Racing Rules

Are you looking for the 2021-2024 rules?

Please head to the Racing Rules of Sailing for 2021-2024 page, where you can download the Racing Rules App, order a rulebook or any of our other rules-related products, find resources for understanding the new rules, and more!

The purpose of The Racing Rules of Sailing is to keep sailors and boats safe and to provide fair competition

The Racing Rules of Sailing govern sailboat racing around the world. They are published every four years by World Sailing (WS), and take effect on January 1 of the year following the Summer Olympic Games.

The rules are governed by two basic principles:

Sportsmanship and the Rules

Competitors in the sport of sailing are governed by a body of rules that they are expected to follow and enforce. A fundamental principle of sportsmanship is that when a boat breaks a rule and is not exonerated she will promptly take an appropriate penalty or action, which may be to retire.

Environmental Responsibility

Participants are encouraged to minimize any adverse environmental impact of the sport of sailing.

US Sailing Prescriptions

The US Sailing Prescriptions govern races that are held in the United States or the parts of international races that pass through U.S. waters. The US Sailing Prescriptions rank as rules in the United States.

Download the US Sailing Prescriptions for 2021-2024

Further information about the prescriptions:

Health Regulations at Events

US Sailing Guidance on Return to Competition (May 27, 2020)

This document from US Sailing addresses considerations that organizing authorities must take into account when planning events and offers suggested language for Notices of Race and Sailing Instructions.


World Sailing Q&A 2020.010 (August 17, 2020)

This document from World Sailing's Question & Answer Service addresses how COVID-19 government regulations, protocols and guidance may be implemented in race documents.