Latest News: Forums Racing Rules Clinic 2 Overlap Zone Reply To: Rules Clinic 2 Overlap Zone


At last weekends RYA Race Officials Conference I listened to one of the mebers of the ISAF group who drafted the new rules I now understand that there is a logic behind the change in the zone.

Rule 18 now applies between boats when required to leave a mark on the same side and at least one of them is in the zone. This defines far more precisely when the rule applies. Under the previous edition rule 18 applied when boats where about to round a mark (which could start much further away from the mark than 2 boat lengths).

Having decided to define precisely when the rule applies it was felt that it would be better to extend the size of the zone. It is hoped that the situation, especially at leeward marks, will be simpler to understand and apply. With a 3 boat zone it is to be hoped, in most conditions, that the decision on who has room at the mark will be sorted before boats start taking spinnakers down.

The size of the zone can be changed – a 4 boat length zone would be suitable for faster classes, to give them more room to manouevre when the right to room has been sorted, whilst the 2 boat length zone will be used for match racing and team racing.

However, Wayfarers often sail in handicap fleets, or in multi fleet events. In these events the default setting will be the 3 boat zone as rule 86.1(b) says that the zone may only be changed if the change applies at all marks and all boats using those marks.

I would suggest that it woudl make life unnecessarily complicated if the class was to decide to adopt a 2 or 4 boat length zone for class racing. In application of the KISS principle stick wth 3