THE ONLY RULES WE NEED TO KNOW

Sailing World - - Start­ing Line Left Coast, Right Brain -

What’s tricky about the rules is the more one races, the more the rules make sense. So how do we get a new­bie on the race­course with­out them spoil­ing the plot? We give them a short, yet mean­ing­ful, list of guide­lines. The rules are full of specifics, but let’s keep it sim­ple and have new­com­ers mas­ter these five hot ar­eas, all from the Rac­ing Rules of Sail­ing, which will carry them from start to fin­ish:

01

Ba­sic Prin­ci­ples: If you play the sport of sail­boat rac­ing, you are ex­pected to fol­low the rules. Not fol­low­ing them is not only un­safe, but it also makes the game less fun for oth­ers to play. If you don’t know a rule, don’t pre­tend you do. And when you know you’ve bro­ken a rule, put your hand up, take re­spon­si­bil­ity, and take what­ever the penalty is for that race.

02

On the Same Tack, Over­lapped ( Rule 11): Wind­ward boats have to get out of the way of lee­ward boats, so on the start­ing line, if there is a boat to lee­ward of you, stay away from them, and if they start com­ing to­ward you, turn away from them, even if it means go­ing over the start­ing line early.

03

On Op­po­site Tack ( Rule 10): When­ever you are on port tack, do not in­ter­fere with boats that are on star­board tack.

04

Mark-room (Rule 18): When you’re near a mark, boats on the out­side have to give boats on the in­side room to round the mark. It’s bet­ter to stay be­hind a pack of boats than to bar­rel full steam ahead into the pack. Your chances for a good round­ing im­prove when you’re not stuck in a crowd.

05

Fair2): Don’t Sail­ingbe a ( Rule jerk. Scream­ing at ev­ery­one is just un­pleas­ant for all in­volved. If you have some­thing that needs to be said, say it in a way that is help­ful.

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