A Reminder: Governmental Laws, Regulations, and Rules Do Apply While Racing

SinC Racing Rules

April 19, 2023

Not all items that an owner/Person-in-Charge (PiC) needs to adhere to are in the rules. The Racing Rules of Sailing defines a rule to include the Notice of Race, Sailing Instructions, or other documents governing the event that have been made to rank as rules. The determination whether a breach of a rule has occurred is solely determined by the Protest Committee appointed by the event for the duration of the event. If a breach is decided by anyone other than the Protest Committee (ie: Government Authorities), then it should not be included as a rule.

As the laws and regulations change over time, it is the responsibility of the owner/PiC to determine what applies to them and what they need to do to comply. Common beliefs may or may not be valid.

Some items that would fall into this grouping include:

  • Right of Way Rules involving vessels not racing (Canada Shipping Act, etc.)
  • Carriage equipment requirements and crew certification/licensing for the boat and status for which it is being sailed. (Canada Shipping Act, etc.)
  • Environmental statutes and regulations
    • Ontario
    • US and New York State Statutes and regulations
  • Immigration and Customs
  • Entering or cruising in US waters, even if never touching land, i.e
  • Entering Canadian waters
  • Leaving and re-entering Canadian waters, especially exemptions to the need to report in.

Racing boats can be stopped by government enforcement agencies for inspection, etc. This has happened in the past. A Request for Redress by the boat for the time lost by the stoppage was not upheld as the situation did not meet the criteria for granting redress.

– From LOOR Newsletter

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