Posted: 5/1/2013 2:19:08 PM
Last week I started to talk about exoneration in rule 21.  I will continue this month.  Rule 21 is a new rule combining rule 18.5 and 20.2.  Up until 2008, the preamble to Section C used to state that, “To the extent that a Section C rule conflicts with a rule in Section A or B, the Section C rule takes precedence.”  When the mark and obstruction rules were rewritten (again) in 2009, the wording of the Section C rule “taking precedence” was replaced with the concept of a boat “being exonerated” if she is entitled to room and in taking it, breaks one of the other rules.  There were two separate rules, one covering the Mark-Room rule (rule 18) and one covering the Room to Tack at an Obstruction rule (rule 20). 
by Andrew Alberti
This page provides links to a set of articles original published in Kwasind magazine. The versions here include animated diagrams. The original articles can be found within the original magazines which are available online back to January 2007. 

Articles before December 2016 are based on the Racing Rules of Sailing 2009-12 or 2013-2016 and have not been updated to reflect the changes that apply as of January 2017 with the publication of the Racing Rules of Sailing 2017-20. A copy of the new rules can be found on
Andrew Alberti has been writing these monthly articles in the Kwasind since early 1997.  They explain the Racing Rules of Sailing. Andrew is a National Judge and National Umpire. He is a member of the Sail Canada Rules and Appeals Committees. The interpretation of the rules contained in the articles is Andrew's and not that of the RCYC or any of the committees he sits on. 

Send your questions to Andrew at


166 Years of Tradition | World-Class Sailing | Toronto Island & City Clubhouse