Rules Changes for 2017-2020
The 2017-2020 edition of the Racing Rules of Sailing contains over 40 changes from the previous version. Here we summarize the essence of eight key on-the-water changes.
- Rule 2 (preamble) now states that, even if you are not racing, you can be disqualified from the race nearest in time to the incident if you fail to avoid contact when reasonably possible, resulting in serious damage.
- Rule 18.2 (d) mark room) states that mark room shuts off when the boat has been given room, or passes head to wind, or leaves the zone. This attempts to clarify situations at or immediately after the mark. See an excellent discussion with animations on the By The Rules blog.
- Rule 18.3 (tacking in the zone) is no longer applicable to two port tack boats that tack in the zone.
- Rule 19.1 (room to pass an obstruction) no longer penalizes a windward boat for being unable to give room to a middle boat at a mark due to the presence of another overlapped boat.
- Rule 20 (room to tack at an obstruction) now prohibits a boat from hailing for room to tack unless she needs to make make a substantial course change and is sailing close-hauled or above.
- Rule 22.3 (starting errors) now requires a boat crabbing to windward (backing the sail) to keep clear of a boat not doing so.
- Rule 24.2 (interfering with another boat) prohibits interfering with returning OCS boats, unless you are sailing your proper course after the starting signal.
- Rule 30.3 (new U flag rule) disqualifies an OCS boat for the race, but not if the race is restarted or resailed. This is a softer version of the black flag rule (now rule 30.4), which would applies the DSQ to re-started or re-sailed races.