Tuesday, 15 July 2008

Racing Rules of Sailing 2009-2012 | 5

Rules 15 & 16 remain unchanged.

Rule 17 will change: 17.1 is now just 17 and 17.2 is deleted:


17.1 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.

17.2 Except on a beat to windward, while a boat is less than two of her hull lengths from a leeward boat or a boat clear astern steering a course to leeward of her, she shall not sail below her proper course unless she gybes.

Rule 17.2 has been always a very difficult rule and hardly ever used. The fact that a windward boat will try to cover a leeward boat is used in close sailing like team- or match racing and a legitimate 'tactical' way to stop or slow down an opponent. The leeward boat has enough 'power' as a row boat to assert itself on the game.


On a personal note: You might have noticed a lack of daily new post lately. This is due to some personal circumstances in my family beyond my control which take a lot of time. Please bear with me. I'll try to get back to more involvement asap, but it might take a while.

I'll try to get to answering all the comments which have been left as well, for which I'm grateful, but don't have time to answer individually at the moment. I'm sorry about that. Please be patient.


  1. Hmmm. This is different than the proposal at http://www.sailing.org/tools/documents/2007_RR_06_11-%5B4282%5D.pdf, which is the latest version that I've seen. Do you have a link to the latest proposal, or perhaps a final version?

    This is the first I've heard about Rule 17.2 going away. It means that a boat clear ahead may prevent a boat clear astern from passing her to leeward. As it stands now, if a boat is sailing a course to pass you to leeward you can't head down to get in their way.

    This is a fairly big change, IMHO. I wouldn't say that 17.2 is hardly ever used.

  2. BTW, rule 17.1 has not changed in any substantive way.

    The addition of the words "on the same tack" is only necessary because the definition of "overlap" has changed. The rule still states the exact same thing as it did before.

  3. Now you can bear away to prevent be passed on your leeward side.


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