Q&A 2010-004Published: 19 January 2010
The definition of racing says "A boat is racing from her preparatory signal until she finishes and clears the finishing line and marks or retires, etc"
Rule 31 says, "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.’
Question: If she finishes under the definition of racing, that is, she has finished, and cleared the line, and then touches the mark, does she break rule 31?
Answer: No. Rule 31 does not apply because if a boat has finished and cleared the finishing line and marks, the boat is no longer racing.
See also Q&A 2006-002
I checked my files and this is what is written in Q&A 2006-002:
Q&A 06-002Published: 15 March 2006
Question: With respect to the definition Racing, when has a boat "cleared" the finishing line and marks?
Answer A boat clears the finishing line and marks when no part of her hull, crew or equipment is on the line and when neither mark is influencing her course.
A boat that clears the finishing line close-hauled and continues to sail toward the finishing line pin end mark, where current sets her into the mark, is still racing and has broken 31.1. A boat that crosses the finishing line, sails away from the line and marks, and then later hits the finishing line mark, does not break rule 31.1 as she is no longer racing.