Section D, Other Rules, is the final section of Part 2, When Boats Meet. Section D contains rules 21-23 addressing topics that do not fit neatly into Sections A-C.
In 2018, the Inland Lake Yachting Association (ILYA) and SailZing, LLC partnered on a Fair Sailing initiative. As part of this initiative, SailZing worked with the ILYA and UK Sailmakers to develop a series of articles on the rules. With the rules changes in 2021, SailZing is updating these articles and adding video summaries.
2021 Changes to Rules 21-23
For the 2021 rules, World Sailing revised previous Rule 21 – Exoneration, and moved it to Rule 43 in section 4 of the rules. This left only three rules in Section D, re-numbered as rules 21-23.
Other than re-numbering, there were no other significant changes to the rules in this section. One minor wording changes to Rule 21 is shown in red.
Rule 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.”
Rule 21 Key Points
- Rule 21 removes the right-of-way protections (Section A rules) for boats re-starting, taking a penalty, or moving backwards/sideways by backing a sail. The preamble to Section D emphasizes this. It states: “When rule 21 or 22 applies between two boats, Section A rules do not.”
Rule 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 the water.”
Rule 22 Key Points
Don’t get too close to a capsized boat. You never know what might happen. As the picture shows, the situation can change rapidly in heavy air.
Rule 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.”
Rule 23 Key Points
- This rule is about common courtesy. If you are not racing, stay clear of boats that are racing. Some examples include:
- When multiple fleets are sailing the same course, fleets that are not in the starting sequence should stay well clear of the starting area.
- After finishing, sail well outside of the laylines to the finishing line.
- Rule 23.2 may seem to conflict with Rule 21, which requires boats taking a penalty or re-starting to keep clear. However, note the last sentence in rule 23.2. After the start, you can’t deviate from your proper course to interfere with boats re-starting, taking penalties, or on another leg. If you’re sailing your proper course, you don’t have to worry about interfering with these boats.
Racing A boat is racing from her preparatory signal until she finishes and clears the finishing line and marks or retires, or until the race committee signals a general recall, postponement or abandonment
World Sailing Cases of Interest for Section D