Racing Rules Weekly Quiz

Each week this season, we will offer a “quiz” question regarding the Racing Rules of Sailing.  Read the scenario below, formulate your answer, then move your mouse over the box to reveal the correct answer.

Need further explanation?
something we can discuss on the porch on Sunday.

This Week's Question

With 30 seconds to go before the starting signal, Boat P (on port tack) on a beam reach, is approaching Boat S (on starboard tack) who is on a close-hauled course. P proceeds to luff and then cross head to wind all in one motion, ending up to leeward of S. Just after P passes head to wind she holds her course, telling S to keep clear because she is on starboard tack and a leeward boat. S luffs to avoid contact with P and protests. You are on the protest committee; how would you decide this? You are on the protest committee: how do you decide this?


Boat P is penalized under rule 13, While Tacking. When P passes head to wind, she changes tack from port tack to starboard tack. However, rule 13 states that after a boat passes head to wind, she must keep clear of other boats until she is on a close-hauled course; and before she gets to close-hauled, rules 10, 11 and 12 do not apply. Rule 11, On the Same Tack, Overlapped, is the windward/lee- ward rule. P has not borne away to a close-hauled course when S has to change course to avoid contact; therefore P breaks rule 13.
This quiz was excerpted from Dave Perry’s 100 Best Racing Rules Quizzes available from US Sailing. For a comprehensive explanation of the rules, read Dave Perry’s Understanding the Racing Rules of Sailing through 2024, which is also available from US Sailing. Permission to reprint this quiz for non commercial use is granted by the author.