| Steve Sherman, McLaughlin
Before beginning, the most important thing to know about being over the starting line at the gun is that when you go back behind the line and restart make sure the Race Committee acknowledges that you have properly restarted. This may require you standing up, waving or even yelling at the officials. Many times in the confusion of a start, your restrt may not be seen. Regattas have been lost because of just this situation.
Individual Recall (rule 29.1): A boat is over the starting
line early if any part of the boat or skipper is on the course side of
the line when the starting gun sounds. When this happens, flag X is
flown with one sound. X remains flying until all offenders have
restarted properly by getting back behind the starting line. If you do
not restart then you are scored OCS (On the course side). This is the
number of boats entered plus one.
General Recall (rule 29.2): If so many boats are over early
that the race committee cannot determine all the sail numbers, then a
general recall is signaled (the First Substitute flag is flown with 2
sounds). The Race Committee then runs another start.
Round-an-End Rule (rule 30.1): When the Race Committee flies
flag I at the preparatory signal, and your boat is over the starting
line or its extensions in the final minute before the starting gun, you
must get behind the line by sailing outside one of the ends before you
20% Rule (rule 30.2): When flag Z is flown at the prep signal
and you are over the starting line in the final minute before the
starting gun, your finish place will be increased by a number equal to
20% of the boats entered. This will happen even if the start is general
recalled. Note: you still have to be behind the line at the gun to
The Black Flag Rule (rule 30.3): When the black flag is flown
at the prep signal and you are over the starting line in the final
minute before the starting gun, you will be disqualified from the race (DSQ),
even if it is a general recall, and you will receive the score of the
total number of entered sailors plus one. If there is a general recall,
the Race Committee has to display your sail number before the next
warning signal for that race.
Sailing Instructions can be modified to change any of these.
It pays to read them!
Substitute I Z Black