Racing Rules of Sailing - Woollahra Sailing Club

Start to know them
Ralph Stanford
Woollahra Sailing Club
Too much to learn!
 20 definitions
 rules 1 to 91
 7 parts
 15 appendices
 revised every 4 years!
Bare essentials
 8 definitions
 23 rules
 current issue good for another 2 years!
 2013 - 2016
International Sailing Federation (ISAF)
 World governing body for sailing
 Recognised by IOC
 1907 - International Yacht Racing Union
 1960 - truly universal racing rules of sailing
 139 member nations
 Yachting Australia
 108 international class associations
 Mirror Class
RRS structure
 Definitions
 Part 1 – Fundamental Rules
 Part 2 – When Boats Meet
 Part 3 – Conduct of a Race
 Part 4 – Other Requirements When Racing
 Part 5 – Protests etc
 Part 6 – Entry and Qualification
 Part 7 – Race Organisation
This is not all of them – look them up!
Warning signal
Cleared finish line in
either direction
Still racing after finishing
Clear astern – Clear ahead
Clear astern
Clear ahead
•Always buoy room, rule 18
•Does not apply close hauled
on opposite tacks
•Does apply down-wind
Overlapped – boat between
Not overlapped – boat not between
Clear astern
Clear ahead
Overlapped –
Keep clear
Red did not bear away sufficiently
and green (right of way under Rule
10) had to luff to avoid contact.
Keep clear - overlapped
Blue has right of way over orange (Rule 11) and orange did not
allow blue sufficient room to change course in either direction
Proper course
 The fastest course
 Not the shortest course
 No proper course before the start
Fundamental Rules
Life saving equipment
Fair sailing
Acceptance of the Rules
Decision to Race
Anti-doping WADA
1.1 Help those in danger
When boats meet
We will do all of this section
Part 2 – When boats meet
 Section A (Rules 10 – 13)
 Right of way
 Section B (Rules 14 – 17)
 General Limitations
 Section C (Rules 18 – 21)
 At Marks and Obstructions
 Section D (Rules 22 – 24)
 Other Rules
Right of Way
10 – Port and Starboard
11 – Windward boat keeps clear
12 – Keep clear from astern
13 – No rights whilst tacking
What is this section about?
 Establishes right of way
 Everyone knows where they stand
 Not a ‘free-for-all’
Rule 10
On opposite tacks:
When boats are on opposite tacks, a port-tack boat
shall keep clear of a starboard-tack boat.
No requirement to call
Rule 10
Rule 10
Keep your eyes open!
Rule 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.
Rule 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.
Clear astern
keeps clear
‘Overtaking boat keeps clear’
Rule 13
“Don’t tack in
my water!!”
Whilst tacking:
After a boat passes head to wind, she shall keep
clear of other boats until she is on a close-hauled
course. Rules 10, 11 and 12 don’t apply.
General Limitations
14 – Avoid contact
15 – Acquiring right of way, initially give room
16 – Changing course
17 – Same tack, sailing above proper course
What is this section about?
 Trying to prevent water borne carnage
 Marine dodgem cars
 Softens the impact of right of way
 More enjoyable racing
 Protection of investment by sailors
Rule 14
Avoid contact:
A boat shall avoid contact with another boat if
reasonably possible.
Best to take avoiding action and protest the boat that got in the way
Rule 15
Acquiring right of way:
When a boat acquires right of way, she shall initially
give the other boat room to keep clear, …..
Rule 16
Changing course:
When a right of way boat changes course, she
shall give the other boat room to keep clear.
Green bore away at the last moment
and red was unable to keep clear
Rule 17
On the same tack; proper course:
If a boat clear astern becomes overlapped within two of her
hull lengths to leeward of a boat on the same tack, she shall
not sail above her proper course…….
Proper course
At Marks and Obstructions
18 – Mark-room
19 – Room to Pass an Obstruction
20 – Room to Tack at an Obstruction
21 – Exoneration
What is this section about?
 No traffic lights on the water
 Like a roundabout
 Everyone can keep moving if they obey the rules
Rule 18
Applies to two boats required to leave a mark on
the same side and at least one of them is in the
Rule 18
Giving mark-room:
•Overlap is established when the first boat enters the zone.
•The boat ‘outside and overlapped’ or ‘clear astern’ shall give
Orange is overlapped by blue and
gives mark-room to blue, even if the
overlap is later broken.
Black is clear astern of orange and
gives mark-room to orange, even if
an overlap is later established.
Does not apply at:
•Start marks
•Between boats on opposite tacks whilst beating to
Rule 18
“No room at
the start”
‘At the windward mark on
opposite tacks, take the
bouy away.’
Rule 18
Giving mark-room:
•If an outside overlapped boat is unable to give room, she is
not required to give it.
Red is not going to be able to
give orange mark-room.
Rule 18
An inside overlapped boat should gybe no later than
necessary to round the mark.
Red must gybe.
Rule 19
No zone, just ‘at’.
Room to pass an obstruction:
•Applies between two boats at an obstruction
•Right of way boat chooses which side to go
•When overlapped, the outside boat gives room
Red could pass to
windward or
leeward as right of
way boat (Rule 11),
but has to give
black room when
passing to leeward
of the obstruction
because of the
Rule 19
Room to pass at an obstruction:
•No right to push in at a continuing obstruction.
Rule 20
Room to tack at an obstruction:
When approaching an obstruction, a boat may hail for
room to tack and avoid a boat on the same tack.
“You tack”
“Room to tack”
Rule 21
 A boat may be exonerated if she has right of way
under Section c, but is compelled to break:
 Any rule of Section A (Rules 10 to 13)
 Rule 15 (acquiring right of way, give room)
 Rule 16 (changing course, give room to keep clear)
 Rule 31 (touching a mark)
Other rules
22 – Starting errors; Taking penalties; Moving astern
23 – Capsized; Anchored or aground; Rescuing
24 – Interfering with another boat
Rule 22
Starting errors:
A boat sailing towards the pre-start side of the starting
line shall keep clear of other boats
Keep clear
Conduct of a Race
Starting races
Sailing the course
Starting penalties
Touching a mark
Rule 26 – starting races
 5 min – Warning
 4 min – Preparatory
 1 min – One minute to go
 0 min – Start
Time is taken from visual
flag signal
Rule 28 - Sailing the Course
Rule 29 - Recalls
Rule 30 – Starting penalties
If over the start line in the final minute:
around the ends of the line
Rule 31 – touching a mark is not
•Start mark
•Course marks
•Finish mark
Other Requirements When Racing
Rule 42 - Propulsion
 Boats should race by use of wind and water only
 Prohibited actions:
 Pumping
 Rocking
 Ooching
 Sculling
 Repeated tacking or gybing
Rule 44 – Penalties at the time of
an incident
 Two turns for
Section 2
 One turn for Rule
31 (touching a
Part 5 - Protests
 Rule 61
 Inform the protested boat immediately
 Hail them ASAP

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