RYA Case Book

The RYA Case Book contains illustrative and persuasive, but not binding, interpretations and explanations of the rules.

The RYA Case Book is currently in it's eighth edition. All the cases have been reviewed, and where necessary, updated to be compliant with the 2021-2024 RRS.


The Case Book is available as a PDF download by clicking the image above, or through the integrated e-book within the World Sailing App.

The Racing Rules of Sailing 2021 – 2024 have made further refinements to the rules, mainly for clarification. The RYA Cases have been edited to reflect these changes. The World Sailing (WS) Cases have also been reviewed and some new ones added. The WS Case Book is published on the WS website. The WS Cases’ abstracts are included in Section 2 of the RYA Case Book together with those of the RYA Cases and both are included in the ‘Cases by Rules’ index in Section 1. Some WS cases are such that the whole case is needed for a proper understanding and should be referred to for that reason. 

Revised Case

RYA 2024/1 New
When a Protest Committee includes a person having a conflict of Interest, whose interest has not been disclosed to the parties and who takes part in the hearing, the subsequent failure of a party to the protest to object to that member as soon as possible is irrelevant and any decision made is improper.

RYA 1962/8 Amended
The word ‘side’ in rule 19.2(a) (as also in rule 18.1) refers to the side of the boat on which the obstruction (or mark) is to be passed, and not to any ‘side’ that the obstruction (or mark) may happen to have.

There is no zone at an obstruction that is not also a mark. Rule 19.2 applies even when boats are approaching an obstruction on widely different courses.

Change Log - Edition 8

December 2020

  • First publication of eighth edition

February 2021

  • Addition of RYA 2021/1 - Questions concerning changing the type of hearing during a hearing
  • Amendment to abstract of RYA 2001/5
  • Typographical corrections

February 2022

  • Inclusion of abstract of new World Sailing Case 147
  • Deletion of RYA Case 2001/5 due to conflict with World Sailing Case 147

December 2022

  • Addition of RYA 2022/1 - Obligations of a right of way boat changing course under rule 16.1
  • Addition of RYA 2022/2 - Excluding a boat or competitor after the first race of an event or series

May 2023

  • Amendments to RYA 1984/2, 2019/1 and 2022/2


First published in a single volume in 1993, the RYA Case Book has been continually maintained by the RYA's Racing Rules Committee and it's editor. Cases are continually reviewed to ensure they remain relevant and correct following any rule changes.

In 2013 the Case Book was brought into the digital age by hyperlinking the various parts so that users can move from item to item with a single click.

In 2021, the Case Book was changed to a single-column format to be easier to use on small screens of tablets and smartphones.

Edition Racing Rules of Sailing Case Book Editor
1 1993 - 1996 Mary Pera
2 1997 - 2000 Trevor Lewis
3 2001 - 2004 Trevor Lewis
4 2005 - 2008  Trevor Lewis
5 2009 - 2012 Chris Simon
6 2013 - 2016 Chris Simon
7 2017 - 2020 Chris Simon
8 2021 - 2024 Chris Simon