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IBRSC Sailing Instructions 2022

  • Island Barn Reservoir Sailing Club

    Sailing Instructions

    Last updated April 2022

    For club racing, the authoritative source for the sailing instructions is that posted on the club web site. A copy will be placed on the club notice board.

    1. Definitions

    B2B – Two races are said to be Back-to-Back (B2B) when the start sequence of the second race starts as soon as practically possible after the last finisher of the first race. In other words there is no set time for the start sequence of the second race as it is determined by the preceding race. Certain instructions are modified when races are B2B; these modifications are indicated in the appropriate sections.

    1. Rules

    All competitors shall comply with the rules of Island Barn Reservoir Sailing Club, on display in the clubhouse. All races shall be sailed according to the International Sailing Federation (ISAF) Racing Rules of Sailing (RRS) 2017-2020 with latest amendments, the RYA Racing Charter, the prescriptions of the Royal Yachting Association (RYA), and the rules of the individual classes being sailed, except as any of these are changed by these sailing instructions.

    1. Eligibility

    All paid up club members are eligible for entry to events, but Day Members will not have their result counted towards an ongoing series unless that Day Member becomes a regular member during the series. An entrant may change boats between races and may be the helm or crew in any race in the series. Points will only be awarded to one entrant per boat. Where an entrant uses multiple boats in a series the results from all such boats will be merged for series scoring.

    1. Safety

    Change to RRS rule 40. Adequate personal buoyancy shall be worn at all times when afloat.

    1. Changes to the Sailing Instructions

    Any temporary changes to the sailing instructions will be posted on the Race Board in the clubhouse at least 30 minutes before the scheduled start time. Entrant’s attention will be drawn to this by the display of code flag "L" from the race box and one sound signal.

    Permanent changes will normally be made only between series but if required may be made by posting the changes on the web site and on the club notice board. If not at the start of a series the temporary change procedure will be followed for the first race with the changed instructions.

    1. Entry for Races

    Entry for a day’s racing is made by placing the entrant’s race card to the entry rack prior to the first race sailed. No race points will be awarded to a boat not entered, although its race position will be recorded. Retrospective entry will be allowed, within two hours of the finish of the race, upon payment of a penalty in the club charity box. The list of penalty charges will be displayed in the clubhouse.

    Entry to later races the same day is assumed and the race card does not need to be re-entered. In the case of a boat that has raced, but was not correctly entered in a race, correct entry for the subsequent races will be assumed.

    1. Distinguishing Numbers

    Permission to deviate from RRS Rule 77 must be obtained from the Race Officer before starting in a race except club boats may use any club sails. The number being used should be indicated on a temporary race card.

    1. Courses

    The course to be sailed will be indicated by a list of marks bearing a number or letter, showing the order and side of rounding. All marks are rounding marks in the sense of rule 28.1(b). Red backgrounds indicate buoys to be left to port, and green backgrounds those to be left to starboard. The course will be displayed inside the clubhouse at least 30 minutes before the start of the race. The course shall also be displayed at the start line. Except for a Pursuit Race the number of laps will be shown with the course diagram in the clubhouse and at the start. In the event of a mismatch between the two, the course and number of laps shown at the start line shall take precedence. A lap is completed on each occasion that a boat passes the last mark of the lap on the required side or, once set, crosses the finish line at the end of the race.

    Course marks 1, 3, 5, 7, 9 and X are red spherical buoys.

    Course marks 2, 4, 6, 8 and F are yellow cans.

    Course marks A,B,C and D are yellow inflatable pillar marks.

    Starting marks are pink spherical buoys marked appropriately unless otherwise indicated by the race Officer.

    If the course is changed at any time before the scheduled start time flag "N" will be displayed with three sound signals. The new course will be displayed at the start and a 30 minute display period shall not be required. An orange diamond may also be displayed on the course board, to indicate a changed course. Flag "N" will be lowered with one sound signal at 1 minute before the first warning signal of the start sequence.

    For the second race in a B2B series the 30 minute display period is not required. The correct course will be displayed on a board at the start line, and if different from the first race this may be highlighted by the presence of an orange diamond on the course board. In this case the numbers inside the clubhouse may not be accurate.

    A change of course during the race will be signalled near the mark beginning the change of course by a race committee boat displaying code flag "C" and making periodic sound signals.

    1. Starting Times

    The starting times will be specified on the Race Board. The sailing programme provides a guide for the start times. For all races the start time shall be no earlier than that advertised.

    1. Starting Line

    The starting line will normally be a line between the orange mast on the committee boat or the start mast on the bank, and the outer limit mark. The race officer may elect to use a mark of the course as the outer limit mark, but if doing so must make this clear to all competitors. An inner line mark may be laid but is not required. To start, a boat shall cross this line in the direction of the first mark but shall not pass between the committee boat and the inner line mark if laid. When a "round the ends" rule applies, and the starting line is from the shore, boats prematurely over the line may return by passing between the inner mark and the bank.

    1. Starting Signals

    Starting signals will not follow RRS rule 26, but shall be according to the following procedure:

    Each race start will have a warning signal followed by a preparatory signal, the warning flag being as advised in the clubhouse near the course board, and the preparatory being code flag "P". Each signal will consist of the flag and one sound signal. Times shall be taken from the visual signals and the absence of a sound signal shall be disregarded. The warning and preparatory flags shall remain flying until the start time.

    For a race with a single start, both flags shall be lowered at the start time. In a multiple start sequence, where the start of one race is the preparatory signal for a succeeding start, then the preparatory flag shall remain flying, while the warning flag for the race which is starting is lowered.

    Starting penalty flags (I, U, Z or Black flag), will NOT be used for club racing.

    The interval between starting signals is two minutes unless specified otherwise in supplementary instructions for a particular event.

    For pursuit races separate instructions apply (see Appendix 1).

    1. Recalls

    Individual Recall – This instruction changes RRS rule 29.1. The time periods in 29.1 do not apply and boats may comply with rule 29.1 or 30.1 at any time while the race officer is on station at the start line.

    General Recalls - This instruction changes RRS rule 29.2. A general recall shall be signalled in the same way and for the same reasons stated in RRS rule 29.2 The code flag ‘first substitute’ may be ‘hoisted’ by waving a pole with the flag attached. The new start sequence commences, accompanied by the warning flag and any start penalty flag, one minute after the First Substitute is removed with one sound signal.

    During a multiple start sequence, where the recalled fleet is not the last fleet to be started, the recalled fleet shall go to the back of the queue of fleets to be started. The code flag "First Substitute" shall be lowered 1 minute after the unsuccessful start without an accompanying sound signal. The preparatory signal for the recalled fleet, accompanied by the class warning flag and any start penalty flag, shall be made at the start signal of the fleet previously at the back of the queue.

    1. Finishing

    The finishing line can be at any mark of the course, but (other than pursuit races) is normally at the last mark of the lap, set outside the mark approximately square to the line from the previous mark. If Mark F is used the finish line may be between F and the black line on the start box. Alternatively the line may be indicated by the committee boat main mast or the short start pole. The outer end should fly a BLUE flag when on station with no shorten course, or flag ‘S’ to indicate the shorten course. (Note that S may be used even though some fleets may not be shortened.)

    After finishing a boat shall clear the finish line away from the course and shall not re-cross the line in either direction before the last boat has finished. Where the Race Officer or his team observe a breach of this instruction the penalty shall be a payment into the club charity box or disqualification from the race. RRS 63.1 is modified to allow this. The list of current penalty charges will be displayed in the clubhouse.

    Whether shortened or not, once the first boat from a start has finished all boats from that start, finish as they next complete a lap. (This means that some boats may do fewer laps but ensures a timely finish to prepare for the next race, handicap times will be scaled appropriately).

    1. Shortening Course

    Change to RRS Rule 32.1. The Race Officer is permitted to shorten the course for any reason.

    1. Time Limit

    Change to RRS Rule 35. The Race Officer may elect to enforce a time limit for boats which have not finished within the specified time after the first finishing boat. The minimum time limit is 20 minutes for normal races and 10 minutes for B2B races. The time limit signals the end of the race and will be signalled by the display of code flag "T" accompanied by two long sound signals. For boats that are still racing when the time limit is invoked, the Race Officer will use his judgement to give a finishing position.

    1. Protests and arbitration

    An incident on the water in fleet racing involving a breach of the rules should be resolved by a boat taking a penalty (one turn for touching a mark, two turns for breaking a rule of Part 2 of the Racing Rules of Sailing or retiring).

    16.1 (Non-binding) Advisory hearing

    When there is an incident that will not result in the lodging of a protest or a request for redress, a boat or the Race Officer may request an advisory hearing. Boats should notify the Race Officer and notify any other boat(s) involved in the incident. An adviser will then call a hearing to learn what may have happened and will state whether any rule appears to have been broken, and by which boat. A boat may as a result notify the Race Officer that she accepts an Exoneration Penalty when it applies to the incident or choose to retire.

    16.2 Arbitration before protest

    After a race (or after a back to back set of races) where there is an incident for which the intention to protest is lodged the parties may (and are strongly encouraged to) agree to first refer the incident for Arbitration. Before or after the arbitration an exoneration penalty may be taken. (See Scoring system below). The penalty for exoneration while likely to be greater than that of a 720 turn is substantially less that the penalty of disqualification. Members are strongly encouraged to use the Advisory hearing and Arbitration facility which is less divisive and acrimonious than protests. Rules Advisors will conduct a hearing in accordance with the RYA Racing Best Practices – Rules Dispute (Version 2010/1) This is similar to a protest but less formal and less adversarial, with a single advisor who investigates the incident. The advisor may recommend one or more parties to take a penalty, or decide that the incident must go to a full protest. If no recommended advisor is available the parties may agree to any other member being the advisor. If a penalty is accepted there can be no further penalty even if a full protest hearing is held. If the penalty is not accepted a full protest may still be initiated. Arbitration hearings must be held as soon as possible after the race and always the same day. The Race Officer must be informed of an exoneration penalty which will be indicated on the race sheet by noting +XPA to the race sheet position. Note that exoneration may only be taken for breaches of the rules of Part 2 of the Racing Rules (Rules 10-23 when boats meet), Rule 31 (touching a mark) or Rule 42 (means of propulsion) and, where is it available, to a boat did not cause injury or serious damage, nor gain a significant advantage by her breach.

    Note that a boat may voluntarily take an exoneration penalty without any hearing by informing the Race Officer (like retiring after finishing).

    A list of Rules Advisors recommended by the Sailing Committee will be posted on the notice board.

    16.3 Protests

    The Race Officer must be informed of the intention to protest within 30 minutes of the last boat finishing the race. If an arbitration hearing is agreed but the result is not accepted the completed protest form must be lodged within 10 minutes of the end of the arbitration hearing. Otherwise the completed protest form must be lodged within another 30 minutes of the last boat finishing a single race or within 30 minutes of the last boat finishing the last race. Protests will be heard as soon as possible. RRS Rule 63.1 (Requirement for a Hearing) is modified to allow disqualification without a hearing when the Race Officer or his team observe a breach of RRS Rule 28.1 (Sailing the Course). Members are strongly encouraged to use the Arbitration Process.

    1. Handicap Races

    Corrected time for each boat will be calculated using the Portsmouth Yardstick system, but Club Numbers may be allocated to classes based on their performance in Club races. A list of Club numbers, plus commonly used Portsmouth Numbers, will be posted on the Race Board. All other classes will use numbers in the current RYA YR2 publication. If a personal handicap system is being used for a series, then these numbers will be posted on the Race Board.

    To ensure relative parity of racing time in a fleet with widely varying boat speeds it is often necessary to have boats sailing different numbers of laps. In this case an "Average Lap" method is used to compute the time it would have taken a boat to sail the full length of race.

    When one design class results are extracted from a handicap race any boat completing fewer laps will be placed behind boats of the same class completing more laps irrespective of the handicap results.

    1. Scoring

    18.1 Series Racing

    If a particular series does not use the standard scoring system it will be indicated on the results notice board. (This may vary the number of races to count or any other aspect of the scoring system).

    Unless otherwise stated (on the results board) series scoring will be: The low point system described in Appendix A of the RRS, following the provisions of RRS A9 except where varied by the following. For series with greater than 5 races the number of races to count shall be equal to half the number of qualifying races for the series, rounded down to the nearest integer. For series with 3-5 races the number of races to count shall be half the number of races rounded up to the nearest integer. For a series with two or fewer races all races count. The score for a boat that did not come to the start area (DNC), shall be one greater than the number of starters in the race with the greatest number of starters in the series unless otherwise stated on the results board. The score for a boat that came to the start area but did not finish a race shall be one more than the number of boats that came to the start area. Only one starter is required to constitute a race. Where a boat cannot sail because her helm/crew are on duty they shall be scored OOD (average points for races sailed).

    18.1.1 Exoneration

    With either of the two club standard scoring systems a post race exoneration penalty may be taken. For the low point system the penalty for exoneration shall be a points penalty equivalent to 20% rounded up of the starters in that race. Special Events

    For special events points will be awarded according to the low points system described in Appendix A of RRS, except that: A boat that comes to the starting area (considered a starter), but does not finish shall be scored the number of starters for that race plus one. A boat not considered a starter, or a disqualified boat shall be scored the number of entrants for the event plus one. The number of races to count shall be one less than the number of races sailed unless only one or two races are sailed. In this case all races shall count.

    1. RRS Rule 45

    RRS rule 45 will not apply. A boat need not be off moorings before her preparatory signal.

    20 RRS Rule 41 is modified to add:

    1. Help to safely re-board a boat
    2. During Saturday B2B handicap series for coaching from the race team and/or club coaches. Boats requesting coaching assistance must display a red ribbon prominently on shrouds, mast or boom. Coaching will as far as possible be spread fairly amongst the boats requesting assistance.



    The standard club sailing instructions will be referred to in these sailing instructions as SI nn, where nn is the numbered heading in the standard instructions.

    Starting Times

    The starting times in SI 9 will be taken to mean the start numbers allocated to each class which correspond to the time in minutes after (or before if a minus value) the start time specified in the Pursuit Race Start Sequence for the class starting at 0 (zero).

    Starting Signals

    This instruction replaces SI 11.

    The class starting at ZERO will receive a warning signal (flag “H” and one sound) at four minutes before their start time; followed by a preparatory signal (flag “P” and one sound) at two minutes before their start. Both flags will be lowered at the start. Thereafter, a sound signal will be made every minute until the last class has started. The start numbers will be displayed at the start line for approximately 20 seconds before and 10 seconds after each sound signal.

    Classes with negative start numbers will receive a one minute preparatory sound signal with no flag followed by a sound signal at their start time. It is the entrant’s responsibility to synchronise watches with the Race Officer to ensure they start on time. The Race Officer may display their start number without a minus sign as an aid.


    General recalls will not be possible and RRS rule 29.2 will not apply. Individual recalls will be given in accordance with RRS rule 29.1 (flag X)

    Shortening Course

    The Race Officer will only shorten course as a last resort in extreme where his team cannot provide adequate safety cover. In such a case the race will be finished in accordance with SI 13 and all finishers will be timed. The results will then be calculated on each boat’s elapsed time and Portsmouth Number, making the best allowance possible for boats that have completed different numbers of laps.

    Time Limit

    SI 15 will not apply.


    1. will not apply.

    Finish Time

    The finish will occur at a specified time after the ZERO start number (60 minutes or 90 minutes for the Commodores Pursuit) and will be notified by a prolonged sound signal from a committee boat on station at a finish line in the vicinity of the leading boats. This signal may be repeated several times by other committee boat(s) around the course.

    All boats will continue racing until finished by a committee boat at a finish line or by a committee boat travelling down the fleet, but where possible should hold position and not overtake.

    Finish Line

    The standard intended finishing line may be between a committee boat and a mark of the course, or between two committee boats.

    If the race is to end on an upwind leg then the Race Officer can elect to set up a finish line part way along the leg. In this case the finish line will be between the Committee Boat flying flag “S” and one of the start line buoys or another committee boat. The finish line will straddle a straight line between last mark and the intended upwind mark. To finish, a boat must pass through this finish line.

    Multiple lines may be used at different parts of the lap to attempt to record all positions as soon as possible after the finish time. A boat finishes as soon as it crosses any finish line.

    If possible a travelling line will be used. When short handed, the ‘line’ may be a single boat travelling back down the course sighting a ‘line’ perpendicular to the course.

    It is the entrant’s responsibility to be aware of the finish time and look out for finish lines set up this way.