Monday, 26 September 2011

(pillow)Case of the week (1/11) - 58

(This is an instalment in a series of blogposts about the ISAF Call book 2009-2012 with amendments for 2010. All calls are official interpretations by the ISAF committees on how the Racing Rules of Sailing should be used or interpreted. The calls are copied from the Call book, only the comments are written by me.)
(pillow)Case picture

Case 58

Rule 28.2, Sailing the Course
Definitions, Finish
Definitions, Mark
If a buoy or other object specified in the sailing instructions as a finishing-line limit mark is on the post-finish side of the finishing line, it is not a mark.
Summary of the Facts

The finishing line was between a mast on shore and a mark, with an inner limit mark to be left to port. On the day in question, the inner limit mark lay on the post-finish side of the line.
P crossed the line, and then rounded the inner limit mark as shown in the diagram. The race officer timed her as finishing when her bow crossed the line, before she had rounded the limit mark.

S requested redress on the grounds that the race officer acted incorrectly in recording P as having finished before she had completed the course. The protest committee did not give S redress and referred that decision, under rule 70.2, for confirmation.


The protest committee’s decision is confirmed. Rule 28.2 states that ‘A boat may leave on either side a mark that does not begin, bound or end the leg she is on.’ Since the inner limit mark was beyond the finishing line it did not ‘bound’ or ‘end’ the last leg of the course. Only when a limit mark is on, or on the course side of, the finishing line is it a mark, as that term is defined, and only then must a boat leave it on the specified side before, or when, finishing.

RYA 1983/5


This “begin, bound or end” phrase is also used in rule 31. Which means that you are allowed to touch a ‘mark’ that is not meeting those criteria. In fact you could say that there are ever only a very limited number of marks on the course (not counting the restricted area marks). Only the one you came from on that leg and the one you’re sailing towards is a ‘mark’ under the rules.

And subsequently must be rounded or passed on a specific side and should not be touched.


  1. if a boats rounds a mark and clear it, then subsequently hits that same mark - it is still a breach of the rules?

  2. @Anonymous. Yes. From a mark that ended the previous leg, after rounding that same mark becomes the beginning mark of the new leg. And both descriptions are in rule 31.


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