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World Sailing Speed Record (WSSR) Committee

An International autonomous body recognized by the I.Y.R.U.

Record Rules: 1986-1987

(Note: This version of the WSSR Committee's sailing speed Record Rules is ten years out of date. The newest version will be substituted shortly, as soon as it is transcribed. This version should not be relied upon for planning or holding speed sailing attempts or events.) Transcription and uploading by permission of the WSSRC.)


The purpose of these rules is to enable attempts to be made on the World Sailing Speed Records in any part of the World under comparable conditions. They do not form the conditions of any prize or trophy, nor are they sailing instructions.

World Sailing Speed Records may only be established under the jurisdiction of the WSSR Committee. An approved independent official shall be appointed by the WSSR Committee to observe the attempts and report.

The record in each class shall stand until it has been exceeded by at least two percent. Every request to ratify a record shall be considered in time and date order. The time used for this purpose will be local civil clock time at the place the record attempt is made and the moment the competing craft enters the course will be considered to be the time of the run.

The official language of the WSSR Committee and its Rules is English.


The World Sailing Speed Record will be held by the skipper anywhere in the World who establishes the fastest speed which is ratified in accordance with these Rules.

In addition records can be established in the following sail area divisions:

10 Square Meter Class Up to and including 10 sq. m.
A Class From 10 sq. m. up to and including 13.94 sq.m. --150 sq. ft.
B Class From 13.94 sq. m. up to and including 21.84 sq. m. --225 sq. ft.
C Class From 21.84 sq. m. up to and including 27.88 sq. m. --300 sq. ft.
D Class Over 27.88 sq. m.

A fee will be charged by the WSSR Committee for the ratification of all World Records (See Rule 12).

At one time, the WSSR Committee established an 8 Square Meter Class, and a Women's class, also for boats under 8 sq. m. These classes were envisioned to effectively separate sailboards from small "boats." I believe both designations have been abandoned, and all such entries now run under "10 Sq. M. Class." Also, the current D Class used to be called Unlimited Class.

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The record shall be established over a minimum of half a kilometer on water (not ice), which shall be measured to an accuracy of at least one percent, although the minimum of half a kilometer must always be respected.

The course may be defined by posts and transits ashore, or by buoys afloat.

Separate Rules have been promulgated for records to be claimed over the Measured Mile. Details are available on application to the WSSR Committee.


The time taken for the craft to complete the course shall be measured by time pieces of established accuracy. If separate timing stations operate at each end of the course each shall make use of at least three time pieces unless one electronic timing device of proved accuracy is being employed. In all cases the times kept at either end of the course must tally to the satisfaction of the Official Observer.

If both start and finish lines are being monitored at one timing station, one certified electronic device will suffice. Whatever timing system is used there must be at least two responsible officials on duty at each end of the course.


Time shall be recorded to the nearest one hundredth of a second and in calculating the speed the arithmetic mean of the time shown on the watches used shall be taken.

The speed shall be calculated to the nearest hundredth of a knot with allowance made for the resolved component of any tidal stream and/or current on the course. The stream of current shall be measured by float tests or other means as appropriate, and the results supplies to the official Observer (See Rule 11).


A yacht shall use human power only apart from battery power for instrumentation. there is no objection to various methods of power transmission such as hydraulic, provided there is no element of power storage beyond that associated with materials in their conventional sailing application.

The Observer should, following a record run, ensure that no means of power or stored energy has been used.

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In the sail area division, all record claimants must, immediately following the record attempt, have their sail(s) measured by a qualified Measurer in accordance with the appropriate International Yacht Racing Union sail measurement Instructions.


Prior to and during the attempt, the yacht shall accelerate from rest afloat, and shall be propelled only by the natural action of the wind.


At least one person shall be on board from the moment the yacht accelerates from rest until she has finished her attempt.


One month's notice of any speed sailing event or of any attempt on any record must be given to the WSSR Committee, accompanied by the appropriate fee.

1 - 5 entrants £200
6 - 20 entrants £400
21 - 50 entrants £500
51 - 75 entrants £1,000
76 - 100 entrants £1,200
101+ entrants £1,500

No attempt for which the requisite notice has not been given, or the approved fee has not been paid, shall be recognized.

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The WSSR Committee, on receipt of the above fee, shall appoint an official Observer for the event. His travel and other appropriate expenses shall be met by the organizers of the event. He shall report back to the Committee and his report shall include a statement of the final number of competitors.


Pending the official ratification of a record by the WSSR Committee the skipper, builder, designer or any other interested parties shall not cause a record to be published or circulated without the words, "subject to official ratification by the WSSR Committee."

A request for ratification must reach the WSSR Committee within 30 days of the run being made, accompanied by the requisite fee, currently £100. No record will be considered for ratification until 30 days have elapsed from the time of the run.

The following documents are to be submitted to the WSSR Committee:

a) Report of the Official Observer which shall verify the identity of the yacht and record his satisfaction with the accuracy of all measuring equipment and measurement of the course. He shall also give details of any tidal streams or currents and an indication of the wind speed and shall ascertain that o means of power or stored energy have been used. (See Rules 5, 6 and 11).

b) A plan showing the course, together with a report from a qualified surveyor, covering measurement of the course.

c) Timekeepers' report and calculations.

d) Certificate of accuracy of timing equipment, published by an official time keeping body.

e) Typewritten list of the names of the timekeepers and course surveyors.

f) Sail measurer's report in any but the open (D) class.

Applications may be made for authentication of speeds attained under WSSR Committee observation, whether by way of National records or for any other purpose. These should be accompanied by the requisite fee (currently £100).

Long distance or passage records, requiring observation at both ends, may require a greater fee.


In the case of dispute over any of these rules, the decision of the WSSR Committee shall be final.

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