Removing Rule 42 from WS & Olympic Laser Events

We have recently become aware that World Sailing WS (was ISAF) is considering a proposal to remove Rule 42 “Propulsion” from Laser sailing at World Sailing and Olympic events.

Rule 42 prevents pumping, rocking, ooching, sculling and repeated tacks and jibes to propel a boat. Already for many classes most notably Finns and RS-X and other boards these techniques are permitted and practiced to the extreme in some conditions. If you want to see what sailing without Rule 42 looks like have a look at the short video clip from the Rio Olympics HERE.

The main motivation for this change by World Sailing WS is said to be to “increase athleticism and competitiveness on downwind legs”. Others suggest that their focus is on making the sport more exciting for spectators and hence more marketable.

It is our view that this proposed change as it inevitably trickles down from international to national, state, interclub and ultimately club events will be quite negative for Laser sailing generally.

We the ALCA have written to Australian Sailing’s AS President Matt Allen expressing our concern and seeking their support to attempt prevent this change. AS at least have a seat at the WS table though we have to realistic about our place in the big wide world – just recently illustrated when the leader of the free world did not know the name of the President of Australia or in fact that we don’t have one.

If you are interested in this subject you can read our letter to AS which explains our concerns and our reasons for opposing this change HERE.