In some regattas, i.e., the Robie and the NACC, the use of borrowed boats require an AB in the boat.
The role of an AB is a blend of safety observer as well as to assist in boat handling when a sailor’s disability prevents a task from being accomplished. As such, most ABs are racers themselves and, in occasions, have found it difficult not to offer advice on tactics or boat handling techniques or to avoid offering such advice if asked for it. Despite Sailing Instructions specifying limitations on what AB’s are allowed to do, the level of AB contributions varies by team and is difficult to police. One point-of-view would say “Let the ABs be an active part of the crew” while others would prefer a strict no-advice/ limited boat handling participation approach.