ISAF offshore special regulations amendments announced

The International Sailing Federation (ISAF) has today published the 2010-11 edition of the ISAF Offshore Special Regulations.

The ISAF Offshore Special Regulations ( are used by race organizers to provide uniform minimum equipment, accommodation and training standards for monohull and multihull yachts racing offshore. A number of changes made at the recent ISAF Annual Conference affect the new 2010-11 edition of the Special Regs. Unless otherwise specified the amendments are effective 1 January 2010. An amendment sheet containing all the changes can be viewed via the link below.

Click here to view the amendment sheet –

It should be noted that national prescriptions may take priority over the ISAF text and sailors should check with their relevant authority.

A brief summary of significant changes:

3.03 Hull Construction Standards (Scantlings)

Effective 1 January 2010, newly launched yachts shall been designed and built in accordance with the structural requirements of Offshore Special Regulation 3.03. They shall have on board a certificate of building plan review from a notified body recognized by ISAF and a declaration signed and dated by the builder to confirm the yacht is built in accordance with the plans reviewed by the Notified Body.

Click here for more information on the Offshore Special Regulations Plan Review –

3.14. Pulpits, Stanchions, Lifelines

As an alternative to stainless steel wire, lifelines may now be made of Dyneema fibre.

Pulpit and pushpit bases shall not be situated outboard of a working deck. Lifelines shall be continuous and fixed only at (or near) the bow and stern.

3.29 – AIS Transponder

An AIS Transponder transmitting information from the yacht such as its position, speed and heading will be required for Category 1 and 2 races in addition to the existing requirement for Category 0 races..

4.26 – Storm and Heavy Weather Sails

In November 2008, advance notice was given of proposed reductions in the maximum sizes of storm jib and storm trysail. These proposed changes have been withdrawn for further consideration.

5.02 – Safety Harness and Safety Lines (Tethers)

A harness or safety line manufactured prior to January 2001 is not permitted.

It is now strongly recommended that crotch straps or thigh straps together with related fittings and fixtures should be strong enough to lift the wearer from the water.

Before the end of March 2010 ISAF will publish recommended minimum breaking strains which for equipment purchased on or after January 2011 will be mandatory. Effective January 2011, a harness shall be fitted with crotch or thigh straps.

Other amendments incorporating previous interpretations and house-keeping amendments are detailed in the amendment sheet.

For a full report on the changes to the Offshore Special Regulations, the minutes of the meeting from the ISAF Annual Conference can be viewed at the ISAF Meetings microsite –

ISAF Offshore Special Regulations –

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