The publication of the new edition of The Racing Rules of Sailing is the culmination of four years of thorough analysis and evaluation of proposals for change. The ISAF Racing Rules Committee is tasked with formulating, revising and publishing the RRS, with any changes ultimately subject to the approval of the ISAF Council, the final decision-making body of the International Sailing Federation.
The formulation of the RRS follows the same democratic process upon which all ISAF decision making is based. Proposed changes to the RRS are suggested in Submissions (which can be made by ISAF Member National Authorities, International Class Associations, the ISAF Executive Committee, ISAF Committee Chairmen and the ISAF President) to the ISAF Annual Conference. These are then evaluated carefully by the ISAF Racing Rules Working Party and during the meeting of the ISAF Racing Rules Committee at the Conference. That committee passes its recommendations on to the ISAF Council. Approved changes then comes into force in the next edition of the RRS. So the 2009-2012 RRS reflect rule changes approved by the ISAF Council over the past three years.
The 2007 ISAF Annual Conference in Estoril, Portugal was the last opportunity for Submissions to be approved to change this edition of the RRS. Since then, the ISAF Racing Rules Working Party has been working intensively on the new rule book, including three days of meetings at the ISAF Secretariat in April. The publication of the RRS on the ISAF website www.sailing.org marks their first release ahead of their worldwide date of implementation on 1 January 2009.
ISAF Member National Authorities (MNAs) have already received the latest edition of the RRS to give them due time to prepare their own versions of the RRS 2009-2012 including the relevant national prescriptions and translations.
The ISAF policy on the reproduction of The Racing Rules of Sailing is available online and sets out the rights of MNAs and commercial organizations to use the RRS in publications.