Rule Definitions

Abandon A race that a race committee or protest committee abandons is void but may be resailed.
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 boat's hull and equipment in normal position. The other boat is clear ahead. They overlap when neither is clear astern. However, they also overlap when a boat between them overlaps both. These terms always apply to boats on the same tack. They apply to boats on opposite tacks only when rule 18 applies between them or when both boats are sailing more than ninety degrees from the true wind.
Conflict of Interest A person has a conflict of interest if he
May gain or lose as a result of a decision to which he contributes,
May reasonably appear to have a personal or financial interest which could affect his ability to be impartial, or
Has a close personal interest in a decision.
Fetching A boat is fetching a mark when she is in a position to pass to windward of it and leave it on the required side without changing tack.
Finish A boat finishes when, after starting, any part of her hull crosses the finishing line from the course side. However, she has not finished if after crossing the finishing line she
Takes a penalty under rule 44.2,
Corrects an error in sailing the course made at the line, or
Continues to sail the course.
Keep Clear A boat keeps clear of a right-of-way boat
If the right-of-way boat can sail her course with no need to take avoiding action and,
When the boats are overlapped, if the right-of-way boat can also change course in both directions without immediately making contact.
Leeward and Windward A boat’s leeward side is the side that is or, when 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 when 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 leave on a specified side, a race committee vessel surrounded by navigable water from which the starting or finishing line extends, and an object intentionally attached to the object or vessel. However, an anchor line is not part of the mark.
Mark-Room Room for a boat to leave a mark on the required side. Also,
Room to sail to the mark when her proper course is to sail close to it, and
Room to round or pass the mark as necessary to sail the course without touching the mark.
However, mark-room for a boat does not include room to tack unless she is overlapped inside and to windward of the boat required to give mark-room and she would be fetching the mark after her tack.
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 object, area or line 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, if rule 22 applies (capsized, anchored or aground; rescue boat), avoid her. A vessel under way, including a boat racing, is never a continuing obstruction.
Party A party to a hearing is
For a protest hearing: a protestor, a protestee;
For a redress hearing: a boat requesting redress or for which redress is requested; a boat for which a hearing is called to consider redress under rule 60.3(b); a race committee acting under 60.2(b); a technical committee acting under rule 60.4(b);
For a redress hearing under rule 62.1(a): the body alleged to have made an improper action or omission;
A person against whom an allegation of a breach of rule 69.1(a) is made; a person presenting an allegation under rule 69.2(e)(1);
A support person subject to a hearing under rule 60.3(d) or 69; any boat that person supports; a person appointed to present an allegation under rule 60.3(d).
However, the protest committee is never a party.
Postpone A postponed race is delayed before its scheduled start but may be started or abandoned later.
Proper Course A course a boat would choose in order to sail the course and 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 made under rule 61.2 by a boat, a race committee, a technical 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.
Room The space a boat needs in the existing conditions, including space to comply with her obligations under the rules of Part 2 and rule 31, while maneuvering promptly in a seamanlike way.
The rules in this book, including the Definitions, Race Signals, Introduction, preambles and the rules of relevant appendices, but not the titles;
World Sailing Regulations that have been designated by World Sailing as having the status of a rule and are published on the World Sailing website;
The prescriptions of the national authority, unless they are changed by the notice of race or sailing instructions in compliance with the national authority’s prescription, is any, to rule 88.2;
The class rules (for a boat racing under a handicap or rating system, the rules of that system are ‘class rules’);
The notice of race;
The sailing instructions; and
Any other documents that govern the event.
Sail the Course A boat sails the course provided that a string representing her track from the time she begins to approach the starting line from its pre-start side to start until she finishes, when drawn taut,
Passes each mark of the course for the race on the required side and in the correct order,
Touches each mark designated in the sailing instructions to be a rounding mark, and
Passes between the marks of a gate from the direction of the course from the previous mark.
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.
Support Person Any person who
Provides, or may provide, physical or advisory support to a competitor, including any coach, trainer, manager, team staff, medic, paramedic or any other person working with, treating or assisting a competitor in or preparing for the competition, or
Is the parent or guardian of a competitor.
Tack, Starboard or Port A boat is on the tack, starboard or port, corresponding to her windward side.
Zone The area around a mark within a distance of three hull lengths of the boat nearer to is. A boat is in the zone when any part of her hull is in the zone.
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 or the one start shall keep clear.
14. Avoiding Contact
A boat shall avoid contact with another boat if reasonably possible. However, a right-of-way boat, or one sailing within the room or mark-room to which she is entitled, need not act to avoid contact until it is clear that the other boat is not keeping clear or giving room or mark-room.
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
16.1 When a right-of-way boat changes course, she shall give the other boat room to keep clear.
16.2 In addition, on a beat to windward when a port-tack boat is keeping clear by sailing to pass to leeward of a starboard-tack boat, the starboard-tack boat shall not bear away if as a result the port-tack boat must change course immediately to continue keeping clear.
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 about her proper course while they remain on the same tack and overlapped within that distance, unless in doing so she promptly sails astern of the other boat. This rule does not apply if the overlap begins while the windward boat is required by rule 13 to keep clear.
18. Mark Room
18.1 When Rule 18 Applies
Rule 18 applies between boats when they are required to leave a mark on the same side and at least one of them is in the zone. However, it does not apply
a) between boats on opposite tacks on a beat to windward,
b) between boats on opposite tacks when the proper course at the mark for one but not both of them is to take
c) between a boat approaching a mark and on leaving it, or
d) if the mark is a continuing obstruction, in which case rule 19 applies.
18.2 Giving Mark-Room
a) When boats are overlapped the outside boat shall give the inside boat mark-room, unless rule 18.2(b) applies.
b) If boats are overlapped when the first of the reaches the zone, the outside boat at that moment shall thereafter give the inside boat mark-room. If a boat is clear ahead when she reaches the zone, the boat clear astern at that moment shall thereafter give her mark-room.
c) When a boat is required to give mark-room by rule 18.2(b),
1) she shall continue to do so even if later an overlap is broken or a new overlap begins;
2) if she becomes overlapped inside the boat entitled to mark-room, she shall also give that boat room to sail her proper course while they remain overlapped.
18.3 Passing Head to Wind in the Zone
If a boat in the zone of a mark to be left to port passes head to wind from port to starboard tack and is then fetching the mark, she shall not cause a boat that has been on starboard tack since entering the zone to sail about close-hauled to avoid contact and she shall give mark-room if that boat becomes overlapped inside her. When this rule applies between boats, rule 18.2 does not apply between them.
18.4 Gybing
When an inside overlapped right-of-way boat must gybe at a mark to sail her proper course, until she gybes she shall sail no farther from the mark than needed to sail that course. Rule 18.4 does not apply at a gate mark.
19. Room to Pass an Obstruction
19.1 When Rule 19 Applies
Rule 19 applies between two boats at an obstruction except
a) when the obstruction is a mark the boats are required to leave on the same side, or
b) when rule 18 applies between the boats and the obstruction is another boat overlapped with each of them.
However, at a continuing obstruction, rule 19 always applies and rule 18 does not.
19.2 Giving Room at an Obstruction
a) A right-of-way boat may choose to pass an obstruction on either side.
b) When boats are overlapped, the outside boat shall give the inside boat room between her and the obstruction, unless she has been unable to do so from the time the overlap began.
c) While boats are passing a continuing obstruction, if a boat that was clear astern and required to keep clear becomes overlapped between the other boat and the obstruction and, at the moment the overlap begins, there is not room for her to pass between them,
1) she is not entitled to room under rule 19.2(b), and
2) while the boats remain overlapped, she shall keep clear and rules 10 and 11 do not apply.
20. Room to Tack at an Obstruction
20.1 Hailing
A boat may hail for room to tack and avoid a boat on the same tack. However, she shall not hail unless
a) she is approaching an obstruction and will soon need to make a substantial course change to avoid it safely, and
b) she is sailing close-hauled or above.
In addition, she shall not hail if the obstruction is a mark and a boat that is fetching it would be required to change course as a result of the hail.
20.2 Responding
a) After a boat hails, she shall give a hailed boat time to respond.
A hailed boat shall respond even if the hail breaks rule 20.1.
A hailed boat shall respond either by tacking as soon as possible, or by immediately replying ‘You tack’ and then giving the hailing boat room to tack and avoid her.
When a hailed boat responds, the hailing boat shall tack as soon as possible.
From the time a boat hails until she has tacked and avoided a hailed boat, rule 18.2 does not apply between them.
20.3 Passing On a Hail to an Additional Boat
When a boat has been hailed for room to tack and she intends to respond by tacking, she may hail another boat on the same tack for room to tack and avoid her. She may hail even if her hail does not meet the conditions of rule 20.1. Rule 20.2 applies between her and a boat she hails.
20.4 Additional Requirements for Hails
a) When conditions are such that a hail may not be heard, the boat shall also make a signal that clearly indicates her need for room to tack or her response.
b) The notice of race may specify an alternative communication for a boat to indicate her need for room to tack or he response, and require boats to use it.
29. Recalls
29.1 Individual Recall
When at a boat’s starting signal any part of her hull is on the course side of the starting line or she must comply with rule 30.1, the race committee shall promptly display flag X with one sound. The flag shall be displayed until the hull of each such boat has been completely on the pre-start side of the starting line or one of its extensions, and until all such boats have complied with rule 30.1 if it applies, but no later than four minutes after the starting signal or one minute before any later starting signal, whichever is earlier. If rule 29.2, 30.2 or 30.4 applies this rule does not.
29.2 General Recall
When at the starting signal the race committee is unable to identify boats that are on the course side of the starting line or to which rule 30 applies, or there has been an error in the starting procedure, the race committee may signal a general recall (display the First Substitute which two sounds). The warning signal for a new start for the recalled class shall be made one minute after the First Substitute is removed (one sound), 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, and any part of a boat’s hull is on the course side of the starting line or one of its extensions during the last minute before her starting signal, she shall sail across an extension so that her hull is completely on the pre-start side before she starts.
31. Touching a Mark
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.
42. Propulsion
42.1 Basic Rule
Except when permitted in rule 42.3 or 45, a boat shall compete by using only the wind and water to increase, maintain or decrease her speed. Her crew may adjust the trim of sails and hull, and perform other acts of seamanship, but shall not otherwise move their bodies to propel the boat.
42.2 Prohibited Actions
Without limiting the application of rule 42.1, these actions are prohibited:
a) pumping: repeating fanning of any sail either by pulling in and releasing the sail or by vertical or athwartship body movement;
b) rocking: repeated rolling of the boat, induced by
1) body movement,
2) repeated adjustment of the sails or centerboard, or
3) steering;
c) ooching: sudden forward body movement, stopped abruptly;
d) sculling: repeated movement of the helm that is either forceful or that propels the boat forward or prevents her from moving astern;
repeated tacks or gybes unrelated to changes in the wind or to tactical considerations.
42.3 Exceptions
a) A boat may be rolled to facilitate steering.
b) A boat’s crew may move their bodies to exaggerate the rolling that facilitates steering the boat through a tack or a gybe, provided that, just after the tack or gybe is completed, the boat’s speed is not greater than it would have been in the absence of the tack or gybe.
c) When surfing (rapidly accelerating down the front of a wave), planing or foiling is possible
1) to initiate surfing or planing, each sail may be pulled in only once for each wave or gust of wind, or
2) to initiate foiling, each sail may be pulled in any number of times.
d) When a boat is above a close-hauled course and either stationary or moving slowly, she may scull to turn to a close-hauled course.
e) If a batten is inverted, the boat’s crew may pump the sail until the batten is no longer inverted. This action is not permitted if it clearly propels the boat.
f) A boat may redice speed by repeatedly moving her helm.
g) Any means of propulsion may be used to help a person or another vessel in danger.
h) To get clear after grounding or colliding with a vessel or object, a boat may use force applied by her crew or the crew of the other vessel and any equipment other than a propulsion engine. However, the use of an engine may be permitted by rule 42.3(i).
i) Sailing instructions may, in stated circumstances, permit propulsion using an engine or any other method, provided the boat does not gain a signification advantage in the race.
43. Exoneration
a) When as a consequence of breaking a rule a boat has compelled another boat to break a rule, the other boat is exonerated for her breach.
b) When a boat is sailing within the room or mark-room to which she is entitled and, as a consequence of an incident with a boat required to give her that room or mark-room, she breaks a rule of Section A of Part 2, rule 15, 16, or 31, she is exonerated for her breach.
c) A right-of-way boat, or one sailing within the room or mark-room to which she is entitled, is exonerated for breaking rule 14 if the contact does not cause damage or injury.
43.2 A boat exonerated for breaking a rule need not take a penalty and shall not be penalized for breaking that rule.
44. Penalties at Time of Incident
44.1 Taking a Penalty
A boat may take a Two-Turns Penalty when she may broken one or more rules of Part 2 in an incident while racing. She may take a One-Turn Penalty when she may have broken rule 31. Alternatively, the notice of race or sailing instructions may specify the use of the Scoring Penalty or some other penalty, in which case the specified penalty shall replace the One-Turn and the Two-Turns Penalty. However,
a) when a boat may have broken a rule of Part 2 and rule 31 in the same incident she need not take the penalty for breaking rule 31;
b) if the boat caused injury or serious damage or, despite taking a penalty, gained a significant advantage in the race or series by her breach her penalty shall be to retire.
44.2 One-Turn and Two-Turn Penalties
After getting well clear of other boats as soon after the incident as possible, a boat takes a One-Turn or Two-Turns Penalty by promptly making the required number of turns in the same direction, each turn including one tack and one gybe. When a boat takes the penalty at or near the finishing line, her hull shall be completely on the course side of the line before she finishes.

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