World sailing

World Sailing rethinks ‘onerous’ new keel inspection rule in offshore racing

An overhaul of World Sailing is under consideration to exempt Category 3 offshore racing from the new documented structural inspection requirement.

Changes to the special World Sailing Offshore (OSR) regulations came into force on 1 January 2022 and mean an additional requirement for yachts competing in category 0 to category 3 races, but the new rule is now itself even about to be changed.

According to Afloat sources, the Special Regulations Sub-Committee has heard “significant concerns” from several Member National Authorities regarding the application of the new OSR 3.02.2 keel inspections as being too onerous for racers to category 3.

The subcommittee considered these concerns, found them to be valid, and voted to change the new requirement for category 3 riders only.

Offshore racing is broadly divided into three groups, inshore (Category 3), coastal (Category 2) and offshore (Category 1).

In an Irish context, ISORAs, D2D and Kinsale’s new Inistearaght race would be exempt if the rule were changed, but the situation would remain for the June Irish Grade 2 race.

Afloat reported on the changes in December here and the subject of the keel bolt review was picked up by Afloat’s Tom MacSweeney in 2019 here.

The result will be known next week.