- A port-tack boat shall keep clear of a starboard tack boat.
- A windward boat shall keep clear of a leeward boat.
- A boat clear astern shall keep clear of a boat clear ahead.
- A boat starts when after her starting signal any part of her hull, crew or equipment first crosses the starting line ...
- One boat is clear astern of another when her hull and equipment in normal position are behind a line abeam from the aftermost point of the boat's hull and equipment in normal position.
- A boat's leeward side is the side that is or, when she is head to wind, was away from the wind.
But wait. Is it that simple? How about some of these concepts in the rules?
- Room: The space a boat needs in the existing conditions while manoeuvring promptly in a seamanlike way.
- Proper Course: A course a boat would sail to finish as soon as possible in the absence of other boats referred to in the rule using the term.
- Initially -- as in "When a boat acquires right of way, she shall initially give the other boat room to keep clear."
So my question for today is: Would sailboat racing be a better game if the Racing Rules were so clear and logical and black-and-white that they could be programmed into a computer? Would it be better if none of the rules had vague fuzzy undefined terms like "seamanlike" and "promptly"? Or would it change the game in such a fundamental way that we would lose more in fairness than we gained in clarity?