HLSTC Sailing Instructions - PROVISIONAL

This document contains the Sailing Instructions for ordinary Club Racing at HLSTC.

1. Rules

Racing at HLSTC is organised and controlled by the Racing Committee of the Hawley Lake Sail Training Centre, and is governed by the rules defined in The Racing Rules of Sailing, as modified by these Sailing Instructions. The Racing Rules of Sailing are referred to herein, by number, as RRS nn, and are available online at https://www.sailing.org/inside-world-sailing/rules-regulations/racing-rules-of-sailing/ .

The following rules are modified by these instructions:

  • RRS 26    Sound signals take precedence

  • RRS 29   Simplified Individual and General Recall procedure

  • RRS 40   Personal Flotation Devices always required

  • RRS 41   Assistance allowed after capsize etc

  • RRS A9   Details of points scoring

2. Entries and declarations

Club racing is open to all club members with suitable qualifications: for helms this is normally at least RYA dinghy level 2 or RYA Start Sailing Stage 2. The Race Committee may also, on request, admit other entrants as helms, including but not limited to HLSTC course participants, Youth Club members and signed-in guests of members. In addition, all members and signed-in guests may take part as crew.

No entry form is required for club racing: the competitor simply enters personal and boat details onto the sign-on sheet for a race, available at the briefing (see below) and is thereby entered into the race and the series. New entrants to a series should also make themselves known to the Race Officer.

There is no entry fee for ordinary club racing. A small entry fee is charged for some regattas, where prizes are awarded on the day; details are given in advance by email, and repeated at the first briefing session.

Every competitor warrants the suitability of his/her boat for the race or races. Helms are responsible for both their personal safety and that of their crew; they are the sole judges of whether their experience is sufficient for the prevailing conditions.

Every boat entering must have insurance, valid for racing and for the actual participants and circumstances, and providing a minimum of £ 2m third-party cover. Race Officers are not authorised to waive/override this requirement.

If a race is designated as a class race, then only boats of that class may be scored in it, but boats of similar classes may take part, by agreement with the Race Officer, but will be disregarded in the scoring.

For handicap races, any single-hull non-foiling dinghy, with an overall length not exceeding 5000 mm, may take part, provided that a Portsmouth Number in the range 900-1500 can be agreed for it. The competitor must declare the boat's class name and any deviation from class rules. A class certificate is not required. Wherever possible, the numbers used will be those published in the table of Portsmouth Numbers on the HLSTC club website for use in club racing. In case of any difficulty in finding a number, or non-conformity to the respective class rules, the Race Officer will attempt to allocate a fair PN value, consistent with the published list.

3. Schedule of Races

Each individual race forms part of a Series, extending over a number of weeks, or of a Regatta, taking place on a single day. For a regatta, the schedule of races is announced at the initial briefing on the day.

For a Series, the schedule of races is published, as part of an annual programme, on the club members' website http://hlstcmembers.org.uk/ and on the Notice Boards inside the clubhouse. The schedule is normally published at the start of a calendar year, and covers the whole year. It may be revised as necessary during the year, and any changes are published by means of updates in the same locations. Whenever possible, urgent updates are also notified to members by email. There is no separate Notice of Race document for club racing.

If some of the races of a series have to be abandoned (whether through unsuitable weather conditions, or for any other reason), the series will be declared void unless at least half of the scheduled races have been started and not abandoned.

Races will not start before the time published in the schedule, unless the Race Officer is satisfied that all potential participants are in agreement and ready to proceed. Races may if necessary be delayed beyond the published time, at the Race Officer's discretion, (e.g. because of weather conditions, difficulty in reaching the starting area in time, or the overrunning of a previous race), but the schedule will be followed as closely as possible.

4. Notices to Competitors

The course for each race will be communicated by means of a briefing at the course diagram board outside the clubhouse, normally 15 minutes before the scheduled start time. A diagram will set out the course, specifying the start line, all waymarks and the intended finishing line, as well as any prohibited areas, which rank as obstructions. Marks normally consist of movable buoys, or staffs with flags on shore, but may also consist of whole islands.

At the briefing for a handicap race, the Race Officer may divide the fleet into a number of Flights, and state the criteria used for the division. The purpose is to allow different start and finish provisions to be made for each Flight. There is no limit as to the number of Flights, or the number of boats in each Flight.

The briefing for each race will include:

details of the course;

any applicable time limit(s).

In addition:

the briefing for a handicap race will include:

the interval between start times (if any) of successive Flights;

the required number of laps for the fleet, or for each Flight;

the planned duration of the race;

the briefing for a pursuit race will include:

the starting schedule for the various classes; and

the specified finishing time.

Any changes after the briefing will be communicated to all boats by verbal announcement ashore or at the starting area.

5. The Start

The start line will be between an Outer Distance Marker buoy and a transit flag on a staff, either at the clubhouse or at the committee boat. There may also be an Inner Distance Marker, in which case boats must pass between the IDM and the ODM to start.

For handicap races, the start sequence of RRS26 is used, but the sound signals are definitive; the flags are advisory. This changes RRS26. The class flag is always flag E, unless otherwise specified at the briefing.

If separate Flight times are in use, the same sequence will be used for the first Flight, and thereafter, starts will be at four-minute intervals, with the usual one-minute signal given before each start.

For pursuit races, the RRS26 sequence is used for the first class to start, again with sound signals taking precedence. For all subsequent classes, there is a single sound signal for the class start, preceded by one or more verbal announcements. This changes RRS26.

In any races with multiple start signals, the start signal for one Flight or class serves as a preparatory signal for the following Flight or class. Before their preparatory signal, boats are not racing, and must keep clear of the starting area and any boats that are already racing.

Any boat that has not started within five minutes after its starting signal will be scored DNS, without a hearing.

Any recalls (individual or general) are signalled by a sound signal and a hail from the Race Officer. This changes RRS29.

6. The Finish

The finishing line will be between a blue flag and a mark of the course. This will normally be at the clubhouse, but exceptionally (e.g. if it appears that boats will not complete the course within the time limit), the line will be between a flag on the committee boat and a mark of the course.

The Race Officer may decide to shorten a handicap race, if it appears likely to exceed the time limit, and will display the Shortened Course flag at an appropriate time. If the shortened course flag is displayed, boats must continue to sail the same course as before, rounding all relevant marks in the same direction, until they finish as indicated below.

In a Handicap Race, the leading boat finishes as it crosses the Finish Line (passing the mark in the same direction as on previous laps), having completed the prescribed number of laps, or after the Shortened Course flag has been displayed. All other boats finish as they first cross the finish line in the same direction, after the leading boat has finished, even if they have completed a smaller number of laps. Corrected times will be scaled upwards proportionately ("average lap timing"). Boats subject to this scaling are not racing after this finish, and must keep clear of boats that are still racing.

For races with multiple Flights, the Finishing process begins when the leading boat of ANY Flight crosses the finishing line after completing the required number of laps, or after the Shortened Flag is displayed, and thereafter, all other boats finish as they cross the finishing line.

In very light winds, or if a complete failure of the wind is reasonably likely, the passing time of all boats may be recorded, on earlier laps, to permit retrospective application of "average lap timing". In all other cases, any boat that has not finished within 20 minutes after the leading boat will be scored DNF, without a hearing.

In a pursuit race, there is no finish line as such; results are based on relative positions on the water. When the finish time signal is made, each boat must continue sailing to the next mark, or until it reaches a point where its position relative to other boats can be determined beyond any reasonable doubt. All boats must note their position relative to boats immediately ahead of and behind them, to assist the Race Officer in compiling the results.

7. Protests

The Race Officer must be informed of a Protest or Request for Redress within 30 minutes after the last boat has finished. Protest forms are stored in the Race Officer Handbook and are available on request from the Race Officer. The completed forms should be submitted as soon as practical, within a time limit agreed with the Race Committee.

8. Scoring

Scoring will be in accordance with RRS Appendix A (Low Point System).

For handicap races with multiple Flights, the individual boats' corrected times from all Flights are combined to determine race positions.

RRS.A9 is altered as follows:

Helms performing Race Officer or OOD duty will be awarded compensation scores (calculated as the average of their scores for all other races in the series) for the first three such turns of duty in a series. For any subsequent turns, they will be recorded with a different code, scoring the same as DNC.

Helms acting as Crew for other Helms will be scored as the average of their scores for all other races in the series.

A boat that did not come to the starting area in a race (DNC) will be scored points for the finishing place two more than the largest number of boats entered in any race in the series.

The number of races required to form a valid series will be half the number scheduled (odd halves being rounded up to the next whole number); otherwise the series is declared void. Provided that at least this number of races has been sailed, the number of races to count for each boat will be half of <the number of races actually sailed plus one>.

9. Club championship

All club members participating in club races are automatically entered into the club championship scheme. Details of the scheme are given on the club members' web site.

10. Outside Help

Following a capsize or running aground/ashore, outside assistance is permitted for refloating, righting, and recovery. The boat may be moved as necessary for this purpose, but the competitor's progress over the course must not be materially improved. This is a change to RRS 41.

11. Safety, Risk Statement and Decision to Race

RRS 3 states: 'The responsibility for a boat's decision to participate in a race or to continue to race is hers alone.' By participating in this event each competitor agrees and acknowledges that sailing is a potentially dangerous activity with inherent risks. These risks include strong winds and rough seas, sudden changes in weather, failure of equipment, boat handling errors, poor seamanship by other boats, loss of balance on an unstable platform and fatigue resulting in increased risk of injury. Inherent in the sport of sailing is the risk of permanent, catastrophic injury or death by drowning, trauma, hypothermia or other causes.

The race organisers / HLSTC shall not be liable for any loss, damage, death or personal injury howsoever caused to the owner/competitor or crew, as a result of their taking part in the race or races. Moreover, every owner/competitor warrants the suitability of his/her boat for the race or races. Helms are responsible for both their personal safety and that of their crew; they are the sole judges of whether their experience is sufficient for the prevailing conditions.

Personal flotation devices must be worn at all times by all participants.

Competitors accept responsibility for any injury, damage or loss to the extent caused by their own actions or omissions.

The provision of safety boat cover is limited to such assistance, particularly in extreme weather conditions, as can be practically provided in the circumstances.

A boat that retires from a race shall notify the race committee as soon as possible.

Helping Those in Danger - A boat or competitor shall give all possible help to any person or vessel in danger.