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The Preamble to Part 2 of the Racing Rules of Sailing says: “The rules of Part 2 apply between boats that are sailing in or near the racing area and intend to race, are racing or have been racing. However, a boat not racing shall not be penalized for breaking one of these rules, except rule 14 when the incident resulted in injury or serious damage…,” .
Some of the sections of the rule book have introductory paragraphs called “preambles” which many sailors miss or skip. The Racing Rules of Sailing starts out with defined words that have very specific meanings. In fact, even the word “Rule” is defined. The first paragraph of the definition or “Rule” states: “The rules in this book, including the Definitions, Race Signals, Introduction, preambles and the rules of relevant appendices, but not titles” make up the racing rules of sailing.