Racing: Know Your Rules - Sail Magazine

Racing: Know Your Rules

Boat A sails up from astern to establish an overlap with boat B about 20 seconds before the start and immediately begins luffing up to try to pinch off boat B at the committee boat...
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According to rule 17, a boat establishing an overlap within two boatlengths of another from astern may not interfere with the windward boat by sailing above “proper course,” i.e., the course it would “sail to finish as soon as possible in the absence of the other boats.”

Although there is no proper course before the start, proper course does govern boat conduct as soon as the starting signal sounds. Boat B is correct: boat A has to fall off.

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