Posted: 10/1/2016 1:38:33 PM
Two months ago I talked about barging. This month, I want to compare the situation of barging at the committee boat with a luffing situation further down the line. Before I do this, I need to provide some context. In races with a large number of boats on the starting line, such as Optimists, Lasers, 420’s and even J/105’s, it is quite common to have so many boats over the line that the race committee has to use a general recall. In these circumstances, special starting flags such as the black flag (rule 30.3) are used. When the black flag goes up four minutes before the start and then comes down one minute before the start, any boat over the line during the last minute before the start is disqualified. This provides a very strong incentive not to be over in the last minute. The incentive may be so strong that boats are tempted to break other rules.
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


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