Results of VHF Radio Proposal
We have completed the voting and the results have been tabulated and the proposal to extend the use of VHF radios has passed by a margin of 85% for and 15% against. It is important to know that a significant number of us took the time to review the proposal and to vote so we can feel good that this change has been agreed to by a majority of members.
BELOW IS THE TECHNICAL INFORMATION ON THE PROPOSAL AND THE RESULTS:
The proposed specification change allowing the use of VHF radios passed.
The revision below will be in effect for the 2014 Mid-Winters.
7. It is the intent of FSSA that Racing performance not be enhanced by electronic or computational devices that gather information about conditions, monitor performance or in any other way benefit or influence a boat while Racing except as noted below. The following devices are the only ones permitted to be carried aboard at the option of the skipper and while Racing:
a. Electronic watches and timers
b. Electronic digital compasses with chronograph (timer and/or clock). However the compass shall have no external connection and shall provide neither wind nor boat speed; shall not compute correlations between time and distance; and shall not calculate lifts and headers.
c. Hand-held communication devices (cell phones, pagers, radios, etc.) with the following conditions and/or restrictions:
Cell phones and VHF radios may be used to report emergencies to the Race Committee. A vessel reporting/declaring its own emergency shall be scored RET (retired); a vessel reporting an emergency on a competitors vessel shall not be penalized, and may seek redress if its finishing position is affected by providing such report. No other transmissions from competitors are permitted. In addition, when so specified in the Notice of Race and Sailing Instructors, the Race Committee may use VHF radios to inform competitors of safety information (such as approaching weather) or to hail boats that are on course side of the starting line (OCS) at the start. Information from the Race Committee to the competitors should be on a separate channel from the one used for communication with other race officials, and should be identified in the Sailing Instructions. Transmissions on the competitor's channel from the Race Committee to assist in the management of the event are permitted when not Racing, but must be accompanied by the signals required by the Racing Rules of Sailing (when applicable)."
Frank Gerry, FSSA President