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GRCYC Principles of Sportsmanship and Fair Play


1: RC Sailing is a self-policing sport, but the enforcement of rules 2 and 69 is the responsibility of all those involved – competitors and race officials. Allowing unacceptable behaviour to go unchecked is the same as condoning it and does not protect those sailors who have chosen to compete within the rules. The promotion of fair play and sportsmanship is the responsibility of all those involved in the sport.


RRS RULE Two – Fair Sailing:

2: A boat and her owner shall compete in compliance with recognised principles of sportsmanship and fair play. A boat may be penalised under this rule only if it is clearly established that these principles have been violated. A disqualification under this rule shall not be excluded from the boat’s series score.


Dealing with Dissent and Misconduct:

3: Rule 2, Fair Sailing, refers to recognized principles of sportsmanship and fair play. With one exception, ‘The Basic Principle’, the rules deliberately do not define these principles. It is necessary to take each situation in context.


RRS Basic Principle: Sportsmanship and the Rules:

A body of rules governs competitors in the sport of sailing that they are expected to follow and enforce. A fundamental principle of sportsmanship is that when competitors break a rule they will promptly take a penalty, which may be to retire.


4: The following principles (which are examples and not a definitive list) are published by the RYA and AY. They are generally accepted as examples of the ‘recognised principles’ referred to in rule two. Any breach of these principles should be considered unsportsmanlike behaviour or misconduct by a skipper and therefore breach of RRS 2 at any Radio Controlled sailing event.


Respect for the rules:

5: Breaches of this principle include:

  1. Knowingly breaking a rule and not taking a penalty.

  2. Deliberately breaking a rule.

  3. Intentionally breaking a rule to gain an unfair advantage.

  4. Collusion with another competitor to ignore rule breaches which may aggrieve or disadvantage other competitors and

  5. Gamesmanship, defined as behaviour of questionable fairness but not strictly against the rules. 

Respect for other competitors:

6: Breaches of this principle include:


  1. Bullying, intimidating or harassing others.

  2. Verbal abuse, unnecessary shouting or foul language.

  3. Ungracious acceptance of defeat.

  4. Sailing to benefit another competitor to the detriment of own position.

  5. Deliberately making misleading hails.

Respect for race officials:

7: Breaches of this principle include:


  1. Use of language which might convey incompetence, prejudice or insult, and

  2. Dissent against a race official’s decision.

Respect for property:

8. Breaches of this principle include:


  1. Reckless sailing likely to result in damage or injury.

  2. Abuse of boats or equipment supplied by an Organising Authority or belonging to a competitor and

  3. Careless damage to property.

RO or Skippers Action:

9: For clearly unacceptable behaviour, any skipper may protest the offending boat under rule 2 and the matter taken to protest. The procedure for protesting under rule 2 is the same as for any other valid protest.

10: The race officer may deem the offending skipper's actions a breach of sportsmanship and apply the relevant penalty. These may include an on-the-water penalty, in accordance with the Sailing Instruction, initiating a rule 2 protest or a rule 69 hearing, depending on the severity of the offence.

Following the imposition of any on-the-water penalty, the Race Officer will critically observe a competitor’s continuing behaviour. Any escalation of misconduct, poor sportsmanship or dissent will be penalised again as a separate incident.

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