What We Do
What We Do
To effectively manage a global sport, a number of specialized groups must work together. US Sailing serves as the interface between these various sporting agencies and the sailors they serve. Our primary responsibilities include:
- Facilitating various big boat rating and handicapping services
- Assisting race organizers and fleet officials
- Issuing certified sail numbers per the Racing Rules of Sailing
- Contribute to the World Sailing’s Offshore Special Regulations (OSR) and US Sailing’s Safety Equipment Requirements (SER)
Please find a description of the groups we work with below.
Serving as the creators and managers of events, race organizers are charged with overseeing the registration process and constructing the Notice of Race (NOR) per the Racing Rules of Sailing. This Notice includes valuable information for all competitors including registration guidelines, safety training requirements, applicable class rules, eligibility requirements, governing rules, a description of the course, rating/handicap certification, and scoring. In all of these areas, the organizers endeavor to serve the interests of their entrants and promote participation. Race Organizers are a primary resource for local sailors.
The global governing body for the sport, World Sailing chiefly represents the sport in the Olympic and Paralympic forums, sanctions one-design classes and World Championships, certifies International Rating Rules, defines the Offshore Special Regulations (OSR) safety standards, and develops the Racing Rules of Sailing and the Equipment Rules of Sailing. These Rules are referenced as part of the governing rules in the NOR for all sailing competitions. US Sailing is a Member National Authority (MNA) of World Sailing.
With safety a paramount concern in offshore racing, a number of different authorities have brought recommendations to the sport. The US Sailing Safety at Sea Committee developed Safety at Sea training programs and Safety Equipment Requirements (SER) to consolidate these opinions. Ultimately, it is up to race organizers to stipulate which guidelines to follow and training standards to mandate.
Rating and Handicap Rules
Developed out of a need to isolate the skill of the crew from the performance of the boat, rating and handicap rules endeavor to assign allowances to “correct” fleet finishing times. To ensure these allowances are assessed fairly, the rating rule developer prescribes a set of rules beyond the Racing Rules of Sailing that specifies the configurations to which these allowances apply. Generally, ratings are either derived directly from empirical analysis of race data and observed performance or generated by sophisticated software packages. Deciding which rule is right for their fleet is a chief consideration of race organizers. For more information about these rules, please visit our Rating Rules and Handicapping Systems page.