'09-'12 Edition - The Equipment Rules of Sailing

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The International Sailing Federation (ISAF) announced this week The Equipment Rules of Sailing for 2009-2012 has been made available to download online ahead of the worldwide date of implementation on 1 January 2009.

The Equipment Rules of Sailing (ERS) govern the equipment used in the sport. They are revised and published every four years by ISAF.

The Equipment Rules of Sailing (ERS) consists of three parts:

Part I - Rules for use of the equipment: The boat - the sports equipment used in sail racing and the personal equipment.
Part II - Equipment definitions
Part III - Rules governing equipment control and inspection

The new edition of the ERS is available to view on the ISAF Equipment Rules of Sailing page at www.sailing.org/ers. Translated versions of the ISAF Equipment Rules of Sailing will also be available shortly.

Marginal markings indicate important changes to the new edition of the rules. You can also pre-order your hardcopy of the ERS 2009-2012 direct from ISAF at www.sailing.org/publications

Jason Smothwick, Head of Technical and Offshore Department, gave a brief overview of the changes made in the latest edition of the ERS: '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.'

The ISAF Equipment Control Sub-Committee is tasked with formulating, revising and publishing the ERS, 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 ERS follows the same democratic process upon which all ISAF decision making is based. Proposed changes to the ERS 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 Equipment Rules of Sailing Working Party and during the meeting of the ISAF Equipment Control Sub-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 ERS. So the 2009-2012 ERS 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 ERS. Since then, the ISAF Equipment Rules of Sailing Working Party and the ISAF Technical and Offshore Department staff have been working intensively on the new rule book.

The publication of the 2009-2012 edition of the ERS 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 and ISAF Classes have already received the latest edition of the ERS in a text version.