top of page

SWSC Sailing Instructions - 2019

1. Rules

SWSC racing will be governed by the International Sailing Federation Race Rules of Sailing (RRS), the prescriptions of US Sailing, and the SWSC Sailing Instructions as stated below.

2. Entries

Eligible boats may be entered by completing the registration with the organizing authority, typically the Race Committee, at the skippers meeting. Eligible competitors shall be members in good standing of the South Winds Sailing Club. Guest or non-members may participate with their boat in two race days. Such boats shall be excluded from the official scoring unless they join SWSC during the current year.  Regatta fees will be $5.00 per boat per race day.

3. Schedule of Regattas

Races are scheduled as shown on the Racing Schedule. This serves as the official Notice of Race.  Each multi-race day will consist of 3 races for points, weather and participation permitting. A minimum of 2 participating skippers is required to start an official race. Any additional races conducted are for practice only and will not be officially scored.

4. The Course

The course will be set at the discretion of the Race Committee (RC) based primarily on wind direction and will be explained during the skippers meeting. The RC will attempt set a course facilitating races with duration of 45-60 minutes for around the buoy races and 3-4 hours for long distance races.

5. The Start

In the absence of an anchored Committee Boat, each boat shall keep their own time, starting with the 'designated start time and ending when the person at the helm crosses the finish line, not the bow of the boat. This elapsed time shall be reported to the Committee at the end of each race and recorded.

Starting signals will be audible signals only. The RC will sound a single horn blast at the following intervals:

  1. Warning Signal - 5 minutes prior to the designated start time, count down sequence has started

  2. Preparatory Signal - 4 minutes prior to the designated start time

  3. Preparatory Signal - 1 minute prior to the designated start time

  4. Starting Signal - at the designated start time

6. Recalls

Individual recalls will be signaled with 1 horn blast followed immediately by a voice and/or radio hail of the offending yacht(s). General recall will be signaled by 3 horn blasts following the single starting horn

7. Changes to Course after the Start

At the skippers meeting prior to any Regatta, a procedure for changing the course will be discussed and decided. In general, the procedure will include 1 horn blast and an announcement of change on VHF channel 72.

8. Time Limits

The race time limit will be 1.5 hours per race on multi-race days and up to 4 hours for long distance races. On multi-race days, if no boat reaches the first mark within 30 minutes of the start, the race shall be abandoned. The Race will be official if any 2 boats finish prior to the time limit.  Boats failing to finish before the time limit will be scored based upon their position in the fleet without regard to their handicap rating. In the case of no finishers, the race may be rescheduled.  "Late Finishers" are defined as up to two boats which have not yet passed the first turning mark on any lap and remain the only boats still on the race course.  In this situation the RC shall announce the end of the race with 3 long horn blasts. The final position for the late finisher(s) will be their position in the fleet without regard to their handicap rating.

9. Scoring

Average PHRF handicaps from Sailing Joy and adjusted to time-on-time and will be used (see:

If a boat is non-standard or does not have a PHRF rating a 3 member committee under the leadership of the VC will assign a provisional rating. This rating can be appealed to or reviewed by the committee when the boat has completed a minimum of 2 races on different days.  It is the responsibility of each skipper with a non-standard boat to provide the required information to the Vice Commodore prior to a race for it to be counted.


If a competitor renders aid under Fundamental Rule 1.1, the time interval for this action should be noted for adjustment to elapsed time (declaring such action via VHF is recommended as soon as the situation allows). Competitor must continue regatta from approximately same position before aid was rendered.

10. Radio Communication

Race communications will occur on VHF channel 72 or as designated by the race committee.

11. Race Committee Responsibilities - which can be a skipper participating in the race.

  • set the course

  • conduct the skippers meeting

  • ensure the recording of participants

  • collect fees

  • manage the race according to the SWSC Sailing Instructions

  • record all data as needed/indicated on the scoring sheet

  • coordinate the handling of protests

  • ensure recovery of all marks and equipment

  • transfer race-bag and scoring sheets back to the Fleet Captain

Every attempt should be made for RC to be available after the race for a de-brief at the bath house and to announce preliminary results  It is the RC's decision to abandon a race by signaling with 1long horn blast and informing all racers over VHF channel 72 of the abandonment.  Races may be abandoned due to severe weather (lightning or storms in the area) or any other safety related reason deemed appropriate by the RC.  No races will take place when winds are expected to exceed 30 knots or temperatures are below 35 degree.  Prior to the starting signal the RC may postpone a race for any reason.

12. Race Committee (RC)

All race Skippers and crew are encouraged to learn and perform RC.

13. Propulsion

Any boat that finds itself in danger or aground may use her engine.  In doing so, she must avoid gaining any significant advantage of course position or windward advantage. Once clear of danger, she must execute a one-turn penalty under sail and report the situation to the RC at the earliest opportunity.  A boat arriving late to the course may use its engine up to the area three boat lengths behind and extending along the start line and must sail a 360 penalty turn before crossing the start line.

14. Ties

When there is a tie on total points between two or more yachts, the tie will be decided in favor of the yacht with the most first place finishes, and, when the tie remains, the most second finishes, and so on.

15. Protests

Protests should be brought up verbally at the end of the regatta day. Efforts should be made to reach a decision immediately by those present. If no resolution can be found, protests may be forwarded in writing to the RC.

16. Changes to SWSC Sailing Instructions

In order to change SWSC Sailing Instructions, including setting up of fleet handicaps, scoring system, and race committee duties, a majority vote shall be required from the regatta committee. The committee must consist of VC, Fleet Captain, and a minimum of 3 other regatta committee members.

bottom of page