Club Racing

Sailing Instructions 2023



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1.     RULES

1.1 Racing will be governed by the current Racing Rules of Sailing (World Sailing Rules), the rules of the GP14 class association, the Laser association and these sailing instructions.

1.2a) Racing Rules 27.1 and 40 will be changed as follows;

Adequate personal buoyancy must be worn by all competitors when afloat. Neither a wet- suit nor a dry-suit constitutes adequate personal buoyancy. Flag Y will not be displayed.


2.1 Notices to competitors will be posted on the Official Notice Board located in the WHSC Clubhouse


3.1 Competitors will be informed of any changes in the sailing instructions by e-mail in the week preceding the race and/or by the OOD in the clubhouse before the committee boat is launched.



4.1 Tuesday racing begins at the start of British summer time and continues until the evenings shorten in early September. Specific dates will be published on the club calendar at the beginning of the year.

4.2 There will be two series:

Spring April-June; Summer June-September.

Specific dates for start and end of series will be published on the club calendar at the beginning of the year.

4.3. The scheduled time of the warning signal for Race 1 is  6.45pm followed by race two. There will be one race on the first two evenings at the beginning of the spring series and the last two evenings at the end of the summer series, otherwise there will be two races back to back. Race officers will endeavour to make races of equal duration.


4.4 Saturday racing runs throughout the year.

4.5 There will be four series:

Spring April - June; Summer June-Sept;

Autumn Sept- Dec; Winter Dec-April.

Specific dates for start and end of series will be published on the club calendar in advance.

4.6 During Greenwich Mean Time the scheduled time of the warning signal for Race 1 is

1pm. There will be two races with tea taken at the discretion of the race officer before or after race two. Race officers will endeavour to make races of equal duration.

4.7  During British Summer Time the scheduled time of the warning signal for Race 1 is

1.30pm. There will be two races back to back followed by tea then race 3. Race officers will endeavour to make races of equal duration.


6.1. Class flags will be used:

GP14 - White and blue pennant ( international flag “A”); Laser - Yellow and blue checker (international flag “L”).


7.1 The racing area will be on the Welsh Harp Reservoir (see chart in appendix 1)

7.2  Club Racing has C day status (see table in appendix 2) . Priority over all other racing. Non racers will keep clear of the race area. Where boats stray into the race area they still have rights and these must be respected.


8.1 The course and the number of laps will be displayed on the committee boat before the warning signal is sounded.

9.     MARKS

9.1 Course marks will be the spherical orange/red buoys and a moveable pin end mark.


The following areas are designated as obstructions:

10.1 The two Blue Buoys mark the end of two separate underwater hazards protruding from the shore and an imaginary line from each blue buoy directly to the adjacent bank is deemed an obstruction to sea room.

10.2 Boats shall not pass between the Yellow Boom and the Dam. This ranks as an obstruction to sea room, and boats entering without good cause may be disqualified...


11.1 All competitors must sign on in before racing to declare their intention to race. Any boat taking part in a race without signing on may be scored NSO.


12.1 Races will be started using Rule 26.

When two or more lasers are sailing they will have a separate start. The laser fleet will start first as above , the starting signal for the laser fleet will be the warning signal for the GP 14 fleet.

12.2 The starting line will be between the mast of the Committee Boat and a white buoy.


Flag and sound

Minutes before starting signal


Class flag; 1 sound



P, I, Z, Z with I, or black flag;1 sound



Preparatory flag removed;1 long sound



Class flag removed; 1 sound




13.1 The finishing line will be between the mast of the Committee Boat displaying a blue flag and a white buoy.


14.1. The course may be shortened at any mark by the presence of the committee

boat flying a blue flag and flag S. Boats should pass between the mark and the committee boat to finish. Two hoots will be sounded when the lead boat rounds the last mark.


15.1 The scoring penalty Rule 44.3 will not apply.


16.1 The time limit is 60 minutes. When the first boat finishes within the last 20 minutes of that time, the Time Limit will be extended to 20 minutes after the finishing time of the first boat. No boat shall finish after the expiry of the time limit. This changes rules 35, A4 and A5.

16.2 If no boat has passed the first mark of the course within 30 minutes the race will be abandoned. Failure to meet the target time will not be grounds for redress. This changes rule 62.1(a)

16.3 A tail-end boat that has lost contact with the body of the fleet may be informed on the water, towards the end of the race, that she need not complete that lap, but may return to the starting area for the start of the next back-to-back race. An appropriate finishing position will be recorded by the Race Committee.  Failure to take advantage of this provision may result in any following back to back race being started before that

competitor has returned to the starting area. This shall not be the basis for a redress request under Rule 62(a). This alters Rule 35.


17.1 The Post-Race Penalty, Advisory Hearing and RYA Arbitration procedures of the RYA Rules Disputes procedures shall apply. The outcome of an RYA Arbitration can be referred to a protest committee, but an arbitration cannot be reopened or appealed. See appendix 4 for details.

17.2 Protest forms are available in the clubhouse. Protests and requests for redress or reopening shall be delivered there within the appropriate time limit.

17.3 The protest time limit is 30 minutes after the last boat has finished the last race of the day.

17.4 Notices will be posted no later than 30 minutes after the protest time limit to inform competitors of hearings in which they are parties or named as witnesses. Hearings will be held in the Protest Room, located in the WHSC clubhouse. Times will be displayed on the Official Notice Board.

17.5 Notices of protests by the race committee or protest committee will be posted to inform boats under RRS 61.1(b).

17.6 A breach of RRS 55 Trash Disposal may result in a penalty less than disqualification at the discretion of the Protest Committee.


18.1 Number of races. The total number of races scheduled for each series will be published on the club calendar.

18.2 Series Qualification  A boat must sail half the total number of races in a series to qualify. When there is an uneven number of races. Qualification will be based on the total number of races minus one then divided by two.

18.3 Scoring System The Low Point System will apply.

Each boat starting and finishing and not thereafter retiring, being penalised or given redress shall be scored points as follows:

Finishing Place








Each place thereafter add 1 point


18.4 Scores applied by the race committee. See appendix 3.


A boat that retires from a race shall notify the race committee as soon as possible.

19.1 A capsized boat, whose mast is stuck in the mud, may receive assistance from the safety boat to right their boat. This alters rule 4


20.1 Substitution of damaged or lost equipment will not be allowed unless approved by the Race Committee


A boat or equipment may be inspected at any time for compliance with the class rules and sailing instructions. On the water, a boat can be instructed by a race committee

equipment inspector or measurer to proceed immediately to a designated area for inspection.


22.1 Club boats can only be used for racing, when the predicted wind speeds on The Met Office website on the day of the race, do not exceed the following at any time during the racing session.

GP14:         mean 17 kts/20mph/Force 4 – gusting 27kts/31mph/Force 6

Laser:         mean 20 kts/23mph/Force 5 – gusting 27kts/31mph/Force 6

This will be based on the forecast at 10.am on Saturdays and 3 p.m on Tuesdays. There will be no decisions made at the club before the race, and the OOD will enforce any restrictions based on The Met Office forecasts.


Except in an emergency, a boat shall neither make radio transmissions while racing nor receive radio communications not available to all boats. This restriction also applies to mobile telephones.


Rule 4 of the Racing Rules of Sailing states: “The responsibility for a boat's decision to participate in a race or to continue racing is hers alone”

Sailing is by its nature an unpredictable sport and therefore inherently involves an element of risk. By taking part in the event, each competitor agrees and acknowledges that:

a)   They are aware of the inherent element of risk involved in the sport and accept responsibility for the exposure of themselves, their crew and their boat to such inherent risk whilst taking part in the event;

b)   They are responsible for the safety of themselves, their crew, their boat and other property whether afloat or ashore;


c)    They accept responsibility for any injury, damage or loss to the extent caused by their own actions or omissions;

d)   Their boat is in good order, equipped to sail in the event and they are fit    to participate;

e)   The provision of a race management team, patrol boats and other officials and volunteers by the event organiser does not relieve them of their own responsibilities;

f)    The provision of patrol boat cover is limited to such assistance, particularly in extreme weather conditions, as can be practically provided in the circumstances.


Each participating boat shall be insured with valid third-party liability insurance with a minimum cover of £3 million per event or the equivalent and competitors shall sign a declaration to that effect when registering.

Appendices to the Sailing Instructions

APPENDIX 1 - Chart of The Welsh Harp Reservoir

WH Chart

APPENDIX 2 - Event Classifications

Day Category

Water usage


Event taking place, other training with discussion


No other Racing, while event takes place


Exclusive zone, all other sailing must stay clear of zone


Event takes priority over all other sailing


Zone area takes priority over all other sailing within it.


Event taking place for information only, no priority


APPENDIX 3 - Scoring abbreviations:


No of boats in race +1

Black flag disqualification


100 points

Did not come to the starting area (Clubhouse)


No of boats in race +1

Started, but did not finish the race


Same as DNF

On the water during the starting sequence, but did not start


No of boats in race +1



Boats in series +1

Signed on but was not on the water for any part of the race


No of boats in race +2

Did not sign on


15 points

Race officer duty


Boats in series +1

Racing off the harp on the day of the race, or teaching on  a WHSC training course. Must inform scorer.


No of boats in race +1

On course side at start


APPENDIX 4 - Penalties and Arbitration

The following options will be available.

The Post-Race Penalty is available when a boat may have broken a rule of Part 2 or touched a mark (rule 31) while racing.

The Post-Race Penalty is not an alternative to a turn or turns under rule 44.1 or a Scoring Penalty under rule 44.3. It is available to boats only when, at the time of the incident, they were unaware that they had broken a rule or disputed that they had done so. A boat that knowingly breaks a rule and does not promptly take an appropriate penalty breaks a fundamental principle of sportsmanship and breaks rule 2.


  • The penalty is a 30% scoring penalty calculated as stated in rule 44.3(c), except that the minimum penalty is three places and a boat shall not be scored worse than the number of boats that came to the starting area[1]. However, if the boat caused injury or serious damage or gained a significant advantage by her breach, her penalty remains retirement. The penalty may be varied in the sailing instructions according to the level of the event or number of competitors. For example, a 40% penalty with a minimum penalty of four places may be more appropriate at an Open Meeting or a National Championship.
  • It may be accepted after finishing and before the start of any protest hearing.
  • When it is accepted, a protest committee cannot penalise that boat further over the same incident, except under rules 2 or 69 or when rule 44.1(b) applies.
  • Once accepted, it cannot be withdrawn even if a protest committee later decides no rule was broken.


Adopting the Post-Race Penalty does not need either the Advisory Hearing or RYA Arbitration to be adopted, but the Post-Race Penalty is an essential part of RYA Arbitration. It may be decided that making the Post-Race Penalty available for a boat to

accept will be sufficient. However, the use of one or both of the two alternative methods for resolving disputes is also recommended, and can be stated to apply in the notice of race and in the sailing instructions. They are:


Its purpose is to discuss incidents with an adviser and resolve them promptly in an informal but positive way, so that competitors understand the rules better. It is available only where there is no injury, serious damage, related protest or RYA  Arbitration.

When an Advisory Hearing is requested, and if all parties agree to this procedure, an adviser will hear quickly what the parties have to say, decide whether the issues are clear enough without further evidence and, if so, say whether any boat broke a rule and, if so, which and why.

Redress is not available, but a race committee may agree to correct a mistake if it comes to light.


Its purpose is to resolve protests more simply and quickly; it is not suitable for incidents that resulted in injury or serious damage. World Sailing have introduced into the Racing Rules of Sailing an appendix (Appendix T) covering arbitration; this can be found at World Sailing Rules. However, the RYA recommends a somewhat more detailed arbitration process, called RYA Arbitration, which is described below.


When a protest form is lodged, a boat may request RYA Arbitration, or the protest committee may suggest it.  If the boats and a member of the protest committee or race committee agree that RYA Arbitration is suitable, one or more arbitrators (who may also be members of the protest committee) hear the evidence of the parties and give an opinion

on whether any boat broke a rule and, if so, which and why. The arbitrator will then invite each boat that appears to have broken a rule to accept a Post-Race Penalty. If all such boats accept the penalty, or the arbitrator’s opinion is that that no boat broke a rule, the arbitrator will invite the protestor to withdraw the protest. When the protest is withdrawn, this will normally conclude the matter. A withdrawal of a protest following RYA Arbitration cannot subsequently be withdrawn. When a boat declines to take an offered penalty, or when the protest is not withdrawn, a protest hearing will follow. However, a boat that takes a penalty shall not be penalised further by the protest committee with respect to the same incident unless she caused injury or serious damage or gained a significant advantage.

The arbitrator may instead decide that the matter should be heard as a full protest. However, a boat may still accept a Post-Race Penalty before the hearing, thus avoiding the possibility of disqualification in most cases.

Because of the often complex nature of redress requests, as well as potential implications of their outcome for other boats and also appeal procedures, requests for redress cannot be heard by RYA Arbitration and must instead be heard by a protest committee. In apparently straightforward situations, it may be appropriate to form a protest committee with fewer than three members.


1.  Competitor asks the race office for an Advisory Hearing and informs the other competitor(s).

2.  The race office logs the request and informs the adviser, who checks that all competitors concerned are willing to attend and do not intend to lodge a protest or ask for redress. A hearing is convened.

3.  Each competitor takes a few minutes to say what happened. Normally, only the adviser may call witnesses.

4.  The adviser asks questions and announces the outcome. If the facts are clear, the adviser uses the rule book to explain the rules that apply and whether a rule was broken. If a rule was broken, and a boat accepts this, she should consider accepting a Post-Race Penalty if it is available for the rule considered broken, or otherwise consider retiring.  She is not obliged to do this.

5.  If the facts are not clear, the adviser will try to advise how the rules would apply to possible variations of the facts.

6.  This procedure can be used instead of a request for redress to seek correction of a boat’s score, in which case a race committee representative will attend. The race committee is not obliged to accept the decision of the adviser.


1.  A boat will lodge a protest form in the normal way, and within the normal time limit

 2.  When RYA Arbitration is provided for in the notice of race and sailing instructions,

its use may be initiated by any party (the protest form may provide for a protestor to ask for this) or by a member of the protest committee or race committee. The protest committee appoints one or more arbitrators, who will first establish that

there was no injury or serious damage and/or that a boat did not gain a significant advantage. If they are satisfied, and if all parties agree, an arbitration hearing will be called, to take place as soon as possible in a quiet place, but with observers permitted to attend.

3.  If the arbitrator judges the issue too complex, or if a party does not agree to arbitration, the issue will be heard as a normal protest.

4.  If a party is not present, and therefore is not able to accept a Post-Race Penalty, it is recommended that the matter is heard by a protest committee. If RYA Arbitration was suitable, it may be equally suitable for the arbitrator to act as a one-person protest committee.

5.  The arbitrator follows the same procedure as for a protest hearing (see Appendix M in the Racing Rules of Sailing), starting with establishing whether the protest was valid. If it is, the parties then briefly state their case. They may question each other, and the arbitrator will question them.

6.  The arbitrator may decide at any time during the hearing that the issue would in fact better be heard by a full protest committee, and may suspend the arbitration. Any boat may accept a Post-Race Penalty before the start of a full protest hearing (or retire if she caused injury, serious damage or, despite taking a penalty, gained a significant advantage – rule 44.1). However, the arbitrator may instead decide that hearing other witness evidence immediately will enable an immediate and clear solution to be found. Only the arbitrator may call witnesses.

7.  The arbitrator hears and summarises the evidence of the parties, and gives an opinion on whether any boat broke a rule and, if so, which and why. A boat that appears to have broken a rule is invited to accept a Post-Race Penalty (or retire if she caused injury, serious damage or gained a significant advantage).

8.  When all boats that appear to have broken a rule accept a Post-Race Penalty (or decide to retire), or if the arbitrator’s opinion is that no rule was broken, the protestor is invited and allowed to withdraw the protest.

9.  No party is obliged to accept a Post-Race Penalty or retire, and no party is obliged to accept that another party did not break a rule. In either case, the party is entitled to have the matter heard as a normal protest with a full hearing.

10.The arbitrator completes the protest form, detailing any penalties accepted and whether the protest is withdrawn and returns it to the race office. The protest form sections on facts found, conclusions and decision should be left blank. If a full protest hearing is to follow, no new protest form from the party is needed – the protest committee will attach a fresh second page to the protest form for its own hearing.

 11. If, for any reason, the issue is not or cannot be resolved to the parties’ satisfaction by RYA Arbitration and it then proceeds to a protest hearing, any party may accept a Post-Race Penalty at any time before the protest hearing starts (or retire if she caused injury, serious damage or, despite taking a penalty, gained a significant advantage – rule 44.1). A Post-Race Penalty, once accepted, cannot be withdrawn or removed, even if a protest committee later decides that a boat that accepted a Post-Race Penalty did not in fact break a rule.

12.When a boat accepts a Post-Race Penalty at RYA Arbitration or at any time before the start of a protest hearing, she will not be penalised further at the protest hearing if the protest committee decides that the penalty she has already accepted was appropriate to the facts it finds.

13.When RYA Arbitration proceeds to a full protest hearing, there is no objection in principle to the arbitrator being a member of the protest committee, but a protest committee may decide not to have the arbitrator as a member.                                     


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