The Rules in Practice 2013-2016
Published by Fernhurst Books, this is an excellent book, ideal for all sailors who race, or are thinking of racing. For the expert, it notes the latest changes to the rules, ensuring you are not relying on out of date knowledge. For the club racer, it puts the rules in great context, explaining them by using situations that you will find yourself in every weekend when you are out on the water. And for the beginner, it shows each situation from the point of view of all boats involved, so you can start to think through what might happen to you in a race and reflect on situations when you normally back off, but with some knowledge, will be able to stand your ground next time.The book is laid out in three sections. By far the most useful is the first, which goes through each stage of a race, from the pre-start, start, round a triangle course, the finish and even covers what happens in the protest room, should you end up there. Each rule is explained with use of pictures, clearly showing what the boats involved must or may do. If you ever struggle with who should keep clear approaching a mark, or how high you can luff someone, or if something is a continuing obstruction, then you will get simple clear guidance here.Section two is the rules, laid out in order. If you are a detail geek, you might enjoy this bit. Few others will, I would guess. That said, when some idiot screams a rule number at you, this will be the quickest way to see if you really have to give way. The final part, a series of appendices, is equally detailed, but looks like it will be genuinely helpful for race committees. It covers issues such as how to lay out your sailing instructions, which rules can be changed and which cannot, guidance on scoring, and on how rules change for match racing and team racing. There is little more embarrassing for a race committee than being successfully protested - this section should keep you out of trouble no matter how many lawyers you have in your fleet.Dinghy racers will want to keep a copy in their kit bags. Yachties should have the book out on the chart table ready. And I would recommend every club to put one in the race hut and encourage the race officers to read it before they even think about setting the course.