I figure its time I brushed up on my Racing Rules! I know there are alot of books on the racing rules out there but does anyone know which one is the best? Or has anyone read any of the books and if so what did they think of it? All help much appreciated!
You can download a pdf file of the Racing Rules of Sailing 2005-2008 from the ISAF website. The new rules for 2009-2012 are not far away. Maybe it's worth waiting before you get that book.
Jos at <rrsstudy.blogspot.com> is already discussing some of the changes as of 2009.
Hope this helps, Andrew
ps - I grew up with Eric Twiname's rule explanation books - I don't know what the alternatives are
Of course, you should start with an actual copy of the rulebook. Downloading is convenient, I like having a downloaded copy to consult when in, e.g. discussions on BBS systems. But you want a copy that you can keep with you in your sailing bag and take to regattas, and a printout isn't nearly as good for that purpose as the actual hardcopy rulebook.
Now, for explanations, my personal favorite is "Dave Perry's 100 best rules quizes." You read the situation, look up the rules you think apply, then see what the real answer is. This "problem solving" format helps engage your brain in a way that simply *reading* never will.
"Dave Perry Explains the Racing Rules" I find to be too long winded and wordy. It's a good tome to have for reference, but personally, I just can't grok that many explanations via that format. It's a good one to have handy for when you've already analyzed a situation and you know what happened on the water, then you're trying to figure out how the rules apply to it.
For more in-depth study, getting the ISAF and US Sailing casebooks is great. There are rules cases going back to the 1930s. For all that we talk about "how the rules have changed" it's a great read to see that the way we sail the game hasn't changed that much over time.
And that brings me to the new vs. old rulebook question. The 09 rulebook proper is coming out in a few months. But it'll take longer for new explanatory texts to come out. For that reason, I recommend going ahead and getting the 05-08 rulebook, and beginning your study *now.* There will be wording changes in the new one, but the number of *game changing* rule changes will be relatively small.
After the new one comes out, you can get it, and based on a more thorough understanding of the game that you've gained while reading, you can then read how the 09 rules are different from what you've studied so far.