Racing Rules and Sailing Instructions

****For reference only, 2015 update coming shortly****

HBSC Club Races  **UPDATED JUNE 2014**

2014 Racing Season SAILING INSTRUCTIONS HBSC Club Races

Revised: June 5, 2014
1.1 The regatta or race will be governed by the “rules” as defined in The Racing Rules of
1.2 The race chair after consultation shall be final authority on all aspects of running the races,
including interpreting or application of rules The Racing Rules of Sailing
1.3 Special rules may be used when notification is given to all competitors. These special rules can
supersede The Racing Rules of Sailing.
2.1 Notice of Race for the competitors will be emailed to Hamilton Bay Sailing Club (the ‘Club”)
members, posted to the official Race Notice Board, as well as on the sign out board at the Club.
3.1 Any changes to the sailing instructions should be posted on the Race Board before the skippers
meeting on the day it will take effect. Verbal clarifications or modifications may be made on race
day to all attending the pre race Skippers Meeting.
4.1 Signals made ashore will be displayed at the race committee boat.
5.1 The number of races scheduled is three unless otherwise stated. We may have some race
events with 4 races, and the worst 1 will be dropped. This will only occur with very favourable
wind conditions. You will be informed of any changes to the 3 race schedule at the Skippers
6.1 Location of races shall be the West end of Hamilton Harbour.
7.1 The course shall be Olympic or Triangular or a sausage leg… as defined in the pre race
Skippers Meeting.
7.2 Start/Finish line will be in the middle of the Windward/Leeward Marks unless otherwise stated.
7.3 Red flag on RC boat means first mark taken on Port side. Green flag means first mark taken on
Starboard side. HBSC races usually are counter clockwise (Red Flag).
7.4 Marks taken on “Starboard/Port” flag will be shown below the Committee Boat flag before each
8.1 Marks will be large orange inflatable’s or RHYC marks.
8.2 The Starting and Finishing mark will be an orange balloon. The Starting and Finishing line will be
between the orange balloon and the flag mast of the committee boat.
9.1 Races will be started by using “rule 26″ with the warning signal given 5 minutes before the
starting signal. Series of short sounds will be given approx.15 seconds before warning flag for
each race.
9.2 The 10 Min. warning signal will be a White flag (raised) with Horn, 10 minutes before first race.
White flag to be lowered at 6 Minutes remaining.
9.3 The 5-minute warning signal will be a Blue Class flag (raised) with Horn, 5 minutes before the
start of every race. Blue flag to be lowered (and horn) at race start.
9.4 The 4-minute Preparatory signal will usually be a Yellow flag with a black circle (raised) with
horn. This flag (I) would indicate that Rule 30.1 (1 minute rule) is in effect.
9.5 Races should start on the hour or any 5-minute interval thereafter. The Clubhouse clock should
be the official time clock reference.
9.6 A boat starting later than 10 minutes after the starting signal will be scored DNS (Did Not Start).
10.1 The finish line will be between the orange mark and the mast of the committee boat.
10.2 When the bow of a boat crosses the line a horn is sounded but the boat must completely
cross to finish.
11.1 Rule 44.1 (720 turn to exonerate) is in effect [for “when boats meet” infringement]
11.2 Rule 44.1 (360 turn to exonerate) is in effect [for “touching a mark” infringement]
12.1 In a race, if no boat has rounded the first mark within 30 minutes or the last mark within 1
hour, the race committee should abandon the race (Blue & White checkered flag).
12.2 Boats failing to finish within 10 minutes of the first boat should receive a DNF.
12.3 The Race Committee may abandon the race if conditions are deemed dangerous or if
conditions are too calm.
12.4 The Race Committee may shorten the course or change the finish line when deemed
necessary. The competitors should note horn (2 Blasts) or S flag (White with Blue square)
13.1 Major Protest is where a blatant disregard to the Racing Rules causes’ damage, injury, or
an infraction affects four or more boats. The penalty if protest is upheld will be disqualification
13.2 Minor Protest is where a violation of Racing Rules is subjective, no exoneration has taken
place and boats involved cannot agree to the boat at fault. Race Chair (with consultation with a
Protest Committee) may drop the placing of the guilty boat from 1 to 3 positions depending on
the number of boats or possible severity of the infraction. Witnesses must be notified for the
protest meeting.
13.3 Informal Protest is between two competitors over a deemed unfair act that has no
witnesses and is subjective. The Protest Committee will only mediate and determine fault or no
fault. Since no protest form has been filled and the race committee was not hailed, there is no
13.4 Protest declaration time limit is 10 minutes after the committee boat docks. Protest forms
are available from the race committee. The Race Chair will select the Protest Committee.
13.5 Intent to protest (major or minor) must be declared by the alleged victimized boat
immediately after the incident and to the race committee boat at the first opportunity.
13.6 Protest Committee must notify all involved including witnesses as to when and where
protest meeting is to take place. Protest meeting is open for all to listen but all dialogs are
through the Race Chair.
13.7 Non attendance by protester may be deemed as admission of fault and penalized
accordingly. The protest shall be dismissed if a decision cannot be made.
14.1 The Low Point scoring system will apply.
14.1.1 1st = 1; 2nd = 2; 3rd = 3; 4th = 4; placing = points thereafter
14.1.2 DNF = maximum points + 1; DNS = maximum points + 2; DSQ = maximum points + 4
14.2 If there is a series-score tie between two or more boats, RRS Appendix 8 shall be
15.1 A boat that retires from a race shall notify the race committee as soon as possible.
16.1 Prizes may be awarded for the top 3 finishers.
16.2 A Club Trophy or Plaque may be presented at the Club’s Commodore’s Ball.
17.1 Competitors participate in the regatta entirely at their own risk. The HBSC and Race
Committee will not accept any liability for material damage or injury sustained in conjunction with
the regatta or any race within the regatta.
17.2 The responsibility for a boat’s decision to participate in a race or to continue racing is
his/hers alone (Rule 4).



3 Minute Justice

What is it?


Three minute justice is a protest hearing system that takes the burden off of the race organizers. It is a system that has been around for years. The former head coach of the Old Dominion Sailing Team, K.C. Fullmer, was the first to introduce it to the USTRA. Currently, the system has been used at many regattas including the USTRA midwinters. The race organizers do not have to form a protest committee. The burden of forming a committee is put on the shoulders of the parties involved in the protest.


Lets use an example. Fred Flintstone and Barney Rubble are in a collision. Fred and Barney both decided not to take a 360 degree penalty turn to exonerate themselves. Fred felt that Barney’s alleged rule infringement played a part in the outcome of the race, i.e. Fred felt that his team would have won if he wasn’t in a collision with Barney. Fred decides to protest. Fred reports that he is protesting to the finish boat.


When is it held?


The three minute justice hearing can be held at the end of the day, after lunch, or between rotations if there is time. Fred needs to find a person (who is not on his team) to represent him, Barney needs to also find someone (who is not on his team) to represent him. Fred asks Mr. Slate and Barney asks Kazoo. Basically, Fred has a minute to tell Mr. Slate and Kazoo his side of the story. Barney then has a minute to tell Mr. Slate and Kazoo his side off the story. After the two sides have had a minute each (which should be timed), Fred and Barney are excused and Mr. Slate and Kazoo have a minute to make a decision. We strongly encourage the jury to make a decision. Their decision is final, if they can not make a decision then the protest is disallowed. The jury then reports the decision to the race organizers and the case is closed.




Three minute justice is a fair and equitable way to run protest hearings, it is at least as good as 50/50 which is what most people believe their chances are in a standard protest hearing. Complex situations and obscure appeals do not come into play. Sailors soon realize that the decision is usually made against the person who has the burden of proof (ONUS).

The USTRA suggest using the system at any regatta that does not have the luxury of on the water umpiring. These hearings have been held on a beach under a palm tree, in the shower of a locker room, and even standing over the keg of beer er, ah, soda! So give it a try it saves a ton of headaches.