In any questions concerning NIA please contact: Bob Pegel,
National Iceboat Authority P.O. Box 40, Williams Bay, WI 53191 Phone: 414-245-6242
PART 1 – DEFINITIONS
When one of the terms defined in Part 1 is used in its defined
sense in the definitions or rules, it is printed in CAPITAL LETTERS. All
definitions rank as rules.
ACTUAL WIND – The natural wind.
WINDWARD-LEEWARD COURSE – A course sailed around two MARKS, an imaginary straight
line drawn between the two MARKS is parallel to the ACTUAL WIND.
ON-THE-WIND – A yacht heading less than 90 degrees from the direction from which
the ACTUAL WIND is blowing is ON-THE-WIND.
OFF-THE-WIND – A yacht heading more than 90 degrees from the direction from
which the ACTUAL WIND is blowing is OFF-THE-WIND.
STARBOARD TACK – A yacht is on a STARBOARD TACK when the ACTUAL WIND is approaching
from her right side.
PORT TACK – A yacht is on a PORT TACK when the ACTUAL WIND is approaching from
her left side.
WINDWARD YACHT and LEEWARD YACHT – When two yachts are on the same tack, the
one on the side from which the ACTUAL WIND is blowing is the WINDWARD YACHT,
the other is the LEEWARD YACHT.
TACKING – A yacht is TACKING from the moment she is beyond head-to ACTUAL WIND
until her mainsail has filled on the other side.
JIBING – A yacht is JIBING when, with the ACTUAL WIND aft, the foot of her mainsail
crosses her centerline until it has filled on the other side.
OBSTRUCTION – Any object a yacht cannot safely sail over.
MARK – Any object which a yacht must round or pass on a required side to properly
round the course.
OUTSIDE – In rule 8 of the Right-of-Way Rules, any yacht to the right of another
yacht is the OUTSIDE yacht.
CANCELLATION – A CANCELLED race is one which cannot thereafter be sailed.
POSTPONEMENT – A POSTPONED race is one which is not started at it’s scheduled
time and which can be sailed at any time the Race Committee may direct.
ABANDONMENT – An ABANDONED race is one which is stopped while it is in progress
and which can be re-sailed at the discretion of the Race Committee.
Part II. MANAGEMENT OF RACES
Part II is written in a manner that can be applied to club races and large regattas.
Any specifics such as wind velocity restrictions, course length, scoring systems,
temperature minimums, ice thickness and condition, and number of boats on one
course must necessarily be adapted to the type of boat being sailed.
A.. Notice of races shall contain the following information:
1. That the races will be sailed under the rules of the National Iceboat Authority
and those of the association or class concerned.
2. Date, place, of regatta and starting time of first race.
3. Class or classes for which races will be held.
4. Amount of entrance fee.
5. Time and place of registration.
6. Number of prizes.
7. Time and place for receiving sailing instructions.
8. Number of races scheduled and number required for a complete series.
B. Sailing Instructions
1. May be written or verbal.
a. Course location.
b. MARK description.
c. Starting time.
d. Starting and finishing signals.
e. Time limit of race (over-all time limit and time per mile for each class).
f. Time limit within which and address at which protests shall be lodged and
3. Distribution – shall be available to each yacht.
4. Changes – written or verbal changes to the sailing instructions can be made
not later than two minutes prior to the starting gun.
C. Officials – duties and responsibilities
1. Race Committee
a. Personnel (course men, starters, timers, scorers)
1. Course men:
a. Determine if conditions (wind, ice, temperature, visibility) are safe; mark
dangerous sections of ice.
b. Supply MARKS and starting blocks.
c. Set course (MARKS and starting blocks).
a. Supply flags, loud speakers, audible signals.
b. Start race.
3. Timers: Time laps and the race.
a. Supply score sheets, pencils, master score board at headquarters, tallies
for drawing for starting positions.
b. Are positioned in teams of two persons each, to windward of the windward
MARK and at the end of the finish line opposite to the leeward MARK.
c. Record the race as follows: Each team has a score sheet. The score sheet
is divided into as many columns as there are number of laps in the race. As
the yachts pass the MARK, one member of the team calls the sail numbers to the
other member, who writes them down on the score sheet. A new lap column is started
each time the leading boat completes a lap. After starting a new lap column,
continue to mark all yachts in that column regardless of lap position until
starting another lap column with the leading yacht. In the case of yachts which
have been lapped by the leaders, the number of laps completed may be determined
by the number of times such yacht’s sail number has been tallied. After
the last yacht finishes, the scorers must then work back through their tally
sheet to determine which yachts, and in what order, finished the race properly.
d. Post starting positions for succeeding race.
e. Transfer race results to master score board and add up points.
f. Determine final finishing positions in the series.
b. Safety: The Race Committee should have on hand:
1. First aid equipment.
2. Phone number of first aid squad.
3. Equipment for getting boats and persons out of the water.
a. Authority – have the ultimate authority over all other officials in all incidents
involving interpretation and enforcement of the rules governing all aspects
of the race.
b. Must enforce all rules.
c. Oversee the race and must protest all violations of the rules.
d. Hear and decide protests.
D. Courses – all courses shall be WINDWARD-LEEWARD courses, MARKS left to PORT.
See Appendix I for course diagram.
1. It is recommended that the starting line be a line perpendicular to the ACTUAL
WIND and set approximately 50 yards to leeward of the leeward MARK of the course
and consist of marked positions. The center of the starting line shall lie on
an extension of an imaginary line through the two MARKS of the course. Numbered
starting blocks (of two pieces of wood 5” x 5” x ½”
nailed together to form a T; paint the numbers on the top of the T; lay the
T blocks on their sides with the numbers facing away from the course, i.e.,
to leeward; nails protruding from the edge will grip the ice) shall be placed
along the starting line at intervals at least three times the length of the
runner plank, odd numbers running from the center rightward and even numbers
running from the center leftward (standing facing the course).
b. The starting blocks do not rank as MARKS of the course.
c. The leeward MARK does not have a required side until a yacht has rounded
the windward MARK for the first time.
2. Starting positions for the first race shall be drawn by lot (or shall be
determined by another means if so announced in the sailing instructions) before
the first race. Entries arriving after the drawing shall be assigned positions
on the ends of the line. For succeeding races a yacht will start at the position
corresponding to her finishing place in the immediate preceding race and DNF’s,
DSQ’s, and DNS’s shall be assigned positions at the ends of the
line by the race committee.
3. Starting Procedure
a. At the starting line the Race Committee shall announce the course, number
of laps, time limit for the race and for each lap.
b. Each yacht’s windward runner is placed at the starting block, odd numbers
on PORT TACK, even numbers on STARBOARD TACK if the PORT and STARBOARD TACK
start system is used.
c. The Race Committee shall check to make sure all yachts are laid off (headed)
similarly and the Committee has the authority to require a yacht to alter her
d. There shall be a preparatory signal approximately 1 minute before the start.
This shall be a visual signal made by the starter standing near the leeward
MARK. He shall raise a flag or raise his arms. This may be accompanied by an
audible signal (megaphone or gun).
e. The starting signal shall be the lowering of the starter’s flag or
arms. It may be accompanied by an audible signal. The visual signal governs
the start, the audible signal is only a supplement.
f. After the starting signal, skippers may begin to move their yachts away from
the starting line, either by pushing or sailing.
1. No yacht may be in forward motion at the starting signal.
2. A yacht that arrives at the starting line after the starting signal must
come to a stop
on the starting line before beginning the race.
g. It is recommended that when one class is line up on the starting line when
another class is racing, positions #2, #4, #6, #8, and #10 (the first five boats
on the STARBOARD TACK) be vacated to leave room for yachts finishing to clear
the finish line.
1. The finish line is 200 to 300 ft. long and perpendicular to the ACTUAL WIND.
It lies between a stake between the Race Committee and the leeward MARK. The
Race Committee and stake are placed so that a yacht crossing the finish line
from the direction of the windward MARK shall leave the leeward MARK on her
a. The finish line shall be shifted at any time so as to remain perpendicular
to the ACTUAL WIND.
b. Yachts are required to pass over the finish line only at the finish. On previous
laps of the course they need not cross the finish line.
2. A yacht finishes when any part of her hull or equipment crosses the finish
line from the direction of the windward MARK.
3. The finish of the first yacht shall be indicated by the dropping of a flag
by the Race Committee, this may be supplemented by an audible signal.
G. Time Limit
1. Lap Time Limit – time allowed for sailing any lap of the course.
a. The Race Committee establishes and announces the lap time limit. Individual
clubs, classes, or associations may have a predetermined time per mile in their
b. If at any time during a race no yacht completes any lap within the lap time
limit, the race must be CANCELLED or POSTPONED.
c. Valid Race – A race is valid if any yacht makes each lap within the time
d. Example case: If the lap time limit is 9 minutes, the leading yacht must
complete the first lap before the starting time (ST) plus 9 minutes. If the
leader completes the first lap at ST plus 7 minutes, her time at the completion
of the lap (L1) is noted and the yacht leading (not necessarily the leader at
L1) at the completion of the second lap must complete that second lap before
L1 plus 9 minutes. (In this case, within 16 minutes of starting time.) Her time
is noted (L2). L2 plus 9 minutes is the time for any yacht to complete the third
lap, and so on for each lap.
2. Over All Time Limit – Any yacht not finishing within 30 minutes of the first
yacht shall be designated Did Not Finish (DNF). This time limit may be altered
by class, club, or association rules.
H. CANCELING, POSTPONING, ABANDONING, Changing Course
1. The Race Committee may CANCEL, POSTPONE, or change the course before the
start provided it informs all yachts verbally or in writing.
2. The Race Committee may CANCEL or ABANDON a race after the start if a MARK
has shifted or the course for any reason becomes unsafe.
3. The Race Committee must CANCEL or ABANDON a race after the start if no yacht
makes any lap time limit.
4. The course may not be altered after the start.
5. All yachts concerned shall be notified as to the date, time and place of
the resail of a POSTPONED or ABANDONED race.
6. The signal for CANCELING or ABANDONING a race shall be the firing of a gun
and the placement of a visual signal (flag, flare) at the leeward MARK.
I. Dead Heat – In the case of a dead heat in any one race, add the points for
the place for which the yachts are tied and the place (or places, if more than
two yachts are involved in the tie) immediately below the tied yachts and divide
equally. Any yacht finishing immediately after the tied yachts shall be awarded
the position corresponding to one worse than the number of yachts finishing
ahead of her.
1. In the event of an accident, the Race Committee may ABANDON or CANCEL the
race. Each yacht must render every possible assistance to any yacht or person
in peril, even if the person in peril is not racing. A yacht that renders assistance
may file a written request for compensatory points and the Judges may award
her points equal to her worst race in the series, disregarding the race in question,
did not starts, did not finishes, and disqualifications.
2. A skipper of a yacht in distress shall make every attempt to signal all passing
yachts and, if possible the Judges whether he is seriously injured or not. If
he is not, he should get out of his cockpit and stand up and walk around the
K. Resailed Races; When a race is to be resailed:
1. All yachts entered in the original race shall be eligible to sail the resailed
2. Subject to the entry requirements of the original race, and at the discretion
of the Judges, new entries may be accepted.
3. Rule infringements in the original race shall be disregarded.
4. The Race Committee shall advise the yachts concerned of the date, time and
place of the resailed race.
L. Award of Prizes
1. Before awarding the prizes, the Race Committee shall be satisfied that all
prize-winning yachts have complied with the racing rules, sailing instructions,
and class rules.
2. If, within a 60 day period from the original date of award, the Judges shall
find that a yacht did not comply with the racing rules, sailing instructions,
or class rules, they may demand return of the award.
Part III. GENERAL REQUIREMENTS
A yacht intending to race shall, to avoid subsequent disqualification, meet
these general requirements:
1. Pay all required membership and entrance fees.
2. Meet the measurement requirements of the association sponsoring the race.
3. Shall not be sailed by a professional(s) ice yachtsman. A professional being
defined as anyone who accepts money for sailing on an ice yacht. If the status
of an ice yachtsman (as to amateur or professional) is questioned, the National
Iceboat Authority shall be the ultimate authority in determining his status.
PART IV – SAILING RULES
The purpose of the following rules is to prevent collisions. Any infraction
of these rules is cause for disqualification.
A. Fair Sailing – In all situations the Judges, Race Committee, and
contestants must act in terms of common sense, safety, and good sportsmanship.
B. Right-of-Way Rules
1. A yacht in motion shall keep clear of a yacht stopped.
2. A yacht sailing OFF-THE-WIND shall keep clear of a yacht sailing ON-THE-WIND.
3. When two yachts are sailing ON-THE-WIND, the yacht on the PORT TACK shall
keep clear of the yacht on the STARBOARD TACK.
4. When two yachts are sailing OFF-THE-WIND, the yacht on the PORT TACK shall
keep clear of the yacht on the STARBOARD TACK. When two yachts sailing ON-THE-WIND
are on the same tack, the WINDWARD YACHT shall keep clear. When two yachts sailing
OFF-THE-WIND are on the same tack, the LEEWARD YACHT shall keep clear.
5. A right-of-way yacht shall not alter her course so as to mislead or prevent
a non-right-of-way yacht from keeping clear. When a faster moving yacht approaches
another yacht on the same tack from the rear, the faster yacht must not sail
so close that the slower yacht cannot keep clear.
6. A yacht may not TACK or JIBE so as to involve the probability of collision
with another yacht which, owing to her position or speed, cannot keep clear.
7. A yacht approaching and unable to clear an OBSTRUCTION with out fouling or
endangering another yacht may signal the other yacht for room to clear. The
signaled yacht shall at once give room and if it is necessary for her to TACK
or JIBE, the signaling yacht shall also TACK or JIBE immediately thereafter.
8. When approaching or rounding a MARK, an OUTSIDE yacht shall keep clear and
a faster moving yacht approaching another yacht from the rear shall stay clear
of a yacht that has started her rounding maneuver. Each yacht shall be entitled
to room to cross the finish line.
9. After finishing a race, a yacht shall keep clear of the course and yachts
C. Sailing the Course
1. At the start, a yacht must be laid off (headed) similarly to other yachts
on the line. A skipper may demand that the race committee require another yacht
to change the degree to which she is laid off.
2. A yacht shall be disqualified without protest if she starts prematurely.
3. A yacht fouling a MARK (except when avoiding an accident), not leaving a
MARK on the required side, or not rounding all MARKS in proper sequence, shall
D. Propulsion – A yacht may not employ any means of propulsion other
than the action of the wind on the sails. However, the crew (unassisted by anyone
except for reasons of physical disability as authorized by the Judges) may push
the yacht to leave the starting line or to return the yacht to wind propulsion
when necessary. Other pushing shall be cause for disqualification.
E. Ballast – A yacht must start and finish a race with the same ballast
PART V – PROTESTS, DISQUALIFICATIONS, APPEALS
1. Parties to protests.
a. Who may protest:
1. Any competing yacht.
2. The Race Committee, or any member of the Committee.
3. A Judge.
b. Who maybe protested:
1. Any competing yacht.
2. The Race Committee.
2. It is mandatory for all parties in 1.a. above to protest any infringement of the Racing
Rules, Parts 1, 11, 111, IV. A protest may not be withdrawn.
3. A party entering a protest shall:
a. Make his intent to protest known to the Race Committee immediately after the race in
which the rule infringement occurred or as soon as an infringement of other than the
Sailing Rules is noted. A protest may be entered at a later time if the protesting party
is unable to finish the race, but must be made within two hours of the finish of the days
racing unless the protesting party can prove, to the satisfaction of the Race Committee,
that he was unable to meet the deadline.
b. Present the protest in writing at the time and place indicated in the sailing
instructions, stating the rule violated, a statement of facts, and a diagram to illustrate
same (when relevant).
4. The Race Committee shall do its best to notify the protested party as soon as possible.
5. The Judges must call a hearing as soon as possible, allowing a reasonable time for
preparation of defense. Protests from one day’s racing should be heard before the next
day’s racing begins and, on the last day of racing, before prizes are awarded. Failure on
the part of any interested party to make an effort to attend the hearing may justify the
Judges in dismissing the case or in deciding the protest as they see fit.
B. Decisions and Penalties
1. The Judges shall make a prompt decision and notify, verbally or in writing, the parties
2. If, during the hearing, any yacht is found to have infringed any of the Racing Rules
she shall be disqualified or otherwise penalized according to any special Sailing
3. If the Race Committee is found to have infringed a Racing Rule and a yachts chances to
win a prize were prejudiced as a result of the infringement, the Judges may order the race
C. Interested persons must not take part in decisions.
No Judge may hear
a protest involving a yacht he owned or sailed on at the time in question or involving a
Race Committee of which he was a member.
D. Appeals to the National Iceboat Authority
1. Appeals involving solely the interpretation of the Racing Rules may be taken to the
National Iceboat Authority for final determination by any individual or group that is a
member of the Authority.
2. Preparation of Appeal Papers – All appeals shall be in writing and shall set forth the
grounds of the appeal and be signed by the appellant. They shall be filed with the
Secretary of the Authority within thirty days after the rendering of the decision appealed
from, together with:
a. The written consent to the appeal signed by the Judges rendering the original decision.
b. A copy of the sailing instructions.
c. A copy of the protest.
d. The names of the parties represented at the hearing, and of any party duly notified of
the hearing, but not represented.
e. A copy of the decision of the Judges containing a full statement of the facts found by
f. An official diagram prepared by Judges in accordance with the facts found by it and
signed by it showing..
1. The direction and velocity of the wind. 2. Temperature and ice conditions.
3. Visibility. 4.
3. Positions and tracts of all yachts involved and their position in relation
to the course and the MARKS of the course.Decision of Directors of the National
Iceboat Authority shall be in writing and the grounds of each decision shall be
specified therein. The decision shall be made within 30 days of the date the appeal
was properly filed with the Secretary and shall be sent to all parties to the
infringement and appeal. The annual report of the Directors shall contain all
the decisions. (Note: See below for more information on protests.)
December 1, 1973
1. The Sailing Rules and Race Management Rules are designed to provide a safe
and fair race. The rules should not be used with tactical advantage as a prime
concern, but rather should be used to avoid collisions.
2. Sailors should realize that iceboat racing rules differ from sailboat racing
rules in a number of fundamental ways, most prominent of which are: starboard
tack does not always have right-of-way; windward yacht has right-of-way off
the wind; there is NO two length rule at an iceboat course mark.
3. The rules do not allow boats to collide at the start or shortly thereafter
and all sailing rules apply here as they do elsewhere on the course.
4. Rule #8 giving each yacht room to finish is for the ends of the line and
is designed to keep the Race Committee from getting killed, and to avoid general
havoc in the finishing area. Port tack yachts shall keep clear of starboard
tack yachts except at the Committee end of the line where port tack must be
given room to finish. At the ends of the line, a windward yacht must allow a
leeward yacht room to finish.
5. Once the forward most part of the yacht catching up from behind has come
past the after most part of the yacht ahead, one yacht is windward, and other
leeward. The yachts must then be governed by their responsibilities as windward
and leeward yachts.
October 1, 1977
Under the rules of the National Iceboat Authority, Part 11, D., Courses, all
courses shall be WINDWARD LEEWARD COURSES. By definition this is a course sailed
around two MARKS, not three MARKS. Therefore, the requirement that yachts round
a “Darling Mark” set inside the LEEWARD MARK is contrary to National
Iceboat Authority rules and is not permitted.
NATIONAL ICEBOAT AUTHORITY NOTICE OF CHANGES IN THE RULES
December 11, 1989
DISTANCE BETWEEN STARTING POSITIONS is increased so as to lessen the probability of rule
violations in the vicinity of the starting line.
Part II.E.1. in the last sentence: change “three” to “four” times the
length of the runner plank.
ESTABLISHMENT OF A SAFETY ZONE is the preferred way to eliminate accidents in the
starting/finishing area. Here are the changes in the NIA rules which provide for the
establishment and enforcement of the safety zone:
Part 11, C.1.a.c. change to read: Set course (MARKS, starting blocks and safety zone.)
Part 11, D. change to read: Courses – all courses shall be WINDWARDLEEWARD courses, MARKS
left to PORT. The course includes all marks, the starting line, the finish line, and the
safety zone. See Appendix I dated 12/11/89 for course diagram. (Note: see page 78.)
Part 11, E. 3.a. change to read: At the starting line, the Race Committee shall call
competing yachts to their starting positions, announce the course, number of laps, time
limit for the race and for each lap, and instruct all yachts not starting to clear the
Part IV, New Section E. Safety Zone – The Race Committee shall designate a safety zone
(reference Appendix I dated 12/11/89) to leeward of the starting line. A yacht may enter
the safety zone only if she has been called to the starting line by the Race Committee, or
if she is competing in the race in progress. No other yacht shall enter the safety zone.
After a warning by the Race Committee, a yacht found to be in the Safety Zone without just
cause may be disqualified or otherwise penalized according to the provisions of Part V of
New APPENDIX IV and New APPENDIX V establish a Protest Form and Protest Procedure.
APPENDIX IV – Protest Form
APPENDIX V – Protest Procedure
A. Structure of the Protest Committee
1. The protest committee shall consist of 3 or more persons, who shall be referred
to as Judges. It is recommended that there be an odd number of Judges so that
there will not be a tie vote in a divided decision.
2. An interested party may give testimony in the protest hearing but shall not
take part in the discussion or decision. An interested party is: a competitor
in the series in which the incident occurred or, in a protest against the actions
of the race committee, a member of the race committee for the series.
B. Protest Committee Procedure
In a protest hearing, the Judges should give equal weight to all testimony;
should recognize that honest testimony can vary and even be in conflict as a
result of different observations and recollections; should resolve such differences
as best it can; should recognize that no yacht is guilty until her infringement
has been established to the satisfaction of the Judges; should keep an open
mind until all the evidence has been submitted as to whether the protestor or
the protestee or a third yacht, when one is involved in the incident, has infringed
1. 1 Note on the protest the time at which it is received by the race committee.
1.2 Determine whether the protest meets the requirements of Rule V.A.3.a. and
1.3 A protest that does not meet the requirements of Rule VA,3.a. and
3.b. should be refused.
1.4 Determine if the Race Committee has notified the protested party as required
by Rule V.A.4.
1.5 The protest hearing should be scheduled according to the requirements of
1.6 The protest and any written statement regarding the incident (preferably
photocopies), shall be available to all parties to the protest and to the protest
committee for study before the taking of evidence.
2. The Hearing
2.1 The protest committee shall ensure that:
(a) a quorum is present as required by the club, class or association organizing
(b) no interested party is a member of the protest committee or takes part in
the discussion or decision. Ask the parties to the protest whether they object
to any member on the ground of “interest”.
(c) when any Judge sitting on the protest committee saw the incident, he shall
give his evidence as a witness only in the presence of the parties to the protest
and may be questioned.
2.2 The parties to the protest (with a language interpreter, when needed) shall
have the right to be present throughout the hearing. Each witness, unless he
is a Judge sitting on the protest committee, shall be excluded except when giving
his evidence. Observers may be admitted at the discretion of the Judges.
2.3 Invite first the protestor and then the protestee(s) to give their accounts
of the incident. Each may question the other(s). Questions by the Judges, except
for clarifying details, are preferably deferred until all accounts have been
presented. Models are useful. Positions before and after the incident itself
are often helpful.
2.4 Invite the protestor and then the protestee to call witnesses. They may
be questioned by the protestor and protestee as well as by the Judges. The Judges
may also call witnesses.
2.5 Invite first the protestor and then the protestee to make a final statement
of his case, including any application or interpretation of the rules to the
incident as he sees it.
2.6 The Judges may adjourn a hearing in order to obtain additional evidence.
3.1 The Judges, after dismissing those involved in the incident, shall decide
what the relevant facts are.
3.2 The Judges shall then apply the rules and reach a decision as to who, if
anyone, infringed a rule and what rule was infringed.
3.3 Having reached a decision, put it in writing, then recall the protestor
and protestee and read to them the facts found, the decision and the basis for
the decision. Any rules infringed should be identified in the decision.
3.4 Any party to the protest is entitled to a copy of the decision signed by
the Chairman of the Judges. A copy should also be filed with the Judges’ records.
4. Yachts found to have infringed the rules should be penalized according to
the provisions of Rule V.13.2.
5. If it is determined that a yacht’s chances to win a prize were prejudiced
by a rule infringement of the Race Committee, Rule V.13.3 provides that the
Judges may order the race resailed according to Rule II.K. It is recommended
that the rules of the race organizers should provide for an alternative to resailing
the race, such as (but not limited to) (1) awarding the prejudiced yacht a finish
position equal to that of her worst race in the series, (2) award her a finish
equal to the average of her finishes in the other races of the series.