Effective 1st March 2015


Racing will be governed by The Racing Rules of Sailing (RRS), the Equipment Rules of Sailing (ERS) and relevant class rules, except as any of these are changed by these Sailing Instructions or any Special Sailing Instructions (SSI) applicable to a particular event.


  1. Entry to Open Meetings: Helms shall register by completing an entry form before racing.
  2. Entry to club events and Points Series: Helms shall be entered into a club event or ‘points series’ race by registering the boat and crew on the entry sheets in the clubhouse. Unregistered helms shall be excluded from race results.


Notices to competitors will be posted on the official notice board located in the clubhouse.


Any change to the sailing instructions will be posted on the official notice board at least 30 minutes before the race(s) concerned.


Signals will be displayed in front of the clubhouse, at a shore based starting position, or on the Committee Boat or other support boat.


  1. Open Meetings: Race start times will be posted on the official notice board or will be given in the Notice of Race.
  2. Club Races: The schedule of club events and points series will be notified each year in the Sailing Programme. Any amendments will be posted on the official notice board.
  3. The scheduled time of the warning signal for the first race each day is 10:55 (7pm Wednesday evenings) unless otherwise posted on the official notice board.
  4. Several short hoots may precede the warning signal.


Cadet (Y), Comet (Comet Pennant), Laser (D), Menagerie (M), RS200 (Pennant 2), Solo (R), Wayfarer (I), Wineglass (W)


  1. Racing will take place on Holyfield Lake. A map of the lake showing mark positions is appended to these instructions (Appendix 1).
  2. Boats are not permitted to enter the bird sanctuary (bounded approximately by the chain of islands and white spherical buoys situated in the SW corner of the lake), or sail within 15 metres of the north and east shores of the lake (right hand side as viewed from the clubhouse facing the lake) when fishermen are present. Both areas are shown on the map.
  3. These areas are obstructions under RRS.
  4. The penalty for infringement is disqualification unless exonerated under RRS 64.1.


  1. The course and number of rounds will be displayed on the Committee Boat, or at a shore based starting position.
  2. A boat shall leave a mark displayed on a red background to port, and on a green background to starboard.
  3. A mark preceded by T/S (standing for ‘Triangle, Sausage’) only has a required side on odd numbered laps including the first
  4. The letter G on a black background indicates that boats shall sail through the start/finish gate at the end of each round.
  5. The number of rounds will be indicated by a white number displayed on a black background.
  6. A course change before the start will be signalled by flag C and five sound signals. The timing of flag C will not provide grounds for a competitor to seek redress.
  7. The moving of marks during a race will be signalled by flying flag C and making sound signals. The mark moved and direction of move will be communicated by appropriate gestures and/or verbal instructions. This changes Rule 33a and 33b.


  1. Course marks 1 through 12 and “F” are blue with white identification characters.
  2. Temporary marks may be of any colour and their locations may change between or during races.
  3. An inner distance mark, if used, will be a white unnumbered buoy. The outer distance mark will be an orange unnumbered buoy. A course markmay alternatively be used as an outer mark.


Races will be started using Rule 26 (i.e. 5, 4, 1, GO).

  1. The starting line will be between a staff displaying an orange flag or shape on the Committee Boat or the shore based starting position and an outer distance mark.
  2. An inner distance mark may be laid near the committee boat or shore end of the line. If an IDM is used a boat starting shall pass between the inner and outer distance marks.
  3. The warning signal for each succeeding class in a sequence of starts shall be made with the starting signal of the preceding class.
  4. A boat trying to start later than 5 minutes after her starting signal will be scored Did Not Start (DNS). This changes Rule A4.1.
  5. When less than three boats from a fleet come to the starting area for a ‘points series’ race, those boats will sail with the menagerie fleet but their race results shall be recorded separately as though they raced with their particular fleet.
  6. For timing purposes, sound signals shall govern. This changes Rule 26.


For consecutive starts Rule 29.2 is modified as follows:

  1. The “1st Substitute” Flag will be lowered 4 minutes after the start signal of each recalled class. The recalled race will be started after the last scheduled start, and the warning signal (Class Flag) will be displayed at the starting signal for the last scheduled start.
  2. When more than one race is recalled, the starts will be in the same order as the original sequence.
  3. When the only race recalled is the last in the sequence Rule 29.2 will apply.


  1. At the absolute discretion of the Race Officer, the average lap rule may be adopted for any race, where slower boats may be finished one or more laps early. (This is only possible if the start/finish line are the same. When T/S is shown slower boats using this rule must be finished 2 or 4 laps early)
  2. The finishing line will be between a staff displaying an orange flag or shape and either the rounding side of the nearby mark of the course, or an unnumbered orange finishing mark.
  3. Boats finishing shall pass between any inner limit mark and the outer finishing line mark.


Under Rule 67, the protest committee may disqualify, without a hearing, a boat they decide has broken Rule 42.

A qualified onlooker (so designated by the sailing committee) may protest a boat under RRS42 if they saw the incident. This changes RRS60


The time guide for any race will be 40 minutes. After that time, and at the discretion of the RO, nearby boats will be finished. Those who would unreasonably delay other activities will be retired and given scores one greater than the number of boats who did finish. This changes Rule 35.


  1. Protest forms (when required, see para 4 below) are available at the office in the Clubhouse. Protests shall be delivered there within the protest time limit. For each class, the protest time limit is 30 minutes after the last boat has finished the last race of the session. The same protest time limit applies to all protests by the race committee and protest committee and to requests for redress. This changes Rules 61.3 and 62.2.
  2. Notice will be posted on the official notice board within 30 minutes of the protest time limit to inform competitors of hearings in which they are parties or named as witnesses. Hearings will be held in or near theClubhouse.
  3. Notices of protests by the race committee or protest committee will be posted to inform boats under Rule 61.1(b).
  4. Friendlier and more accessible ‘Open Hearings’ will be used for most protests and all rule queries and ‘what-ifs’. If in doubt, ask. Most such hearings won’t need a written protest form.


At least one third of the scheduled races must be run for a series to qualify. Decimals are rounded off, e.g. 10 races scheduled, one third is 3.33 so 3 or more races must be run to qualify. If 11 races were scheduled then one third is 3.67 which gets rounded off to 4 or more races qualifying.

Of the races which are run boats count half that number, rounded down, to get their series score.

  1. Points shall be awarded to the helm of any class competing in that class series.
  2. A helm performing a Race Officer or OOD duty shall be entitled to claim average points for that days racing in any series.
  3. In a 3 race (one day event) trophy series, the competitor’s worst race score shall be discarded but in the event of a tie, the third (discarded) raceshall be taken into account. This changes Appendix A.
  4. A helm may change their boat to another of the same class at any time during a series without penalty.
  5. The Bit O Teak & To’ Other Bit shall be a series of 15 races taking the best 9 results to count.
  6. Owners of vintage or classic boats may apply to the Sailing Committee to be allocated a Handicap Number consistent with the age and/or designof the boat, consulting with their Class Association or the CVRDA where appropriate.


  1. Adequate personal buoyancy must be worn at all times when competitors are afloat. Wet or dry suits do not qualify as adequate personal buoyancy. This changes Rule 40.
  2. All helms shall comply with instructions given by, or on behalf of, the Safety Officer (Water). Rule 4, Decision to Race still applies.


  1. A boat shall comply fully with her Class Rules.
  2. A boat or equipment may be inspected at any time for compliance with the Class Rules and Sailing Instructions.


Team leaders, coaches and other support personnel shall stay outside areas where boats are racing from the time of the preparatory signal for the first class to start until all boats have finished or the race committee signals a postponement, general recall or abandonment. Failure to comply shall lead to disqualification of the relevant competitor(s).


  1. For Open Meetings, prizes will be notified in the Notice of Race.
  2. For club events and series, prizes will be awarded to helm and crew when the following criteria are met:

i. 1st Prize: Average number of boats that came to the starting area for each completed race shall be not less than three.

ii. 2nd Prize: Average number of boats that came to the starting area for each completed race shall be not less than five.

iii. 3rd Prize: Average number of boats that came to the starting area for each completed race shall be not less than seven.


Competitors participate in the regatta entirely at their own risk. See Rule 4, Decision to Race. The organizing authority will not accept any liability for material damage or personal injury or death sustained in conjunction with or prior to, during, or after the regatta.


Participating boats shall be insured with valid third-party liability insurance with a minimum cover of £3,000,000 per event or the equivalent.


PYN Shorten


Flag S (Shorten) and 2 hoots when hoisted with Flag Z (Yellow, Blue, Red and Black inward facing triangles) or Flag B (red swallowtail) means classes with a PYN greater (i.e. slower) than 1130 finish on this lap. Other classes finish on the next lap.

The latest Sailing Instructions will always be found here. Our advice is - don't print them. A hard copy will inevitably get superseded.

The next section outlines the way we'll treat with rule queries all the way from clarification and casual pondering to a protest.

At any time this doc is a recipe not a straightjacket; it will evolve over time and with new needs

This originally appeared in ClubLine which (of course. duh!) means new members haven't seen it and older members might not find it. Thanks to the two casual commmentators who alerted me to this


“Win with honour, lose with grace”

The Commonwealth Games had countless reminders of good sportsmanship, contributing to it being a joy to watch. That sporting ethos didn’t happen by itself. It was built on a foundation which actively roots out (and ostracises) the cheats and provides quick, accessible and accurate resolution of disagreements.
Sailing, in its time up with the best, has fallen behind. The knock on effects include:-

  • Allowing ‘rules lite’ sailors to endanger themselves and others, the marine equivalent of letting unaccompanied learners drive.
  • Bluffing: A plausible sailor claims rights over a tyro, confident the latter will give way and not protest.
  • Infringements going unremarked, those seeing them unsure how to proceed
  • Legitimate manoeuvres generating unnecessary bad feeling and ‘tabloid’(well, bar-side) fury and accusation. All parties suffer.
  • Deference: Wrongly giving way to a boat because you’re unsure of your rights.
  • ‘Un-provable’ rule breaches, of which rocking (actually the whole of Rule 42) started the current rot. Protestors knew what they saw; committees needed to be ‘more convinced than not’ that a breach occurred before the draconian DSQ, yet could only take the (contradictory) evidence in front of them. Eventually the protesters gave up and the rockers won, at least until the limited and expensive arrival of umpires.

A protest is nothing more than a way to resolve a failure to agree. It’s sad that protests have had such a bad press – those who’ve attended our ‘open’ format know they can be fun and a way for everyone to learn.
There are now more user friendly alternatives to a formal protest, ‘Exoneration’, ‘Advisory’ and ‘Arbitration’. It’s for each Club to ‘mix-and-match’ a blend to solve the problems it has. We’ve taken the best features from Advisory, Arbitration and the Open format, calling it an Open Advisory. It’s held in public, giving more people more chance to learn. Additionally, witnesses often emerge at the hearing who may add value, and could have been off the rival’s radar.
Here’s what we’ll do for now:-
Situation 1: An incident which is not a valid protest (so can’t result in DSQ unless damage occurred) and both parties agree to a hearing

  • An Open Advisory hearing. Outcome? “If this had gone to protest boat X would have been penalised.”
  • The guilty party is not required to retire but may choose to do so. Here’s why they’re potentially ‘off the hook’.
  1. There was no hail of ‘Protest’, so they can argue they were deprived of the opportunity to do spins
  2. Why would they volunteer for a hearing?

Situation 2: An incident leads to a valid protest

  • An Open Advisory hearing. Outcome? “Boat X broke a rule.”
  • The guilty party is expected to retire but not required to do so. If they do not the PC or the protestor may optionally refer the protest to a full hearing at which the Adviser may also be a witness.

Situation 3: A persistent refusenik (e.g. who doesn’t retire after losing open advisory hearings) is involved in a protest.

  • Protest hearing: Here’s why. Only a Protest Committee can institute Rule 69 (gross breach of sportsmanship, which such behaviour might be) proceedings.
  • It’s slicker than hearing the same case twice. Experience shows that delay begets further delays.

Situation 4: Need advice about a real incident? Ask! But before that, ponder. What if your version isn’t complete? Suppose the opponent saw something entirely different, or a third boat caused them to infringe? How much better (for both of you) to use one of the other routes.
There are some wrinkles and inconsistencies we’ll iron out with time, but for now:-

  • The adviser will usually sit alone, but sometimes sit with a trainee adviser.
  • If the adviser took part in the race (but not the incident – which they can’t hear) they will declare it and continue the hearing.
  • In a full protest an adviser who took part in the race (but not the incident) can advise on points of law but not opinion (This mirrors the ‘clerk of the court’ role in England)
  • If an adviser is on site the hearing should be the same day as the incident. If not the hearing date should be established and communicated by the RO on the day.
  • An adviser may limit the number of witnesses called (usually) when they judge they have sufficient agreed facts to decide the case.

Those interested in becoming advisers please form an orderly queue!

Bill Brockbank (ex International Judge) will lead the initial effort.