Seven “Must-Knows” in the 2016 – 17 Sailing Instructions

6 Sep 2 Comments admin_hryc News

The 2016 – 17 Sailing Instructions, Notices of Race and Course Details are now all posted in both the Racing and Downloads Pages of the HRYC Website. This news post provides a summary of seven important changes to the Sailing Instructions that all competing members must know before coming to the start area! This season the Start Boat will also fly pennants before the starting procedure commences showing the course number. Course numbers and pennants are fully detailed in the attachments to the Notices of Race describing courses. This means competitors will no longer be receiving Sailing Instructions and Course Maps on the morning of the race. Finally, this season Lollipop will be flying a blue flag when on station at the Start, Finish and Windward Gate.

1 Logging Off – Automatic Log Off When a Boat Crosses the Finish Line and the HRYC Start Boat is on station.

When the HRYC start boat is on station at the finish (Lollipop will be flying a blue flag when on station), a boat automatically logs off when she crosses the finish line. Normally, this will be the case in all races in the Windward – Leeward Series. Note that in the River Passage Series there is no committee boat on station at the end of a race and boats are required to report their finish times to the Race Officer. In this series, the report of the finish time is considered as a log-off.

2 You will be scored DNS (one penalty point more than DNF or DSQ) if you retire from a race and do not log off. You will be scored DNS if you do not lodge your finish times with the Race Officer within 60 minutes of the finish in Races 1, 2, 3, 4, 6, 7, 8, 9 and 10 of the River Passage Series.

In the River Passage Series, the lead boat may take up station at the Finish Line and record the finish times of other competitors. In this case, there is no requirement to lodge finish times. Any boat failing to report their finish times and to Log Off within 1 hour of finishing in Races 1, 2, 3, 4, 6, 7, 8, 9 and 10 of the River Passage Series (if the lead boat does not take times) and any Race of the Offshore Series will be scored DNS. This season these penalties (scored DNS) will be applied automatically and without exception – so remember to log off when you retire and provide finish times (if there is no lead boat on station in River Passage Series) within an hour of finishing! Communications equipment failure (eg radio or mobile phone) will not obviate the requirement to log off, so make sure you carry back up communications.

3 RRS 31.1 now applies at the Start at all times

A boat can no longer start by “dipping inside” the line from the course side of the line just prior to the start. A boat that is on the course side of the start line (or its extensions) within 60 seconds of the start must now sail to the pre-start side of the line around the ends of the start line and then proceed to restart. In other words, don’t be over the start line or its extension in the last 60 seconds before the start. Normally Code Flag “I” is flown to show that RRS 31.1 applies, but HRYC Sailing Instructions amends the RRS to allow Code Flag “P” to be flown.

If any boats are over the line within 60 seconds of the starting signal, the starter will raise code flag “X” and give one sound signal. Code Flag “X” will remain displayed till all boats have returned to the pre-start side of the line around the ends of the start line. Boats that are on the course side of the start line within 60 seconds of the start and do not restart by returning to the prestart side of the line around the ends will automatically receive a 5 minute penalty.

If the starter fails to display code flag “I” or make a sound signal, the boat that is on the wrong side of the line is still required to restart according to the rule. So, don’t think you’ve got away with it just because Code Flag “I” is not hoisted. The Starter may be pre-occupied doing other more important things, or the horn may have run out of gas…….but if you are spotted you will be penalised!

This rule also applies to a gate start. In the gate start, a boat has started after the Pathfinder or start boat has passed to windward of her on port tack AND she has passed between the transom of the pathfinder and the start mark on starboard tack. A boat cannot start by first approaching and crossing the gate (between the pathfinder and the start mark) from the course side and then attempting to recross the start line close hauled on starboard tack. A boat that is clearly on the course side of the proper course of the Pathfinder within 60 seconds of the start signal must return to the pre-start side of the course by sailing around the start mark ( leaving the start mark to port)

4 Boats that are late for a Gate Start must start by completing a 360 degree rounding of the Start Mark leaving it to Port

5 Late Starters may motor or be towed to the Start Area

Late Starters may motor or be towed to the Start Area after the Preparatory Signal provided they 1) cut their motors. AND 2) perform two complete 360 degree turns under sail before starting, AND 3) notify the Race Officer.

6 In the Windward – Leeward Series, Do NOT sail through the windward gate on the downwind leg when the Start Boat is on station with the Blue Flag displayed.

This rule exists so that a boat does not sail through the finish line on its way to the leeward mark and by so doing obstruct the view of the Race Officer or interfere with boats that are finishing.
The penalty for this is an automatic 5 minute penalty.

7 A small “inner distant” flag or pole mark may be laid close to the Start Boat – Do not pass between the start boat and this flag on approach to the start.

This type of mark is sometimes called an “anti barging” mark. For the purposes of the RRS it is considered a Starting Mark. The penalty for sailing between this mark and Lollipop is an automatic 5 minute penalty.