Time Limit Expired (TLE) in the 2021-2024 sailing instructions template

In the past I’ve used Time Limit Expired (TLE) for a few regattas and it’s a good way for boats to get some credit for racing even if they didn’t finish within the finish window. I noticed that World Sailing included in their 2021-2024 sailing instructions template, a TLE statement. https://www.sailing.org/tools/documents/2021AppendixLG28112020-[26802].pdf

16.3 The Finishing Window is the time for boats to finish after the first boat sails the course and finishes. Boats failing to finish within the Finishing Window, and not subsequently retiring, penalized or given redress, will be scored Time Limit Expired (TLE) without a hearing. A boat scored TLE shall be scored points for the finishing place [one][two] more than the points scored by the last boat that finished within the Finishing Window. This changes RRS 35, A5.1, A5.2 and A10.

A TLE score is based on the number of boats that finished , the finish definition includes starting. A UFD boat that meets the requirements of finishing increases the TLE race score, but a boat that was UFD and OCS doesn’t.

The above sailing instruction will force the race committee to maintain two versions for letter scores like BFD, UFD, RDG, RET and DNE. eg. You can have a UFD score for a boat that meets the definition of finish and start and a version that doesn’t meet the definition of start or finish. Sailwave can handle this by having two UFD scoring codes. It can be something like: UFDf & UFDnf for the two options. This would be just for input and the published results would still show UFD when using the scoring code format option. This solution adds a lot more work for the signal and finish boat.

To me a better solution would be to change “finished” in the above instruction to: “crossed the finishing line from the course side” and have Sailwave create a new scoring code method like this: Points for place of (the number of boats that received a finish position + N places) It’s not perfect, but easier to manage by the race committee.

This was discussed in the past, but the finish definition has changed in the new rules and I think that I have now a better solution .



Nice point!

I believe Sailwave used to have both “starters” and “finishers” include
OCS boats. So, the user could easily refer to either in their scoring
formulas. With the definition change that probably should be different
now and I don’t know if it has been changed or even what the
repercussions would be.

I think there might be another way to skin the scoring cat. If a boat
has a U Flag DSQ and is OCS then score her OCS. We don’t have any
priority of scoring codes so there is ambiguity (let’s call it wiggle
room) when two codes apply. If the Time Limit Expired (TLE) correctly
doesn’t count OCS boats then that would solve the problem. One could
argue that the UFD occurred earlier in time and should take precedence
but I’d opt for the practicality of getting the score right. The RC
wouldn’t have to keep track of individual boats - there should be a
separate list for each set of penalties and you’d simply put in the UFD
first and then the OCS with any boats already UFD changed to OCS instead
(of course, the scorer would have to be instructed to follow a
consistent procedure but that is really what scoring is about anyway).

This points out an issue - we want the results to tell us what happened.
When both UFD and OCS codes apply then the scorer must pick one or the
other, which means some information is lost and the viewer of the
results won’t see it. No solution - just worth pointing out.

One related point. As a competitor (I advise scorers but don’t actually
do scoring myself) I want to see the finish time for every boat that
crosses the finishing line so I can see how far back (or ahead!) I was.
I want to know when the OCS boats finished so I can gauge my performance
(1 foot over the line at the start isn’t going to cause a 2 minute
difference at the finishing line).

With the new definition I think there is a good technical argument that
the finishing times for OCS boats are not really “finishing times” since
they cannot finish since they didn’t technically start. So, if they
aren’t really “finishing times” then they shouldn’t be displayed. But,
as a competitor, I still want to see them to be able to judge my
performance. So, in the results I’d include finishing times for OCS
boats even though there is a technical argument that such a procedure is
not completely compliant with the new definition Finish.


Hi Art & Peter,
I do not understand how a competitor could be both UFD & OCS from a specific race start. Start attempt 1 of a race is under UFD flag and a competitor is identified. But start attempt 2 is a completely separate start and if the same competitor is again identified then surely they are OCS.

The definition of starting is in RRS is clear:
Start A boat starts when, her hull having been entirely on the pre-start side
of the starting line at or after her starting signal, and having complied with rule
30.1 if it applies, any part of her hull crosses the starting line from the pre-start
side to the course side.
Therefore in my view you cannot finish if you have not started! Scoring codes OCS, UFD & BFD all mean that a competitor has not started. So I do not agree with Peter that a " A UFD boat that meets the requirements of finishing increases the TLE race score", because a competitor marked UFD has not started. What am I missing?

as Peter said, there is nothing to stop you creating a scoring code of say UFD/OCS!
Currently one has to create the scoring code TLE as it has not been included as a scoring code.

Look forward to having my understanding of RRS improved.
Kind regards,

Hi Huw,

I’ll just explain the situation for UFD , but a similar situation can happen with BFD, RDG, RET and DNE.

The two cases with UFD:

  1. A boat crosses the start line 3 seconds prior to the starting signal, continues to sail the course and crosses the finish line as per the definition. This boat has not started as per the definition and also has not finished because under the new rules a boat has to start before finishing. This was not true under the old rules.
  2. 20 seconds before the starting signal a boat’s hull is in the triangle of the startline and mark one, the boat returns to the pre start side of the starting line before the starting signal , the boat crosses the start line after the starting signal, the boat sails the course and finishes. This boat has met the definitions of start and finish, but gets an UFD penalty for breaking RRS 30.3.

Consider the following scenarios:


In the left scenario the UFD boat didn’t meet the requirements of start or finish which means that the TLE boat gets 4 + 2 = 6 points. In the right scenario the TLE boat gets 5 + 2 = 7 points.

I hope that this explains it better.


Hi Peter,
Thank you for the clarification which is much appreciated and improving my RRS understanding. I now understand the problem.

Kind regards,