With the introduction of the new rules for the next three years, it’s a good idea to revisit the different versions of the rules and explanations thereof that are available. The CYA does publish a plain text volume of the rules, and it is the least expensive. However, there are no flourishes and it provides little explanation. It is however, the official rules to be used in Canadian regattas and races, so that is important. There are a number of other versions.
Dave Perry’s Understanding the Rules of Sailing is the best text for the American version of the rules, and is indeed published by US Sailing. It is a thick volume, and presents a very in-depth explanation. It very precisely follows the structure and organization of the rules themselves. It is excellent for those who have a more advanced understanding of the rules and experience racing.
This volume is supplemented by Dave Perry’s 100 Best Racing Rule Quizzes. Together they are one approach to the Racing Rules.
Bryan Willis’ The Rules in Practice 2017-2020 present a completely different approach to teaching the racing rules. Where Perry proceeds through the structure of the rules document, Willis structures his book to explore the rules in the same order that a race occurs, that is to say from preparing to the Start, then through the turns and then ending with the Finish and Protests. This is an excellent book for those who are new to racing, or for younger racers.
One other note: the Elvstrom explanation of the Racing Rules for 2017-2020, famous for having little plastic boats to work out problems, will not be available until September 2017.