Published on May 11th, 2022

Most sports have a set of rules for competition on a defined playing field, but as sailing has no limit on course types, the racing rules have to anticipate a lot of situations. As a result, the rules can be complex, with Rule 18 (Mark-Room) as the greatest offender.

Easily the most complex rule in the book, the World Sailing Rule 18 Working Party is trying to find ways to simplify rule 18 without making significant changes to the current game. The result is a test rule 18 for 2022 which is 30% shorter than the current rule, removing much extraneous and complex wording.

The test rule contains simplifications such as making mark-room the same for all inside boats whether they have the right-of-way or not and whether the leeward mark is a single mark or a gate mark, creating a clear end point for when rule 18 stops applying, and allowing boats to gybe at the windward or offset marks when their proper course is to gybe.

The Rule 18 WP is inviting sailors and race officials around the world to study the test rule, take the 2022 Test Rule 18 Quiz, and if possible use the test rule in their racing between now and July 15, 2022.

• To take the virtual 2022 Test Rule 18 Quiz, click here.
• To learn more about the 2022 Test Rule 18, click here.
• If you are interested in organizing the use of the 2022 Test Rule 18 between now and July 15, click here.

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