Sailing Instructions 2021

Below are the combined sailing instructions for both dinghy and cruiser competitors.

There are three sections to these instruction:

Dinghy sailors should read the General and Dinghy sections
Cruiser sailors should read the General and Cruiser sections

These instructions should be read in conjunction with the Racing Rules of Sailing (RRS) available on the World Sailing website.

General – This sections applies to all competitors

1. Rules
1.1. Racing will take place under the World Sailing (formerly ISAF) Racing Rules of
Sailing (RRS) 2017 – 2020 (available on the Race desk), these Sailing Instructions and
appropriate class rules unless modified by a Notice of Race or Sailing Instructions for any
specific event. In the event of a conflict with class rules these Sailing Instructions shall
prevail (RRS 86.1).
1.2. For all events governed by these instructions advertising will be as described for World
Sailing Regulation 20.
1.3. In the case of discrepancies between copies of these sailing instructions the version
printed in the current Penzance Sailing Club handbook and any published amendments
made under SI 4.2 shall prevail.

2. Liability
2.1. The race organisers shall not be liable for any loss, damage, death or personal injury
howsoever caused to the owner/competitor, his skipper or crew, as a result of their
taking part in the race or races whether afloat or ashore. Moreover every competitor
warrants the suitability of his boat for the race or races. The organisers encompass
everyone helping to run the race and the event, and include the organising authority, the
race committee, the race officer, patrol boats and beachmasters.
2.2 The safety of a boat and its entire management including insurance, shall be the sole
responsibility of the owner/competitor who must ensure that the boat is fully
found, thoroughly seaworthy, and manned by a crew sufficient in number and
experience who are physically fit to face bad weather. The owner/competitor must be
satisfied as to the soundness of the hull, spars, rigging, sails and all gear. He must ensure
that all safety equipment is properly maintained, stowed and in date and that the crew
know where it is kept and how it is to be used.

3. Conditions of Entry
3.1. The competitor is required to hold adequate insurance and in particular to hold insurance against third party claims in the sum of at least £2,000,000 (two million pounds).
3.2. The provision of patrol boats does not relieve the competitor of their responsibilities.
3.3. The fact that the race committee may conduct inspections of a boat does not reduce the responsibilities of the competitor set out in these instructions.
3.4. The race committee may reject or cancel the entry of a boat which in its view is unseaworthy.
3.5. At least one member of the crew shall be a member of Penzance Sailing Club or shall have submitted an application form and appropriate fees. This alters RRS 75.
3.6. All boats shall carry a distinguishing number on the mainsail. The Dinghy or Cruiser Committee (as appropriate) may permit the use of sails carrying a distinguishing number other than that required by RRS 77 and RRS Appendix G and given in the Sailing Handbook.

4. Notice to Competitors
4.1. Signals made ashore will be hoisted on the clubhouse flagpole.
4.2. Changes to Sailing Instructions will be posted at least 45 minutes before the advertised
starting time.
4.3. Schedules of races and start times will be as in the Club Sailing Programme. Additional
events and changes to the scheduled events will be posted on the official notice board at
least 18 hours prior to the start time of the event.
4.4. Notices will be posted on the noticeboard in the clubhouse porch.
4.5. Cruiser race courses will be posted on the notice board in the clubhouse porch

5. Signals
5.1. For starts from the clubhouse line the light sequence in Table 1 may be used with signals given as follows:
– Cruiser – Low IRC <0.825 (first start): Slow cruiser fleet will only get a 5 minute Prepararory signal. NO 10 minute warning signal will be given. This is to save adjustment to the current programmed light sequence.
– Cruiser – High IRC>0.825 (second start): 10 minute warning, 5 minute preparatory
– Dinghies – Signals given at 2 minute intervals.
5.2. When the light sequence is not used, flag signals as shown in Table 1 will be used.
5.3. The starting times for Pursuit races vary from the times laid out here as detailed in
paragraph 24 for dinghies and paragraph 31 for cruisers.
5.4. Signal flags displayed over IC Flag “C” indicates the cruiser fleet only Signal flags
displayed over IC Flag “D” indicates the dinghy fleet only.


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6. Postponements
6.1. A postponement may be signalled by two sound signals and the preparatory signal lights of all the postponed fleets being illuminated and flashed simultaneously. This alters RRS 27.3.

7. Recalls
7.1. Individual Recalls. A fleet preparatory signal light may be displayed in place of IC flag ‘X’. This alters RRS 29.1.
7.2. General Recall. A flashing fleet preparatory signal light may be displayed in place of IC Flag First Substitute. This alters RRS 29.2.
7.3. In the event of a general recall the fleet that has been recalled will start at the end of the sequence, with the exception of the boats starting on the first cruiser start which will start on the second cruiser start. The first signal of this restart will be no later in the sequence than the preparatory signal of the fleet involved.

8. Starting
8.1. The Clubhouse Start Line shall be used unless otherwise signalled.
8.2. The Clubhouse Start Line will be between the orange triangle on the Clubhouse and for
dinghies: a spherical red buoy (the Dinghy Outer Distance Mark or Dinghy ODM) and for
cruisers: a yellow buoy to the east of the dinghy buoy (the Cruiser Outer Distance Mark
or Cruiser ODM).
8.3. When laid no boat shall pass between the yellow inner distance mark (IDM) which shall
be laid to the west of the two outer distance mark and the clubhouse when starting.
8.4. The Round-an-End Rule as defined in RRS 30.1 shall apply except that it will apply from
the first warning signal of the whole starting sequence. This alters RRS 30.1
8.5 When two races are scheduled together the second race will start as soon as possible
after the first.

9. Finishing
9.1. The Clubhouse Finish Line shall be used unless otherwise signalled or indicated in these
sailing instructions.
9.2. The Clubhouse Finish line is defined identically to the Clubhouse Start Line.
9.3. When laid no boat shall pass between the inner limit mark and the clubhouse when
9.4. After dark, cruisers shall illuminate their sail number when finishing.
9.5. The Race Officer may award a finishing position to boats which are still racing for a
fleet not racing on handicap. The decision of the Race Officer is final and will
not be grounds for competitors to seek redress.
9.6. Once a boat has finished she should not re-cross the line. The ODM (for their class of
boat) should be left to starboard or the IDM to port.

10. Protests
10.1. Protests shall be lodged with the Race Officer or a Sailing Committee Member within 60
minutes of the last boat finishing in its class.
10.2. Protest forms are available from the Race Desk.

11. Scoring System
11.1. The Low Point System of scoring will be used as in RRS Appendix A 4.1 with the
following amendments (these alter RRS Appendix A 4.2):
DNF, RAF – Number of boats scored as competing boats in an individual race + 1
DNS, OCS – Number of boats scored as competing boats in an individual race + 2
DSQ – Number of boats scored as competing boats in an individual race + 3
DNC – Number of boats scored as competing boats in an individual race + 3 for dinghy
OR the maximum number of boats competing in any one race during the
series + 3 for cruiser. The starting area is defined as the water north of the start line and
west of the Cruiser Outer Distance Mark on the clubhouse start line.
11.2 Dinghies only. Discards allowed for all series races are as follows:
1 – 3 races 0 discards, 4 – 7 races 1 discard, 8 – 9 races 2 discards, 10+ races 3 discards.
Dinghy Overall trophies are determined by the sum of the best positions
obtained from three of the primary series. The primary series are Monday, Thursday,
Combined and Weekend.
Cruisers only. Discards allowed for all Club Series are as follows: 1 – 3 races 0 discards,
4 – 7 races 1 discard, 8 – 9 races 2 discards, 10 – 11 races 3 discards, 12 – 13 races 4
discards, 14 – 15 races 5 discards, 16-17 races 6 discards, 18-19 races 7 discards, 20-
21 races 8 discards.
A series is constituted for a boat when it counts as a starter in half plus one of the races
sailed in that series; rounded down if necessary to a whole number.

Cruiser Overall trophies are determined by the sum of the positions obtained from the
primary series, including series for which the boat is ineligible for a prize without discard
of any series. The primary series are Evening 1, Evening 2, Offshore, Middle Distance and
11.3. Average points are calculated as the mean average points of all races sailed in the series
by the member and can be claimed when the member:Undertakes a scheduled rota duty
(excluding Cruiser Race Officer duties and galley duties during the weekend series), Is
specifically asked by the Dinghy Race Officer to undertake a duty or takes part in training
activities as sanctioned by the Training Group.
Average points to count per series: 12+ sailed races – two; up to 11 races – one; Weekend
and Midbay series (2 races back-to-back) – two.
If the full number of scheduled races in any Series is not sailed, the number of average
points to count may be varied at the discretion of the Dinghy Committee and rescored.

12. Handicaps
12.1. All races will be sailed under the IRC handicap system. A yacht is required to supply the
committee with an up to date, current IRC certificate prior to her participation
in any event in the published racing calendar.
12.2. In addition to IRC on specific races such as PASAB, a second handicap system NHC
(National Handicap for Cruisers) may be utilised. A yacht without a current NHC number
will be allocated a number by the Sailing Sub Committee using all available information
that is brought to its attention.

13. Local Variations
13.1. Boats may use sails other than those meeting the appropriate class rules in normal club racing providing prior permission is granted by the appropriate sailing sub committee.
13.2. All boats shall keep clear of large commercial vessels on their approach or exit from Penzance Harbour. Any boat failing to keep clear shall be subject to instant disqualification without hearing by the Dinghy Race Officer. This alters RRS 63.1



Dinghy – this section applies to dinghy competitors

14.Dinghy Conditions of Entry

14.1. All competitors must wear adequate personal buoyancy at all times when afloat. Neither a wet suit nor a dry suit constitutes adequate personal buoyancy. Inflatable type buoyancy aids will not be considered adequate unless fully inflated. Failure to comply will result in automatic disqualification. This alters RRS 40.
14.2. All competitors must ensure that their boat has adequate built-in buoyancy and may be asked to demonstrate this at any time.
14.3. Under 18s may participate in club sailing and related activities only when a valid Parental/Carer consent form for the current year has been signed and lodged with the Club.
All under 11s shall be supervised by a responsible adult (18 years or older) at all times during Club activities. This adult must either be the child’s parent or carer or a person that has the parent or carer’s agreement.
14.4. Competitors and Rescue Boat crews shall ensure that names of the helm and crew are entered on the Entry Form and the skipper, or if under 11 the responsible adult, shall sign on the Entry Form. Race Desk personnel should enter their names on the Recording sheet. Any competitor or Desk personnel not complying with this procedure will be scored as DNC without a hearing. This adds to RRS 63.1.
14.5. If IC Flag “U” is displayed, no dinghy shall leave the launch area until the flag is removed. If a dinghy has already launched the dinghy shall endeavour to return to the launching area. Failure to do so may lead to disqualification from any subsequent race without a hearing.

15. Course Setting
15.1. The Course shall be denoted by a board displayed on the balcony with either an A (Triangle) or B (Olympic) as defined in Appendix A. Course B will only be used when the 1st or 3rd leg of the triangle is the intended beat.
15.2 The direction of the course may be signalled by a red or green board. This could be addition or replace the corresponding flag.
15.3. IC Numeral Pennant 4 will signal that the race officer has defined an alternative course with details posted at the race desk. See Appendix A for alternative courses.
15.4. The number of laps for all classes will be displayed from the clubhouse. However handicap boats with a PY of less than 1000 will sail two laps more than displayed and Mirror and training boats will sail one lap less than displayed.
15.5. In the case that Course B (Olympic) is used, boats in the handicap fleet shall sail an even number of rounds. If SI 15.4 indicates that a boat shall sail an odd number of rounds this number shall be rounded up to the next even number.
15.6. When the 1st boat of any class finishes all other boats in this class shall cross the finishing line at the end of the lap they are sailing (or the end of the next even number lap in the case of Course B).
15.7. Course marks for dinghies are orange cylindrical inflatable buoys unless otherwise stated.
15.8. The Race Committee may decide that a mark should be moved after the start to maintain a good course. There may not be any notification of this; however the Race Officer will endeavour to cause as little disruption as possible. This amends RRS 33.
15.9 On occasions the race officer may reverse the direction of the course. This may only be done after 1 lap has been completed.

16. Dinghy Scoring
16.1. All Laser helms shall race in the Laser class whether rigged with Full sail, Radial sail or 4.7 sail with no variation in handicap.
16.2. Counting laps (dinghy handicap races only). When calculating average lap times the first lap will be counted as one third, two thirds or a whole lap whichever is appropriate.
16.3 In Series racing points will be awarded to helms sailing within one class of boat. In the Handicap fleet a different class of boat will be scored as a new entry.

17. Groups within Fleets
17.1. Laser Radial / 4.7 Rig Group: Laser Radial/4.7 rigs may form a Group which shall sail the same course as the Laser fleet.
17.2. A boat shall sign on as a Radial/4.7 and to qualify as a Group they shall use the same rig for at least half plus one races in a series.
17.3. A minimum of three boats must compete to constitute a series.
17.4. This Group will also be scored as part of the Laser Fleet.
17.5 Other Class groups may be formed at the discretion of the Dinghy Sailing Committee and they shall sail within their Fleet as described in 17.2, 17.3 and 17.4.

18. Junior Group
18.1. Junior helms and crews under 18 years old on 1st April of the season in question may form a Group whilst sailing in any class of boat.
18.2. The helm and crew shall sign on the Race Sheet as Juniors and to qualify as a Group shall do so for at least half plus one races in a series.
18.3. A minimum of three boats shall compete to constitute a series. Boats will be scored on PY handicap, finishing times will be taken for all Junior competitors.
18.4. This Group will also be scored as part of their Fleets and shall start with these fleets. The number of laps will be the same as for the main Fleets.

19. Committee Boat Starts
19.1. When a committee boat start is used the start sequence will be in accordance with RRS 26 with all fleets starting together. This alters the normal start sequence as detailed above.
19.2. The Warning signal will be IC Numeral pennant 3rd Sub.
19.3. When a committee boat start is used the course may not consist of whole laps due to not starting at, but finishing at the clubhouse line. For the purpose of counting laps the first lap is completed when rounding the turning mark nearest the finishing line for the first time.

20. Shortening Courses
20.1. The dinghy course may be shortened to finish at the clubhouse start and finish line.
20.2. A shortening of course will be signalled by the display of the appropriate class lights along with two sound signals which may be repeated to draw attention to the signal. All class lights illuminated indicates that the course is shortened for all classes.
20.3. At the Race Officer’s discretion, IC Flag ‘S’ superior to the flag(s) of the class(es) to be shortened may be displayed in addition to the above signal. The ‘S’ flag if displayed alone indicates that the course is shortened for all classes.
20.4. The course may be shortened at any course mark by a safety boat acting on the authority of the Race Officer. A safety boat will make the flag and sound signals described above.

21. Change of Course
21.1. If the course is changed on the instruction of the race officer then neither a compass bearing nor any indication of a change of leg length will normally be given. This changes RRS 33.

22. Abandoning Races
22.1. A race may be abandoned by displaying an orange flashing light from the clubhouse and/or a safety boat with three sound signals. This alters RRS 27.3.
22.2. Safety boats may also display abandon race signals (flag N over H or N over A with three sound signals).

23. Time Limits
23.1. The time limit shall be 30 minutes after the first boat of the fleet finishing. This alters RRS 35.


24.Dinghy Pursuit Racing
24.1 A dinghy’s start time for a pursuit race shall be calculated using Portsmouth Number
(PN) handicaps.
24.2 Each class shall start at the time indicated for the class in a table displayed at the Race
Desk for a given start time and length of race.
24.3 A white light may be shown from the clubhouse for 5 seconds prior to the start time for
each class racing.
24.4 A horn may be sounded at the start time for each class racing.
24.5 No signals will be made to indicate premature starters. This alters RRS 29.1.
24.6 At the scheduled finish time all lights will be switched on in the clubhouse and a horn
sounded. At this time the leading dinghy shall be identified by the OOD communicating
with a launch which will tell the dinghy to return to the harbour. (There is no need to
cross the normal Club Finish Line). All following dinghies positions’ on the course shall
be noted in sequence by the OOD from the clubhouse and/or a launch moving through
the fleet, but each dinghy shall also note the boats immediately in front and behind.

Cruiser – this section applies to cruiser competitors

25. Cruiser Conditions of Entry
25.1. For a boat to be eligible to race in the current PzSC Cruiser events a valid entry form must be completed by the owner and the entry form to have been received by the Hon. Secretary (Cruis ers) prior to the scheduled race or series of races that the boat wishes to enter.
25.2. Boats shall be equipped with a VHF radio capable of receiving Channel M1.
25.3. For all self-timed races (ie. Races other than Evening 1, Evening 2 and Regatta) competitors shall ensure that they have a person ashore who is aware of their intention to go to sea.
25.4. For all races (except self-timed races) competitors shall ensure that the name of the boat, sail number and number of persons on board is entered on the correct race entry sheet at the race desk. Any competitor not complying with this procedure is liable to disqualification without a hearing. This adds to RRS 63.1.
25.5 Cruisers are permitted to use automatic steering when sailing single handed.
25.6 Each competitor shall complete form CG66 and submit it to HM Coastguard.
25.7 Any changes to equipment that may materially alter a boats performance must be notified to the Cruiser Race Committee.

26. Start Times
26.1. There are two cruiser start signals/times for all races (excluding pursuit races). The first
start time is that published in the club handbook with the second start 10 minutes later
(see SI 5)
26.2 Competitors taking part in the “Cruising Race” (IRC<0.825) should start on the first start
signal as published in the club handbook.
26.3. The start time of all boats shall be determined by its current IRC number. The details of
which start signal each boat should start on will be published with the current
IRC Numbers.
26.4. In the event that a boat is given a choice of which start signal to start on (this
information will be posted with the handicaps if applicable), that boat shall start on the
same signal for each race in that series and declare which start signal they will be using
to the Cruiser Committee before sailing in that series.

27. Course Setting
27.1. Cruiser Course setting is the responsibility of the Cruiser Race Officer or a nominated
deputy. In their absence, the following people may act as Race Officer in order
of preference: Rear Commodore (Cruisers), a member of the Cruiser Sub Committee,
any skipper.
27.2 A separate course may be set for the “Cruising Race” fleet.
27.3. The race course shall be posted on the noticeboard in the clubhouse porch at least 45
minutes before the start of the race. If not posted at this time it is the responsibility
of the Cruiser Race Officer to transmit the course on Channel M1 at the Warning Signal
AND the Preparatory signal.

27.4. A cruiser course may not be changed once posted unless considered dangerous or over-
length by a Flag Officer and then only before the Preparatory Signal. Any changes will be notified on Channel M1, at the Warning Signal AND the Preparatory signal.
27.5. Gear Pole is not to be used as a turning mark and Cressar and Ryeman poles are to be
passed to seaward on any course.
27.6. Mount and Ryeman shall not be used as the first mark of a course, except for pursuit
27.7. The positions of race marks are listed in Appendix B.
27.8. ‘Standard’ set courses have been defined for differing wind directions and strengths and
can be referred to by the Cruiser Race Officer and communicated to all competitors. The
courses are listed in Appendix C.

28. Special Finishing Lines
28.1. The clubhouse finish line will be used except as follows or otherwise signalled.
28.2. For cruiser pursuit races the finish line is defined as an imaginary line from the previous mark extending beyond the finishing mark. As a signal to those following, each boat shall make, with due regard for seamanship, a 360° turn as soon as reasonably possible after finishing (Figure 1).

Screen Shot 2016-06-09 at 12.24.28

28.3 For cruiser Offshore and Middle Distance races the finishing line is formed by a transit extending from the southern edge of St. Mary’s Church Tower (conspic) and the northern edge of the Lighthouse on the South Pier.
This line shall not be crossed to the East of an Outer Distance Mark (small yellow buoy) that is positioned due south of Western Cressar Cardinal Mark approximate on the above transit.

Screen Shot 2016-06-09 at 12.24.18

29. Shortening Courses
29.1. The course may be shortened to finish at any rounding mark with the finishing line
defined as for a pursuit race.
29.2. The decision to shorten course shall be made by the Cruiser Race Officer. The course
must be shortened before such rounding mark is reached by any boat (except when
SI 28.3 applies). The decision to shorten course shall be communicated on VHF Channel
M1. Failure of a boat to hear this message will not in itself be considered grounds for
29.3 During an Evening 1 or Evening 2 race, all boats shall time their rounding of any marks
after 90 minutes from the published start time (the rounding time taken as the boat
crosses the line defined in SI 28.2). If after 90 minutes no boat has finished, the course
may be shortened to any mark that had not been reached by 90 minutes, regardless of
whether, at the time of shortening, boats had subsequently rounded that mark.
29.4. In the event of a shortened course, competitors shall radio their time to the clubhouse or
if this is not possible, record their finish time and submit a time-slip as for a self-timed

30. Abandoning Races
30.1. The decision to abandon a race will be made by the Cruiser Race Officer.
30.2. The decision to abandon a race will be communicated on VHF channel M1.

31. Time Limits
31.1. The time limit shall be 40 minutes elapsed time for every hour (pro rata) of elapsed time
that the leading monohull takes to complete the course.

32. Pursuit Races
32.1. A cruiser’s start time for pursuit races shall be calculated using her current IRC number .
32.2. The finishing mark is defined as the first mark the lead boat passes after the “Bogey
32.3. The “Bogey Time” is 140 minutes after the published cruiser start time.

33. Self-timed Races
33.1. For self-timed races boats shall post a time slip in the box provided in the clubhouse
foyer within 24 hours of finishing or within 24 hours of finishing the final race for passage
33.2. To be valid the time slip shall include the following information: Boat Name, series, date,
race start time, actual boat start time*, finish time, skipper’s signature, the name of the
boats immediately ahead and astern, if known, are not mandatory but are a
considerable aid to the time keeper for clarifying positions in the race.
* It is essential for handicap calculations that if a boat starts more than 30 secs later than
the scheduled race time that this is marked on the time slip for self timed races.

34. IRC Rating
34.1 Any boat wishing to compete under IRC shall present a valid in-date IRC certificate to
the Cruiser Sub Committee prior to racing in the series in which she wishes to compete.

Note: The ISAF Racing Rules of Sailing are available in the Race Desk or can be
downloaded from the ISAF website:


Appendix A – Dinghy Courses

Course A – Triangle This course is to be used unless otherwise signalled A triangular course. The turning mark may be ignored on the first and final legs of the race.

Course B – Old Olympic A triangular course. On even numbered rounds boat may miss out the wing mark. Handicap boats must complete an even number of rounds. The turning mark may be ignored on the first and final legs of the race.

Appendix B – Cruiser Marks

The Cruiser Racing Marks are Yellow Marks positioned in Mounts Bay in the following positions (positions given in WGS84 datum).

These buoys are also marked on all new charts of Mounts Bay.

ODM – 50º 07’.30 N, 005º 31’.48 W

Gear Mark (NOT Gear Pole) – 50º 06’.55 N, 005º 31’.45 W

Prom Mark – 50º 06’.63 N, 005º 32’.03 W

Newlyn Mark – 50º 06’.33 N, 005º 32’.48 W

Central Mark – 50º 06’.25 N, 005º 30’.30 W

Midbay Mark – 50º 05’.70 N, 005º 29’.35 W

Mount Mark – 50º 06’.92 N, 005º 29’.00 W

Ryeman Mark (NOT Ryeman Pole) – 50º 07’.11 N, 005º 30’.33 W