The Course of 500 m

1. GENERAL (Amendments for 2019 are printed in red)
The purpose of these rules is to enable attempts to be made on 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.

Sailing Speed Records can only be established under the jurisdiction of the WSSR Council, who shall appoint WSSRC Commissioners to monitor all record attempts. Only Commissioners directly appointed by the Council shall have this authority. (See Rules 12 and 13.) Prior to any record attempt taking place the measurement of the course and timing methods must receive WSSRC approval. (See rule3)

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

The record in each division shall stand until it has been exceeded by the appropriate margin. Every request to ratify a record shall be considered in time and date order. The time used for this purpose will be UTC. The time the competing craft enters the course will be considered to be the time of the run.

The WSSRC cannot accept any responsibility for personal injury or loss of life, damage to or loss of property arising from any record attempt made under its rules whether supervised by its officials or not. It is the sole and inescapable responsibility of the skipper of a craft engaged in any such record attempt to decide whether to start and, having done so, to continue the attempt.

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

All World Records to be expressed in knots, kph and Mph.


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

10 Sq. m. Division (up to and including 10 sq.m) (The Windsurfer division)
A Division (from 10 sq.m (107.6 sq.ft) up to and inc. 150 sq.ft [13.93 sq.m]).
B Division (from 150 sq.ft up to and inc. 235 sq.ft [21.84 sq.m])
C Division (from 235 sq.ft up to and inc. 300 sq.ft [27.88 sq.m])
D Division (over 300 sq.ft)
and a division for Sailboards with kite sails [no sail area divisions]


In addition, records can be established in all divisions as National Sailing Speed Records. The WSSRC fee for the ratification of a National records is £100. 00

The nationality of a record claimant is determined by his or her submitted passport only. The nationality on the passport is to be verified at the time of the attempt by the WSSR Commissioner. A national record holder who wishes to challenge for a different national record loses title to his or her existing record, which then becomes the benchmark for any subsequent attempt. The speed from this record is not transferable to the new country and the competitor has to subsequently break the record or benchmark for the new adopted country in order to claim it. An exception to this is when a competitor is forced to change nationality, for example due to boundary changes. In such cases the competitor would be permitted to retain the previous record.


In addition,Women's Records can be established in all divisions above and in National records.

The record shall be established over a minimum of 500 m on water (not ice).

The course may be defined by posts and transits ashore (Transits shall not converge), or by WSSRC approved GPS survey equipment.

For every record attempt on a WSSRC approved course, there must be a minimum depth of water, which is defined as follows.
At the time of the run in question, the shallowest part of the course must be covered by water with a depth of at least half the static immersed beam of the craft involved, or 10cm, whichever is the greater. (Guidance note To define the depth requirement, the craft or board involved should be afloat and the widest part of the hull or hulls touching the water should be measured. In the case of a multihull, the widest hull is measured or hydrofoil if fitted). In the case of an event involving a number of competing craft, the WSSRC Commissioner can announce at the commencement of the event what the minimum depth requirement will be.

The first step in obtaining approval for a new course at which official World or National records, or personal performances are to be attempted is to send the following documentation to the WSSR Council at least two months prior to the proposed start date:

a. Detailed description of the timing equipment, together with a certificate of accuracy, published by an official timekeeping body.

b. A detailed plan of the course from a survey showing location and water depths in the area. The certified measurements from a qualified surveyor for the actual course must be provided before any results can be considered by WSSRC.

c. A list of the names of the proposed timekeepers and course observers

d. In accordance with WSSR Rule 12 for a "Private Event", the fee is GBP £4660. 00 for a 28-day period, plus the travel and accommodation for the WSSR Commissioner.

Initially a new course at which official World or National records, or personal performances, are to be attempted must have a WSSR Commissioner in constant attendance for the first 7 days, during which timed trials shall take place. If he is satisfied that the organization of the event, the standard of the video timing and the suitability of the venue is to World Record standard, the event may then continue as a Private Event in accordance with Rule 12 for a further 21 days.


A timed run is measured from the difference in the times recorded at the crossing of the starting and finishing lines or by WSSRC approved GPS points of the same fixed point on board to the satisfaction of the timing staff and the WSSR Commissioner on duty.

Where the timing positions are land based, videorecorded timing, which includes an independent time display of the transits shall be used. Otherwise approved GPS survey equipment shall be used. Requests for attempts must include full details of the timing system proposed.

In order to facilitate recognition, craft must carry clear identification, to the satisfaction of the timing staff and the WSSR Commissioner on duty.

The following applies when using GPS survey equipment:

a. Receiver logging rates shall be set at 10 Hertz, which results in a GPS position every 1/10th of a second.

The GPS system shall provide time stamp with each position that are accurate to within .001 second.

b. Record claims that include a horizontal position error (hpe) of greater than 0.10 metre (one sigma) during the run shall not be accepted.

c. The nominated start and finish points shall be at least 500 metres apart, plus the hpe at the start and the hpe at the finish.

d. Distance and time may be interpolated between the two measured positions bracketing the 500 metres (plus 2 hpe used in para b above) finishing point. The results are added to those from starting point to the first measurement point bracketing the finish point. For the calculation of distances, GPS coordinates supplied to the WSSRC shall be in latitude and longitude using the WGS84 datum. The WSSRC will calculate the distance as the length of a geodesy on the WGS84 ellipsoid using the Vincenty method.

Time shall be recorded to the nearest one hundredth of a second. The speed shall be calculated to the nearest hundredth of a knot with allowance made for the resolved component of any current on the course. A venue is not suitable for record breaking if the current is more than one knot. The current shall be measured by float tests, Doppler or other means as appropriate and the results supplied to the Official Commissioner (see Rule 14).

In order to establish a new record the new elapsed time must improve on the existing record by a margin as follows:

a. On a course using land based transits and videorecorded timing:

i. Between records claimed on the same course and when the timing positions have not been moved and with equipment recording to 1/100th second, the margin is 1/50th second.

ii. . Between records claimed on different courses or when the timing positions have been changed with equipment recording to 1/100th second, the margin is to be 1/25th second.

b. Where WSSRC approved GPS survey equipment is used, the margin is 1/100th second.

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

In the sail area divisions, all record claimants must, immediately following a record attempt, have their sail(s) measured by a qualified Measurer in accordance with the appropriate WS sail area measurement instructions. The provision of a qualified measurer is the responsibility of the organizer.

A yacht shall sail by using only the wind and water to increase, maintain or decrease her speed

10. CREW
At least one person shall be on board from the start to the finish of the attempt.

All competitors shall be positively buoyant during an attempt. Weight vests and weight harnesses with a specific density greater than the water sailed on are prohibited.

a. A Private Event is one where the competitors are limited to those invited by the organiser

b Other events shall be defined as Open Events.

c. When an Open Event has been approved by the WSSRC Council:

i. No other simultaneous Open Event shall be permitted in the same division(s) in the same Continent.

ii. No other simultaneous Private Event shall be permitted in the same division(s) in the same country, unless such Private Event(s) were booked prior to the Open Event.

At least one month's notice must be given to the WSSRC of any open event at which official World or National records, or personal achievements, are to be attempted and submitted for ratification. The notice, giving precise dates, and stating the type of timing equipment to be used, must be accompanied by the appropriate registration fee, currently at the rate
of GBP 326. 00 per day, or GBP 2040. 00 for seven consecutive days. An Open Event will not normally be approved for a period longer than ten days. Approval of any Open Event is subject to the availability of a WSSR Commissioner

At least one month's notice for a Private Event, accompanied by a registration fee of GBP 2040. 00, must be given to the WSSRC. Approval of any Private Event is subject to the availability of a WSSR Commissioner. The organiser may nominate a period of 28 consecutive days during which attempts may be made. Where a WSSR Commissioner is resident close to the proposed event, the organiser is entitled to his services for 7 days (arranged by the organiser, who may ask the Commissioner to be "on call" at short notice at the convenience of the Commissioner when suitable wind conditions are forecast) within that 28-day period. Records may only be claimed when the Commissioner is present. Should the Commissioner be required for any other days within the
28 day period, a daily fee of GBP 525. 00 is payable to the WSSRC. Where there is no resident Commissioner, the fee is GBP 4660. 00 plus travel and accommodation for the official. Subject to the agreement and availability of the Commissioner, additional days immediately consecutive to the end of the 28 day period may be allocated at a charge of £525. 00 per day.

New courses where no previous WSSRC supervised record attempts have been staged shall follow the existing rules for an open event.

The WSSRC, on approval of the attempt conditions and on receipt of the appropriate fee, will appoint an independent Official Commissioner for the event. His travel and other appropriate expenses shall be met by the organizers of the event. He shall report back to the Council as soon as possible.

When the WSSRC Commissioner is in agreement with the event organizer and event timekeeper that a record appears to have been broken, it may be formally announced immediately as a "World Sailing Speed Record Claim". It then goes forward to the Council for ratification as soon as possible. There is no fee. Pending the official ratification of a record by WSSRC the skipper, builder, designer, sponsors, or any other interested parties shall not cause a record to be published or circulated without the words "subject to official ratification by the World Sailing Speed Record Council". Any breaches of this condition may lead to non ratification of the claimed record.

The following documents are to be submitted to WSSRC:

a. Report of the Official Commissioner which shall verify the identity of the yacht and helmsman. He shall also give details of any current and an indication of the wind speed and he shall ascertain that no means of power or stored energy have been used. (See Rules 5, 6, 7 and 9.)

b. Certificate of accuracy of timing equipment, published by an official timekeeping body.

c. A detailed plan of the course and its certified measurements from a qualified surveyor.

d. Timekeepers report and calculations.

e. List of the names of the timekeepers and course observers.

f. Sail Measurer's report with Commissioner's confirmation. (See Rule 8.)

g. For record claims using GPS, the following additional documents and information are to be submitted to WSSRC. Paragraph 14 b,c,d and e may be disregarded.

i. A qualified surveyor's report that identifies a distance accuracy assessment of each GPS unit shall be provided by the organiser who shall have a qualified surveyor perform such tests using a properly calibrated Theodolite Survey Instrument over a 500 metre distance. The accuracy of each unit must be better than 0.05 metre.

ii. A software "authenticity certificate" shall be provided by the organiser. This should identify the Geomatics Office version number, the serial number of the software and the name of the licensed agent who performed the installation.

Refer to the appropriate appendix for the further documents required. All documents must be provided by the organizers to the Commissioner.

In the case of a dispute over any of these rules, the decision of WSSRC shall be final.

Appendix - The Trimble GPS survey system is WSSRC approved.
Additional documentation required:

1. The original *t01 files for the record run from each receiver.These files shall be submitted within one week of the claimed record run.

2. The csv files for the record run including continuous data from 5 seconds before the start to 5 seconds after the finish points, including the hpe, GPS time and WGS84 latitude longitude, for each 0.1 second GPS epoch.

3. The Speedsail velocity display vl.0.2 or later improved version. (To be used to support and demonstrate the calculations only)

(Note. Some of the reports requested above may be proprietary and unavailable to new record challengers. In that case, equal or similar reports may be considered for approval by the WSSRC)

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