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THE RACING RULES OF SAILING 1997-2000 (REVISED)

Edited for printing purposes only by Warren J. Adair - 6/13/99

A term used as stated below is shown in hyperlinked type or, in preambles, in bold italic type.

Abandon -- A race that a race committee or protest committee abandons is void but may be resailed.

Capsized -- A sailboard is capsized when her sail or the competitor's body is in the water.

Clear Astern and Clear Ahead; Overlap -- One boat is clear astern of another when her hull and equipment in normal position are behind a line abeam from the aftermost point of the other boat¹s hull and equipment in normal position. The other boat is clear ahead. They overlap when neither is clear astern or when a boat between them overlaps both. These terms do not apply to boats on opposite tacks unless rule 18 applies.

Finish -- A boat finishes when any part of her hull, or crew or equipment in normal position, crosses the finishing line in the direction of the course from the last mark either for the first time or, if she takes a penalty, after complying with rule 31.2 or rule 44.2.

Interested Party -- A person who may gain or lose as a result of a protest committee¹s decision, or who has a close personal interest in the decision.

Keep Clear -- One boat keeps clear of another if the other can sail her course with no need to take avoiding action and, when the boats are overlapped on the same tack, if the leeward boat could change course without immediately making contact with the windward boat.

Leeward and Windward -- A boat¹s leeward side is the side that is or, when she is head to wind, was away from the wind. However, when sailing by the lee or directly downwind, her leeward side is the side on which her mainsail lies. The other side is her windward side. When two boats on the same tack overlap, the one on the leeward side of the other is the leeward boat. The other is the windward boat.

Mark -- An object the sailing instructions require a boat to pass on a specified side, excluding its anchor line and objects attached temporarily or accidentally.

Obstruction -- An object that a boat could not pass without changing course substantially, if she were sailing directly towards it and one of her hull lengths from it. An object that can be safely passed on only one side and an area so designated by the sailing instructions are also obstructions. However, a boat racing is not an obstruction to other boats unless they are required to keep clear of her or give her room.

Overlap See Clear Astern and Clear Ahead; Overlap.

Party A party to a hearing: a protestor; a protestee; a boat requesting redress; any other boat or a competitor liable to be penalized, including under rule 69.1; a race committee in a hearing under rule 62.1(a).

Postpone -- A postponed race is delayed before its scheduled start but may be started or abandoned later.

Proper Course -- A course a boat would sail to finish as soon as possible in the absence of the other boats referred to in the rule using the term. A boat has no proper course before her starting signal.

Protest -- An allegation by a boat, a race committee or a protest committee that a boat has broken a rule.

Racing -- A boat is racing from her preparatory signal until she finishes and clears the finishing line and marks or retires, or until the race committee signals a general recall, postponement, or abandonment.

Recovering -- A sailboard is recovering from the time her sail or, when water-starting, the competitor's body is out of the water until she has steerage way.

Room -- The space a boat needs in the existing conditions while maneuvering promptly in a seamanlike way.

Rule -- (a) The rules in this book, including the Definitions, Race Signals, Introduction, preambles, and the rules of an appendix when it applies, but not titles; (b) the prescriptions of a national authority, when they apply; (c) the sailing instructions (d) the class rules except any that conflict with the rules in this book; (e) any other documents governing the event.

Start -- A boat starts when after her starting signal any part of her hull, crew or equipment first crosses the starting line and she has complied with rule 29.1 and rule 30.1 if it applies.

Tack, Starboard or Port -- A boat is on the tack, starboard or port, corresponding to her windward side.

Two-Length Zone -- The area around a mark or obstruction within a distance of two hull lengths of the boat nearer to it. Windward See Leeward and Windward.

 

PART 2 -- WHEN BOATS MEET

The rules of Part 2 apply between boats that are sailing in or near the racing area and intend to race, are racing, or have been racing. However, a boat not racing shall not be penalized for breaking one of these rules, except rule 22.1. The International Regulations for Preventing Collisions at Sea or government right-of-way rules apply between a boat sailing under these rules and a vessel that is not, and they replace these rules if the sailing instructions so state.

Section A. Ğ. Right of Way

A boat has right of way when another boat is required to keep clear of her. However, some rules in Sections B and C limit the actions of a right-of-way boat.

10 ON OPPOSITE TACKS

When boats are on opposite tacks, a port-tack boat shall keep clear of a starboard-tack boat.

11 ON THE SAME TACK, OVERLAPPED

When boats are on the same tack and overlapped, a windward boat shall keep clear of a leeward boat.

12 ON THE SAME TACK, NOT OVERLAPPED

When boats are on the same tack and not overlapped, a boat clear astern shall keep clear of a boat clear ahead.

13 WHILE TACKING

After a boat passes head to wind, she shall keep clear of other boats until she is on a close-hauled course. During that time rules 10, 11 and 12 do not apply. If two boats are subject to this rule at the same time, the one on the other's port side shall keep clear.

Section B Ğ General Limitations

14 AVOIDING CONTACT

A boat shall avoid contact with another boat if reasonably possible. However, a right-of-way boat or one entitled to room

(a) need not act to avoid contact until it is clear that the other boat is not keeping clear or giving room, and

(b) shall not be penalized unless there is contact that causes damage.

15 ACQUIRING RIGHT OF WAY

When a boat acquires right of way, she shall initially give the other boat room to keep clear, unless she acquires right of way because of the other boat's actions.

16 CHANGING COURSE

When a right-of-way boat changes course, she shall give the other boat room to keep clear.

17 ON THE SAME TACK; PROPER COURSE

17.1 A boat that establishes a leeward overlap from clear astern within two of her hull lengths of a windward boat shall not sail above her proper course during that overlap while the boats are less than that distance apart, unless as a result she becomes clear astern.

17.2 Except on a beat to windward, while a boat is less than two of her hull lengths from a leeward boat or a boat clear astern steering a course to leeward of her, she shall not sail below her proper course unless she gibes.

Section C Ğ At Marks and Obstructions

When a Section C rule applies, the rules in Sections A and B continue to apply unless the Section C rule modifies them or states that they do not apply.

18 PASSING MARKS AND OBSTRUCTIONS

18.1 When This Rule Applies

Rule 18 applies when boats are (Old Version "at a mark or obstruction to be left on the same side) about to pass a mark they are required to leave on the same side, or an obstruction on the same side, until they have passed it. However, it does not apply

(a) at a starting mark or its anchor line surrounded by navigable water from the time the boats are approaching them to start until they have passed them, or

(b) between boats on opposite tacks when they are on a beat to windward or when the proper course for one of them to pass the mark or obstruction is to tack.

Rule 87.1(e)

18.2 Giving Room; Keeping Clear

(a) When boats are overlapped before one of them reaches the two-length zone, if the outside boat has right of way she shall give the inside boat room to pass the mark or obstruction, or if the inside boat has right of way the outside boat shall keep clear. If they are still overlapped when one of them reaches the two-length zone, the outside boat's obligation continues even if the overlap is broken later.

This rule does not apply if the outside boat is unable to give room when the overlap begins

(b) If a boat is clear ahead when she reaches the two-length zone, the boat clear astern shall keep clear even if an overlap is established later. Rule 10 does not apply. If the boat clear ahead tacks, rule 13 applies and this rule no longer does.

(c) If there is reasonable doubt that a boat established or broke an overlap in time, it shall be presumed that she did not.

18.3 Tacking

If two boats were on opposite tacks and one of them tacked within the two-length zone to pass a mark or obstruction, rule 18.2 does not apply. The boat that tacked

(a) shall not cause the other boat to sail above close-hauled to avoid her or prevent the other boat from passing the mark or obstruction, and

(b) shall keep clear if the other boat becomes overlapped inside her, in which case rule 15 does not apply.

18.4 Gibing

When rule 18.2(a) applies and an inside overlapped right-of-way boat must gibe at the mark or obstruction to sail her proper course, she shall pass no farther from the mark or obstruction than needed to sail that course.

18.5 Passing a Continuing Obstruction

At a continuing obstruction, rule 18.2 is modified so that while boats are passing the obstruction an outside boat's obligation ends if the overlap is broken, and a boat clear astern may establish an inside overlap provided there is room at that time to pass between the other boat and the obstruction. If she does so, her obligation under rule 18.2(b) ends.

19 ROOM TO TACK AT AN OBSTRUCTION

19.1 When safety requires a close-hauled boat to make a substantial course change to avoid an obstruction and she intends to tack, but cannot tack and avoid another boat on the same tack, she shall hail for room to do so. Before tacking she shall give the hailed boat time to respond. The hailed boat shall either (a) tack as soon as possible, in which case the hailing boat shall also tack as soon as possible or (b) Immediately reply 'You tack,' in which case the hailing boat shall immediately tack and the hailed boat shall give room, and rules 10 and 13 do not apply.

19.2 Rule 19.1 does not apply at a starting mark or its anchor line surrounded by navigable water from the time boats are approaching them to start until they have passed them or at a mark that the hailed boat can fetch. When rule 19.1 applies, rule 18 does not.

Section D. Ğ. Other Rules

When rule 20 or 21 applies between two boats, Section A rules do not.

20 STARTING ERRORS; PENALTY TURNS; MOVING ASTERN

A boat sailing towards the pre-start side of the starting line or its extensions to comply with rule 29.1 or rule 30.1 shall keep clear of a boat not doing so until she is completely on the pre-start side. A boat making penalty turns shall keep clear of one that is not. A boat moving astern by backing a sail shall keep clear of one that is not.

21 CAPSIZED, ANCHORED OR AGROUND; RESCUING

If possible, a boat shall avoid a boat that is capsized or has not regained control after capsizing, is anchored or aground, or is trying to help a person or vessel in danger. A boat is capsized when her masthead is in the water.

22 INTERFERING WITH ANOTHER BOAT

22.1 If reasonably possible, a boat not racing shall not interfere with a boat that is racing.

22.2 A boat shall not deliberately interfere with a boat making penalty turns to delay her.

Racing

PART 3 -- CONDUCT OF A RACE

25 SAILING INSTRUCTIONS AND SIGNALS

Sailing instructions shall be made available to each boat before a race begins. The race committee shall conduct the race using the visual and sound signals defined in the Race Signals and any other signals included in the sailing instructions.

26 STARTING SYSTEMS 1 AND 2

26.1 A race shall be started by using either System 1 or System 2. Signals shall be made at five-minute intervals. Times shall be taken from the visual signals; the failure of a sound signal shall be disregarded. Signals shall be as follows (flags of a single color may be replaced by shapes of the same color): Signal System 1 System 2 Warning Class flag; 1 sound Yellow flag; 1 sound Preparatory Flag P; 1 sound Blue flag; 1 sound Starting Flags removed; 1 sound Red flag; 1 sound

26.2 In System 1, when classes are started at ten-minute intervals, the warning signal for each succeeding class shall be displayed at the starting signal of the preceding class. When five-minute intervals are used, flag P shall be left displayed until the last class starts and the warning signal for each succeeding class shall be displayed at the time of the preparatory signal of the preceding class. If there is a general recall, the warning and preparatory signals of any succeeding classes shall be removed immediately after the general recall has been signaled.

26.3 In System 2, each signal shall be removed one minute before the next is made. When classes are started at ten-minute intervals, the starting signal for each class shall be the warning signal for the next. When classes are started at five-minute intervals, the preparatory signal for each class shall be the warning signal for the next. When class flags are used, they shall be displayed before or with the preparatory signal for the class.

27 OTHER RACE COMMITTEE ACTIONS BEFORE THE STARTING SIGNAL

27.1 No later than the warning signal, the race committee shall signal or otherwise designate the course to be sailed if the sailing instructions have not stated the course, and it may replace one course signal with another, signal that a designated short course will be used (flag S), and apply rule 40 (flag Y).

27.2 No later than the preparatory signal, the race committee may move a starting mark and may apply rule 30.

27.3 Before the starting signal, the race committee may postpone (flag AP) or abandon the race (flag N over H or A) for any reason.

28 SAILING THE COURSE

28.1 A boat shall start, pass each mark on the required side in the correct order, and finish, so that a string representing her wake after starting and until finishing would, when drawn taut, lie on the required side of each mark and touch each rounding mark. She may correct any errors to comply with this rule, provided she has not already finished. After finishing, a boat need not cross the finishing line completely.

28.2 A mark has a required side for a boat only when she is on a leg that the mark begins, bounds or ends, except that a starting mark begins to have a required side when she is approaching the starting line from its pre-start side to start.

29 STARTING; RECALLS

29.1 On the Course Side at the Start

When at her starting signal any part of a boat¹s hull, crew or equipment is on the course side of the starting line, the boat shall sail completely to the pre-start side of the line before starting.

29.2 Individual Recall

When at her starting signal a boat must comply with rule 29.1 or rule 30.1, the race committee shall promptly display flag X. The signal shall be displayed until all such boats are completely on the pre-start side of the starting line or its extensions and have complied with rule 30.1 if it applies, but not later than four minutes after the starting signal or one minute before any later starting signal, whichever is earlier.

29.3 General Recall

When at the starting signal several unidentified boats are on the course side of the starting line or there has been an error in the starting procedure, the race committee may signal a general recall (flag First Substitute). The preparatory signal for a new start for the recalled class shall be made one minute after the First Substitute is lowered, and the starts for any succeeding classes shall follow the new start.

30 STARTING PENALTIES

30.1 I Flag Rule

If flag I has been displayed before or with her preparatory signal, and any part of a boat¹s hull, crew or equipment is on the course side of the starting line or its extensions during the minute before her starting signal, she shall sail to the pre-start side of the line around either end before starting.

30.2 Z Flag Rule

If flag Z has been displayed before or with her preparatory signal, and any part of a boat¹s hull, crew or equipment is identified within the triangle formed by the ends of the starting line and the first mark during the minute before her starting signal and a general recall is then signaled, she shall, without a hearing, be given a 20% scoring penalty calculated as stated in rule 44.3(c). If the race is restarted, resailed or rescheduled, she shall still be given the penalty.

30.3 Black Flag Rule

If a black flag has been displayed before or with her preparatory signal, and any part of a boat¹s hull, crew or equipment is identified within the triangle formed by the ends of the starting line and the first mark during the minute before her starting signal, the boat will be disqualified without a hearing. If the race is restarted, resailed or rescheduled, she is not entitled to compete in it. If a general recall is signaled or the race is abandoned, the race committee shall display her sail number.

31 TOUCHING A MARK

31.1 While racing, a boat shall not touch a starting mark before starting, a mark that begins, bounds or ends the leg of the course on which she is sailing, or a finishing mark after finishing.

31.2 A boat that has broken rule 31.1 may, after getting well clear of other boats as soon as possible, take a penalty by promptly making one complete 360° turn including one tack and one gibe When a boat takes the penalty after touching a finishing mark, she shall return completely to the course side of the line before finishing. However, if a boat has gained a significant advantage in the race or series by touching the mark she shall retire.

31.3 When a boat is wrongfully compelled by another boat to break rule 31.1, she shall be exonerated

(a) if the other boat acknowledges breaking a rule of Part 2 by taking a penalty or retiring immediately or

(b) Under rule 64.1(b), after successfully protesting another boat involved in the same incident.

32 SHORTENING OR ABANDONING AFTER THE START

After the starting signal, the race committee may abandon the race (flag N or flag N over H or A) or shorten the course (flag S), as appropriate, (a) because of an error in the starting procedure, (b) because of foul weather, (c) because of insufficient wind making it unlikely that any boat will finish within the time limit, (d) because a mark is missing or out of position, or (e) for any other reason directly affecting the safety or fairness of the competition.

However, after one boat has sailed the course and finished within the time limit, if any, the race committee shall not abandon the race without considering the consequences for all boats in the race or series.

33 CHANGING THE COURSE AFTER THE START

At any rounding mark the race committee may signal a change of the direction of the next leg of the course by displaying flag C and the compass bearing of that leg before any boat begins it. The race committee may change the length of the next leg by displaying flag C and a '-' if the leg will be shortened or a '+' if the leg will be lengthened.

34 MARK MISSING

When a mark is missing or out of position, the race committee shall, if possible, (a) Replace it in its correct position, or (b) substitute one of similar appearance, or a buoy or vessel displaying flag M.

35 TIME LIMIT

If one boat sails the course as required in rule 28.1 and finishes within the time limit, if any, all boats shall be scored unless the race is abandoned. If no boat finishes within the time limit, the race committee shall abandon the race.

36 RACES TO BE RESTARTED OR RESAILED

If a race is restarted or resailed, a breach of a rule, other than rule 30.3, in the original race shall not prohibit a boat from competing or, except under rule 30.2, 30.3 or 69, cause her to be penalized.

Racing Rules