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30 June 2004, 11:27 am
Sailing Instructions Available Online
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Athens 2004

The Sailing Instructions (SI's)for the 2004 Olympic Sailing Competition are now available on the ISAF Athens 2004 Microsite.
With the countdown to the Olympic Games continuing, the SI's set out the precise requirements for the Olympic Sailing Competition.

The Sailing Instructions as published are provisional, with the final version available on registration for the Olympic Sailing Competition.

In addition to the SI's, the 2004 Olympic Sailing Competition is also governed by the Racing Rules Of Sailing 2001-2004 (RRS), the Olympic Charter of the International Olympic Committee (IOC), and the Athens 2004 Sailing Measurement Regulations will also apply. The Olympic Sailing Competition stands apart from other international events held in Greece, as the prescriptions of the Greek National Authority, the Hellenic Yachting Federation, will not apply.

Sailing instructions are arguably a competitor's bible for the duration of a major regatta and the Olympic Sailing Competition is no different. Within the scope of the SI's are a wide range of changes that can be made to apply to a single competition, or a series of competitions.

Usual prescriptions governing how racing is to be run, the colour and nature of class flags, and variations from the RRS have been developed for the Olympic Sailing Competition as a result of the two test events held in the waters of the Saronic Gulf in 2002 and 2003.

There are a number of provisions in the SI's relating to the easy identification of athletes and their steeds for media purposes, with vests depicting country codes, complemented by names and national flags on sails. Competitors may be required to carry camera or recording equipment, as well as positioning systems, to assist the public in their enjoyment of the sport. As well as these provisions, the first, second and third placed athletes on each day of racing will have to carry further identification, so that the amassed armada of spectators, as well as the thousands of spectators around the world, can easily recognise the ones to watch as competition heats up.

The Sailing Instructions also spell out the intricacies in the racing schedule, race duration and courses. To that extent racing will not normally start before 1300 each day. Eleven races are scheduled, with two per day for each class except the Double-handed Dinghy Open - 49er, who will sail 16 races, three on each of their scheduled day. Reserve days, built into the overall plan, will be used if inclement weather prevents sailing on a particular race day.

Target race durations are laid out within the body of the SI's, as well as the legal time limit of a race for it to count, the target time, and the time limit for the first boat to reach the first windward mark of the course. Based upon this the Finn, Star and Yngling Classes have the longest target races of 75 minutes and no longer than 120, whilst the 49er's will race for a target time of approximately 30 minutes and no longer than 60. Across all events, boats failing to finish within 30 minutes of the first boat will be scored DNF.

Course areas are defined in appendices to the Sailing Instructions and once on the water for a day of racing, no competitor is permitted to sail outside the course boundaries as laid out. This is done primarily to ensure measurement and outside assistance rules are adhered to, ensuring as fair competition as possible based on sailors' ability and preparation, as well as to ensure athletes security within areas protected by the Greek Coastguard.

Following the measurement of equipment, which includes the Laser Class, despite the equipment being supplied, athletes have very strict guidelines as to what equipment they can and can't change, dependent on the nature of any damage caused to kit, and how that damage was caused.

The coach boat regulations are currently not included in the Sailing Instructions and are being finalised. They will be available on the ISAF website within the next 14 days.

There are numerous other details within the Sailing Instructions and in order to download the full SI's, visit the ISAF Athens 2004 Microsite at the address below and go to the Documentation section.
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