Interpretation #1 Headsail Poles (Rule #11)

Regarding the use of Head poles and their various configurations:

In order to clarify what types of fittings may be used to "attach" a headsail pole to a mast as required by Class Rule #11 and RRS 50.3, the IRC has issued the following interpretation:

"Any headsail setting arrangement is considered legal if it complies with the existing Albacore Rules. For the purpose of interpreting these rules, any flexible non-metallic line less than 8mm in diameter shall not be considered a headsail boom fitting."

The Existing Class rule Reads:


11.1 The overall length of any headsail pole including fittings shall not exceed 1830 mm.

11.2 A headsail pole may be used to sheet the headsail to windward or to Leeward. No part of the headsail pole or its fittings may extend more than 50 mm outside of the headsail clew.

The other related rule listed within the ISAF rules of which the class rule holds precedent in any interpretation is:

RRS 50.3

Use of Outriggers

  • (a) No sail shall be sheeted over or through an outrigger, except as permitted in rule 50.3 (b). An outrigger is any fitting or other device so placed that it could exert outward pressure on a sheet or sail at a point from which, with the boat upright, a vertical line would fall outside the hull or deck planking. For purpose of this rule, bulwarks, rails, and rubbing stakes are not part of the hull or deck planking and the following are not outriggers: a bowsprit used to secure the tack of a working sail, a bumpkin used to sheet the boom of a working sail, or a boom of a boomed headsail that requires no adjustment when tacking.
  • (b) (1) Any sail may be sheeted to or led above a boom that regularly used for a working sail and is permanently attached to the mast from which the head of the working sail is set.
  • (b) (2) A headsail may be sheeted or attached at its clew to a spinnaker pole or whisker pole, provided a spinnaker is not set.