World Match Racing Tour.

ISAF Special Event


When the wind comes across the boats on opposite sides, the boat with the wind on the left (port) side must give way to the boat with the wind on the right (starboard) side.

When the wind comes across the boats on the same side and they are not overlapped, the boat behind (clear astern) must keep clear of the boat (clear) ahead.

When the wind comes across the boats on the same side and they are overlapped, the boat on the windward (upwind) side must keep clear of the other leeward (downwind) boat.

Umpires follow each race and make instant penalty decisions. A green and white flag means no penalty but a yellow or blue flag means the boat in the match with the corresponding flag flying on the back of their boat must take a penalty before finishing. A penalty turn when sailing towards the wind means turning the stern of the boat through the wind and when sailing away from the wind a penalty is taken when the boat turns the bow through the wind.

Visit Appendix C of the ISAF's Racing Rules of Sailing to view the rules for match-racing.

Racing Rules Changes

The World Match Racing Tour has been given permission by ISAF to change some of the Racing Rules of Sailing. The wording of the changes can be downloaded via the link here.

WMRT Rules Calls 

WMRT Calls relating to the Rule Changes can be found below.
- Call WMRT 01/2015
- Call WMRT 02/2015
- Call WMRT 03/2015
Call WMRT 04/2015
- Call WMRT 05/2015 

Standard Tour Rules 2015 (pdf download)

Standard Tour Rules (v1.2)
Standard Tour Rules (v1.3)
Standard Tour Rules (v1.4) 

View the Standard Tour Rules document online, containing common items from the Notice of Race and Sailing Instructions that apply at all WMRT events along with the WMRT Rule Changes, WMRT Calls and Championship Points System.

WMRT Call Book for Match Racing 2013-2016

View WMRT Call Book for Match Racing as amended for the rule changes.



The start is critical
4-minutes before the start the boats enter the starting area and begin an intricate, furious pre-start duel, with the two boats engaging in a furious one-on-one battle to gain the controlling position on the race course. At the starting signal the boats will cross the start line and begin the first windward leg to the windward mark.

Windward Leg
On the course the boats commence an upwind battle; the lead boat will try to position themselves between the other boat and the windward mark and spill turbulent air from their sails onto them to slow the boat behind. A furious tacking duel may to ensue with the latter trying to force a crew error to rob their aggressor of the advantage.

The end of the first windward leg provides an opportunity for the trailing boat to seize the edge by trying to create an inside overlap at the mark, forcing the leader to give room which usually means relinquishing their lead.

Downwind Run
On the downwind run the trailing boat has a chance to attack from behind, positioning itself so it's spinnaker casts a wind shadow over the leader. To escape, the boat ahead may gybe away, creating heart-pounding onboard action - and spectacular sailing - as each crew manoeuvres furiously to attack and defend.

Dropping the Spinnaker
At the leeward mark the same overlap rules apply and the action intensifies as crews drop their spinnakers and prepare the boat for the next windward leg while the skippers jostle for the best position around the mark.

To the Finish
The race will last two or sometimes three laps before the boats head for the finish line (same as the start line) where the battle ends. Often the race will go all the way to the line with neither boat giving up until the winners coloured flag (blue or yellow) is flown from the signal boat.