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I met Dave Perry 3 years ago at the Pro-Am Regatta at the Bitter End Yacht Club .  This regatta, with the tag line “Sail with the Stars” is the real deal. In the space of 5 days the last week of this October, I sailed with Taylor Canfield – age 24,  highest ranked match race skipper in world (read #1), Dave Ullman of Ullman Sails and a Rolex Yachtsman of the Year (too much more to mention), and Zach Railey, Finn sailor, who won silver at the 2008 summer Olympics in Beijing.

So let me just say that these guys know the rules. Dave Perry was Rules Advisor to the U.S. Olympic Sailing Team in 2008 and 2012, and to two recent America’s Cup Teams (Victory Challenge in 2006-2007 and Artemis Racing in 2012-2013). Not to mention a championship sailor since his days on Long Island Sound.

Let me back up a few years when I was racing – Blue Jays - and I was maybe 8. Here’s what I knew:

1.              Don’t go over the start line early
2.              Starboard tack has right of way
3.              Make sure you read the course map before you start
4.              Try not to hit anyone

I’m sure there were more rules for me to get my Skipper’s Certificate, but those are basically what we all sailed by.   

The first word in the title of Dave’s new book – UNDERSTANDING – is absolutely what this book is all about. Dave’s goal in UNDERSTANDING the RULES of SAILING through 2016 - is to have you actually understand the rules! Dave writes clearly and concisely with extensive references to US SAILING Appeals and ISAF cases to get you through even the toughest scenarios. Brad Dellenbaugh’s illustrations and captions are an added bonus. Brad is Sailing Director at NYYC in Newport, RI and is a championship racer in his own right.


Dave is one of the nicest guys I’ve met, and he truly wants everyone to enjoy this sport.  Whether you are a serious competitor, weekend racer OR just want to know more about sailing, you need this book. And when you’ve read it and THINK you understand it, tack to Dave’s companion book 100 Best Racing Rules Quizzes ! Both are available at or

I’m studying hard, Dave!

Posted on November 29, 2013 and filed under what you need.