2021-2024 Racing Rules of Sailing updates

Racing Rules of Sailing 2021-2024

The new Racing Rules of Sailing have been published for the next Quad. US Sailing has several ways for you to read or use the RRS, all found on their website here: https://www.ussailing.org/competition/rules-officiating/the-racing-rules-of-sailing-2021-2024/
If you’re a member of US Sailing, the IOS/Android app is free and also contains a WhiteBoard feature and Dave Perry commentary which tries to explain the rules in more detail.
If you’re not a member of US Sailing (and I really think we all should be) there is a RRS PDF available from World Sailing, at https://www.sailing.org/tools/documents/RRS20212024Finalwithbookmarks-[27255].pdf

There are a couple of notable changes in this edition of the rules that I’d like to point out.

  • Rule 16, “hunting” rule only applies on a beat to windward and says a boat “can’t bear away”. So if a boat is passing behind you as you are on a downwind leg, you can turn up to force her away if, in doing so, you give her 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.
  • Start — now it’s about where the boat’s HULL is. And not where her equipment (sails, prods, crew). 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.
  • Finish — same as start now, so letting your kite fly out ahead of the boat shouldn’t get you that extra half-second at the finish.
    Finish A boat finishes when, after starting, any part of her hull crosses the finishing line from the course side.
  • Mark Room, Rule 18
    Rule 18 no longer applies between boats when mark-room has been given. Rules 18.2(b) and (c) cease to apply if the boat entitled to markroom passes head to wind or leaves the zone.