See also:


FYC Sailing Instructions for Club Racing - 2017

The organising body is Fisherrow Yacht Club in conjunction with RYA Scotland.

1 Rules

Racing will be governed by the Racing Rules of Sailing.

2 Responsibilities

2.1 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."

2.2 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 their 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.

3 Insurance

Owners/skippers are required to carry insurance cover for third party and public liability of a least £3,000,000, which must include third party racing risks.

4 Safety

4.1 Personal Buoyancy and Clothing

Dinghy sailors shall wear an appropriate buoyancy aid – wet suits alone do not constitute adequate personal buoyancy.  It is recommended that yacht sailors also wear a suitable life jacket or buoyancy aid.

4.2 Safety Equipment

All yachts shall conform to the requirements of FYCA Category 4R and the RRS. 

4.3 Safety Boat

No dinghy racing will take place unless a safety boat is in attendance.  Dinghies leaving the harbour/beach before a safety boat is on station do so at their own risk and are advised to remain close to the harbour/beach.  A safety boat will remain on the water until all dinghies have been able to return safely ashore.

4.4 Safety Signals

All sailors and safety crews must be able to make and recognise visual distress signals in order to attract attention or respond to distress.  The most common visual distress signal is the slow sideways raising and lowering of both arms.  The Race Officer will maintain radio watch for safety and race management on VHF CH 16 and CH8 dual watch mode.  All competing yachts fitted with radios must maintain radio watch as above.

4.5 Capsizes

(a) A safety boat will attempt to attend all capsizes but will not intervene unless requested or they deem there is a serious risk to life or limb and in this case their orders will overrule all others. In the event of a capsize and the crew being unable to right the boat, they should stay with the boat and attract attention.

(b) In the event of multiple capsizes or other situations the race may be abandoned.  The Answering Pennant will be flown from the harbour wall and/or a safety boat  preceded by two sound signals. On observing this signal, all dinghies are to proceed to the east beach or their moorings by the most direct route and report to the Race Officer.

5 General

5.1 Courses

The courses are as described in the Courses section of the FYC website.

5.2 Schedule of Races

The schedule of races is as described in the Sailing Calendar section of the FYC website.

5.3 Class Flags

The Yacht class flag is Pennant 1. The Dinghy class flag is code flag G.

5.4 Starting Line

Each fleet should keep clear of the starting line until the appropriate Prepare Signal has been made. The area between the inner limit mark and the pier is a prohibited area.  It is dangerous to sail near the pier due to the wind shadow effect and confused sea in moderate to heavy weather, particularly from the north east to the north west.

5.5 Start Sequence

The normal start sequence shall be as prescribed in the RRS with the class flag being raised 5 minutes before the starting signal (i.e. 5, 4, 1, go). On a day with only dinghy racing scheduled, the start sequence for dinghy races shall be as prescribed in the RRS, but with the class flag being raised 3 minutes before the starting signal (i.e. 3, 2, 1, go). 

5.6 Late Starting

A yacht arriving late in the vicinity of the starting line may remain under power after her Prepare Signal provided that, after stopping her engine, she carries out a 720-degree turn penalty under sail on the pre-start side of the starting line.  Such a yacht shall have no rights over, and must keep clear of, all other yachts until the required turns are completed.

6 Race Officers and Safety Boat Drivers

6.1 Selection

Race and Safety Boat Drivers and crew will be drawn from the ranks of members willing and able to assist.  All those racing and funsailing will be deemed to have volunteered for such duty in the current year and the subsequent year, unless compelling circumstances prevent this. All Race Officers should familiarise themselves with the procedure and equipment in advance. Race officer  and safety boat driver equipment is kept in the grab bag for the RIB kept in the cupboard inside the men's changing rooms. There is a box of Race Officer aids including spare stopwatches and time sheets kept in the back porch.

6.2 Exchanging Duties

A Race/Safety Boat Driver who cannot fulfil a duty must make arrangements to exchange with another member and report the change to the Vice Commodore or another member of the Sailing Committee.

6.3 Absence

A Race/Safety Officer, who does not turn up for duty without making adequate alternative arrangements, and so informing one of the sailing Committee, will be disqualified from the series of races concerned.

6.4 Race Officer Decision

The Race Officer will decide whether racing will, or will not, take place and dinghy racing will only be allowed with a safety boat on station.

6.5 Safety Boats

The Safety Boat Driver will ensure that a safety boat is adequately manned and equipped.

7 Scoring

7.1 Average Laps

(a) All races will use average laps (though in many cases there will only be one lap). When a boat crosses the finish line and there is no S flag displayed, it shall do another lap. If the S flag is raised, a boat finishes its race as it crosses the line. If more than one class is racing, but not all classes are being stopped, the class flag(s) will be displayed along with the S flag. Once the S flag has been raised for a class, all boats in that class subsequently crossing the line will be deemed to have finished.

(b) Average lap races shall be scored by dividing the elapsed time by the number of laps.

(c) If the wind dies or other factors affect the latter part of a race, the Race Officer may wind the race back to a previous lap if this achieves a fairer result. They will choose a time, e.g. between two boats crossing the line, at which the S flag would best have been raised.

7.2 Handicaps

(a) Racing will normally be carried out using the RYA Portsmouth Yardstick Scheme for calculating race results and assessing and adjusting handicaps.  The guidelines set out in the current YR2 will be followed and trial numbers and club numbers will be adjusted in the light of the performance indicators calculated from results.

(b) The Sailing Committee will allocate trial numbers to yachts without a Portsmouth Number in the current YR 2 and allocate club numbers to yachts sailing with trial numbers once sufficient results are available to allow a judgement to be made. Primary, secondary and recorded numbers will normally only be adjusted to take account of variations from 'base trim' as outlined in YR 2.

(c) Yacht racing will be run using handicaps allocated by the FYCA committee and shown on the FYCA website. As this system now has a rolling, results adjusted, element built in, we will stop calculating rolling handicaps within the club. The sailing committee can decide to allocate a trial handicap at their discretion for club racing, however FYCA handicaps will be used for open events.

To apply for a FYCA handicap, complete a form from their website and email it to your sailing secretary.

If a yacht owner believes his handicap to need adjustment, the solution is to race in as many open regattas on the Forth as possible to allow the rolling system to set a fair and accurate number.

(d) Dinghies will also use the Portsmouth Yardstick Scheme, but if there are sufficient numbers class starts will be used.

7.3 Discards

Discards will be allowed in each series as follows:

      Number of starts in series 1-2 3-5 6-7 8-9 10-11 12+
  Number of discards 0 1 2 3 4 5


7.4 Finishing Points

(a) The RRS Appendix A Low Point Scoring System will apply.

(b) Average points will be awarded in a series to those performing official race officer and safety boat duties. Their points will be the average of the races they have sailed in that series, but if there are no finishers in the race, average points will not be awarded.

7.5 Sailing in Different Boats

When a competitor sails in different boats in a dinghy series, the series points will be calculated as if the competitor had sailed one boat throughout the series.

7.6 Aggregated Results

The Sailing Committee may award prizes for aggregrated results, e.g. a series of series by combining series or race scores. For such prizes, the Modified Annandale System (high point scoring) will be used in which points are awarded according to the following formulae:

        First place:      points =  <number of starters> × 3 + 1 
  All other places: points =  <number of starters> × 3 + 1 - (place × 2 – 2)


8 Novice Dinghy Class

The Sailing Committee may designate a novice class in any dinghy race or series, with prizes being awarded for that class. Novices may not be protested unless there is reason to believe the novice knowingly infringed a rule. The Sailing Committee or Sailing Secretary will decide who is a novice based on their sailing and racing experience.

9 Schedule of Races

9.1 Calendar

The schedule of races will be as published on the web. 

9.2 Additional Back to Back Races

Apart from when a Sternchase is scheduled we would normally run 3 races for the dinghies on each race day. This number can be reduced at the discretion of the Race Officer.

10 Rules Disputes

10.1 Exoneration Penalty

(a) A boat that may have broken a rule of Part 2, or rule 31 or 42, may, after finishing the race concerned and before the start of a related protest hearing, notify the race committee that she accepts a 20% scoring penalty as stated in rule 44.3(c), (except that the minimum penalty is two places if that does not result in a score worse than DNF). This penalty does not reverse an OCS score or a disqualification under rule 30.3. It is not available for a breach of rule 2 or of class rules or for gross misconduct under rule 69. Nor is it available to a boat that caused injury or serious damage, or gained a significant advantage by her breach: in these circumstances, her penalty is to retire.

(b) When an Exoneration Penalty is accepted:

(i) Neither the boat nor a protest committee may then revoke or remove the penalty.

(ii) The boat shall not be penalized further in a protest hearing when the protest committee decides that it was appropriate to the facts found and the applicable rules.

10.2 Advisory Hearing

When there is an incident that will not result in the lodging of a protest or a request for redress, a boat, protest committee or race committee may request an advisory hearing with the race office, and notify any boat involved in the incident. An adviser will then call a hearing to learn what may have happened and will state whether any rule appears to have been broken, and by which boat. A boat may as a result notify the race office that she accepts an Exoneration Penalty when it applies to the incident, or choose to retire.

10.3 RYA Arbitration

(a) When a protest or request for redress is lodged, a boat may at the same time request RYA Arbitration, or the protest committee or race committee may offer it.

(b) If the parties and a member of the protest or race committee agree that RYA Arbitration is suitable, an arbitrator (who may be that member of the protest committee) will call a hearing conforming to Section B of Part 5 of the Racing Rules of Sailing, except that rule 64.1(a) will not apply. Instead, when the arbitrator decides that a boat that is a party to the arbitration hearing has broken a rule for which the Exoneration Penalty is available, the party will be invited to accept that penalty, and, if it is accepted by a protested boat, the protesting boat will be allowed to withdraw the protest, changing rule 63.1.

(c) When there is not an agreement to use RYA Arbitration, or when, after RYA Arbitration, a protest is not withdrawn or the Exoneration Penalty is not applicable to the facts, there will be a normal protest hearing, at which the arbitrator may be a member of the protest committee. Rules 66 and 70 (reopening and appeal, respectively) do not apply to the arbitration decision since this is not a protest committee decision or procedure. A boat may still accept an Exoneration Penalty at any time before the start of a protest hearing and receive its protection from further penalization. She may also retire.

(d) When redress is offered and accepted by boats at the RYA Arbitration, all parties, the protest committee or race committee may seek to have this reviewed by asking for a full hearing. When redress is offered and not accepted, or not offered at all, all parties may ask for the request to be heard before a protest committee.