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Home > Sailing > Sailing Instructions
Home > Sailing > Sailing Instructions

Sailing Instructions


1. Rules

Racing will be governed by The Racing Rules of Sailing (RRS) 2017-2020, the prescriptions of the RYA & the class rules except where specifically detailed in these instructions.
The club upholds and expects its members to act in line with the RYA Racing Charter.

2. Notices to competitors

Notices to competitors will be posted on the Official Notice Board(s) located outside the race office or in the Clubhouse.

2.1 General

The safety of a boat and her entire management including insurance shall be the sole responsibility of the owner/person in charge who must ensure that the boat and crew are adequate to face the conditions that may arise in the course of the race.

Neither these sailing instructions nor any inspection of the boat reduces the absolute responsibility of the owner/person in charge for the crew, the boat and her management.

The race organisers shall not be responsible for any loss, damage, death or personal injury howsoever caused to the owner/person in charge, or crew, as a result of their taking part in the race or races.

The owner/person in charge warrants the suitability of the boat for the race or races.

2.2 Equipment and Measurement Checks

Presentation of a valid measurement certificate may be required by the race committee at any time.

2.3 Identification - Sail Numbers

No boat shall sail with the same sail number as another in the same class, all boats racing shall display sail numbers as prescribed by the relevant class association.

2.4 Eligibility

In club events boats must be helmed by a member of Ripon Sailing Club to whom the race result will be credited.

In open events boats must be helmed by full members of the relevant class association involved unless otherwise advised by a representative of the Class Association.

2.5 Personal Buoyancy

Adequate Personal buoyancy must be worn at all times when afloat. Wet suits/Dry suits do not constitute adequate personal buoyancy. This alters RRS 40.

Adequate personal buoyancy is defined as a Personal Flotation Device (PFD) that conforms to current EN 393 specification The PFD must be of the correct specification for the person wearing it. Self inflating & manual gas inflated (offshore) "life vests" are not acceptable under the meaning of this rule and their use is prohibited.

2.6 Declarations

Club Racing: Helms must sign on using the sheets provided in the clubhouse.

Helms are not required to sign off but must notify a Race Officer if retiring.

Open Meetings: Helms must sign on using the registration form for the event, but are not required to sign on for each race. Helms are not required to sign off but must notify a Race Officer if retiring.

2.7 Insurance

All owners shall warrant that their craft is covered by a minimum of £2,000,000 third party liability insurance.

3 Changes to Sailing Instructions

Changes to the sailing instructions will be posted not less than 30 minutes before the first race on the day it will take effect and will be signaled by displaying flag "L" accompanied by one sound signal.

4 Signals Made Ashore

Signals made ashore will be displayed on the flagpole adjacent to the Race Office.

4.1 Schedule of Races: Club Racing

The schedule of races, the classes to race, the order and times of the warning signals will be as published in the club sailing calendar.

The time of any 3rd and 4th races of the day may be at the RO's discretion.

4.2 Schedule of Races: Open Events

The schedule of races will be as published in the notice of race for the event or on the official notice board.

5 Class signals and flags

5.1 Club Races

Any Portsmouth Yardstick numbers used here are those published by the RYA and may be changed at the discretion of the Sailing subcommittee.




All Series Races


Streaker Pennant

Fast Handicap

Numeral pennant 1

Medium Handicap

Numeral pennant 2

Slow Handicap

Numeral pennant 3

RNLI Pursuit Series (60 Minute)



Wednesday Evening Pursuit Series (60 minute)


Code flag C

Wed Evening Handicap & Frostbite Series

Fast Handicap

Numeral pennant 1

Slow Handicap

Numeral pennant 2

5.2 Open meetings

For the Tera Open meeting the Pro fleet will use the Yellow RS Tera class flag, with the Sport fleet using the Blue RS Tera class flag. For other open meetings the appropriate class flag will be used.

6 Racing Area

The racing area will be Farnham Lake (see also rule 15 local variations).

7 The Course

The course to be sailed will be displayed on the course board on the Race Hut, the marks used and their order of rounding will be displayed on the course board.

In the event of a committee boat start the course may also be displayed on the committee boat. The required side of a mark will be indicated by: Red background, mark to be left to Port, Green Background mark to be left to Starboard.

7.1 Number of Rounds

The number of rounds to be sailed will be displayed on the course board.

7.2 Marks

Course marks are numbered 1 to 9 inclusive: Even numbered marks are Yellow in colour. Odd numbered marks are Red in colour. There are six additional marks C,F,M,P,S & N(N is marked as T) which are blue in colour.

7.3 Temporary Marks. Course marks may be supplemented by temporary marks which may be white, green, or red buoys, or red, green, blue or yellow pillar marks.

8 The Start

RRS 26 will NOT apply.

Races shall be started by using the following signals. Times shall be taken from the visual signals; the absence of a sound signal shall be disregarded.

Minutes before the starting signal

Visual signal

Sound Signal



Class Flag


Warning Signal


P, I, Z, Z with I, U, or Black Flag


Preparatory Signal


Preparatory Flag removed


One Minute


Class Flag Removed


Starting Signal

The warning signal for each succeeding class shall be made with or after the starting signal of the preceding class.

8.2 Individual Recalls

Individual recalls will be dealt with in accordance with RRS 29.1.

8.3 General Recalls

General recalls will be dealt with in accordance with RRS 29.2.

8.4 Starting lines

The start line and its location will be described on the course board.

8.5 Keeping Clear

Boats whose preparatory signal has not been made shall keep clear of the starting area. Any boat failing to keep clear may be disqualified from their subsequent race without a hearing. This alters RRS 63.1.

8.6 Limit Marks (IDM)

Limit marks may be laid adjacent to the ends of a start line, they are marks of the course and must be passed on the same side as the starting mark they guard, and boats shall not pass between the limit mark and the mark it guards.

8.7 Ranking as a starter

The minimum number of boats in a club race shall be three.

In the event of less than three boats coming to the start area for any fleet those intending to race shall join the next fleet of the start sequence for that series.

8.7.1 The RO shall notify the boats concerned of their amalgamation into another fleet start.

8.7.2 Results will be credited as though the abandoned fleet had raced as a single fleet.

8.8 Starting Time Limit

A boat shall not start later than 2 minutes after her starting signal.

9 Change of Course after the start

The course will not be changed after the start.

10 The Finish

The finishing line will be as described on the course board.

11 Penalty System

Touching a mark RRS rule 31 shall apply.

Penalty for breaking a rule of Part II RRS rule 44.1 shall apply.

12 Time Limits

The time limit for each race will be 90 minutes.

13 Protests

Protest forms will be available from the Race committee. Completed protest forms must be returned to the Race committee within 30 minutes of the time of the last boat to finish in the race concerned. Protests will be heard as soon as possible.

A Protester may opt for an Advisory or Arbitration Hearing, in place of or prior to a full Protest Hearing, in accordance with RYA Document A5 – Rules Disputes Best Practice and Guidance Notes. A 20% exoneration penalty, or a minimum of two places dropped, whichever is the largest, is available under the Arbitration procedure.

14 Number of Races to Count

14.1 Club racing

The number of races or percentage sailed to count towards a series is published on the club website.

14.2 Open Meetings

The number of races to count will be published in the notice of race.

14.3 Scoring shall be in accordance with Appendices Section 1 Appendix A "Scoring" using the low points system A4.1.

14.4Ties shall be broken in accordance with Appendix A, A8.1 to A 8.2 inclusive.

15 Local Variations

Farnham Lake is also used by an angling club: boats shall remain at least 15 metres from any angler who shall rank as an obstruction for the purposes of rule 19.

16 Safety

A boat that retires shall inform the Race Committee as soon as possible on coming ashore.

16.1 Full wetsuits or dry-suits shall be worn when on the water between 1st November and 31st March.

17 Disclaimer of liability

Competitors participate in racing entirely at their own risk. See RRS rule 4 "Decision to Race". Ripon Sailing Club will accept no liability for material damage, or injury, or death sustained in conjunction with or prior to, or during, or after racing.

Last updated 22:30 on 11 December 2019

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