Sailing Instructions

The Organising Authority is Nelson Yacht Club Incorporated.

1.0 Rules

  • 1.1  No member whose subscription, rental or dues are in arrears and whose notice has been brought to the fact shall be entitled to the privileges of the Club nor shall such member be entitled to vote at the meeting or compete for any prizes or sail in any yacht in a Club race until all such moneys are paid.
  • 1.2 All races and series will be governed by the ‘Rules’ as defined in the Racing Rules of Sailing 2017-2020.
  • 1.3 The Yachting New Zealand Safety Regulations Part 1 shall apply.
  • 1.4 A boat shall not discharge trash in the water.
  • 1.5 All boats must have sail numbers in accordance with the rules. Any competitor wishing to sail with no numbers or numbers different from those he or she is registered with must obtain approval from the Race Officer prior to the race and note the ‘sign on’ sheet accordingly.
  • 1.6 To be a valid entry in a race or series of races on any day a boat shall sign in before 1330 hours on that day.
  • 1.7 A minimum of 2 boats are required to constitute the start of a race in which points may be awarded.

2.0 Notices to Competitors

  • For normal Club racing, a briefing will be scheduled for 1230 in the Penguins Nest, on race days, and will outline courses, marks, shipping movements etc.
  • Notices to competitors will be posted on the official notice-board located in the lower lounge.

3.0 Changes to Sailing Instructions

  • Any change to the Sailing Instructions will be posted before 1200 hours on the day it will take effect.

4.0 Signals Made Ashore

  • 4.1  Signals made ashore will be displayed at the Nelson Yacht Club flagstaff
  • 4.2 When Flag AP is displayed ashore ‘1 minute’ is replaced with ‘not less than 30 minutes’ in race signal, AP.
  • 4.3 When Flag AP over Flag B is displayed boats shall not go afloat.
  • 4.4 When Flag Y is displayed ashore Rule 40.1 applies at all times while afloat. This changes the Part 4 preamble.

5.0 Schedule of Races

  • 5.1 Races for the season are scheduled as per the race programme.
  • 5.2 2 races are scheduled for each senior class on Club race day’s day. Junior fleets sailing inside the harbour will have 3 scheduled races.
  • 5.3 The scheduled time of the warning signal for the first race each day is 1325 hours. The first start sequence of each day will be:
    • 1st –   Multihull, FD’s, Open (group warning signal flag – numeral pennant 1)
    • 2nd – Laser, Laser Radial, Laser 4.7, Europe, Starling (group warning signal flag – numeral pennant 2)
    • 3rd –  Optimist, P Class (group warning signal flag – numeral pennant 3)
  • 5.4 The warning signal for a subsequent race for a class on the same day will be made as soon as practicable but not sooner than 1 minute after the last boat finishes the previous race for that class.

6.0 Class Flags

OptimistClass insignia
P ClassClass insignia
StarlingClass insignia
LaserClass insignia
Flying DutchmenClass insignia
TornadoesClass insignia

7.0 Racing Areas

  • 7.1 The assignment of classes to racing areas will be made daily by the Race Committee and will be posted on the official notice-board no later than 1230 hours on the day the assignment will take effect. However when Flag AP is displayed ashore (Instruction 4.2) the course area may be reassigned at any time before Flag AP is lowered.

8.0 The Courses

  • 8.1  The diagrams to show the courses including the approximate angles between legs, the order in which marks are to be passed and the side on which each mark is to be left, will be displayed on the official notice-board situated in the lower lounge no later than 1230 hours on the day it will take effect.
  • 8.2 When there is a gate boats shall sail between the gate marks from the direction of the previous mark and round either gate mark.

9.0 Marks

  • 9.1  Marks will be as indicated at the briefing and on the course diagram
  • 9.2 For races started outside the harbour, the starting and finishing marks will be the Race Committee signal boat at one end and a pink spherical buoy at the other end.
  • 9.3 For races started inside the harbour, the starting and finishing marks will be the Judges box on one end and a mark designated on the course diagram.

10.0 Prohibited Area

  • No boat shall at any time pass between the Boulder Bank and Piles 1 and 2 or between the Green Pile and the Mole. No boat shall come within 100 metres of commercial shipping or pass between the pilot boat and the bow of the ship.

11.0 The Start

  • 11.1 For races started outside the harbour, the starting line will be between a staff displaying an orange flag on the starting mark at the starboard end and the port end starting mark.
  • 11.2 For races started inside the harbour, the starting line will be between the line on the judge’s box and the mark designated on the course diagram.  An inner distance mark may be laid. This might not be on the starting line, but indicates the inner end of the start line.
  • 11.4 Boats whose warning signal has not been made shall avoid the starting area.
  • 11.5 A boat starting later than 4 minutes after her starting signal will be scored “Did Not Start’.

12.0 Change of the Next Leg of the Course

Course legs will not be changed.

12.1 Shortening course

  •  An additional buoy attached to any rounding mark, indicates that after passing that mark on the required side, boats are to proceed to the finish line.

13.0 The Finish

  • 13.1 For outside Upwind finishes, the finishing line will be between a staff displaying an orange flag on the finishing mark at the starboard end and the port end finishing mark.
  • 13.2 For outside downwind finishes, the finishing line will be between a staff displaying an orange flag on the finishing mark at the port end and the starboard end finishing mark.
  • 13.3 For Inside finishes, the finish line will be between the line on the judge’s box and the mark designated on the course diagram.

14.0 Penalty System

  • 14.1 For the Tornado Class Rule 44.2 is changed so that the 720° turn is replaced by a 360° turn.

15.0 Time Limits and Target Times

  • The time limit for all classes is 80 minutes.

16.0 Protests and Requests for Redress

  • 16.1 Immediately after finishing a boat intending to protest shall, in addition to the requirements of Rule 61.1(a), inform the Race Committee boat at the finishing line of her intention to protest and the identity of the boat(s) protested against. The protesting boat must receive an acknowledgement from the Race Committee. This changes Rule 61.
  • 16.2 For protests where only a Rule of Part 2 is alleged to have been broken, an arbitration hearing will be offered prior to any formal hearing. Yachting New Zealand Appendix Z will apply. (This changes Rule 44.1)
  • 16.3 Protest forms are available at the race office. Protests shall be delivered there within the protest time limit.
  • 16.4 For each class the protest time limit is 90 minutes after the last boat in its class has finished the last race of the day. The same protest time limit applies to all protests by the Race Committee and to requests for redress. This changes Rules 61.3 and 62.2.
  • 16.5 Notices will be posted within 30 minutes of the protest time limit to inform competitors of hearings in which they are parties or named as witnesses. Hearings will be held in the Committee Room.
  • 16.6 Notices of protests by the Race Committee will be posted to inform boats under Rule 61.1(b).
  • 16.7 For the purpose of Rule 64.3(b) the ‘authority responsible’ is the Measurer appointed by the Organising Authority.
  • 16.8 Breaches of Instructions 1.3, 4.2, 11.2, 14.2, 18, and 22 will not be grounds for a protest by a boat under Rule 60.1(a). This changes Rule 60.1(a). Penalties for these breaches may be less than disqualification if the (protest committee) (jury) so decides.

17.0 Scoring

  • 17.1 3 races are required to be completed to constitute a series.
  • 17.2
    • (a) When fewer than 4 races have been completed a boat’s series score will be the total of her race scores.
    • (b) When from 4 to 6 races have been completed a boat’s series score will be the total of her race scores excluding her worst score.
    • (c) When from 7 to 12 races have been completed a boat’s series score will be the total of her race scores excluding her 2 worst scores.
    • (d) When 13 or more races have been completed a boat’s series score will be the total of her race scores excluding her 3 worst scores.
  • 17.3 The scoring abbreviation for a discretionary penalty given under Instruction 16.8 will be DPG.

18.0 Safety Regulations

  • 18.1 Boats shall check in before going afloat and check out after being afloat by entering the name/s of the competitor (and crew) and sail number on the designated entry sheet.
  • 18.2 A boat that retires from a race shall notify the Race Committee as soon as possible and accordingly note the retirement sheet immediately upon coming ashore.
  • 18.3  If a race is abandoned for safety reasons the following signals may be made in addition to those prescribed in the rules:
    • (a) white flares fired at intervals
    • (b) an amber beacon flashing on the Nelson Yacht Club clubhouse.
  • 18.4 All yachts must keep clear of the fairway during shipping movements. These will be posted on the Official Notice Board where possible. No yacht is to pass between either a pilot boat or a tug and the ship under direction.
  • 18.5 Tow ropes shall be carried as per class requirements. If no class requirement exists then boats must carry an accessible tow rope 6 metres long with a diameter of not less than 6 mm.

19.0  Replacement of Crew

  • In single handed boats, the substitution of competitors will not be allowed without prior written approval of the Race Committee.

20.0  Equipment and Measurement Checks

  • A boat or equipment may be inspected at any time for compliance with the Class Rules and Sailing Instructions. On the water a boat can be instructed by a Race Committee Measurer to proceed immediately to a designated area for inspection.

21.0  Official Boats

  • Official boats will be marked with the Nelson Yacht Club burgee.

22.0  Support Boats

  • 22.1  Except when participating in rescue operations, team leaders, coaches, parents and other support personnel shall stay outside areas where boats are racing from the time of the preparatory signal for the first class to start until all boats have finished or the Race Committee signals a postponement, general recall or abandonment of all classes. The areas the boats are racing is defined as the area inside the course and within 100 meters of any mark, lay line, starting line, finishing line or any area where any boat that is racing is sailing or may sail.
  • 22.2  The Race Committee or the Protest Committee may protest any boat whose support boat is in breach of Instruction 22.1 penalties imposed as a result of a protest under this Rule will result in a penalty being imposed on the boat(s) supported by the support boat.

23.0  Radio Communication

  • A boat shall neither make radio transmissions while racing nor receive radio communications not available to all boats. This restriction also applies to mobile telephones.

24.0  Prizes

  • Trophies will be awarded as determined by the Sailing Committee.

25.0 Disclaimer of Liability

  • Competitors participate entirely at their own risk see Rule 4 Decision to Race. The Organising Authority will not accept any liability for material damage or personal injury or death sustained in conjunction with or prior to, during or after the regatta. 


The purpose of handicapping boats is to give each one an equal opportunity of winning the race on corrected time.  No matter whether the sailor is a novice or experienced, a better improvement in their performance when compared with others will result in a win.

To facilitate this, a boat is initially assigned a Time Correction Factor (TCF or handicap) for its class e.g. 0.575 for the Optimist class.  After each race, a boat’s performance is compared to the average of all boats TCF’s in that race.  Elapsed times are compared and a new TCF is calculated based on this performance.

Once 5 races have been sailed, 5 separate TCFs will have been assigned to each boat.  To calculate the TCF a boat will carry into the next race, the best and worst TCFs are disregarded while the middle 3 are averaged with the current race performance.  When a boat has less than 5 TCFs, all will be used to calculate the handicap which will apply to the next race.  For each subsequent race the new TCF will be added to the list with the oldest being deleted.

In theory, if all boats sailed to their handicaps (TCFs) each would result with the same corrected time and thus finish 1st equal, but in reality this never happens.

For further information contact Geoff Pitcaithly.