General Sailing Instructions
- RULES: All races will be sailed under the current ISAF Racing Rules of Sailing, the RYA Prescriptions, these instructions and addenda, and class rules where applicable. All boats MUST comply with IRCS (collision regulations) at ALL times (see RYA publication G2/95).
- ENTRIES: A boat manoeuvering in the area of the start in the 5 minutes before the starting signal shall be deemed to have entered the race.
- HANDICAPS: The Sailing Committee will determine a boat’s handicap. It will be based on the RYA Portsmouth Yardstick scheme and posted on the club notice board before the beginning of each series.
- SAFETY: The responsibility for a boat’s decision to participate in a race or to continue racing is hers alone (RRS Fundamental Rule 4). All competitors shall carry or wear personal buoyancy adequate for the conditions (RRS Fundamental Rule 1.2) unless the boat has lifelines. Dinghy racing is restricted to the area designated in the Special Instructions for Dinghy Racing.
- INSURANCE: All boats shall have adequate third party insurance cover.
- CLASSES: All club racing is handicap racing. There will be one class only for each series of races.
- STARTING AND FINISHING LINES: There are three club lines: the cruiser line, which is a transit between the flagpole and a white diamond on the shoreline. The outer limit mark is the Outer Diligence buoy or an inflatable placed at the near edge of the channel. The dinghy line is from the starting box flagpole to an orange buoy to seaward. There is no inner limit to either line. There may be occasional committee boat starts these being subject to sailing instructions issued on the day. The lines must be crossed in the direction of the first mark to start and of the last mark to finish.
- COURSES: Courses are given in the club handbook. For more detail see the Special Instructions to Cruisers and Dinghies. Courses should be notified at least 15 minutes before the start.
- TIME LIMIT: All club races shall have a time limit of 90 minutes unless otherwise notified. If a boat finishes within the time limit all other boats that finish shall score. If no boat finishes within the time limit then the race shall be abandoned.
- SIGNALS: Races shall be started by the following signals: A warning signal 5 minutes before the start, which shall be the class flag, accompanied by 1 sound signal. The preparatory signal 4 minutes before the start which shall be Flag “P” (no starting penalty or round the ends rule flags will be used for club line starts). This will be accompanied by 1 sound signal. At one minute the preparatory flag shall be removed accompanied by 1 long sound signal. At the start the class flag shall be removed together with 1 sound signal. Times shall be taken from the visual signals, the absence of a sound signal shall be disregarded. After the start the OOD may shorten or abandon the race (see ISAF Rule 32). The signal for shortening the course shall be the ‘S’ flag accompanied by 2 sound signals. The signal for abandoning shall be flag ‘N’ accompanied by 3 sound signals.
- SCORING: Scoring shall be by the Low Point System (i.e. 1 for a win, 2 for second etc). For club series racing a boat that came to the starting area but did not start, did not finish, retired or was disqualified shall be scored points one more than the number of boats that came to the starting area. A boat that did not come to the starting area scores one more than the number of boats in the series. If there are 6 races or more in a series there shall be two discards. 3 to 5 races in a series there shall be 1 discard. If only 1 or 2 races in a series no discard.
- PENALTIES: A boat that has touched a mark of the course may, after getting well clear of other boats as soon as possible, take a penalty of one complete 360 degree turn. The penalty for breaking Part 2 of the ISAF Rules differ for cruisers and dinghies hence are given in the relevant special instructions.
- PROTESTS: Intention to protest shall be notified verbally or by telephone to the OOD or the Sailing Secretary within 2 hours of the completion of the race. Protests in writing shall be lodged with the Sailing Secretary within 72 hours of completion of the race. The protest procedure shall be governed by Part 5 of the ISAF Rules.
Safety requires that the rescue boat be manned by at least two people during dinghy racing, with the Cox holding a RYA Safety Boat Certificate. At the discretion of the OOD the crew may be younger. The race will not take place without the full complement of officers. In order to ensure the successful running of dinghy racing, comprehensive training for the rigid inflatable is being offered at the beginning of the season.
RESCUE BOAT MAINTENANCE
It is essential that the rescue boat is in a good operational state at all times. Please report any defects to the Safety Boat Officer so that any can be rectified as soon as possible.
- BEFORE THE RACE: Arrive at the clubhouse early enough before the start of the race. Check weather conditions and decide whether to POSTPONE or CANCEL the race. Strong winds in the NW or SE cause difficulties in reaching some moorings. CANCEL also if there are less than three boats. Select the most appropriate course and number of laps for the wind direction and speed. Remember that the wind speed tends to reduce considerably as the evening wears on. For guidance yachts reaching or running on average can make; Force 1, 0.3 kts; Force 2, 1.5 kts; Force 3, 2.5 kts; Force 4, 4.0 kts; Force 5, 6.0 kts. Make sure yachts have a good chance to complete the course within the allotted time span (80 minutes for evening races). Display the course letter and number of laps.The flag boards are on the balcony, with warning and preparatory flags to the north west side, shortened course and cancellation to the south east. Practice the start sequence – it is the flags which start the race, not the horn. In general the sound signals should be long blasts – say three seconds – a short blip will not be heard. If you find it necessary to change the number of laps or the course before the warning signal is given, make two sound signals.
- THE LINE: The START line is a transit taken on the flag pole and a white diamond marker pointing in the general direction of Outer Diligence, the outer limit mark, not necessarily on the line. However, the FINISH line is the line between the outer limit and the flagpole marker, since this buoy is the final racing mark. An inflatable may replace Outer Diligence as the outer limit.
- THE START: See “GENERAL SAILING INSTRUCTIONS” above. Be as precise as possible with the flags. If a boat or boats are obviously over the line before time, note the boats’ identities and apply penalties – up to one minute – to the elapsed times at the end. General or individual recalls will not be given. If for any reason a POSTPONEMENT has been signalled, the warning-prep-start sequence should begin again one minute after lowering the postponing signal. Should you decide to change the course or lap numbers before the race, give two long sound signals to draw attention to the fact.
- THE RACE: Keep a general eye open on progress and the weather. A telescope is to hand in the club house. Check the wind conditions and SHORTEN COURSE if appropriate as the first boat approaches the line. Take the time for each boat, as it crosses the finish line, to the nearest second, and give a sound signal. Check the handicap list for participating boats and calculate corrected times and record their time for each crossing of the line. Record non-finishers as such.
- AFTER THE RACE: Calculate the elapsed time in seconds for each boat, and divide by its handicap. Award placings and points accordingly, and place the results in the Sailing Sec’s pigeonhole or display on the cruiser notice board. Where possible results should be announced in the bar after the race.
Dinghy Sailing Instructions
- ENTRIES: The helm is allotted the score for a race regardless of which dinghy is sailed, although the score shall be based on position determined using the Portsmouth Yardstick of the boat used. Entry to races is by appearance at the start in the five minutes before the starting signal but each owner and/or helm shall prior to racing complete and sign a racing form indicating which boats he may race, and lodge it with the sailing secretary.
- SIGNALS: The class flag for handicap dinghies is the “F” flag. Racing will normally use shore based starts and finishes. Normal practice while the course is being laid is for the OOD to raise the postponement signal, which is the answering pennant. It will be lowered with one long sound signal six minutes before the start. Postponement of the scheduled starting time shall be at the OOD’s discretion but shall not be to await a satisfactory turnout. The race shall start with those present. A boat must be afloat at the preparatory signal.
- COURSES: Courses shall be set entirely within the dinghy racing area, which will be patrolled during racing by the Club safety boat(s). This area is bounded to the seaward edge by a line through Deans Elbow and Lains Lake buoys. It is bounded upstream by the cruiser starting area and downstream by a line through Deans Lake buoy normal to the shore. The course will be posted on the course board placed at the slipway no later than 15 minutes before the start. The absence of a course board shall signify that the course will be a windward-leeward triangle (as Appendix K, Addendum A to the ISAF Rules). This shall be varied so that the start mark could be the windward, gybe or leeward mark, depending on the wind direction. Typical course diagrams will be displayed on the notice board in the clubhouse wet area.
- PENALTIES: The penalty for infringement of Part 2 of the ISAF Rules shall be one 720 degree turn.
- SAFETY: All those racing shall wear approved buoyancy aids. Flag ‘Y’ will not be flown. All boats shall have sealed or secure buoyancy according to class rules. Racing shall be abandoned if the OOD considers conditions are unsuitable and safety boat cover is not adequate.
- OODs: The assignment of OODs for each race is given in the club yearbook. If anyone cannot attend then he/she should find a replacement and inform the Sailing Secretary as soon as possible. The OOD should attend early enough to carry out the duties assigned. If training is required contact the Sailing Secretary.
- OOD/COX: Members carrying out official OOD/COX duties will be awarded 4.5 points for that race.
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