Class Rules

Did you know that PHRF fleets are considered a "class" by US Sailing? PHRF fleets around the Country are designated by US Sailing as a racing “class”. This is the same kind of classification you see designated for popular "One Designs". So if you are sailing in a PHRF class, you are sailing in a US Sailing defined class. Each class has its own set of class rules, and so do PHRF "class" boats. In the Northwest, boats that have a valid PHRF NW rating certificate who are sailing in a PHRF class are actually sailing in a class configuration. The class being PHRF. It is important that PHRF NW members, as well as race organizers realize that they are a designated class, governed by class rules. PHRF NW rated boats are recognized by US Sailing as being members of a class, governed by the class rules and regulations. When a boat sails in an event that is operated under the RRS, where the organizing authority has declared PHRF NW as its handicapping authority, the organizing authority as well as the racers are obligated to abide by the class rules, in addition to RRS. PHRF NW class rules are found in your handy annual member handbook that is mailed each spring to active members. This is your class rules book. You should be familiar with your class rules, in order to promote fair sailing in the class. The more you know, the better prepared you will be. The Racing Rules of sailing require many things of race organizers, and racers.  In particular, RRS 78.1 states;  
  RRS 78 COMPLIANCE WITH CLASS RULES; CERTIFICATES

78.1 A boat’s owner and any other person in charge shall ensure that the boat is maintained to comply with her class rules and that her measurement or rating certificate, if any, remains valid.

 RRS 86 CHANGES TO THE RACING RULES

86.1 A racing rule shall not be changed unless permitted in the rule itself or as follows:

(a) Prescriptions of a national authority may change a racing rule, but not the Definitions; a rule in the Introduction; Sportsmanship and the Rules; Part 1, 2 or 7; rule 42, 43, 69, 70, 71, 75, 76.2, 79 or 80; a rule of an appendix that changes one of these rules; Appendix H or N; or ISAF Regulation 19, 20, 21 or 22

(b) Sailing instructions may change a racing rule, but not rule 76.1, Appendix F, or a rule listed in rule 86.1(a). However, the sailing instructions may change to ‘two’ or ‘four’ the number of hull lengths determining the zone around marks, provided that the number is the same for all marks and all boats using those marks. If the sailing instructions change a rule or that definition, they shall refer specifically to the rule or definition and state the change.

(c) Class rules may change only racing rules 42, 49, 50, 51, 52, 53 and 54. Such changes shall refer specifically to the rule and state the change.

RRS 87 CHANGES TO CLASS RULES

The sailing instructions may change a class rule only when the class rules permit the change, or when written permission of the class association for the change is displayed on the official notice board.

 
  In short, a racing rule shall not be changed unless so permitted in the rule, or done so by prescription of a  national authority as outlined in RRS 88, 88.1, 88.2.  Additionally, changes made to RRS may only occur as outlined in section RRS 86.1. Specifically, RRS 86.1(b) states that sailing instructions may NOT change a racing rule if it is EITHER a rule  listed in RRS 76.1, Appendix F, or a rule listed in RRS 86.1(a). This includes rules published in “Part 7”, where  one will find in “Part 7”, RRS 79, and RRS 87 as noted below:  
  "RRS 79 CLASSIFICATION If the notice of race or class rules state that some or all competitors must satisfy classification requirements, the classification shall be carried out as described in ISAF Regulation 22, Sailor Classification Code."  RRS 87 CHANGES TO CLASS RULES The sailing instructions may change a class rule only when the class rules permit the change, or when written permission of the class association for the change is displayed on the official notice board."  
  Absent the authority of the “organizing authority”, or the consent of the class to change any of the RRS, all organizing authorities are duty bound to adhere to the RRS as the governing rules for the event. If you discover that either a race organizer or a competitor is in violation of the RRS, or a class rule, you have the right to protest based on the above noted rules. Rules are in place to improve the racing experience, making it safe and fair. PHRF NW as an organization is here to support racers and race organizers in the effort to create more fair sailing. We hope that this rule overview has been useful to you. Please let us know if you have any questions about the class rules, or ratings.