Update on Rule 55


From 1 January 2021 the next version of the Racing Rules of Sailing becomes effective.  It has already been decided by the World Sailing Council and Racing Rules Committee that it will no longer be possible for national prescriptions, notice of race or sailing instructions to change rule 55 – Trash Disposal.  The option for penalties of less than disqualification will remain (unless there is a submission to change that in the meantime).

This means that using spinnaker bands that end up in the water and not recovered by the boat will break the rule, irrespective of them being made from bio-degradable material.  This is a deliberate move for sailing to reduce adverse environmental impact.

Some sailmakers are well aware of this change and are developing alternatives.  Unfortunately there is no ‘association of sailmakers’ for World Sailing to communicate directly with and so we are asking MNA and Classes to contact sail makers within their areas to ensure they are aware of the change to the rules and its consequences.


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