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Sailing Instructions

For races organised by RNYC
2013 Edition


All racing will take place in accordance with the Racing Rules of Sailing (RRS) 2013-2016 of the ISAF, the prescriptions of the RYA, the appropriate class association rules and other such rules that may be included in these Sailing Instructions.


All yachts entered or racing shall be subject to the direction and control of the Sailing Committee. However, the safety of a yacht and her entire management shall be the sole and inescapable responsibility of the owner or owner’s representative, who must ensure that the yacht is seaworthy, properly manned and equipped, and who shall decide whether or not to start or continue to race.

Neither the establishment of these instruction or rules, their use by race organisers, nor the inspection of a yacht in any way limits the absolute responsibility of the owner/owner’s representative who shall recognise their obligation to bring this notice to the attention of any third party who wishes to participate on board the yacht in any race organised by the RNYC

YACHT RACING CAN BE DANGEROUS. In entering a race organised by RNYC, owners, owners representative’s and crew acknowledge a potential risk to life or limb.


The publishing of a race programme or event shall constitute a notice of race. These rules and instructions must be read in conjunction with the sailing programme. With Regatta Open meetings these instructions must be read in conjunction with and may be superseded by Regatta Sailing Instructions.

For races in the programme organised by other clubs, the sailing instructions shall be the responsibility of the organising club.


Entry shall be made no later than one hour before the start of the race. An entry form shall be displayed on the club notice board. Late entries crossing the start line and/or not signed on maybe accepted at the discretion of the race officer.

A race will not be sailed unless there is a minimum entry of three yachts.


All classes shall race under the North East Rating Rule (NERR). Each yacht shall be given a NERR rating expressed as a TCF (time correction factor).

Corrected times shall be calculated by the formula:
Corrected time = Elapsed Time (in seconds) x TCF

A provisional TCF may be allocated by the RNYC measurer.


Unless the race officer deems otherwise, divisions racing will have a combined start. This will follow RRS 26. The signals for starting a race shall be under the instruction of the race officer and may be hoisted on the committee boat or a suitable land point.

The warning signal for a combined start will be Numeral Pennant 1.

Sound signals may be given to assist with timing. In the event of separate starts, the appropriate numeral pennant for that division will be used and the specific sequence will be determined by the race officer.


The course will be decided by the race officer. All instructions regarding the course shall be displayed on the club notice board not later than forty-five minutes before the start of the race. These instructions shall rank as rules and describe starting and finishing lines and details of all marks of the course to be used.

A sketch may be used only to assist in interpretation of the course.


The finish line shall be described in the instructions and may be a transit line from a committee boat to a mark or from a suitable land point to another recognisable fixed point.

Change of Sailing Instruction

The sailing instructions may be changed by the race officer at any time before the warning signal of a race and such change shall be notified by displaying code flag L on the club or committee boat. Notification by a subsequent written or verbal instruction shall constitute notice to each yacht.

Back to back racing

Where a race is started after the preceding one, the Answering Pennant shall be hoisted and the warning signal for the next race made one minute after its removal.

Racing Marks

Marks may be preset permanent marks, shipping or harbour marks, inflatable marks or other such marks as described in the sailing instructions.

Declarations and Retirements

Individual declaration forms shall not be required unless specifically demanded by the sailing instructions. Any yacht which has retired or which cannot be declared to have sailed the course in accordance with the rules shall fly an ensign at the stern and/or inform the race officer either verbally of by VHF.


Points will be scored in accordance with RRS appendix A low point system.

However for double race day’s only, RRS appendix A, A8.1 and A8.2 will be altered as follows: If there is a score tie between two boats, the combined corrected times shall be used and the yacht with the lowest time shall be the winner.

Over an entire series RRS appendix ‘A’ shall not be altered.


A protesting yacht shall deliver her protest to the race officer within one hour of either the committee boat or herself arriving in port, whichever is the later.

The Exoneration Penalty (and the Advisory Hearing and RYA Arbitration) of the RYA Rules Disputes Procedures may be available.

Multihull Yachts

This type of yacht is not eligible for results classification in RNYC racing. A multi-hull yacht may start, sail the course and receive a time alongside other yachts participating in a race, but will not be eligible for trophies or points towards a series. In this circumstance, they will be subject to the racing rules and considered to be racing for the purposes of the rules.

Three or more owners of this type of yacht may apply to the sailing committee to arrange a separate race in conjunction with the other races.


A boat and her crew shall comply with ISAF advertising code – Regulation 20, category C.

Commercial Traffic

Blyth harbour is a working harbour. Whether racing or not, yachts must not impede the passage of commercial vessels within the harbour or in the vicinity of the Port of Blyth. Yachts must not proceed up river further than is necessary to clear the round end of the inner west pier when entering or leaving harbour; except on occasion by express permission of the harbour authorities.

Safety Regulations

Yachts entering races shall comply with the ISAF special regulation categories 2, 3 and 4, subject to amendments by North East Sailing Safety (NESS). For more information see the NESS link at sailing page at www.rnyc.org.uk or the club year book.

The sailing Committee may make inspections of member’s yachts for the purpose of determining whether safety equipment is available and adequately maintained. Any Yacht found deficient in safety equipment will be considered to have infringed rule one of the RRS and maybe disqualified.

The club safety officer is available and will provide guidance and advice either when requested or during random safety equipment checks throughout the year.


£5 per race, up to a maximum of £35 per season.

Regatta fees are subject to separate arrangements.

RNYC Regatta

Yachts will be allocated to the following divisions and race for the following trophies:
Sportsboats: Alnmouth Challenge Cup
Division I: 1894 ‘Admirals Cup’
Division II: Blyth Regatta Tankard
Cruiser Class IV: Blyth Regatta Cruiser Challenge Cup

Club Trophy Points Series, Trophy Races, Wednesday Series

Yachts will also compete in the RNYC points series (14 races, 12 to count), two separate Wednesday series and separate trophy races. Sportsboats will compete as part of division one. RNYC points and Wednesday races will accrue points which carry towards that series. With trophy races where two trophies are awarded, the first mentioned would be awarded to the overall winning yacht and the second to the leading overall finisher of the other divisions.

RNYC Points series

The overall division trophy will be awarded on the basis of the best 12 results.
Division I Dundas Challenge Cup
Division II Sir Mathew White Ridley Cup
Division III Dundas Trophy

Wednesday Evening ‘A’ series (May & June) and ‘B’ series (July & August)

Overall Division Trophies will be awarded for these series.

Cruising Trophies

Walker Cruising Cup is awarded for the best log.

Morpeth “Gay Fox” Trophy is awarded for cruising merit.

Entries should be made to the Sailing Secretary by 30th September of that year.

Race Officer

Race Officers are selected by the Sailing Committee. It is the sole responsibility of the race officer to decide upon a suitable course, declare weather conditions and other information as appropriate, and is the Race Officer’s decision whether a race shall proceed, be postponed or abandoned. Results shall be posted on the notice board and in addition a copy shall be supplied to the results officer for checking and confirmation.