipment Rules that are suitable for all of them?
It is a difficult challenge! By defining individual items of equipment in the simplest terms possible they can be made applicable to many different types of boat. It is also a matter of choice - individual classes can pick and choose which parts of the ERS they invoke in their class rules or even add to the standard definitions. The challenge then becomes one of trying to ensure that the items of equipment that are common to all types of boat are well defined and easy to understand.
You can download the new edition of The Equipment Rules of Sailing at www.sailing.org/ers
or order your hard copy from the ISAF at www.sailing.org/publications