Whitefriars Sailing Club – Sailing Instructions for Club Racing

(version 1.4 of 28 March 2024)


1 Rules

1.1 Racing will be governed by the rules as defined in The Racing Rules of Sailing (RRS), the prescriptions of the RYA, the Notice of Race (NoR), these Sailing Instructions and the relevant Class Rules. The Notice of Race for Club Racing will be the Club Programme. The Race Officer (RO) and such persons as he/she may co-opt are the Race Committee.

1.2 The RO may appoint a Protest Committee as required.

1.3 Competitors' Attention is drawn to Club Rules 6 and 8. These state that an adequate buoyancy aid must be worn at all time when afloat and that any person taking part in activities on the lake during cold or adverse weather conditions is strongly advised to wear an adequate wet or dry suit.

2 Notices to Competitors

2.1 Notices to competitors will be posted on the official notice board within the clubhouse

3 Changes to Sailing Instructions

3.1 Any change to the Sailing Instructions will be posted no later than 30 minutes before the first race on the day it will take effect.

4 Signals Made Ashore

4.1 Signals made ashore will be displayed from the flag pole on the Start Hut.

5 Schedule of Races

5.1 The start time of the first race and subsequent races will be as shown in the Notice of Race (the WSC Sailing Programme in the Club handbook). If not shown in the Notice of Race the start times of the first and subsequent races will be shown on the official notice board not later than 30 minutes before the start of each race. Races shall be started no earlier than the times given in the Programme.

6 Class Flags

6.1 The class signals will be as shown in the Notice of Race or otherwise on the official notice board.

7 The Courses

7.1 The course to be sailed and the number of rounds will be posted either;
(a) on the rail of the race control hut not later than the Warning Signal for  each race, or
(b) on the course board on the committee boat not later than the warning signal for each race.

7.2 In each case the course will be indicated by a number or letter identifying a mark. The background colour of the board shall indicate the required side (Green for a mark to be left to Starboard, Red for one to be left to Port). A white letter “G” on a Blue background indicates that boats must pass between the ODM and the shore (or the Committee Boat) on every round.)

The number of rounds will be indicated by a black numeral on a white background.

7.3 In addition a map of the course may be drawn on the whiteboard in the Club house, together with a list of the marks for that race. In the event of any discrepancy between this diagram/list and the course given on the Start Hut rail (or Committee Boat course board), the latter shall be considered definitive.

8 Marks

8.1The marks will be selected from a set of fixed, yellow, cylindrical buoys (0-9, A-C) and a set of moveable yellow pillar buoys (U,V, X,Y).

9 The Start

9.1 Races will be started using RRS 26 (5-4-1-0). For information only a bell will be sounded approximately 10 minutes before the Start.

9.2 The Start Line will be either:

a) the transit formed by the Start Hut Flag Pole bearing a Black and White Diamond and a moveable pole on the shoreline, also bearing a Black and White Diamond; or

b) The line between the mast of the committee boat displaying an orange flag and a fixed Club mark or Yellow Dan Buoy with a Red flag.

9.3 Inner and outer distance marks will be Yellow Dan Buoys with Red flags. If Inner and Outer Distance Marks are laid all boats shall pass between them when starting

9.4 An individual recall will be signalled by the appropriate Warning Flag being lowered to half-mast, together with one sound. This changes RRS 29.1.

10 The Finish

10.1 The finishing line will be either:

a) the transit formed by the Start Hut Flag Pole bearing a Black and White Diamond and a moveable pole on the shoreline, also bearing a Black and White Diamond; or

b) The line between the mast of the committee boat displaying a blue flag and a fixed Club mark or Yellow Dan Buoy with a Red flag.

10.2 All boats shall pass between the Outer Distance Mark and the shore (or the ODM and the Committee Boat) to finish.

10.3 If a helm chooses to retire they should inform the RO as soon as possible after returning to shore. This will assist the RO with monitoring the safety of boats afloat.

11 Shortening Course

11.1 Class races: When flag 'S' is displayed with two sound signals at the final mark of the course, boats will finish when they cross the finishing line at the end of the round still to be completed by the leading boat.

11.2 Handicap Races: At the final mark of the course, flag 'S' (over the handicap class flag when appropriate) will be displayed with two sound signals. This is the about to finish signal. All boats will finish the race when they next pass through the finishing line at the end of their current lap.

11.3 Races may also be shortened at any mark of the course in which case the Finish Line shall be between that mark and either the Committee Boat or a Safety Boat. In either case, a blue flag will be displayed to indicate the the end of the Finish Line. Boats shall leave the mark on the required side to finish. N.B. For handicap races, this procedure shall only be used if no boats have been lapped (as full laps are required for proper application of the PY Handicap system).

12 Time Limits

12.1  The RO will aim for the first boat to finish after 50 to 60 minutes, using the Shorten Course procedure if necessary.

12.2 The Finishing Window (i.e. the time limit for boats to finish after the first boat sails the course and finishes) is 30 minutes.

12.3 Boats failing to finish within the Finishing Window shall be scored Did Not Finish without a hearing. This changes RRS 35, A4 and A5.

13 Protests and Requests for Redress

13.1 Protest forms are available from the Race Start Hut. Protests and requests for redress or reopening shall be delivered there within the time limit.

13.2 The protest time limit  shall be 30 minutes after the last boat has finished the race or the last of back-to-back races.
Protest hearings will be heard as soon as possible after receipt by the Race Committee.


14 Exoneration Penalty


14.1 A boat that may have broken a rule of Part 2 of the Racing Rules of Sailing or rule 31 may, after finishing the race concerned and before the start of any related protest hearing, notify the race committee that she accepts an Exoneration Penalty - a 20% scoring penalty (SCP) calculated as stated in

rule 44.3(c), except that the minimum penalty is three places and she shall not be scored worse than the number of boats that came to the starting area.  However, if the boat caused injury or serious damage or, despite taking a penalty, gained a significant advantage in the race or series by her breach her penalty shall be to retire.


14.2 When an Exoneration Penalty is accepted:

(a) Neither the boat nor a protest committee may then revoke or remove the


(b) The boat shall not be penalized further in a protest hearing when the protest committee decides that it was appropriate to the facts found and the applicable rules.


15 Advisory Hearing


15.1 When there is an incident that will not result in the lodging of a protest or a request for redress, a boat may request an advisory hearing and notify any boat involved in the incident. An adviser will then call a hearing to learn what may have happened and, provided all parties are willing to attend, will state whether any rule appears to have been broken, and by which boat. A boat may as a result notify the race office that she accepts an Exoneration Penalty when it applies to the incident, or choose to retire, but is not required to do so.


16 RYA Arbitration


16.1 When a protest is lodged, a boat may at the same time request RYA Arbitration, or the protest committee or race committee may offer it.


16.2 If the parties and a member of the protest or race committee agree that RYA Arbitration is suitable, an arbitrator (who may be that member of the protest committee) will call an Arbitration Hearing. When it is the arbitrator’s opinion that a boat that is a party to the arbitration hearing has broken a rule for which the Exoneration Penalty is available, the party will be invited to accept that penalty and, if accepted, the protesting boat will be allowed to withdraw the protest, changing rule 63.1.


16.3 When there is not agreement to use RYA Arbitration or when, after RYA

Arbitration, a protest is not withdrawn or the Exoneration Penalty is not applicable to the facts, there will be a normal protest hearing at which the arbitrator may be a member of the protest committee. Rules 66 and 70 (reopening and appeal, respectively) do not apply to an arbitration since this is not a protest committee decision or procedure. A boat may still accept an Exoneration Penalty at any time before the start of a protest hearing and receive its protection from further penalization. She may also retire.


17 Scoring

17.1 Scoring shall be in accordance with RRS Appendix A.

17.2 For handicap races corrected times will be calculated to the nearest integer as follows:
(Elapsed time in seconds) x (Laps sailed by first boat to finish) x 1000 /
(Portsmouth Number) x (Actual laps sailed)

17.3 Points in a race series will accrue to the helm/boat combination. For classes that offer alternative rigs (eg. Laser, RS Aero) the following will apply:

17.4 A competitor shall always have the right to use a smaller sail during a

handicap series without disqualification. Their Yardstick however shall

be calculated at all times for that series as that for the larger rig size initially


17.5 It is not permitted to use a larger sail during a regatta or series without automatically ranking as a new starter/entry for that regatta or series.

17.6 Any boat normally sailed double-handed may be entered into a race as a single-hander but the PY Number shall be reduced by 20 points. However, if the number of crew is changed during a series, then the helm shall have the option of being ranked as a new starter/entry for that regatta or series or having all of their results calculated with the least favourable handicap – that of the single-hander.

17.7 The  handicap of a Comet Versa or Comet Zero when sailed single handed without asymmetric spinnaker will be the same as for this class sailed
double handed. This follows the class rules for these boats.

17.8 Average Points Award (Club series only). Whilst carrying out an allocated Club duty competitors may be awarded points, based on the lowest number of points the competitor has accumulated in the races required to qualify for the series (including DNC) less one, divided by the number of races to qualify for that series, less one. Competitors must ensure the Race Committee records their request on the results sheets.

17.9 For Club Events non-members may be permitted to race at the Race Committee's discretion but will be scored as DNC (Did not compete).


18.1 Rule 4 of the Racing Rules of Sailing states: “The responsibility for a boat’s decision to participate in a race or to continue racing is hers alone.”

Sailing is by its nature an unpredictable sport and therefore involves an element of risk. By taking part in the event, each competitor agrees and acknowledges that:

a) They are aware of the inherent element of risk involved in the sport and accept responsibility for the exposure of themselves, their crew and their boat to such inherent risk whilst taking part in the event;

b) They are responsible for the safety of themselves, their crew, their boat and their other property whether afloat or ashore;

c) They accept responsibility for any injury, damage or loss to the extent caused by their own actions or omissions;

d) Their boat is in good order, equipped to sail in the event and they are fit to participate;

e) The provision of a race management team, patrol boats, umpires and other officials and volunteers by the organiser does not relieve them of their own responsibilities;

f) The provision of patrol boat cover is limited to such assistance, particularly in extreme weather conditions, as can be practically provided in the circumstances;

g) It is their responsibility to familiarise themselves with any risks specific to this venue or this event drawn to their attention in any rules and information produced for the venue or event and to attend any safety briefing held at the venue;

h) Their boat is adequately insured, with cover of at least £3,000,000 against third party claims.