Simplified Rules of Racing


Simplified Racing Rules of Sailing (RRS)



Starboard Tack

The wind is coming over the right (starboard) side of the boat.

 Port Tack

The wind is coming over the left (port) side of the boat.


Windward Boat

On the same tack, you are the windward boat if the wind hits your boat before another.


Room to maneuver

The space a boat needs to maneuver in a seamanlike way.



Two boats on the same tack are overlapped IF a line abeam from the transom of the boat ahead  cuts or falls behind the boat astern.



Is not an official RRS term.  Barging is when a windward boat tries to wedge herself between the starting mark and the leeward boat(s) that’s closest to the mark. 


Right of Way Rules –

To race at MMYC, you gotta know, understand and adhere to the following 8 rules:


When boats are on the opposite tack:

10--- A port tack boat shall keep clear of a starboard tack boat.

 When boats are on the same tack:

11---A windward boat shall keep clear of a boat to leeward.

12---A clear astern boat shall keep clear of a boat clear ahead.

13---While tacking, a boat shall keep clear of all other boats.

14---A boat shall avoid contact if possible and maybe disqualified if damage occurs.

15 & 16.1---A boat acquiring right of way, or a right of way boat changing course shall give other boats room to keep clear > that is;  time and opportunity!!!!

17---A leeward boat shall not sail above her proper course while passing a windward boat.


  If you don’t know or understand the following racing rules, you should avoid the situations – fall off;   bail out or be “in the second row at the start”.

 At Marks and Obstructions

                Section C--A starting mark is not a mark of the course, no room need be given.

                18.2b---An overlap is considered established when entering the four boat zone, even if it is broken later.

                18.2c ---A boat which tacks inside the four boat zone loses her rights to room at the mark.

                 20.---- When approaching an obstruction (shallow water), a boat may hail “room to tack” to avoid another boat on the same tack but she must give the hailed boat time to respond. The hailed boat shall either tack as soon as possible, or immediately respond “you tack” and then give room.  The hailing boat shall tack as soon as possible.

                 21.1---After the start, if you are over early, once you sail towards the pre-start side of the line or its extensions, you must keep clear of all boats that have started. When returning to the "right side" of the line around either end you have no rights. You have no rights until started properly.  The individual recall notice shall be “RECALL BOAT # (1118), RECALL BOAT # (1118)”.

                 30.1---Dip starts are not permitted. After the one minute gun, you must be on the "right side" of the start line by rounding either end of the line.

                 44.1---If you touch a mark, you must do a 360 degree penalty circle after rounding (as soon as possible and keeping clear of other boats). if it's a finish mark, you must also return to the "right side" of the finish line, and finish again. While doing penalty turns you have no rights.

 If you commit a foul (whether called or not), you must do a 360 degree penalty circle. It should be done as quickly as possible (clear of other boats) and before the next mark. 

Calling fouls:


“Come up white boat!”; “I have inside rights!”; “Need room to tack!”; “Tacking over!”; I’m on starboard tack!”; “Windward boat!- come up!”;  Hey!, what are you doin’? I had rights!”; “Come on folks, give me room!”; “Everybody, wheel around the mark.”; “Hey! I got an overlap!”; ”Stay out of there white boat”. “Whata you doin’ orange boat?; “tacking over – obstruction!”



Number 81, come up!”, “56 has an overlap!”; ”84 you tack too soon, I had no room. You owe the fleet a penalty turn!”.  ”26 has inside rights at the mark”; “15 has an obstruction and needs room to tack!”

 Under the RRS there is NO MANDATORY hailing or telling other skippers what you are going to do…However, good communications contributes to safe sailing and lowers the anxiety level for all participants.