CSA RATING RULE ALIVE AND WELLWednesday 17th November 2010
The Caribbean Sailing Association (CSA) Rating Rule is the oldest continuously used rating rule in the sailing world. It is used in 16 territories by over 35 international regattas from very laid back local events to some of the region’s largest regattas that attract yachts from all over world. In use for almost 50 years, the Rule has been tailored to Caribbean conditions and the varied racing fleets that those conditions attract.
Previously known as the Caribbean Yachting Association and before that the West Indies Yachting Association, the CSA operates in parallel with the International Sailing Federation (ISAF) which has a ‘National Authority’ in each of its member countries. One of the major objectives of the CSA is to promote amateur dinghy and yacht racing in the Caribbean and to run events that are fun, fair and pleasurable for all competitors.
A major function of the CSA is to maintain a handicap rule that allows the enormous variety of yachts that are present in and/or visit the Caribbean to race without a huge measurement cost. The CSA Rule is a measurement rule which minimizes inconsistencies that might occur through subjective estimates of a boat's speed potential. The Rule is managed by a chief measurer and supported by measurers in each of the member territories. The CSA also supports dinghy racing by sanctioning a number of Caribbean Championships and by holding an annual dinghy championship that is hosted by a different member club each year.
Expert, friendly and helpful third party measurers, fluent in many languages, are conveniently on hand at all CSA regattas for pre-regatta measurement, rating advice, class allocation and to assist owners with sail optimization for specific events and conditions. This hands-on approach and active network of measurers allow the Rule to respond to measurement issues rapidly and effectively.
Olympic medal winner and America’s Cup sailor Peter Holmberg comments: “I compete around the world as a professional sailor and in many ways serve as an ambassador for the CSA and yacht racing in the Caribbean. Recently on a three regatta tour of Europe and the USA I took some time to visit with many of the teams to promote the Caribbean and get feedback on our events and the CSA rule. The response was very positive, and it was quite interesting that our CSA rating system was never a factor in their consideration of racing in the Caribbean. This gave me confidence that the rule is working and we should continue to put our efforts behind it.”
The Caribbean has long been the preferred place for racing sailors and the CSA Rating Rule was designed specifically for Caribbean conditions. It’s the right rule and the right place!
Article written by Kathy Lammers, Editor of Antigua's Yachting Insider.
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