PostHeaderIcon Individual Recall

when the line sighter on the race committee boat identifies one or more individual competitors as being on the start line’s course side at the race’s official start (OCS). The race committee displays the International Code Flag “X” (square flag with a blue cross dividing a white field) and sounds a signal—to avoid confusion, it is probably a different sound than is used as the start signal. The X flag remains on display until all identified boats have properly restarted. If the applicable Sailing Instructions allow, the race committee may also notify those competitors who were over early by hailing them or alerting them over the radio. However, competitors are expected to know whether they started correctly. See also: Racing Rules of Sailing for 2013 – 2016 rules 29.1. For penalties that are applied for rule violations at the start, see rule 30, Black Flag Rule, I Flag Rule, and Z Flag Rule.

PostHeaderIcon Solent (the)

the crescent-shaped English Channel sea-way that separates the Isle of Wight from mainland England.

PostHeaderIcon MOM

an acronym for “Man Overboard Module,” a Survival Technologies Group trademark. A canister that contains inflatable and lighted devices, including an inflatable horseshoe-shaped buoyant device, an inflatable locator pylon, and a self-opening sea anchor. The contents of a MOM help locate and retrieve a crew member who has fallen overboard. The canister is typically mounted on the stern rail and its contents are deployed when someone pulls the pin on the canister’s top. Note: the force of gravity deploys the canister’s contents, so if a boat is on her ear, the canister’s contents will have to be manually withdrawn.

PostHeaderIcon General Recall

a recall that occurs when the race committee is unclear which competitors violated the starting sequence rules, or when there is an error in the starting sequence. The race committee initiates a general recall by displaying the First Substitute (a blue pennant with a smaller, inner yellow triangle)and simultaneously firing two sounds. See Racing Rules of Sailing for 2013 – 2016 rule 29.2.

PostHeaderIcon Bend

1) To attach and make ready for use, as in “bend on a sail.” 2) A category of knots used to join two lines together to form a longer line. E.g., sheet bend.

PostHeaderIcon Tacktick

a brand name of wireless racing instrumentation systems. For more information, browse to

PostHeaderIcon Spinnaker Pole Car

a device that allows a spinnaker pole’s inboard end to be raised or lowered to match wind and sailing conditions. The car travels on a vertically oriented track attached to the mast’s forward face. Either a pin stop or purchase system is used to control the car’s height. Also referred to as a mast car or pole slide.

PostHeaderIcon Head Pennant

a length of luff tape/boltrope added to a sail’s head to lengthen its hoist. For example, a #4 jib’s luff is typically shorter than the length of the headstay it attaches to, but if you add a head pennant, you can raise the jib halyard to its full hoist position. Compare to tack pennant.

PostHeaderIcon DSA – Double-handed Sailing Association

An organization ‘formed for the purpose of serving those who enjoy the sport of making fast, safe passages under sail with a minimum of crew.’ For more information, browse to

PostHeaderIcon Starting Sequence

the display timing for the various flags and optional sounds used to indicate the countdown to and a race’s start. Typically, a warning flag is displayed at five minutes before a race’s start and, optionally, one sound is sounded. At four minutes, a preparatory flag is displayed and one optional sound is sounded. At one minute before a race’s start, the prep flag is lowered with an optional long sound, and at the race’s start the warning flag is lowered along with the sounding of one optional sound. The starting sequence is specified in Racing Rules of Sailing for 2013 – 2016 rule 26 and may be modified by the applicable Sailing Instructions. See also: attention flag, class flag, rolling starts and signal boat. For some special rules that apply only during the starting sequence see: black flag rule, general recall, individual recall, round-an-end rule and z flag rule.

About the author:
Bob Roitblat is an avid sailor, writer and professional speaker. If you have any comments about this blog, or you are interested in having Bob to speak at your club, contact the author here:

You may also be interested in Bob’s other blog, At The Helm, that is focused on the owners of small-to-medium sized closely-held businesses.


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