As a first step to ensure a level playing field for Rule 42, ISAF is to introduce a system of worldwide RRS 42 interpretations.
For some time ISAF has been very concerned about the varied interpretations and enforcement of RRS 42 (Propulsion). There were a number of submissions to the 2002 ISAF Annual Conference to address various aspects of the rule; the rule itself, class rules, sailing instructions and RRS 42 judges. At the Conference in Cyprus, ISAF Council appointed a working party with representation from the classes, officials and rules committees to identify a way forward.
The working party has recommended that the first step is to level the playing field based on the current rule. This will be achieved by a number of ISAF RRS 42 interpretations to be applied worldwide and then to educate judges, sailors and coaches. The first set of interpretations are being finalised following the ISAF International Judges Conference held in Southampton on 21 - 23 March 2003. In due course these will be supported by video demonstration, clearly identifying permitted and prohibited actions.
It is planned that an ISAF RRS 42 Interpretations Booklet will be published in on 14 April 2003, which will be sent electronically to all MNAs, Classes, Judges and Umpires, in addition to being posted on the ISAF web site. It will also be available on request, to any sailor with an ISAF sailor ID. The interpretations will come into force on 26 April 2003, but any other event may adopt the interpretations before then, provided the judges brief the competitors.
This is a major initiative by ISAF to ensure a level, fair playing field for all competitors in the sport of sailing. More work will follow this first step and further progress will be announced as it unfolds.