Thursday, November 12, 2009

Sailing Racing Rule 51 - Are Sails Ballast? | Harbour Exchange - Really Useful Stuff for Sailors

"Short answer is ‘YES’. Move a sail around to give a weight advantage on one side or another and it is ‘moveable ballast’. Clearly a sail that is in use is unlikely to be much use as ‘moveable ballast’ as most of the time the sails will be on the leeward side. So the answer is that any sail not in use should be stowed and left in its properly stowed position until racing has been completed.

New rule 51 states that sails that are not in use are ballast and hence can’t be moved. Aha! You say. In some ocean races, such as the VOR, sails are moved around, up to the windward side. So are they breaking the rules? The answer would be yes if they were bound by the standard racing rules, but with an event the size and stature of the VOR, they sometimes set their own rules and rule 51 has been re-written so that the un-used sails can be stored anywhere on the boat."

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