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Home / Sailing at W&OBYC / Racing / Sailing Instructions
Home / Sailing at W&OBYC / Racing / Sailing Instructions

Sailing Instructions


Revised January 2024


Racing will take place under the Racing Rules of Sailing 2021 - 2024 (RRS), the prescriptions of the R.Y.A., these Sailing Instructions, the rules of the Classes concerned and any notice to competitors subsequently issued by the Sailing Committee.


2a General. The safety of a boat and her entire management including insurance shall be the sole responsibility of the owner/competitor racing the boat who must ensure that the boat and crew are adequate to face the conditions that may arise in the course of the race. Neither the establishment of these Sailing Instructions nor the inspection of the boat under these conditions in any way limits or reduces the absolute responsibility of the owner/competitor for the crew, the boat and the management thereof. The race organisers shall not be responsible for any loss, damage, death or personal injury however caused to the owner/competitor, skipper or crew, as a result of their taking part in the race or races. Moreover, it is the competitors responsibility to decide the suitability of their craft to sail the course on Oultons shallow and restricted waters without recourse to redress.

2b A boat sailing at WOBYC shall have third party insurance for a minimum of £2,000,000.

2c Entries for Open Regattas shall be registered with the race committee before the warning signal of the first race.

2d Oulton Week entries shall be made in accordance with the Oulton Week publication.

2e Entry for club points races (which are for club members only and specially invited guests at the discretion of the OOD or Club Officers) is made by manoeuvring in the vicinity of the start line.


Notices to competitors shall be posted at the Club House and may be reproduced on the club website.


Any changes to these Sailing Instructions or schedule of races shall be posted not less than one hour before the first race of the day on which they take effect.


Signals made ashore shall be displayed from the Club House signal mast.


As per current Club Yearbook or Event Programme or modified by a notice in the Club House or on the Website.


Optimist: Class Flag

Slow Handicap: Numeral 7

Fast handicap: Numeral 8

Laser: Numeral 9

Mixed Dinghies: Numeral 4

Squib: Naval Numeral 9

Waveney OD: Code Flag X

Broads OD: Code Flag Z


The racing area shall be Oulton Broad and the adjoining waterways.


9a. The course to be sailed shall be displayed at the starting line. Numbers with a green background to be left to starboard and numbers with a red background to be left to port. The number of rounds will be shown in white figures on a black background.

9b. A white letter A on a black background shall signify that the race is a handicap race calculated on average lap times. (The number of laps is not shown.)

9c. A yellow letter G on a black background will indicate that all boats shall pass through the gate formed by the start line distance marks at the end of each lap. (This may be used with average lap races or normal races.)

9d. When the first mark is prefixed by the letter X on a yellow background it shall not rank as a mark of the course on the first round.

9e. The inclusion of the letter F on a blue background in the course indicates a clubhouse finish, having rounded the mark preceding the F the prescribed number of times.

9f The marks of the course are buoys, which are numbered by their usual position around the broad 1 to 7 starting with No. 1 to the south of the clubhouse, then clockwise around the broad, with No.7 the furthest to the east.

On rare occasions the buoys could be out of order, in which case the buoy is identified by the number painted onto it. They are red/orange in colour. They may be moved to suit wind or tide conditions.

Mark 8 shall be Pale Blue and may be positioned anywhere in the racing area.

9g The marks of the course shall not be moved during a race. (Marks not currently in use may be moved during a race).


10a. RRS 26 shall not apply. Sound systems shall govern (starting sequence only).

6 minutes before the start class flag and one sound signal.

3 minutes before the start preparatory flag and one sound signal

start class flag removed and one sound signal for a clean start.

Preparatory flag will remain flying if the start is one of a series at 3-minute intervals.

10b. Clubhouse start line.

This shall be an extension of a line passing through the orange signal mast on the Club House and the black and white pole on the quay. Limit marks (buoys with through poles) may be positioned approximately on the line. Boats shall pass between these buoys when starting.

10c. Committee Boat Start.

This is indicated by flying Code Flag Q from the Club House signal mast. The Committee Boat shall display an orange flag. The start line shall be a line through the black and white pole on the Committee Boat and the outer distance mark (buoy with through pole). An inner distance mark (buoy with through pole) may be positioned approximately on the line. To start, boats shall pass between these marks. Boats which pass between the inner distance mark and the Committee Boat at any time (after their preparatory signal) shall be disqualified.

10d. When a Class has a split start each boat may display a coloured streamer from the end of the boom, to signify which start they are in. Red - 1st; Yellow - 2nd. The streamer shall not be considered as part of the boat.

10e. Boats whose Preparatory signal has not been made shall keep clear of the starting area and of all boats whose preparatory signal has been made.

10f. A boat shall not start later than TWO minutes after her starting signal.


11a. RRS 29.1 shall apply except that the class flag shall be left at the dip. Code flag X shall not be flown. Sail numbers shall not necessarily be called.

11b. General Recalls. RRS 29.2 shall apply. The preparatory signal for the restart shall be made one minute after lowering the first substitute except when the start is one of a series when it shall go to the end of the series. (1 minute after the lowering of the recall flag, both the warning and preparatory flags shall be flown and the new start will be 3 minutes later.)

11c. RRS 30.2 (Z flag rule) shall not apply.


12a For Fixed lap races finishing at the Clubhouse, the finish line is between the orange signal mast on the Clubhouse and the pole carrying three coloured discs on the opposite bank or, if G is in the course, between the start-line distance marks.

12b Fixed lap races started at the committee boat may be finished at the clubhouse finish line if F is in the course or at the start line gate if G is in the course in which case the committee boat finish line is between the black and white mast on the committee boat and the outer distance mark. Boats must not pass between an inner distance mark and the committee boat, the penalty for which is disqualification.

12c Average lap races shall finish after code flag S is flown and boats complete the lap they are sailing on.

12c(i) The finish line for an average lap race started at the clubhouse is between the start-line gate marks (i.e. the distance marks).

12c(ii) The finish line for an average lap race started at the committee boat is between the black and white mast on the committee boat and the outer distance mark. Boats must not pass between an inner distance mark and the committee boat, the penalty for which is disqualification.


13a. The course may be shortened at the discretion of the O.O.D.. This is indicated by code flag S above the class flag(s) accompanied by two sound signals.

13b. Code flag S flown from the club signal mast indicates a club line finish; the leading boat shall finish when she next crosses the finishing line while sailing the prescribed course.

13c. The course may be shortened at a mark of the course in which case a committee boat flying the shorten course flag shall be stationed close to a mark and the finishing line will be between the black and while pole on the committee boat and that mark; the leading boat shall finish when she next crosses this finishing line while sailing the prescribed course.

13d. A race started and intended to be finished by the committee boat may be shortened so that boats finish when they pass through the gate if the letter G is included in the course.


14a. Two-Turns Penalties. RRS 44.1 shall not apply to the River Cruiser Class who shall use their recommended penalty system.


In normal club racing (except for river races) if the leading boat does not complete the first lap of a race within 45 minutes, the race shall be abandoned.


16a. Protests shall be written on forms obtainable from the race box and submitted within one hour of the last boat in the race finishing.

16b. Failure of attendance by parties or witnesses having been informed are not grounds for deferment of the hearing.

16c The Exoneration Penalty and the Advisory Hearing and RYA Arbitration procedures of the RYA Rules Disputes Procedures will be available. See the Club Notice Board for details.


17a. Open meetings, Championships and the End of Season Regatta shall be scored according to Appendix A, low points system, of the RRS.

17b. Oulton Week shall be scored in accordance with Appendix A of the RRS except that an entrant who does not record a finishing position will score 50 points. A non-entrant in a race of a series will record 99 points.

17c. The method of scoring for club points shall be displayed on the Club notice board.

17d. The WOBYC Committee shall have power not to count races for club points if application is made by any class and to award points to helmsmen representing the Club in official races.

17e. A helmsman (owner) may apply to the Sailing Committee to have his points transferred to another boat of the same class. The Sailing Committee shall have the power to accept or reject the application.

17f. The minimum number of boats ranking as starters is two, otherwise the race is void.

17g. It is the boat which scores the points, not the helm except that in the case of club-owned boats the points will be scored by the helms unless they cannot be identified.


The Waveney and Broads OD classes shall make their own decision on reefing and communicate this to the O.O.D. The O.O.D. shall fly one cone (point up) over class flag for one reef and two cones (point up) for two reefs at the Clubhouse. The starts of these classes shall be postponed a minimum of 15 minutes, except during Oulton Week.


19a. When racing, suitable personal buoyancy must be worn by all dinghy sailors and by junior sailors (under the age of 18) and keelboats must carry buoyancy aids or lifejackets in accordance with RRS 1.2.

19b. All competitors shall wear suitable personal buoyancy in the Winter season.

19c. All sailing boats less than 15m in length must abide by Broads Authority Navigation Byelaw 24 (1995): Sailing vessels must not impede commercial, passenger-carrying vessels greater than 15m in length, the Waveney Princess, for example.



A race needs at least 2 boats to start for it to be valid (SI 17f)

If people are doing a safety boat or race team duty, they cannot get average points for races that did not have 2 boats starting.

The method of scoring for club points shall be displayed on the Club notice board. (SI 17c). This will tell you how many races you need to compete in to qualify for each series, and how many races will need to take place for the series to be valid.

If a boat accepts help from a safety boat, it shall retire from the race, except that junior sailors in slow handicap club races may be allowed to continue.

Last updated 17:53 on 3 March 2024

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