Standard Race Instructions


PDF: SHYC race instructions edition 9 2015latest-2-3

(Edition 9 – 2015)


(Edition 9 – 2015)

1. Racing will be governed by the current edition of the following, as they shall exist
at the time of the races (except as amended by these Sailing Instructions):
The ISAF Racing Rules of Sailing (RRS) with RYA prescriptions, the Equipment
Rules of Sailing (ERS), the ISAF Offshore Special Regulations, the RYA
Portsmouth Yardstick Scheme, the RYA The National Handicap for Cruisers (NHC) as set out in YR2, The Class Association Rules for One Designs and the RYA Sports Boat Rule.

2. In accordance with RRS 86, these instructions contain the alterations to the RRS.

3. The Race Committee is defined as being the Race Committee of the Sovereign
Harbour Yacht Club Ltd.

4. The Race Committee reserves the right to alter or amend these Standard
Instructions. In the case of such an alteration International Code flag L will be
flown from the SHYC clubhouse with a copy of the amendment posted on the race
notice board.

5. The race office and notice board will be situated within the SHYC clubhouse.

6. All series races will be classified as open races with entry for racing subject to
acceptance by the Race Committee of SHYC at its absolute discretion, with all
entrants being required to have current membership of an RYA affiliated club.
Entries will only be accepted from boats permanently berthed at Sovereign
Harbour if their owner is a member of SHYC.

7. All races are designated with regard to advertising as Category C unless modified
by the Notice of Race.

8. SHYC organises racing in accordance with the RYA Race Charter and expects
competing skippers and crews to also conform to the spirit of the Charter.


1. A boat is entirely responsible for her own safety, whether afloat or ashore and
nothing, whether in the Notice of Race or Sailing Instructions or anywhere else,
reduces this responsibility.

2. It is for the boat to decide whether she is fit to race.
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 inherently 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 and other officials and volunteers by the event 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) [For offshore races] They are responsible for ensuring that their boat is equipped and seaworthy so as to be able to face extremes of weather; that there is a crew sufficient in number, experience and fitness to withstand such weather; and that the safety equipment is properly maintained, stowed and in date and is familiar to the crew];

3. The boat is required to hold adequate insurance and in particular to hold insurance
against third party claims in the sum of at least £2,000,000.

4. By signing on to race the skipper and crew agree to be bound by the racing Rules of Sailing and all other rules that govern that race. In particular they confirm that they have read the Notice of Race and accept its provisions and agree that their boat conforms to the requirements set out in the Notice of Race throughout the event.


1. There will be Series or Individual races for both NHC and IRC rated yachts
according to the published Notice of Race. Should there be sufficient entries, both NHC and IRC classes may be divided. The class division point will be at the sole discretion of the Race Committee. If there are insufficient IRC entries at the
beginning of a Series, the Race Committee reserves the right to run a NHC fleet only. Certain Series may be designated NHC or IRC only as indicated by the Notice of Race.

2. For a yacht to be eligible to race in the NHC Class, she shall have been allocated a
an NHC number by the appointed Race Officer prior to the event. NHC numbers will be those published in the current YR2, adjusted as necessary for variations from base rig. The Race Committee will review NHC numbers for adjustment at intervals to be determined by the Race Committee.

3. For a boat to be eligible to race IRC, she shall have submitted to the appointed
Race Officer of the SHYC a current IRC certificate issued by RORC and keep a
copy of such certificate on board. Prior year certificates remain valid up to the end
of the Frostbite Series only, unless superceded by a current year certificate.

4. In the interests of fair sailing, yachts racing with SHYC will not be permitted to
alter their handicap rating with the sole purpose of taking advantage of different
seasonal conditions.

5. Yachts may be inspected, measured or scrutineered at the discretion of the Race
Committee at any time. This does not reduce the responsibilities of the
owner/skipper as set out in the conditions of entry.

6. All yachts racing shall display their Class flags from the backstay.
Class flags will be as follows;

NHC – International Code flag G.
IRC1 – International Numeral Pennant 1.
IRC2 – International Numeral Pennant 2.

8. Class flags are to be lowered and replaced by the Ensign when retiring and the race
officer informed by VHF. Boats retiring shall inform the Race Officer (RO) as
soon as possible. If a boat fails to do so, it may be scored DNC by the RO.


1. All yachts shall comply with the ORC special regulations Category 5 or as set out
in the Notice of Race

2. For races in the Offshore series run by other clubs, compliance with the organising
Club’s safety instructions is required.

3. For races in the Offshore series run by SHYC compliance with ORC special regs.
as set out by the particular Notice of Race is mandatory.

4. All IRC rated yachts shall have a minimum SSS Numeral of 8 for category 4 races
and 20 for category 3 races.

5. Entry of NHC rated yachts to category 3 races will be at the sole and prior discretion of the Race Committee and restricted to yachts of a proven seaworthy design.

6. The OSR regulations may be relaxed for category 4 races only for yachts of a
recognised One Design Class whose rules do not require the aforementioned.


1. All entrants are to sign on for each race at the SHYC clubhouse on the day of the
race, or as directed by the Notice of Race. Signing-on at the Clubhouse normally takes place between an hour and three quarters and one hour before the start of the first Class start for that day.

2. A race will be valid only if two or more yachts from a single Class are scored in
accordance with RRS Appendix A4 except for DNC.

3. For the Offshore Series, the minimum number of starters per class is also two.

4. The time limit for local inshore Series racing shall be three hours after the start of
the Class unless amended in sailing instructions. For Offshore and other Series, the
time limit will be confirmed at signing on.

5. When the first yacht in her class finishes within the time limit, the race shall be
valid only for those yachts that finish within one hour after the expiry of the time
limit. This replaces RRS 35.

6. When the first yacht in her class fails to finish within the time limit, the race shall
be abandoned if it is not possible to determine the results by timings taken at a
previous crossing of the finish line or rounding of a mark.

7. Races can only be Cancelled, Postponed or Abandoned by the Race Officer if it is clearly dangerous to participants in the start area and subsequent race area. Any such decision by the Race officer will be made on race day and prior to the starting sequence and notified to all participants. Normally racing will not be started if the average wind speeds, (excluding gusts) is below 5knots or above 25knots preceding the start time in the NOR.

8. An abandoned race will only be re-sailed at the sole discretion of the Race
Committee. If the Committee decides not to re-sail the race it will be deemed
cancelled. A minimum of 5 days notice will be given for resailed races that are to
be sailed on another day.


1. Yachts in NHC class shall have their corrected times calculated by:
Elapsed time in seconds x NHC number

2. Yachts in IRC class shall have their corrected times calculated by:
Elapsed time in seconds × TCC

3. Scoring will be in accordance with RRS Appendix A, points being awarded in
accordance with A4.1 low points system and in accordance with A9 for scores in a
Series longer than a regatta. Ties will be decided in accordance with A7 and A8.

4. Results will be given in hours, minutes and seconds to the nearest second (0.5
rounded up). Ties in the race result will stand with the following scores adjusted

5. The number of discards for each series will be shown on the Series Notice of Race.

6. Should races in a Series be cancelled, the number of races to count will be in the
published fraction (0.5 rounded up) subject to a minimum of 3 races to count per

7. Redress under RRS 64.2 will be given in accordance with A10.

8. Results will be published under the racing section on the SHYC Web site ( ASAP after the finish of each race.


1. A Series 1st prize and trophy will be awarded only if at least 3 boats start in that
class in at least half of the races which are completed. A 2nd prize will be awarded
only if at least 4 boats start, and a 3rd prize will be awarded only if at least 6 boats
start, in at least half of the races which are completed.

2. Prizes may be awarded to Class winners of individual races, on condition that at
least 2 boats start in the class in that race.

3. All trophies awarded are perpetual and remain the property of SHYC.


All members of SHYC who are racing entrants and their crews will be required to perform race officer duties as defined in the SHYC Race Officer’s Guidance Notes at some time throughout the season. Race Officers may be drawn from the entrants participating in the particular Series and will be responsible for the proper control of the race under the guidance of the Series Officer if required. If a yacht does not compete in a race due to race officer duties, then she shall be awarded points equal to third place provided the race is valid for her class. Only one race-officer duty points application will be awarded per Series but this may include double points if running two races in a single morning. If the skipper of a boat competing in a Series is required to serve as Race Officer for a race but the boat still sails then his/her boat’s score for that race shall be her actual result in place of the automatic third place given when the yacht chooses not to compete.


1. Unless otherwise prescribed in the Sailing Instructions, protests shall be made in
accordance with RRS part 5 section A and shall be delivered in writing to the Club
Race Officer within two hours of finishing unless the protest committee finds
reason to extend this time limit.

2. All competitors intending to lodge protest shall bring the race officers attention to
their flying of the protest flag on passing the finish line or by informing Race
Control on VHF.

3. All protests will be heard as soon as possible after each race. Protestors and
protested parties must remain at the clubhouse as directed by the race officer.
Failure to comply with this requirement may result in the Protest Committee
deciding the protest without a full hearing in accordance with RRS 63.3b.

4. The Protest Committee shall be formed under the chairmanship of a member of the
Race Committee and consist of two other club members from the racing fleet
provided that the committee shall not be comprised of competitors in the class that
the protest concerns.


1. All yachts shall compete in accordance with RRS 42 except that a yacht may use
its engine to leave harbour after the preparatory signal for its class and when
passing the seaward side of the outer distance mark at right angles to the shore
shall stop its engine and shall complete a 720 degree turn as soon as possible after
starting without interfering with other yachts racing.


1. The Notice of Race will be published at least 2 weeks prior to the event.

2. The start and finish lines and class start times will be confirmed at signing on.
Course instructions will be given at signing on and if so directed, may be given on
VHF prior to the starting sequence.

3. For races started from ashore, the start line will be a transit of two masts ashore
each displaying an orange shape, with a marker buoy as the outer distance mark
(ODM). The ODM may not necessarily be on the start line and yachts must cross
the start line no further out than an imaginary line at right angles from the transit
line to the ODM.

4. For races started from a committee boat the start line shall be from the mast
displaying the orange shape or flag to the designated buoy specified in the race
instructions. An inner distance mark (IDM) may also be laid and no yacht is to
pass between it and the committee boat at any time.

5. The starting procedure will be in accordance with RRS 26.

6. Yachts shall not manoeuvre in the area of the start line between the preparatory
signal and start of another class.

7. Individual recalls will be in accordance with RRS 29.1

8. General recalls will be in accordance with RRS 29.2

9. The course may be shortened in accordance with RRS 32 with the appropriate
Class flag displayed from the finish line. Irrespective of course instructions, a
shortened course requires all yachts to cross the finish line from the direction of the
last mark rounded.

10. If finished from ashore, the finish line shall be between the mast ashore with an
orange shape, and the designated buoy. If race instructions state a Committee Boat
finish then the finish line is between the mast displaying an orange shape and the
nearest buoy. The committee boat will display a blue flag when on station at the
line. An IDM may be laid.


1. The sole use of VHF transceivers during racing shall be in accordance with the
regulations of the licensing authority and will be conducted on Channel 37
(Suntrap) unless otherwise stated by the race instructions. The Race Officer will
not converse with individual yachts after the start except to acknowledge
retirements and protests. The Race Officer MAY broadcast attention to the visual
signals being flown, issue a recall list or instruction to the whole fleet.


1. During Winter and Frostbite Series only, cushions may be removed from yachts.

2. All yachts shall keep to seaward of the buoys marking the bathing areas to the
Eastbourne/Pevensey beaches. Crossing the buoy line will result in disqualification
subject to a hearing.

3. The IRC rules with regard to crew numbers apply unless so stated in the
Notice of Race

4. For the Offshore Series, a Notice of Race containing special instructions will be
issued before the first race in the Series.

5. Skippers of all boats racing with SHYC will be held responsible for the behaviour
and actions of their crew at all times during events organised by SHYC. Any
behaviour deemed likely to bring the name of SHYC into disrepute will result in
the Club refusing to accept participation in any future event organised by SHYC.


1. The required OSR safety category will be stated in the race instructions, this
abbreviated list appears as a guide only.

Safety Equipment: Category
A companionway hatch, whether or not in position in the hatchway,
shall be secured to the yacht (e.g. by lanyard) for the duration of the
race, to prevent their being lost overboard 3 & 4 & 5
Seacocks’ and valves – provide soft wood plugs adjacent to all fittings 3 & 4
The heel of a mast must be securely fixed. 3 & 4
Single or double lifelines 3 & 4
Toe rails around the foredeck from abreast the mast. 3 & 4
Permanently installed toilet or fitted bucket 3 & 4
Permanently installed water tank and delivery pump with at
least 9 litres of drinking water for emergency us in a separate
sealed container 3
Permanently installed manual bilge pump operable with all cockpit
seats, hatches and companionways shut. 3
One manual bilge pump 4 & 5
2 buckets of at least 9 litres each, fitted with lanyard 3 & 4
1 bucket of at least 9 litres fitted with lanyard 5
Permanently installed, correctly adjusted, compass 3 & 4
One compass (handheld is acceptable) 5
Spare independent compass. 3
Min 2 halyards to each mast 3 & 4
Navigation lights 3 & 4
Reserve navigation lights from a separate source 3
Permanently installed engine and fuel tanks with cut off
valves and a min. quantity of fuel 3
Marine radio transceiver with min Ch. 16, 37, 67, 72. 3 & 4
An emergency antenna 3
An automatic position fixing device (e.g. GPS ) 3
Jackstays in accordance with YR9 4.03. 3
2 readily accessible fire extinguishers in different parts of the yacht 3 & 4
1 fire extinguisher if electrical system or stove on board 5
2 anchors, chain & rope properly stowed (not projecting from bow). 3
Anchor properly stowed (not projecting from bow) 4 & 5
Watertight flashlight with spare batteries and bulbs 4
2 watertight flashlights with spare batteries and bulbs 3
Foghorn 3 & 4
Radar reflector 3
Charts (current) and light list. 3 & 4
Speedometer or distance reading instrument (log). 3
Echo sounder or lead line. 3 & 4
Emergency tiller 3
Tools and spare parts including rigging cutters. 3 & 4
Yachts name on miscellaneous buoyant equipment with
marine grade retro-reflective material fitted to life buoys
and life jackets. 3 & 4 & 5
Life raft 3
Lifebuoy with light and drogue or life sling with light 3 & 4 & 5
Flares (in date) 4 x red hand flares, 4 x white hand flare
2 x orange smoke 3 & 4
4 x red parachute flares 3
Heaving line 15m – 25m 3 & 4 & 5
Sheaved knife with lanyard in cockpit. 3
Heavy weather jib 3 & 4
Storm trysail or mainsail reefing to reduce luff by 40% 3 & 4
Lifejacket with a whistle and thigh straps for each crew member 3 & 4 & 5
As above but with a lifejacket light 3
Safety harnesses and lines 3

All racing yachts will be required to use an engine in accordance with Sovereign Harbour Marina bylaws.


These Offshore Regulations supplement the SHYC Standard Race Instructions
(S.R.I.) and apply only to the SHYC Offshore Series.

The SHYC Offshore Series comprises a mixture of races organised by the SHYC and nominated open races organised by other clubs. A Notice of Race will be published a minimum of 2 weeks before the event and will contain details of all races. Nominated races the Sailing Instructions and result timings of the organising Club will prevail.

The following supplementary regulations apply to the SHYC Offshore race organised and run by the SHYC


1. After sunset to sunrise the Racing Rules of Sailing (R.R.S.) Part 2 shall cease to be
operative and are replaced by the current International Regulations for the
Prevention of Collisions at Sea in their entirety.

2. All yachts must strictly observe Rule 10 of the International Regulations with
respect to separation zones.


1. Signing on for races starting at Sovereign Harbour Marina takes place as
advertised in the Notice of Race.

2. Signing on for races not starting at Sovereign Harbour Marina will take place as
directed by the specific race advertisement.

3. Each entrant at signing on must provide a contact name, address and telephone
number together with the total number of persons that the yacht is carrying for the
race. It is the skipper’s responsibility to ensure that their shore-based contact
person has the name and addresses of all crewmembers.


1. Classes will be in accordance with the Notice of Race. There will be a minimum of
two starters for each class for a race to be valid. If at the start of the series there are
insufficient entries to form two classes, then one combined class will be run.

2. Should there be no entries for a class, then the race for that class is cancelled and
will not be re-sailed.


1. The start line and time will be confirmed at signing on.

2. The count down to the starts and details of premature starts may be made by VHF.


1. The course to the advertised destination will be confirmed at signing on. The Race
Committee reserves the right to amend the destination in the event of exceptional


1. The finish line will be confirmed at signing on and in all cases will be crossed in
the direction from the last mark.


1. The time limit will be confirmed at signing on.


1. All entrants must complete and sign the declaration form (enclosed with race
instructions), and record, in BST (hours, mins & seconds), the yacht’s finishing
time and those of the yachts immediately ahead and astern. Entrants are reminded
to check the accuracy of their watches with a BST time signal prior to finishing
and may be asked to confirm the accuracy of their timing with a watch check by
the Race Officer after finishing. Times may be recorded by an appointed Club
Official at the finish line and should there be a discrepancy with the declared time,
then the officially recorded time will be used.

2. All entrants must hand, post or E mail their completed declaration form to the Race Officer (or Race Committee member as stated at signing on) as soon as possible after finishing at the destination, and in no case later than the time limit in accordance with the Race Instructions.

3. Yachts intending to retire and not complete the course within the time limit must
inform the Race Officer or any other competing yacht of their intention to retire by
VHF, and confirm their destination. Yachts retiring are to hand their completed
declaration to the Race Officer at the destination or to post it to SHYC to arrive no
later than seven days from the start of the race.

4. Yachts not complying fully with the declaration procedure will be scored DNF and
awarded points accordingly.


1. A yacht that makes a premature start and does not re-start correctly will be
penalised by having 5% added to its elapsed time for SHYC races.


1. All protests shall be made in accordance with the S.R.I. except that the time limit
for handing in protests at foreign ports shall be within two hours of the expiry of
the time limit of the race. For races finishing at the Sovereign Harbour, protests
shall be handed in within two hours of the yachts finishing time.

2. A yacht retiring and not intending to reach the destination and wishing to protest
must inform the Race Officer or any other competing yacht by VHF of her
intention to protest and forward by post such protest to arrive at SHYC addressed
to the Race Officer not later than seven days later than the race start. The Race
Officer will then confirm in writing when and where the protest will be heard.


1. For SHYC races the Race Officer for each race and event will endeavor to post
provisional results as soon as possible after the time limit on the notice board at
SHYC, the Club being visited or the Race Officer’s yacht.

2. Final results will normally be displayed on the SHYC Web site one week after
the finish, or after determination of all protests.

3. Should a class have no finishers within the time limit, points for retirement will be
awarded to all classified starters complying with the declaration procedure.

4. For the nominated races, the official published race times will be used to re- calculate the SHYC race positions using the Club’s own handicap numbers for NHC Class for all yachts that are classified as finishers. Only the elapsed time will be used, irrespective of different start times.

5. Scoring for the Series will be in accordance with the S.R.I. Scores and will be displayed on the Offshore Series results page of the SHYC web site.


1. After a yacht starts she may, without penalty, moor or berth alongside any object
for the purpose of finding shelter or disembarking crew who shall take no further
part in the race.

2. Mechanical propulsion may be used solely for the purpose of berthing or departing
if required by Marina/Port byelaws. Crew intending to continue racing shall not go
ashore other than for mooring purposes and shall not seek or accept outside
assistance of any form.

3. The yacht’s declaration form shall contain any details of discontinuance of racing.


1. Competitors may be asked by the Series Officer or Race Officer to undertake Race
Officer and Committee Boat duties for starts at ports other than Sovereign
Harbour. If so required to start a race, the yacht must be properly anchored on the
designated start line. After completion of the race start, the yacht must return to
behind the start line and record her exact time of re-crossing the line, which will
then be used in the calculation of her elapsed time. Note that it is expected that the
yacht does not cross the start line until fully rigged and in racing trim.

1. In addition to the normal monitoring of VHF 16, it is recommended that VHF 67
also be monitored. Please note that VHF 72 is the yacht to yacht frequency.

SHYC wish all competitors good sailing in the Offshore Series and asks for your co-operation and assistance in mooring all race entrants at foreign ports paying particular attention to ensure rafts are constructed in a seamanlike manner, paying due regard to boat size irrespective of arrival time. Competitors are responsible for their own mooring fees at all ports visited except when expressly included in the race fee.
Skippers are reminded that they will be held responsible for the behaviour and action of their crew. Any behaviour bringing the name of SHYC into disrepute will result in the Race Committee refusing to accept any further entries from the yacht concerned and may result in disqualification from the race.

Flag sequence (see part 3 RRS)

For a typical Sunday morning race start at 1000hrs. the sequence is as follows;

0955hrs., raise (warning signal) Class Flag with one sound signal
0956hrs., raise P (preparatory) flag with one sound signal
0959hrs., lower P (preparatory) flag with one sound signal
1000hrs., lower Class Flag with one sound signal denoting the start.

If a second Class start is scheduled to follow 5 minutes after the first start (i.e. at 1005hrs) Then the Class flag for the second race is raised at 1000hrs when the Class flag for the first race is lowered and the same Flag sequence as above is followed
(i.e. 5,4,1,go)

If a 1015hrs. start is scheduled then at 1010hrs the same sequence as at 0955hrs
above is followed.

POSTPONEMENT:- Before the starting signal raise Flag AP with two sound signals.
It is lowered with one sound signal, 1 minute before the warning signal Class Flag is raised for the first race.

INDIVIDUAL RECALL:- if a boat or boats are over the start line at the start and can be identified, OCS, Flag X is raised immediately with one sound signal. A VHF broadcast can also be made to alert the individual boats. The flag is lowered when the boat(s) have returned and started correctly or before the start of any subsequent race.

GENERAL RECALL:- This is used if too many boats to identify are over the line at the start. Flag 1st Sub is raised immediately with two sound signals. A VHF broadcast can also be made to alert the fleet. When the fleet has returned to the start area the General Recall flag is lowered with one sound signal, 1 min before raising the warning signal Class Flag for the same race. All subsequent races are delayed.

SHORTEN COURSE:- Raise Flag S (shorten course) together with the class flag
with two sound signals indicates the course is shortened for that class only.
Flag S by itself with two sound signals indicates all classes have their course shortened and boats are on their finishing leg.

Flag N (three sound signals) abandons a started race and is lowered 1 min before the new warning signal (one sound) if the race is to be restarted.

Flags I, Z or Black may be hoisted and lowered instead of the P flag (indicates
rule 30.1, 30.2 or 30.3 is in effect)
Flag Flag Name Sounds Meaning

Postponement and abandonment

AP 2 when raised
1 when lowered Races not started are postponed.The warning signal will be made 1 minute after removal unless the race is then postponed again or abandoned.

N 3 when raised
1 when lowered All races started are abandoned. Return to start area. Warning signal 1 minute after removal unless race is abandoned again or postponed.

SHYC Class Flags (Warning Flags)
IRC 1 class
IRC 2 class
PY class

Preparatory and starting signals
Class flag raised Warning Flag 1 5 minutes from the start

P 1 4 minutes from the start

P 1 1 minutes from the start
Class flag lowered Start 1 Start

Recall signals

X 1 when raised Individual recall

First substitute 2 when raised
1 when lowered General Recall. The warning signal will be made 1 minute after removal.

Other signals

S 2 when raised The course has been shortened. Rule 32.2 is in effect.