General Sailing Instructions

FCC General Club Sailing Instructions 2017 Issue 3


1.1 Organising Authority

The organising authority is Forth Cruising Club

1.2 Rules

All FCC trophy and club races will be governed by the rules as defined in the current edition of The Racing Rules of Sailing (RRS) as published by the RYA and by the International Rules for Preventing Collisions at Sea.

1.3 A boat and her owner shall compete in compliance of recognised principles of sportsmanship and fair play.

1.4 Each participating boat shall have valid 3rd party insurance liability coverage of at least £2,000,000.

2.0 Eligibility and Entry

2.1 Closed club events

2.1.1 Open to all boats belonging to and under the control of members of the FCC.

2.1.2 A minimum of two boats are required for a race to take place.  Fin and bilge keel boats shall race together as equals in all closed events except the Driftwood which has a trophy for each class. In the event of only one boat from either class starting the Driftwood Trophy race, that boat shall race in a combined fleet and will have to be first on corrected time to be awarded the trophy.

2.1.3 Boats shall inform the Race Officer no later than 15 minutes before the start of the race of their intention to participate. The race officer may, at his or her discretion, delay the start of any race to allow any boat, who has informed them of their intention to race, to reach the starting area.

2.1.4 There is no entry fee for FCC closed events.

2.1.5 Each member of FCC who has previously raced is encouraged to act as race officer (RO) for at least one race.  For Club Championship races the RO will receive points equal to the average of their scores at the end of the season once their discards have been deducted.

Should the race be cancelled, and not re-run at a later date, then the named RO shall be deemed to have taken their turn.  If the race is re-run and the named RO is unable to execute their duty on the re-arranged date then they should make every effort to arrange for a substitute to take their place.

2.2 Open club events

2.2.1 Open club events will be issued with their own sailing instructions.

3.0 Decision to Race

3.1 The responsibility for a skipper deciding to participate in a race, or to continue racing, is theirs alone.

3.2 By participating in a race conducted under these rules each competitor and boat owner agrees to;

3.2.1 Be governed by the rules.

3.2.2 Accept any penalties imposed, subject to the appeal and review procedures, as the final determination of any matter arising under the rules.

3.2.3 Not to resort to any court of law or tribunal with respect to any such determination. 

4.0 Safety

4.1 Boats shall carry adequate life-saving equipment for all persons on board. Whilst not compulsory, FCC encourages the wearing of life jackets at all times.

4.2 All boats are encouraged to comply with the FYCA CAT 4R safety regulations in respect of safety equipment to be carried as standard.

4.3 Competitors are reminded that Forth Navigation bye-laws give shipping the right of way. Any boat obstructing shipping may be liable to disqualification and possible prosecution.

4.4 The safety of a boat and her entire management and insurance shall be the sole responsibility of the owner/skipper racing the boat. He/she must ensure that the boat and her crew are adequate for conditions that may arise during the course of a race. These sailing instructions do not in any way limit or reduce the absolute responsibility of the owner/skipper for the safety of his/her boat and crew. 

5.0 Handicaps

5.1 For an FCC boat to be eligible to race in a closed club event she should have an FYCA handicap shown on the current list. If she does not have a current FYCA handicap she will be given a temporary handicap until one has been provided by the FYCA handicap committee.

5.2 For a non FCC boat to be eligible to race in an open club event she must have a current FYCA handicap. She shall race with this handicap regardless of any adjustment made by her own sailing club.

5.3 In open club events all FCC boats will race using their current FYCA handicap if any non FCC boats are competing. If no non FCC boats compete then the FCC rolling handicaps will be used. 

6.0 The Course

6.1 For championship counting trophy races the course to be sailed shall be selected by the race officer from the current FCC Race Course sheet. The course shall be displayed in the window of the starters hut no later than 15 minutes prior to the start of the race.

6.3 For the Driftwood trophy, Duff cup and Capernaum cup distance races the course or courses if more than one class (Driftwood only), shall be given to competitors at a briefing held in the starters hut on the day of that no less than thirty minutes before the first class start. The course details will also be given by VHF no less than ten minutes before the first class start.

6.4 For the Masson trophy and Halfway cup stern chase races the course shall decided on the day of the race following discussion with those competing. The Start and finish lines will also be decided on the day.

6.5 Shortened Course, should the course require to be shortened to allow yachts to finish within the prescribed time limit then the orange rotating beacon will be lit with two sound signals to signal the shortened course. The shortened course will be signalled when the leading boat is approaching the last mark to be rounded before heading directly through the finish line. The finish line should be crossed in the following directions. If the last mark rounded is to the East of the line then the line will be crossed in an east to west direction. If the last mark rounded is to the West of the line then the line will be crossed in a west to east direction. This alters rule 32

6.6 Abandoning after the start, should the race require to be abandoned the race officer will give three sound signals and light all three lights will be lit. This alters rule 32. 

7.0 The Start

7.1 Postponement Before the starting signal for any reason the race officer may postpone the race.

To signal this he/she will light the orange rotating beacon and give 2 sound signals. The warning signal for the new start will be 1 minute after the light has been turned off with one sound signal. This alters rule 27

7.2 Races will be started using the three white lights mounted on the race hut and the use of a sound signal as described below:

Warning signal; 5 minutes to start, 3 lights on and 1 sound signal.

Preparatory signal; 4 minutes to start, 2 lights on and 1 sound signal.

One minute to start; 1 light on and 1 sound signal.

Starting signal; all lights off and 1 sound signal.

This alters rule 26.

7.3 The starting line for the all races other than the Masson Trophy is a line between the mast in front of the starter’s hut and the outer distance mark ’O’ and is limited by an inner distance mark ’N’. Boats must start and finish between the outer distance mark ’O’ and the inner distance mark ’N’.

7.4 A boat arriving late for the start may remain under propulsion after her preparatory signal until, but not after, her class starting signal. After ceasing such propulsion, and before starting, she must carry out a 720 deg turn on the pre-start side of the line after getting well clear of other boats.

8.0 Recalls

8.1 Individual recall

When at a boats starting signal any part of her hull, crew or equipment is on the course side of the starting line she must comply with rule 30.1 the race officer will promptly light the orange rotating beacon with one sound signal. The beacon shall remain lit until all such boats have sailed completely to the pre-start side of the starting line or it’s extensions before starting but no later than four minutes after the starting signal or one minute before any later starting signal.

This alters rule 29.1 & 30.

8.2 General Recall

When at the starting signal the race officer is unable to indentify boats that are on the course side of the starting line or there has been an error in the starting procedure, the race officer may signal a general recall. To signify a general recall all of the starting lights will be lit and two sound signals will be made. The warning signal for a new start will be made one minute after the lights have been turned off with one sound signal. The starts for any succeeding classes will follow the new start. This alters rule 29.

9.0 The Finish

9.1 The finishing line for the all races other than the Masson Trophy is a line between the mast in front of the starter’s hut and the outer distance mark ’O’ and is limited by an inner distance mark ’N’. Boats must finish between the outer distance mark ’O’ and the inner distance mark ’N’. 

10.0 Radio Communications

10.1 Whilst not compulsory, FCC encourages all boats to carry a VHF marine radio with which to listen for additional instructions from the OOD.  The Club uses Channel M1 (37) and the call sign is ‘Forth Cruising Club’.

10.2 A boat shall neither make nor receive any radio communication not available to all boats after the preparatory signal. This restriction also applies to mobile telephones. 

11.0 Time Limits

11.1 For Closed events a time limit of 2 hours with a 1 hour extension will apply to any championship qualifying or trophy race contained within the FCC standard race courses, i.e. with the Dods Bank and Dubh Craig channel buoys being the furthest marks raced around.

If one boat finishes within the 2 hour time limit then the 1 hour extension will be given. Boats outside this period will be scored Did Not Finish without a hearing.

11.2 The Driftwood Trophy the absolute time limit for each class will be 3 hours and 30 minutes.

The Masson Trophy time limit will be decided on the day of that race.

11.3 The OOD has the right to shorten the course, in accordance with RYA Rule 32.2, should he or she determine that the race cannot be completed within the time limit.

11.4 If no boat finishes the race within the time limit the race shall be abandoned and if possible will be

re-run at a later date if possible. 

12.0 Protests

12.1 Any protest must be carried out in accordance with RYA Rule 61.

12.2 A boat intending to protest shall do so as soon as possible and in no case later than 2 hours after the finish the race.

12.3 Any competitor wishing to lodge a protest shall fly a protest flag at the finish line and bring this to the attention of the OOD.

12.4 The OOD shall be considered as acting on behalf of the Racing Convenor for the purpose of receiving the written protest. However, he or she shall not be asked or required to make any decisions regarding any protest.

12.5 A protest committee will be convened as soon as it is convenient to all parties. 

13.0 Disclaimer of Liability

13.1 FCC will not accept any liability for material damage or personal injury or death sustained in conjunction with or prior to, during or after a race.

13.2 The provision of a club boat by FCC is neither a guarantee that assistance can be rendered to any competitor in need, nor an acceptance of any responsibility for rescue of competitors. Further, in the event that assistance is rendered to any competitor, no liability for any loss, damage or injury to the competitor and/or boat and its equipment is accepted by the club or the crew of the club boat.

George Scrivener, Vice Commodore FCC

Copyright © 2009 – 2017 Forth Cruising Club