1.1 Helping Those in Danger
A boat, competitor or support person shall give all possible help to any
person or vessel in danger.
1.2 Life-Saving Equipment and Personal Flotation Devices
A boat shall carry adequate life-saving equipment for all persons on
board, including one item ready for immediate use, unless her class
rules make some other provision. Each competitor is individually
responsible for wearing a personal flotation device adequate for the
2 FAIR SAILING
A boat and her owner shall compete in compliance with recognized
principles of sportsmanship and fair play. A boat may be penalized
under this rule only if it is clearly established that these principles have
been violated. The penalty shall be a disqualification that is not
Part 1 FUNDAMENTAL RULES
3 DECISION TO RACE
The responsibility for a boat’s decision to participate in a race or to
continue racing is hers alone.
4 ACCEPTANCE OF THE RULES
4.1 (a) By participating or intending to participate in an event conducted
under the rules, each competitor and boat owner agrees to accept
(b) A support person by providing support, or a parent or guardian
by permitting their child to enter an event, agrees to accept the
4.2 Each competitor and boat owner agrees, on behalf of their support
persons, that such support persons are bound by the rules.
4.3 Acceptance of the rules includes agreement
(a) to be governed by the rules;
(b) to accept the penalties imposed and other action taken under the
rules, subject to the appeal and review procedures provided in
them, as the final determination of any matter arising under the
(c) with respect to any such determination, not to resort to any court
of law or tribunal not provided for in the rules; and
(d) by each competitor and boat owner to ensure that their support
persons are aware of the rules.
4.4 The person in charge of each boat shall ensure that all competitors in
the crew and the boat’s owner are aware of their responsibilities under
4.5 This rule may be changed by a prescription of the national authority
of the venue.
5 RULES GOVERNING ORGANIZING AUTHORITIES
The organizing authority, race committee, technical committee,
protest committee and other race officials shall be governed by the
rules in the conduct and judging of the event.
Part 1 FUNDAMENTAL RULES
6 WORLD SAILING REGULATIONS
6.1 Each competitor, boat owner and support person shall comply with
the World Sailing Regulations that have been designated by World
Sailing as having the status of a rule. These regulations as of 30 June
2020 are the World Sailing:
● Advertising Code
● Anti-Doping Code
● Betting and Anti-Corruption Code
● Disciplinary Code
● Eligibility Code
● Sailor Categorization Code
6.2 Rule 63.1 does not apply unless protests are permitted in the
Regulation alleged to have been broken.
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 14 when the incident resulted in injury or
serious damage, or rule 23.1.
When a boat sailing under these rules meets a vessel that is not, she
shall comply with the International Regulations for Preventing
Collisions at Sea (IRPCAS) or government right-of-way rules. If the
notice of race so states, the rules of Part 2 are replaced by the rightof-
way rules of the IRPCAS or by government right-of-way rules.
RIGHT OF WAY
A boat has right of way over another boat when the other boat is
required to keep clear of her. However, some rules in Sections B, C
and D 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 andPart 2 WHEN BOATS MEET
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 astern 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 markroom
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 markroom.
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 above
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.
Part 2 WHEN BOATS MEET
AT MARKS AND OBSTRUCTIONS
Section C rules do not apply at a starting mark surrounded by
navigable water or at its anchor line from the time boats are
approaching them to start until they have passed them.
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 tack,
(c) between a boat approaching a mark and one leaving it, or
(d) if the mark is a continuing obstruction, in which case rule 19
Rule 18 no longer applies between boats when mark-room has been
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 them 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
(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 markroom,
she shall also give that boat room to sail her proper
course while they remain overlapped.
Part 2 WHEN BOATS MEET
(d) Rules 18.2(b) and (c) cease to apply if the boat entitled to markroom
passes head to wind or leaves the zone.
(e) If there is reasonable doubt that a boat obtained or broke an
overlap in time, it shall be presumed that she did not.
(f) If a boat obtained an inside overlap from clear astern or by
tacking to windward of the other boat and, from the time the
overlap began, the outside boat has been unable to give markroom,
she is not required to give it.
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 above 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.
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
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.
Part 2 WHEN BOATS MEET
19.2 Giving Room at an Obstruction
(a) A right-of-way boat may choose to pass an obstruction on either
(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
(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
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
(a) After a boat hails, she shall give a hailed boat time to respond.
(b) A hailed boat shall respond even if the hail breaks rule 20.1.
(c) 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.
(d) When a hailed boat responds, the hailing boat shall tack as soon
(e) From the time a boat hails until she has tacked and avoided a
hailed boat, rule 18.2 does not apply between them.
Part 2 WHEN BOATS MEET
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
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 her response, and
require boats to use it.
When rule 21 or 22 applies between two boats, Section A rules do not.
21 STARTING ERRORS; TAKING PENALTIES;
BACKING A SAIL
21.1 A boat sailing towards the pre-start side of the starting line or one of
its extensions after her starting signal to start or to comply with rule
30.1 shall keep clear of a boat not doing so until her hull is completely
on the pre-start side.
21.2 A boat taking a penalty shall keep clear of one that is not.
21.3 A boat moving astern, or sideways to windward, through the water by
backing a sail shall keep clear of one that is not.
22 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
Part 2 WHEN BOATS MEET
23 INTERFERING WITH ANOTHER BOAT
23.1 If reasonably possible, a boat not racing shall not interfere with a boat
that is racing.
23.2 If reasonably possible, a boat shall not interfere with a boat that is
taking a penalty, sailing on another leg or subject to rule 21.1.
However, after the starting signal this rule does not apply when the
boat is sailing her proper course.