Rule of the Month — Starting

By Brett BeyerThe pre-start period is probably where the most protests occur, most often as a result of windward / leeward situations. Most of these protests end with leeward boats being disqualified.The main things to note are:* Rule 11 applies — on the same tack and overlapped, the windward boat must KEEP CLEAR.* There is no “PROPER COURSE” before the start, so the windward boat must keep clear all the way up to head to wind.* But Rule 15 is a limitation imposed on the leeward boat when she has acquired the right of way — “she shall initially give the other boat ROOM TO KEEP CLEAR”. This means a leeward boat cannot sail into the hole and immediately ask / expect the windward boat to be able to keep clear. * Rule 22.3 is an exception — “a boat moving astern, or sideways to windward, through the water by backing

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