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Basic Racing Rules

The following ‘Basic R/C Sailing Rules’ are intended to provide the beginner or casual model yachting sailor spectator with a working knowledge of the most basic rules.

1 Yachts on Opposite Tack

A port tack yacht shall keep clear of a starboard tack yacht.


2 Yachts on the Same Tack

(a) A windward yacht shall keep clear of a leeward yacht.

(b) A yacht clear astern shall keep clear of a yacht clear ahead.


3 Changing Tack

A yacht tacking or gybing shall keep clear of a yacht on a tack.


4 Starting

A yacht starts correctly when any part of her hull or rig crosses the start line in the direction of the first mark after the start.


5 Finishing

A yacht first finishes when, having completed all exonerating turns correctly, any part of her hull or rig crosses the finish line in the required direction and remains clear of the finish line marks.


6 Luffing Rights

After she has started and cleared the starting line, a yacht clear ahead or a leeward yacht may luff a windward yacht. Luffing rights are not gained if a yacht clear astern becomes overlapped within two of her hull lengths to leeward of a boat on the same tack. The leeward yacht shall not sail above her proper course while they remain overlapped within that distance, unless in doing so she promptly sails astern of the other boat.


7 At the Start

(a) A leeward yacht is under no obligation to give any windward yacht room to pass to leeward of a starting mark.

(b) A premature starter returning to start shall keep clear of all yachts that are starting or have started correctly.


8 Rounding Marks

(a) An outside yacht shall give each inside overlapped yacht, room to round or pass the mark providing the overlaps were established when the bow of the outside yacht came within four boat’s lengths of the mark.

(b) When two yachts on opposite tacks are at a windward mark, Rule 1 overrules Rule 8(a).

(c) A yacht clear astern shall keep clear of a yacht clear ahead.


9 Penalty for Touching a Mark

Exonerated by making one turn including one tack and one gybe at the earliest opportunity.

The above rules ‘conform’ with the IYRU yacht racing rules that govern all yachting regattas, including those run by the Model Yacht Association. Please note that they are NOT direct extracts from those rules and you should not try to mix them up with other rule numbers.

Full Racing Rules

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