America's Cup 2013: Rules
Racing Rules of Sailing for the America's Cup


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2013 America's Cup Racing Rules (RRSAC)



Related pages: Overall Rules | Deed of Gift | Protocol | AC72 Class Rule | Racing Rules | Administration

On this page: Sailing Instructions | Modifying the Rules | Read the Racing Rules
 

  America's Cup Rules in Order of Precedence:
 

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Racing Rules of Sailing for the America's Cup

The Rules covering the actual on the water racing action for the America's Cup are adapted from the standard Racing Rules of Sailing (RRS), published by the ISAF, including the Match Racing appendix, but in order to respond to the particular needs of the regatta the Racing Rules of Sailing America's Cup Edition (abbreviated as RRSAC) makes several changes that affect rights of way, penalties, scoring, protests, officiating, and administration.  Some safety equipment and media provisions specific to the AC72 yachts are also required by the RRSAC.

Changes to the racing rules from normal practice include, for example, allowing the privileged boat to "hunt" the give-way, continuing to force the give-way boat to change course and keep clear.  This situation, not normally permitted in yacht racing, was a pivotal moment in the 2007 America's Cup Final.

Subsidiary to the RRSAC, some of the detailed logistics necessary for staging the races are managed via the Sailing Instructions, establishing additional rules for the competitors, procedures for the Race Committee and other regatta officials, and specifics of communications between the parties.  Among other issues, these include race start times, time limits, starting box entry, and the course marks, course sequence, and course location.
 

Louis Vuitton Cup Format:
The RRSAC also contain the format and scoring for the Louis Vuitton Cup to select the challenger (see Rules 100-101).  This differs from the America's Cup Match itself, where the format and scoring is established in the Protocol (See Article 12 (d)).  One of the benefits of this split is that the Challengers and the Regatta Director can more properly manage the challengers' fates in the challenger selection process, helping the LVC focus on trying to select the strongest challenger.  It would be a conflict of interest if the Defender significantly influenced the conduct of the Louis Vuitton Cup, with challengers ready to raise issues that the selection series was configured to their disadvantage in some manner.  The challengers and the Regatta Director are permitted to set and modify the LVC format via the RRSAC on their own, whereas amending the Protocol would require consent of the Defender and COR.
 

Evolving Changes 2011-2013:
The RRSAC have been modified on a regular basis as the ACWS regattas took place.  Some changes to the RRSAC over the course of the 2013 America's Cup cycle were a function of developing and experimenting with how to race the new AC45 catamarans under the tight short courses of the America's Cup World Series, including keeping the action as clear and intelligible for both spectators and participants.  Several changes evolved as consequences of the new rules became better understood though actual racing.

Procedural changes are necessary, too, for the specialized electronic umpiring and penalty system made possible by the LiveLine technology invented for the 2013 America's Cup.

The official relationship with ISAF is relatively new to the America's Cup, where issues of control and financial payments were often a point of contention in previous years, and the America's Cup administered the Rules without formal agreement with ISAF.
 

In Practice:
The RRSAC are administered by America's Cup Race Management, and through them by the Race Officers, and the Umpires.  Protests stemming from AC72 racing are heard by the America's Cup Jury.  Protests were not permitted for the AC45 yachts during the America's Cup World Series, though, to simplify the events.

Led by the Principal Race Officer (PRO), the Race Officers organize the conduct of the actual races, setting the course, and starting the race.  The Umpires observe the racing and apply the RRSAC to the action, penalizing teams as needed.
 

Amending the Rules:
The RRSAC were initially agreed by the Defender and the Challenger of Record.  For 2013, modifying the RRSAC requires agreement of the Defender, COR, and a majority of the Competitor Forum.  Article 13.3 of the 2013 Protocol for the America's Cup references the RRSAC.

Amending the format of the Louis Vuitton Cup as established in the RRSAC requires the Regatta Director and a majority of the Challengers still competing, but not the Defender.

The Sailing Instructions (see below) can be amended by the Regatta Director as necessary.

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Read the America's Cup Racing Rules:

Latest version: (updated September 7, 2013)
Read Racing Rules of Sailing for the America's Cup V1.20 (pdf)

Also: Click here to see Previous Versions of the RRSAC
 

Click here to hide the Previous Versions

Version:   Description: Date: Link:
Original   Version 1.0   Read (pdf)
         
1.14     March, 2013 Read (pdf)
1.15     April, 2013 Read (pdf)
1.16     June, 2013 Read (pdf)
1.17     July 12, 2013 Read (pdf)
1.18     July 14, 2013 Read (pdf)
1.19   Rules 41, 61, 62. August 5, 2013 Read (pdf)
1.20   Rule 14. Sept 7, 2013 Read (pdf)
         

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Sailing Instruction's (SI's)

The Sailing Instructions are issued under the RRSAC, and are published before racing begins.  The Sailing Instructions (SI's) are required to be issued 10 days before the first race, and can be amended by the Regatta Director as necessary.  Though normal regatta practice typically has a Notice of Race (NOR), issued previous to the SI's, and sometimes long before, there was no formal NOR for the 2013 America's Cup.  The Protocol effectively served as NOR.

America's Cup Match Sailing Instructions:
The Sailing Instructions for the 34th America's Cup were originally issued August 28, and last amended September 14, changing the status of Reserve Days.

Latest Version:
Read America's Cup Match Sailing Instructions (pdf)

Also: Click here to see Previous Versions of the America's Cup Match Sailing Instructions
 

Click here to hide the Previous Versions

Previous versions of America's Cup Match Sailing Instructions:

Version:   Description: Date: Link:

Original

  Sailing Instructions for 34th America's Cup Match 28-Aug-13 Read (pdf)
Amendment        
1   Start Times; 2-Sep-13 Cumulative:
Read (pdf)
A1 Only:
Read (pdf)

2

  Modified Reserve Day and Off Days; 14-Sep-13 Cumulative:
Read (pdf)
A2 Only:
Read (pdf)
         


Louis Vuitton Cup Sailing Instructions
:
The LVC Sailing instructions were issued June 28, 2013.  As of August 21, there were five amendments.

Latest Version:
Read Louis Vuitton Cup Sailing instructions with Amendment 5 (pdf)

Also: Click here to see Previous Versions of the LVC Sailing Instructions
 

Click here to hide the Previous Versions

Previous versions of LVC Sailing Instructions:

Version:   Description: Date: Link:

Original

  Sailing Instructions for Louis Vuitton Cup 28-Jun-13 Read (pdf)
Amendment        
1   Replacement Marks and missing Gate Marks; 4-Jul-13 Cumulative:
Read (pdf)
A1 Only:
Read (pdf)
2   Clarifies Course 1 and 2 are used for LVC; 11-Jul-13 Cumulative: Read (pdf)
A2 Only:
Read (pdf)
3   Changes Weigh-in Dates for Crew; 14-Jul-13 Cumulative:
Read (pdf)
A3 Only:
Read (pdf)
4   Change in Start Time; Start Entry Alternation; 18-Aug-13 Cumulative:
Read (pdf)
A4 only:
Read (pdf)
5   Schedule; 21-Aug-13 Cumulative:
Read (pdf)
A5 only:
Read (pdf)
         
         

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Additional Links and Info:

For reference, the plain RRS with no America's Cup modifications are available at the ISAF web site.

All Regatta Documents: Visit Official America's Cup Noticeboard
 


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