Clarification on Racing Rule 42, Propulsion

Type of Communication Jury Notice
Number:  3
Issued Date:  15 Sep 2022 13:00

The jury has been asked to clarify what PROPULSION is allowed under the Racing Rules and Hobie Class Rules.

This is covered by RRS 42 with modifications by the Hobie Class rules. 

  • RRS 42.1 remains valid
  • RRS 42.2 is deleted by the Hobie Class rules
  • RRS 42.3 is replaced in the Hobie Class rules

The end result is that the rules that apply are as follows:

RRS 42.1. 

  • Except when permitted in rule 42.3 or 45, a boat shall compete by using only the wind and water to increase, maintain or decrease her speed. Her crew may adjust the trim of sails and hull, and perform other acts of seamanship, but shall not otherwise move their bodies to propel the boat.

RRS 42.3 (as modified by the Hobie Class Rules)

  1. To initiate or maintain surfing or planing, the crew may use sudden forward body movement, stopping abruptly (ooching).
  2. To initiate or maintain surfing or planing, the crew may fan any sail by pulling in and re-leasing the sheet or boom or by vertical or athwartship body movement (pumping).
  3. After a tack or gybe when the battens are not parallel with the sail, the crew may pull in and release the mainsheet or boom to invert the battens.
  4. The crew may roll the boat by use of body movement, repeated adjustment of the sails, or steering (rocking).
  5. The crew may make repeated forceful rudder movements to turn the boat (sculling).
  6. A boat may reduce speed by repeatedly moving her helm.
  7. Any means of propulsion may be used to help a person or another vessel in danger.
  8. To get clear after grounding or colliding with another boat or object, a boat may use force applied by the crew of either boat and any equipment.

Explanation of terms

  • Surfing conditions only exist while sailing in the same direction as the waves, and where waves are of sufficient height to increase the speed of the boat.
  • Planing conditions are unlikely to occur in light winds or on an upwind leg.

Paul Pascoe

Jury Chairman