This guide provides a set of templates and suggestions that are applicable, useable and should be considered for all RC Classes’ sailing regattas. However, a Notice of Race, as well as Sailing Instructions are required for all AMYA-sanctioned regattas including “Open” regattas where no “title” such as ____________ Champion is bestowed, and for Regional and National Championship Regattas. They are recommended (especially Sailing Instructions) for club racing, released at the start of a new Series or season.
From the Racing Rules of Sailing (RRS) 2017-2020:
89.2 Notice of Race; Appointment of Race Officials (a) The organizing authority shall publish a notice of race that conforms to rule J1. (b) The notice of race may be changed provided adequate notice is given. (c) The organizing authority shall appoint a race committee and, when appropriate, appoint a protest committee, a technical committee and umpires. However, the race committee, an international jury, a technical committee and umpires may be appointed by World Sailing as provided in its regulations.
90.2 Sailing Instructions (a) The race committee shall publish written sailing instructions that conform to rule J2. (b) When appropriate, for an event where entries from other countries are expected, the sailing instructions shall include, in English, the applicable national prescriptions. (c) The sailing instructions may be changed provided the change is in writing and posted on the official notice board before the time stated in the sailing instructions or, on the water, communicated to each boat before her warning signal. Oral changes may be given only on the water, and only if the procedure is stated in the sailing instructions.
The NOR and SI documents for a regatta are particularly useful for National and Regional Championships and other events of similar importance. Each item should be reviewed by the regatta organizers and the Race Director (RD) prior to the event, and those that are not necessary or are undesirable for a particular regatta should be modified or deleted. Notice of Race – see AMYA NOR Guide, this website
Sailing Instructions Guide
The Sailing Instructions (SI’s) are where specifics regarding RACING are included; separate documents for Schedules of non-racing activities should be developed.
1.Terms: Terms that refer to a defined part of the competition - such as “Race”, “Heat” “Start”, “Finish” etc - are used as a definition, and so - should be capitalized in all documents. If referring to a term in general such as “racing will be held on ___ pond” it would not be capitalized. But a statement referring to a defined part of the competition such as “After the Start, no….” then the term should be capitalized.
2.Generally the Sailing Instructions should be structured in a way that follows the order of a Race or Heat.
3.“Race” and “Heat”; if all competitors are going to race as a single fleet, with all boats Starting and Finishing together, then every competitive event is a Race. If the field of entries are to be split in any way, such as into “A” and “B” fleets, with more than one Start and Finish, then each is a Heat, and more than one Heat makes up a Race.
4.A statement regarding Sportsmanship and Corinthian Spirit should be included; the official AMYA statement is suggested (see AMYA website).
5.Times of events may be expressed in 24-hour time (such as “0930”) or as “9:30 AM”, BUT at the top of the document, the time zone should be used- “All times are Eastern Daylight Savings Time”. This does not have to be throughout the document, just at the top.
To use this guide: First: Download this guide as either a Word or as a PDF document to your computer. Then review Racing Rules of Sailing (RRS) Rule J1 and decide which instructions will be needed.
Instructions that are required by Rule J1.1 are marked with an asterisk (*). Delete all inapplicable or unnecessary instructions. Select the version preferred where there is a choice. Follow the instructions given as comments to insert text at the point of the comment.
Example: [insert time here]. After following instructions, delete the brackets and then delete any unnecessary words or phrases.* [Regatta Name]
<end introduction>Template: (rev. 1/19)
____________________________________________________________________________ *[Regatta Name] [enter dates here] [Enter city and state here] *Sponsored by [Your Club Name] AMYA Club [#000] SAILING INSTRUCTIONS 1 RULES
1.1* The regatta will be governed by the rules as defined in The Racing Rules of Sailing (RRS), Appendix E for RC sailing, the prescriptions of US Sailing, the Class Rules of the [class name] Class and these Sailing Instructions.
1.2 Changes to the Racing Rules or Class Rules are noted in the specific instructions where they apply.
(OR) [enter rule number(s) to be changed] is changed to [describe changes]
2 NOTICES TO COMPETITORS: Notices to competitors will be posted on the Official Notice Board located at [name the specific location where notices will be posted].
3 CHANGES TO THE SAILING INSTRUCTIONS: Any change to the sailing instructions will be posted before [time], on the day it will take effect, except that any change to the schedule of races will be posted by [time], on the day before it will take effect.
(OR) Verbal changes to these Sailing Instructions may be made at any time. All competitors shall be notified. This changes rule 89.2(c).
4 SCHEDULE OF RACES
4.1* Dates of racing: Date Times [ Day and time] practice [ Day and time] racing [ Day and time] racing
4.2*The total number of races planned is [number of races]. The race committee will determine the number of races for each day after considering weather, course and equipment conditions. No race shall start after [time] except on the last day no race shall start after [time] 4.3*The scheduled time of the Preparatory signal for the first (Heat or Race) each day is [time].
4.4* When there has been a postponement lasting over ___ minutes, the Warning Signal for the first race following the postponement and each succeeding race will be made as soon as practical, at the RD’s discretion. An audible signal will be sounded at least ____ minutes before the Warning Signal for the first race following the postponement. 5 RACING FORMAT
5.1 The racing format will be [state system to be used]1 (see footnotes #1 below)
5.2 [describe the details of the stated format, seeding races etc]
6* THE COURSE BOARD A Course Board, if used1, is to be located as required by Rule Appendix E. (see footnotes #2 below)
7 THE START*
7.1The AMYA one-minute starting sequence will be used. The “Preparatory” signal is defined as when the auditory sequence begins; the “Warning” signal is defined as when the one minute countdown begins. This changes rule E3.5. 2
Races will be started using [describe other system if used].
7.1 The starting line will be between the starting marks identified in the Sailing Instructions.
The starting line will be [describe the start line].
7.2 Boats whose Warning Signal has not sounded shall stay clear of the starting area.
7.3 A boat starting later than [number] minutes after her starting signal will be scored Did Not Start (DNS). This changes rule A4. 7
7.4 OCS (on course side) If any part of a boat’s hull or equipment is on the course side of the starting line after the preparatory signal, the line judge [or RD] will attempt to hail that boat. Failure of the line judge to make a hail or a skipper to hear such a hail will not be grounds for a Protest, or request for a redress hearing. This changes Rule 62.1(a).
8.1 Prior to the Warning Signal, a skipper may request that the Race Director delay the starting sequence for five minutes for the repair of a technical problem or breakdown. 8.1.1When such a delay is granted, it will be announced and the Warning Signal will not be sounded until the expiration of five minutes from the commencement of the delay. 8.1.2 Each skipper may be granted [number] such delay(s) per day. Delays for tuning, adjusting sails or for changing rigs due to weather [will - will not] be granted.
8.1 HOLDS- holds will be announced periodically by the Race Director, at his discretion, for restroom and other breaks such as for changes in weather conditions, and for scheduled lunch breaks etc. Holds may not be requested by competitors.
8.2 Changes to boats during Holds: competitors [may/may not] make tuning or other adjustments during hold periods. OR
8.2 Competitors may make adjustments to boats during hold periods except to measured equipment, including [list equipment that is intended to be measured].
9* TIME LIMITS
9.1 If no boat has passed Mark 1 within [number] minutes, the race will be abandoned.
9.2* If no boat has finished within [number] minutes, the race will be abandoned.
9.3 Boats failing to finish within [number] minutes after the first boat finishes, will be scored Did Not Finish (DNF). This changes Rules 35 and A4.
9.4 The RD’s watch is official for purposes of signals and time limits.
10* THE FINISH The finishing line will be between the finishing marks. (OR) The finishing line will be [describe the finish line].
11* PENALTY SYSTEM
11.1 OCS- A boat with any part of her hull or equipment on the course side of the starting line or it’s extensions after the Warning Signal shall return to the pre-start side as required by Rule 30.1 and modified by rule E3.6. OR
(by eliminating any reference to “OCS” in this framework, the “Around the Ends” Rule is NOT in effect, and boats starting early can return to re-start as they wish but yielding right of way to others as prescribed in the RRS.)
11.2 A boat touching a mark as defined by Rule 31.1, shall take a penalty turn as required by Rule 31.2.
Boats may touch any Mark without penalty, except a Starting or Finishing line Mark when Starting or Finishing.
11.3 A boat breaking a Rule in RRS Part 2, shall take a one-turn (360) alternate penalty as required by Rule 44 and modified by E4.4.
A boat breaking a rule in RRS Part 2, shall take a two-turn (720) alternate penalty as required by Rule 44. This changes Rule E4.4.
11.4 As provided in Rule 67, the Protest Committee may, without a hearing, penalize a boat that has broken Rule 42.
12.1 A boat protesting another boat, while sailing, shall hail the other boat, as required by Rule 61.1(a) as modified by Rule E5.2.
12.2 Boats filing a protest with the protest committee shall do so within ____ minutes of when the last boat finishes the Heat in which the incident occurred and shall also inform the race committee (scorer, or RD) within five minutes of the finish of the relevant Heat, as required by Rules 61.3 as modified by E5.3. The protest is to be written. Skippers will be granted additional time to file a protest, if required, in order to record relevant facts, at the RD’s sole discretion.
12.3 Protests will be heard immediately following [the Heat in which the incident occurred, and before the next Heat] OR [after the last race of the day].
12.4 [As provided by RRS Rule 70.4, in a regatta being sailed under a HMS or EORS type format, there shall be no appeals on decisions made by the protest committee.]
13.1* The Low Point System described in RRS Appendix A shall be used (or describe the Scoring Method selected)
(If allowing discards, add:)
[with the following modification: Discards: The score for one Race shall be discarded after completion of [number] Races, two Races after completion of [number], three races after completion of [number]; etc ]
13.2* [number] races are required to be completed to constitute a regatta.
14 EQUIPMENT AND MEASUREMENT CHECKS
14.1 A boat and her equipment may be inspected at any time for compliance with Class Rules and sailing instructions.
14.2 If any measured equipment is found to have been modified, the skipper involved will be scored “DNS” for all races to the point when the modifications were discovered in the regatta.
15 AWARDS Awards will be given as follows: [describe the awards and number of places that will be awarded and when and where the awards will be made.]
16 DISCLAIMER OF LIABILITY Competitors participate in the regatta entirely at their own risk. See RRS Rule 4. The organizing authority will not accept any liability for material damage or personal injury sustained in conjunction with or prior to, during, or after the regatta.
17 SPORTSMANSHIP and CORINTHIAN SPIRIT Remember that we are always in Friendly Competition. 17.1 In the event of any protested behavior which is deemed to be a breach of good manners or sportsmanship, or which may bring the sport into disrepute, the Race Director, any designated race officials, or competitor may protest the party or parties in accordance with RRS #2. 17.2 Penalties available to the RD and/or Protest Committee, include exclusion from the Race in question, or expulsion from the regatta as per RRS #69.2 and #69.3. 17.3 In the event a skipper is penalized under RRS #2 at an AMYA event, a report of the incident shall be sent to the AMYA Class Secretary of the Class being sailed and the AMYA Executive Board for review. As adopted by the AMYA Board of Directors (2018) <END> __________________________________________________________________
1.Recommended methods of Heat Management are:
a.Single Fleet- all competitors race as one fleet- note the Starting Line length recommendations are combined boat length overall X number of boats per Start. Technically this is not a “Heat Management” system, since there are no Heats.
b.HMS- Heat Management System, “promotion and relegation”- see the latest version (2017-2020 at this writing) at:
Advantages: sailors are grouped based on standings or finishes in a previous Heat or Race, and therefore sailors of like ability are sailing together. Most will be familiar with this method. HMS is recommended when there will be sailors from different countries competing, since the method is well known internationally.
Disadvantages- A sailor having a poor Seeding series or race is placed in a fleet where he/she will get a low score for Race #1, even after winning the first Heat (in the B or C fleet.) A sailor having a poor Heat due to gear failure or an alteration with another sailor, will likewise have to finish well to “move up” to the top fleet and then do well in the A fleet Heat to score well. After a few Races, a sailor will be eliminated from competition because he has a high number of poor finishes. This effect is accentuated in regattas where there are more than two fleets.
There is a difficulty placed on the sailors and the committee to make sure that sailors race in the proper fleet for later Heats. This makes necessary a “Heat Board” where sail numbers assigned to the Heats are posted.
d.A “modified” Odds and Evens system. This can be used for three fleets, and it basically is the Odds and Evens system, but with two of the three fleets racing at a time using separate Starts. The third fleet sits out that particular Start. The next round’s Start will have a different Fleet sitting out, then the final Fleet sits out, to make a Race of the three Heats. Following each Race, boats are re-assigned based on Finish in the previous Race.
So- skippers are randomly assigned to a Fleet- Red, White or Blue- at the time of Registration. Red Fleet races in the first Start, with a second Start of White Fleet while Blue Feet sits out.
Then Red and Blue fleets would race while White sits out, and finally White and Blue fleets would race while Red sits out. The set of three Heats makes up Race #1. Scoring is based on finishes within the Red, White or Blue Fleet- so if there are three fleets in the regatta, there will be three first places, three second places, etc. for each Race. So, two of the three fleets are racing- 66% of boats are on the water at all times.
Advantages: There are no Seeding Races or Seeding Series needed. A sailor having a poor Heat due to gear failure or an alteration with another sailor will score poorly for just one Race. All sailors will have to race all other sailors. With there being three scores of each place for each Race (set of Heats), the standings will be very close. This can add to the fun.
Disadvantages- sailors will generally not be familiar with this method. But all will understand after one set of Heats. Some better sailors resent having to work around lesser sailors. There is a difficulty placed on the sailors to know where they will race their next Heat, and this makes necessary a “Heat Board” where sail numbers assigned to the Heats are posted. This heat management method makes ties in the Standings more likely- but tiebreakers can be applied.
Contact the AMYA Competition Committee Chairman on the “Contacts” page, this website, for details and further explanation.
e.NOT recommended: Any “grid” rotational system where it is possible for a top-finishing skipper to have raced the entire regatta without directly racing the other top-finishing skippers.
2. A Course Board is not required per the RRS Appendix E, RRS, and its use is optional based on the wishes of the organizers, or Race Director (201. Generally, the more competitors there are entered, and the more competitors from outside the host club, the more useful a Course Board becomes.
However, IF a Course Board is used in any race or Heat, it should be updated for every change in course through the rest of the regatta, and should be used for every race or Heat after the first use.
Questions regarding Regatta Management, Notices of Race, Sailing Instructions or Measurement procedures can be referred to the Competition Committee, using the address shown in the “Contacts” section of the AMYA website:
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