Rule Interpretations

Interpretation #3- ‘Roman Nose’ Headsail Measurement

IRC Interpretation
The Albacore Rules make it mandatory that we define the clew point in accordance with the ERS. The only guidance provided by the ERS regarding the clew point is given by ERS G.4.1 and the accompanying figures. All Albacore headsails used at the 2011 Internationals will be measured in accordance with these rules.

Effective Date: August 15, 2011
Issued by: International Rules Committee, David S. Weaver, Chairman

It has come to the attention of the IRC that a headsail was used at the recent UK Nationals which featured a stiffened region above the clew cringle (grommet for sheeting the headsail) and, in particular, a section of sail which defined the widest part of the sail (luff perpendicular) well above the clew cringle. This portion of the sail would extend aft of the straight line between the aft head point (as defined in the ERS) and the clew cringle. For discussion purposes, I have dubbed this a ‘Roman nose’ headsail. Apparently, this sail was measured using this widest part of the headsail as the luff perpendicular (LP) which has the effect of defining this ‘Roman nose’ as the Clew Point, and permitting a significant part of the sail below this point as unmeasured area.

Albacore Rule A.1.3 states: These class rules shall be read in conjunction with the ERS and RRS. Except where used in headings, when a term is printed in “bold” the definition in the ERS applies and when a term is printed in ”Italics” the definition in the RRS applies.

Albacore Rule A.1.2 states: The word “shall” is mandatory and the word “may” is permissive.

Albacore Rule G.4.2(c) states: The leech shall not extend beyond a straight line from the aft head point to the clew point. (note that clew point is ”bold” ).

ERS G.4.1 defines the clew point as “The intersection of the foot and the leech, each extended as necessary”, and provides a figure with 3 different possible configurations. One of these is very similar to the ‘Roman nose’ headsail in question. The clew point is very clearly defined at the intersection the extended foot and leech lines, not the widest part of the sail above the clew cringle.

Interpretation #2- Matching Sail Numbers, Hull Numbers and National Letters

2.1 Sail numbers shall match hull numbers as specified in the Albacore Class Rules except when the notice of race (NOR) or the sailing instructions (SI) invoke RRS-Appendix G3 allowing chartered or loaned boats to carry national letters or a sail number in contravention to her class rules.

2.2 An event organizing authority that intends to place RRS Appendix G3 into effect shall so state in the notice of race and/or in the sailing instructions and shall give specific contact information for the review authority to which competitors will apply for exemption from the Albacore Class requirements for carrying national letters or sail numbers. Such notice shall be given in a timely fashion so that competitors have opportunity to apply and the review authority considering applications has time to respond in a way that is fair to all competitors.

2.3 When RRS-G3 is in effect, competitors wishing to take advantage of this provision must make an application to the authority designated in the NOR or SI in writing in accordance with instructions and deadlines set forth in the NOR or SI. Late applications may be accepted at the sole discretion of the review authority, but in no case will they be accepted after the close of registration for the event. The application shall include:

a) clear statement of the reason(s) for requesting an exemption
b) a copy of the measurement certificate (for the boat to which the sails to be used belong) showing the sails to be used are measured and properly endorsed on this certificate.
c) the hull number and name of owner of the chartered or loaned hull which will be used with miss matched sails

2.4 Upon receipt of application, the designated review authority will immediately acknowledged such receipt and communicate to the applicant a date by which a decision will be rendered. Such applications will be treated on a case-by-case basis and may be granted or denied. The principle guiding each decision will be fair sailing in accordance with the spirit of the Sail Endorsement Rule 13.5.2 (see discussion for examples and further guidance). In no circumstances will a boat be permitted to use the sail number of another boat that is racing.

2.5 Approved applications shall be communicated to the applicant within the time established in the acknowledgement and posted on the official event notice board prior to the first race.

2.6 Competitors who are found to be in violation of the rules regarding sail numbers and their endorsement and who have not applied for and received an exemption as stated in this interpretation will be subject to protest and disqualification.

The relevant Rules are:

1.1 The hull shall display the sail number, either cut into or permanently marked on either the hog, transom or thwart in figures not less than 25mm in height.

1.2 The mainsail shall carry identification marks as indicated in Rule 13.4.

13.4.1 The class insignia and the sail number and letters, as issued by the Association shall be in accordance with RRS 77 and Appendix G, except where varied herein.

13.5.2 Not more than one mainsail and not more than one headsail shall be endorsed on the certificate when originally issued. Sails may be added by endorsement as additions or replacements (but not both) at the rate of one mainsail and one headsail (two headsails in the UK) during each succeeding twelve month period commencing from the date of issue of the original/initial measurement certificate. The Association shall have the discretion to permit the endorsement of further replacement sails in the event of loss or damage.

It is clear that the Rules require that the sail number match the hull number and that new sails may only be added by endorsement to a measurement certificate in accordance with Rule 13.5.2. However, there may be cases when it is in the interest of fairness, promotion of good racing and the Class to allow "special dispensation" on the number matching provisions of the Rules. This occurs, for example, when an Albacore sailor wishes to charter a boat for a regatta because his/her own boat is not available to be sailed at that regatta and the sailor also wishes to use his/her own sails and therefore not be in compliance with the matching numbers provision of the Rules. This is commonly the case when sailors charter boats for sailing in the Internationals. In such instances, interpretation #2 sets forth the conditions and process for making an application for "special dispensation."

The organizing authority for the event has the option to allow exception to the Albacore Class rule regarding the carrying of national letters and sail numbers by invoking RRS-Appendix G3. This is done by proper notice in either the NOR or the SI in sufficient time to allow fair process of applications. The NOR or SI must designate the authority to which applications will be made and provide clear contact information. The Albacore Class encourages organizing authorities to designate a committee of the national Albacore organization (CAA, NAA or USAA) or the Albacore International Rules Committee (IRC) for all national, continental and international events to assure consistent application of this interpretation. Contact irc [at] albacore [dot] org for further information on how to establish provision for exception in an NOR or SI.

The underlying principles guiding decisions for granting special dispensation are fair sailing and the interests of the Class in accordance with the spirit of the Rules. Of particular concern here is Rule 13.5.2. All sails that will be used in an Albacore competition must be measured and properly endorsed on a boat certificate. New sails which cannot be added to the measurement certificate of either the chartered boat or the sailor's own boat by virtue of Rule 13.5.2, cannot be legally sanctioned for use at an Albacore regatta.

Also of concern to the authority reviewing applications will be the relationship of the competitor to the chartered boat. The committee will not look favorably on situations where the competitor has an ownership interest or a controlling relationship in the boat that is to be chartered. Situations where it appears one is chartering a boat to themselves to circumvent the intent of this rule are unlikely to be approved.

Applications where some material hardship, such as difficulty or expense of transporting a boat to a regatta, damage to one's boat or a non-owner who wants to borrow a boat (but the boat owner is unwilling to lend sails) to participate in an event, will generally receive favorable consideration by the reviewing authority. The reviewing authority may impose conditions on its approval (such as modifying one of the sail numbers in the event a request leads to a duplication of numbers used in an event) in order to assure fair sailing

Sailors who are found to be in violation of the Rules regarding sail numbers and their endorsement and who have not applied for and received special dispensation will be disqualified.

Interpretation #1- Headsail Poles (Rule #11)

"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."

Effective Date: July 20, 2003
Issued by: International Rules Committee, David S. Weaver, Chairman

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.

(2) A headsail may be sheeted or attached at its clew to a spinnaker pole or whisker pole, provided a spinnaker is not set.