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These are the 2023-24 Club Sailing Instructions, reviewed and approved at the Sailing Committee meeting on Wednesday 13th September 2023.

The Organising Authority is Nelson Yacht Club Incorporated. 322 Wakefield Quay, Nelson, 7010

The notation ‘[NP]’ in a rule of the sailing instructions (SIs) means that a boat may not protest another boat for breaking that rule.

The notation ‘[DP]’ in a rule of the sailing instructions (SIs) means that the penalty for a breach of the rule may, at the discretion of the protest committee, be less than disqualification.

1.0    Rules

1.1  To be eligible to compete, each competitor shall be a financial member of a club recognised by YNZ. 

1.2  All races and series will be governed by the ‘Rules’ as defined in the current Racing Rules of Sailing.

1.3  The Yachting New Zealand Safety Regulations Part 1 shall apply.

1.4 The Nelson City Council Navigation Safety Bylaw 2019 shall apply.[NP]

1.5  All boats must have a sail number and in accordance with any class rules where applicable. Any competitor wishing to sail with a number different from that he or she is registered with must obtain approval from the Race Officer prior to the race and note the alternative sail number on the ‘Check-Out- Check-In’ sheet accordingly.

1.6  To be a valid entry in a race or series of races on any day a boat shall Check Out, with the correct sail number, prior to going afloat.

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

2.1 Notices to competitors will be posted on the Official Noticeboard in the Lower Lounge.  These may include shipping movements, tidal information and weather forecasts etc.

3.0 Changes to Sailing Instructions

3.1 Any change to the Sailing Instructions will be posted on the Official Noticeboard in the Lower Lounge before 1230 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 5 minutes’ in race signal AP.

4.3  When Flag AP over Flag B is displayed, boats shall remain on shore..

5.0  Schedule of Races

5.1 Races for the season are scheduled as per the Racing Calendar..

5.2 Generally 1 to 4 races are scheduled for each division on Club Racing days. 

5.3 The scheduled time of the warning signal for the first race each day is 1330 hours. The first start sequence of each day will be designated with the course diagram on the Official Noticeboard.

5.4 The warning signal for a subsequent race for a class or division 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 or division.

6.0 Class Flags

6.1 Race starts will be either;

  1. by Division (see SI 26.0 Divisions),
  2. a Mass Start (All Divisions) – Class Flag identified on the Official Noticeboard, or
  3. by Class – the Class Insignia for any particular Class may be used.

6.2 Where a Class Flag is required, for example, to change a course for a particular Class, the relevant Class Insignia will be used.

7.0  Racing Areas

7.1 The assignment of classes to racing areas will be made by the Race Committee and will be posted on the Official Noticeboard no later than 1230 hours on the day the assignment will take effect. However when Flag AP is displayed ashore (SI 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 Noticeboard situated in the lower lounge no later than 1230 hours on the day it will take effect.

9.0  Marks

9.1 Marks will be as indicated on the course diagram displayed on the Official Noticeboard

10.0  Prohibited and Exclusion Zones

10.1 No boat shall at any time pass between the Boulder Bank and Piles 1 and 2 or between the Green Pile and the Mole. 

11.0  The Start

11.1  For starts 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 designated  on the course diagram displayed on the Official Noticeboard. 

11.4  Boats whose warning signal has not been made shall avoid the starting area [NP]

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

12.1 To change the next leg of the course, the race committee will move the original mark (or finishing line) to a new position.

13.0 The Finish

13.1  The finish line will be designated on the course diagram displayed on the Official Noticeboard.

14.0  Penalty System

14.1  For any catamaran class, the 29er & 49er classes, and Waszp, Rule 44.2 is changed so that the 720° turn is replaced by a 360° turn.

14.2 For the handicap racing only, for Division 1 classes Rule 44.2 is changed so that the 720° turn is replaced by a 360° turn.

15.0  Time Limits and Target Times

15.1 The target time for all classes is 30 minutes.

15.2 The time limit for all classes is 60 minutes.

16.0  Protests and Requests for Redress

16.1 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)

16.2  Protest forms are available at the race office. Protests shall be delivered there within the protest time limit.

16.3  For each class or division the protest time limit is 90 minutes after the last boat in its class or division 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.

16.4  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.

16.5  Notices of protests by the Race Committee will be posted to inform boats under Rule 61.1(b).

16.6  For the purpose of Rule 64.3(b) the ‘authority responsible’ is the Measurer appointed by the Organising Authority.

17.0  Scoring

17.1  6 races are required to be completed to constitute a series.


(a) When from 6 to 8 races have been completed a boat’s series score will be the total of her race scores excluding her worst score.

(b) When from 9 to 11 races have been completed a boat’s series score will be the total of her race scores excluding her 2 worst scores.

(c) When 12 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-Out before going afloat and Check-In immediately after being afloat by entering the name/s of the competitor (and crew) and sail number using the designated Check-Out – Check-In system. [NP]

18.2  A boat that retires from a race shall notify the Race Committee as soon as possible and report their retirement to the NYC Control Room Operator immediately upon coming ashore.  .

18.3  All yachts must keep clear of the Moving Prohibited Zone and Total Exclusion Zone  during shipping movements as indicated in Clause 2.3 of the Nelson City Council Navigation Safety Bylaw 2019. [NP]

18.4  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. [NP]

19.0  Replacement of Crew

19.1 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

20.1 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  Support Boats

21.1  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 metres of any mark, lay line, starting line, finishing line or any area where any boat that is racing is sailing or may sail. [DP]

21.2  The Race Committee or the Protest Committee may protest any boat whose support boat is in breach of Instruction 21.1.  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.

22.0  Radio Communication

22.1 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.

23.0  Prizes

23.1 Trophies and Prizes will be awarded as determined by the Sailing Committee.

24.0 Risk Statement

24.1 RRS 3 states: ‘The responsibility for a boat’s decision to participate in a race or to continue to race is hers alone.’ By participating in this event each competitor agrees and acknowledges that sailing is a potentially dangerous activity with inherent risks. These risks include strong winds and rough seas, sudden changes in weather, failure of equipment, boat handling errors, poor seamanship by other boats, loss of balance on an unstable platform and fatigue resulting in increased risk of injury. Inherent in the sport of sailing is the risk of permanent, catastrophic injury or death by drowning, trauma, hypothermia or other causes.

25.0 Handicapping

25.1 Handicaps will be applied to all applicable races by the Club Handicapper.  The purpose of handicapping boats is to give each boat an equal opportunity of winning the race on corrected time. 

26.0 Divisions

26.1 Divisions are as follows:

Division Handicap




Fleet Classes
1 >1.00 NP 1 Eg. 29er, 49er, FD, A Class, PT, Waszp etc…
2 0.815 – 0.999 NP 2 Laser, Europe, Zephyr, 3.7, 420, OK
3 0.740 – 0.815 NP 3 Eg. Starling, Topaz, RS Feva, etc…
4 <0.740 NP 4 Eg. Optimist, O’Pen Skiff, P Class etc…
Green Green