SSC Sailing Instructions

Skerries Sailing Club 

Sailing Instructions

  1. Rules

All racing will be governed by the Racing Rules of Sailing 2017 -2020, the prescriptions of the Irish Sailing Association, class rules (where applicable) and these sailing instructions.

1.2           Course

With the exception of special cup races, the courses may be either:

  • Olympic (O), 9 leg races (start – w, g, l, w, l , w , g , l – Finish)
  • Windward/Leeward (W), (start – w , l , w , l , w, l – finish)
  • Trapezoid (T), (start – 1,4, 1, 2, 3, – finish)

Courses shall be assigned by the Principal Race Officer (PRO) using flags O, W or T flown from the committee boat before the warning signal of each race.  The PRO via Channel 72 may further identify cruiser courses.

Special Courses (not listed here) will be notified via the Club Notice Board and/or Club Newsletter at least 24 hours before the first gun.

1.3                       Marks

The marks will be inflatable Yellow or Red marks for W,G,L. An Orange or Red mark may be used for the Outer Distance Mark (ODM). An inner distance mark (IDM) may be laid astern of the committee boat. Vessels shall not pass between the committee boat and an IDM.

A red flag flying from the committee boat indicates all marks to be left to Port. A green flag indicates all marks to be left to Starboard. If no flag is shown the default is to leave all marks to Port.

Marks may be moved at the discretion of the PRO to maintain the best possible competitive course. Every effort will be made to indicate such movements in accordance with RRS 33. When a movement is indicated a green and/or red flag may be used.  This amends RRS 33(a)(2).

1.4           Cruiser Marks

Cruiser marks shall be those designated by the PRO and communicated via Channel 72 or displayed on a board on the Committee Boat.

  1. Starting Line

The starting line will be between the main mast of the committee boat and an Outer Distance Mark which shall be a large inflatable buoy.  Where the committee boat lacks a mast the line will terminate at the place from which flags are displayed.

  1.        Finish Line

Unless otherwise indicated by a Shortened Course flag, the finishing line shall be an imaginary line between the main mast of the committee boat, or the place from which flags are displayed, and the designated finishing mark (which may also be the ODM).  If there are two or more marks adjacent, the mark closest to the committee boat will be the designated finishing mark. The committee boat will display a blue flag to indicate she is on station at the finishing line.

  1.        Starting Procedure

Races shall be started by using the following signals accompanied by a single sound signal at each stage.

5 – Minute Sequence:

Signal              Flag & Sound                                      Minutes before start

Warning          Class flag; 1 sound                                                     5

Preparatory     P,I, Z, U or Black; 1 sound                                   4

One Minute     Preparatory flag removed; 1 sound               1

Start                Class flag removed; 1 sound.                                   0

3 – Minute Sequence:

Signal              Flag & Sound                                      Minutes before start

Warning          Class flag; 1 sound                                                    3

Preparatory     P,I, Z, U or Black; 1 sound                                   2

One Minute     Preparatory flag removed; 1 sound               1

Start                Class flag removed; 1 sound.                                   0

3-minute starts will be used for all SSC dinghy races unless use of the 5 – minute sequence is communicated by the PRO.

5 – minute starts will be the standard for all Cruiser races.The warning signal for each succeeding class shall be made with or after the starting signal of the preceding class. The Race Officer may in the last minute of a starting sequence and before a start indicate that there are one or more boats OCS by displaying a flag code V.

  1. Starting Procedure

Boats awaiting their start must not sail in the immediate vicinity of the starting area until the preparatory signal for their class has been made.

In particular, dinghies must keep well clear of the starting area during cruiser start sequences.

  1.         Recalls

When, at the starting signal, any part of a boat’s hull, crew or equipment is on the course side of the starting line or its extensions, the code flag X shall be displayed, accompanied by one sound signal until all such boats are wholly on the pre-start side of the starting line or its extensions or for 2 minutes after the starting signal whichever is earlier. This amends RRS 29.1.

  1. General Recall

General Recalls shall be signaled by the hoisting of the 1st Substitute flag and may be accompanied by two-sound signals. When the class(s) has regrouped, the starting sequence for that class will recommence from  the warning flag for their class.

  1.        Starting Sequence

Starting times shall be in accordance with the Club Fixtures List for the appropriate date.  Cruiser Start Sequence commences15 minutes prior to the time indicated on the Fixtures List.

The Annotation 1st Gun indicates the time for the Warning Flag for the 1st class due to commence racing on the day.

Midweek Starts

Cruiser Warning Signal will be at 19:30hrs.

Dinghy Warning Signal will be at 19:45hrs.

(Note  – earlier starts may apply at the start/end of the season depending on daylight – see Fixture List)

Saturday Starts          Dinghy Warning Signal will as per Fixtures List

Sunday Starts

Cruiser Warning Signal will be 10:45hrs.

Dinghy Warning Signal will be 11:00hrs

Classes must have a minimum of 5 boats to receive a separate start. The PRO may at his discretion start all dinghy classes together (Code flag E) and/or use any combination of fleet starts (using relevant Class Code Flags).

  1. Abandonment

The abandonment of all races shall be indicated by code flag N being displayed ashore or at the starting line accompanied by 3 sound signals. Where Cup races have been abandoned due to weather or other factors, the committee may reschedule them to run at a later date and they may run concurrently with regular points (series)races.

  1.      Scoring System

The Low Point System (RRS 90.3) shall apply with the following amendments:

  1. Boats failing to finish or being disqualified shall be scored the number of places plus one.
  2. Boats failing to start shall be scored the number of starters plus two.
  3. Where a boat cannot compete because one or more of its crew are on safety/mark boat or race officer duty, that boat will be scored its average points for all races in the series, or number of starters plus two, whichever is the lower.

10.1       Discards

0 – 3 Races completed in a Series      =          0 Discard

4 – 7 Races completed in a Series      =          1 Discard

8 – 11 Races completed in a Series    =          2 Discards

12 – 15 Races completed in a Series  =          3 Discards

Plus 1 discard for each further 4 races completed.

10.2       Handicap System

For cruiser racing the ECHO handicap system shall be in operation. Each boat shall race according to their assigned ECHO handicap rating and agreed by the Handicap Committee at the commencement of each sailing season. Cruiser handicaps shall be adjusted after each race in a specific series (limited to 10% deviation).

Alterations to Handicaps shall be at the discretion of the Handicap Committee and shall be reviewed for all boats at the end of each Series.

Cup Races shall be raced initially based upon the preceding seasons final Cup Handicap and adjusted for each subsequent Cup race by the Handicap Committee.

10.3       Sapphire Offshore Series

All Skerries Sailing Club Cruisers shall be automatically entered in the Sapphire Offshore Series. All competing boats in this series must be in a position to present a valid ECHO certificate.

10.4       Dinghy Series and Cup Races

All dinghy series shall be scored as 2 separate competitions:

(i)            PY Handicap and

(ii)          PY Handicap adjusted after each race in that series, averaging last 10 races (All-in series)

Dinghy Cup results shall be calculated based solely on PY, with the exception of the Weighouse Cup (Corinthian start), and the Garryowen and the Dollard Cups. In dinghy cup races, any boat sailing with less than its full complement of crew under class rules will be penalised the equivalent of 1 minute in the hour in calculation of results.

10.5       Penalty for No-Show Committee Boat Roster

The Sailing Committee shall assign each boat to one or more dates wherein that boat shall be responsible for providing a minimum of 2 able bodied persons to assist with Race Management duties.

It will be the responsibility of the skipper/owner to ensure that they provide the necessary cover.

Failure of a boat/skipper to provide such cover shall results in a non-discardible DNC for that race.

10.6       Cruiser Crew List

Cruiser helms are encouraged to ensure that regular members of their crew become full club members.  Please note that punting facilities will not be available to non-club members for more than three occasions per season.

10.7       Junior Racing

  1. Minimum 3 boats in any fleet to constitute a race.
  2. Minimum 3 races to constitute a series.
  3. Maximum 3 races per day for any series.
  4. DNC in any race will score total number of boats in a series plus 2.
  5. DNF will score total number of starters in a race plus 2.
  1.      Postponements

Rule 27.3 applies.

  1. Protests

Protests must be in writing and submitted to the Sailing Committee within 1 hour of the time of the last finisher of the race concerned. This amends RRS 61.3. All protests must be in writing on I.S.A. form.

  1.      Penalty

(a) Marks  – While racing, a boat that has touched a mark that begins, bounds or ends the leg of a course on which she is sailing or a finishing mark after finishing may take a penalty by promptly making one turn including one tack and one gybe (360o).

(b) When Boats Meet.

A boat in breach of a Rule of Part 2 (ISAF), may take a penalty by taking two turns in the same direction including two tacks and two gybes (720o).

  1. Starting Penalty

If Preparatory flag P is flown a boat which is over the line early can restart by dipping the start line.

If Preparatory flag I is flown ISAF Rule 30.1 shall apply (round-an-end Rule)

If Preparatory flag Z is flown ISAF Rule 30.2 shall apply (20% penalty)

If Preparatory flag U is flown ISAF Rule 30.3 shall apply

If Preparatory flag is Black, ISAF Rule 30.4 shall apply (disqualification).

  1. Time Limits (Dinghies)
  1. All races except long-distance races shall have a time limit of 2.5 hours. If any boat finishes within the time limit the race shall then be valid for all competitors in the race. Only those boats finishing within the time limit or within 30 minutes (allowing for differences in starting time with class starts) of the first boat home provided such boat has finished within the time limit, will be recorded as finishers.
  1. On Wednesdays, all Dinghy flags will be lowered at 21:15hrs. All boats that have not finished may be deemed as not finished. (DNF).
  1. The starting line shall remain open for 5 minutes after the last class has started. Any boats failing to start within this time shall be deemed as non-starters (DNS). Any race failing to start 1 hour after the scheduled 1st gun may be abandoned or postponed to another day.
  1. After the 1st boat has finished, the Race Officer may offer a finishing position to the boat still racing & in last place. The position offered will be the number of boats ahead of it, both finished and still racing, plus 1. A boat is not obliged to accept such offer unless it is the last boat racing. The Race officer is not obliged to make such an offer. A boat that accepts the place offered will immediately cease to race & the race officer may repeat the process with the next boat. The offer may be made via Rescue/Support boat personnel.

This amends the definition of the word Finish.

  1. Time Limits (Cruisers)
  1. All races except long-distance races shall have a time limit of 2.5 hours. If any boat finishes within the time limit the race shall then be valid for all competitors in the race. Only those boats finishing within the time limit or within 35 minutes of the first boat home provided such boat has finished within the time limit, will be recorded as finishers.
  1. On Wednesdays, all Cruiser flags will be lowered at 21:30hrs. All boats that have not finished may be deemed as not finished. (DNF).
  1. The starting line shall remain open for 5 minutes after the last class has started. Any boats failing to start within this time shall be deemed as non-starters (DNS). Any race failing to start 1 hour after the scheduled 1st gun will be abandoned or postponed to another day.
  1. After the 1st boat has finished, the Race Officer may offer a finishing position to the boat still racing & in last place. The position offered will be the number of boats ahead of it, both finished and still racing, plus 1. A boat is not obliged to accept such offer unless it is the last boat racing. The Race officer is not obliged to make such an offer. A boat that accepts the place offered will immediately cease to race & the race officer may repeat the process with the next boat. The offer may be made via Rescue/Support boat personnel or channel 72.

This amends the definition of the word Finish.

  1.      Safety

All boats participating in a race must make their presence known to the committee boat, for example by sailing close to the committee boat as they reach the starting area. In particular, a boat may not join a race without crossing the start line, even where their intention is not to compete. Any boat so doing will be awarded a non-discardible DNC for that race.

All boats must keep to Seaward of the Flashing Beacon near Skerries Pier Head. Class rules relating to safety must be observed. Boats ignoring these warnings may be disqualified. Rescue craft shall have the right of way over competing boats at all times.

The primary responsibility of the rescue craft is the safety of competitors. Neither Race Committee the Committee of SSC, nor their servants can be held liable for loss or damage to boats or equipment.

The race officer will record which rescue craft are in use for each racing session, with names of crew.

Drivers of rescue craft must wear a kill cord at all times when the engine is running and in gear.

All competitors and race management team are required to wear adequate personal buoyancy whilst on the water. Wet suits are not considered adequate buoyancy.

  1.      Insurance

All racing entries to have 3rd party insurance of minimum €3m.

19. Changes to these Sailing Instructions

Changes will be posted on the SSC main notice board and when possible on the club website at least 24 hours prior to implementation.

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