Posted: 9/1/2012 1:33:58 PM
I am going to take a break from luffing rights which we discussed the last two months to go back to a topic that I discussed in November/December 2010 and January 2011.  In the January 2011 issue I said ‘If you don’t want to follow the complex rules, I recommend a simple rule of thumb “don’t tack within three boat lengths of the mark”.’   I need to point out that this is a simple rule of thumb, not an enforceable rule.  While it is simpler and safer not to tack within three boat lengths of the mark, there are several legal ways to tack within three boat lengths of the mark. I have heard recently that my articles were being quoted as evidence that this was illegal which it is not.
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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