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HomeCLSA Sailing Instructions

CLSA Sailing Instructions

2016 Version


Scot Start

1 Rules

1.1 Races will be governed by The Racing Rules of Sailing (RRS), the prescriptions of US Sailing, the rules of the classes participating, except as any of these are changed by these sailing instructions.


1.2 The PRC member is the Principal Race Officer and is responsible for the management of the race and safety committees.


1.3 Under the supervision of the PRC Member, the 1st Officer is the operational chairman of the race committee and is responsible for the course setup and conduct of the race.


2 Entries

2.1 All boats are eligible to participate in a recognized one-design class or in the Handicap Fleet, provided that the boat complies with the Minimum Safety Requirements in 2.1(a), and that each boat displays her sail number and class emblem on her mainsail.

2.1(a) Minimum Safety Requirements: Each boat must carry a wearable USCG approved personal floatation device for each person aboard. Each boat 16 feet or more in length must also carry one USCG Type 4 Personal Flotation Device (a throwable life cushion). and an adequate bailing device. (Sponges and sail bags are not considered to be adequate bailing devices.) Boats with “self-bailing” cockpits are not required to carry a bailing device. “Self-Bailing” is defined as having the capability to drain entrapped water completely by means of gravity alone, thus regaining normal sailing lines.

2.2 All competitors are eligible to participate in CLSA Season Races provided that:

(1) they agree to be bound by the Rules in Section 1 of these Sailing Instructions, including Part 1 – Fundamental Rules in the RRS

(2) they agree to pay Race Fees specified in the CLSA Membership Fee Schedule.


2.3 Competitors under 16 may not race on the regular course without authorization from the junior race chairman. (boats with an adult aboard are excepted)


3 Notices to Competitors

3.1 Notices to competitors will be posted on the CLSA club house white board. Code flag L should be displayed ashore if posted.


4 Changes in Sailing Instructions

4.1 The Permanent Race Committee (PRC) may make permanent (standing) changes or experimental changes (which shall apply for a designated period of time) to these sailing instructions by publishing notice of such changes on the web page and CLSA listserv at least seven (7) days before the day the change is to be in effect.


5 Signals Made Ashore

5.1 Signals made ashore will be displayed on the mast of the RC boat at the dock and on the clubhouse flag pole.


5.2 Flag AP with two sound signals (one sound signal when lowered) means ‘The race is postponed. The warning signal will be made not less than 30 minutes after AP is lowered.’


6 Signals Afloat

6.1 Signals made afloat will be displayed on the RC boat and in accordance with the RRS, unless modified by these sailing instructions.


6.2 Code Flag “Y” (diagonal red and yellow stripes) flown from the mast of the RC boat means “All competitors aboard boats that start after the display of this signal must wear life jackets or other adequate personal buoyancy while racing.” The Race Committee will draw attention to the hoisting of this flag by hailing and one sound signals. Competitors aboard boats whose preparatory signal has been made but which have not yet started may delay the donning of life jackets until their first reasonable opportunity. Competitors observed while racing and not wearing such gear when this flag is flown shall be disqualified. Wet suits and dry suits are not adequate personal buoyancy. Race committee members on the water shall also wear PFDs.


6.3 It is the sole responsibility of each competitor to decide whether and when to wear a life jacket of other adequate personal buoyancy. The absence of Code Flag “Y” before or during a particular race does not indicate that the Principle Race Officer (PRO) or CLSA approves of any competitor’s decision to not wear such gear, regardless of the existing weather conditions. The above instruction shall not be construed so as to hold the PRO, any member of the RC, or CLSA responsible for consequences that result from a competitor’s decision not to wear a life jacket or adequate personal buoyancy whether or not Code Flag “Y” is flown.


6.4 The sighting of lightning or strong thunder or lightning detected within 9 miles of the vicinity of the lake is considered sufficient grounds for the PRO to abandon races. Code Flag “N” (blue and white checkerboard) over Code Flag “H” (red and white sectors separated vertically) and three sound signals means all races are abandoned; further signals will be made ashore. In the case of high winds with no lightning, if it is the consensus of the PRC, the 1st Officer and the Safety Officer to not race in those conditions, they should postpone races not started or shorten or abandon those races already started.


7 Schedule of Races

7.1 Non-holiday weekend races are scheduled as follows:

Race         Day               Warning Signal

1                Sunday          1:42

2                Sunday          Following 1st race


7.2 Holiday Series Races (Memorial Day, 4th of July and Labor Day) will include a second day of racing with three races, in addition to the normal Sunday races. The second day of racing will be as listed in the published schedule of events.


7.3 No warning signal for the first class will be made after 4:00 PM on each day of racing.


8 Racing Area

The racing area will be as shown in the illustration below. Mark numbers correspond to quadrants of the racing area as indicated on the illustration. Mark #1 is in the southwest (Club House) quadrant; mark #2 is in the northwest quadrant; mark #3 is in the northeast quadrant; mark #4 is in the southeast quadrant. A mark may be placed within any part of its quadrant.

Cowan Lake Zones

9 The Course

9.1 The diagrams in Illustration B, attached, show the courses normally sailed. Courses will be signaled from the RC boat by red or green numbered placards, with mark numbers reading from top to bottom to indicate the order in which the marks are to be rounded. Green placards indicate marks to be left to starboard; red placards indicate marks to be left to port.


9.1 (a) Triangle Course is signaled by three mark placards of the same color. A numeral pennant flown from the mast of the RC boat indicates the number of triangle laps to be sailed before the final beat to the finish.


9.1 (b) Figure Eight (or “X”) Course is signaled by two red and two green placards with a Code Flag “8” (red cross on white pennant) from the mast of the RC boat. A numeral pennant flown from the mast of the RC boat indicates the number of figure eight laps to be sailed before the final beat to the finish.


9.1 (c) Olympic Course is signaled by three mark placards of the same color and Code Flag “O” (red and yellow sectors divided diagonally) flown from the mast of the RC boat. A numeral pennant flown from the mast of the RC boat indicates the number of complete triangle laps to be sailed before the final windward, leeward and windward legs.


9.1 (d) Windward-Leeward Course is signaled when the second mark placard is the letter “O” (for “offset”) and the third placard is red-green diagonal (indicating a leeward gate); and Code Flag “W” (red square inside a white square inside a blue square) is flown from the mast of the RC boat. A numeral pennant flown from the mast of the RC boat indicates the number of laps to be sailed before the final beat to the finish. The windward mark and offset mark are always left to port. At the leeward gate, boats shall sail between Mark S and Mark P from the direction of the last mark and round either Mark S to starboard or Mark P to port, as shown below.


9.2 The PRO may set any other course by signaling the course with the appropriate mark placards and hailing competitors to alert them to the special configuration.


10 Sailing Conditions

10.1 If the wind strength seems questionable for starting a fair and safe race, the RC should send a boat out to evaluate the conditions, whether too light or too strong. A decision to postpone should be made before the fleets leave the harbor.


11 Marks

11.1 Marks of the course are normally large orange or yellow floats. The starting and finishing marks are normally smaller yellow floats. When a mark is moved after the start, the black band should be attached around it to identify it as the moved mark.


12 The Start

12.1 CLSA uses an electronic signal device called an AutoHoot to sound the horn automatically.


At 1 minute before the first Warning Signal a “heads up” signal consisting of four quick blasts of the horn shall be made by switching on the AutoHoot.


Warning Signal – 3 minutes before the start the Class Flag shall be displayed with 1 horn.

Preparatory Signal – 2 minutes before the start code flag P (white square on blue) shall be displayed with one horn.

1 minute before the start code flag P shall be removed with one long horn.
At the start the Class Flag shall be removed and the next Class Flag displayed with 1 horn.


The Warning Signal of a succeeding class normally coincides with the Starting Signal of the preceding class.


When starting a subsequent race, and the next fleet is not ready to start, their flag is not displayed at the previous fleet’s start and the AutoHoot is switched off. Flag AP is not displayed. When the fleet is ready, the AutoHoot is switched on and the sequence is restarted.


Times shall be taken from the visual signals; the failure of a sound signal shall be disregarded.


This changes rule 26.


12.1 (b) Class Flags

Thistle – purple & green Thistle logo on lime
Highlander – black Highlander logo on light blue
MC Scow – black MC logo on orange
Lightning – red Lightning logo on white
Snipe – black Snipe logo on yellow
Flying Scot – white Flying Scot logo on royal blue
Laser – red Laser logo on white
C420 – blue C420 logo on white
Handicap – blue H on white


Order of Start:

1st Thistle
2nd Highlander & Lightning
3rd MC Scow
4th Snipe
5th Flying Scot
6th Laser, C420, Board Boats, Handicap Fleet


12.2 There will be no start for a class whose weekend regatta included racing on Sunday morning. There will be a class start for a class which held a one-day regatta on the previous day.


12.3 If a class that normally races as part of the Handicap Fleet wishes to be scored as a one-design fleet for any series, the starting sequence will not be changed.


12.4 If there are fewer than three starters for any fleet start in the second race of the day, the sequence may be advanced or starts may be combined, at the discretion of the PRO.


12.5 The starting line will be between the main mast on the race committee boat at the starboard end and a starting mark or mark of the course at the port end.


12.6 After a starting sequence has begun, boats shall remain at least 20 yards from the starting line until their warning signal is made. For boats which have started and rounded the first mark, the starting line is closed until all fleets have started.


12.7 The Principal Race Officer has the authority to cancel racing if an inadequate number of race committee reported and sufficient volunteers cannot be recruited.


13 Individual Recall

13.1 Individual Recalls shall be signaled in accordance with rule 29.2, however an attempt will be made to hail premature starters as a courtesy. Premature starters will be hailed as they are identified. Failure to hail, failure of a competitor to hear his hail, the order that boats are hailed and failure to identify all premature starters shall not be cause for redress.


14 General Recall

14.1 In the event of a general recall, the First Substitute shall be displayed with 2 sound signals. The recalled fleet shall clear the starting area while the succeeding fleet prepares to start. 1 minute after the recall, the Preparatory Signal for the next fleet is displayed and the First Repeater removed with 1 horn. The starting sequence is continued without interruption.. The recalled fleet’s re-start is moved to the end of the starting order. This changes rule 29.3.


15 The Finish

15.1 The finishing line will be between the main mast of the RC boat and the nearby finishing mark or mark of the course at the port end. The RC boat should display a blue flag when it is on station for the finish. If the race committee boat is a skiff, the finish line will be between a staff displaying a blue flag, and the course side of the finishing mark or mark of the course at the port end.


15.2 The finish line is an obstruction for boats not finishing unless it is defined by a mark of the course.


16 Shorten or Change Course after Start

16.1 The procedures for shortening a race shall be as described in Rule 32, except if the course is shortened only for certain fleets then boats in fleets not affected shall be hailed to continue racing. Procedures for changing the direction to the next mark shall be in accordance with rule 33.


17 Time Limit

17.1 A race must include at least three legs of the course for triangular courses or 2 legs for windward-leeward courses.


17.2 If the first boat of a fleet cannot reach the first mark of the course in 45 minutes, the PRO should consider abandoning that race. The PRO may abandon any or all starts if it believes a fair contest cannot be completed.


18 Alternate Penalty

18.1 Two turn penalties are covered in rule 44.2 of the Racing Rules. If, however, the boat that has broken a rule in Part 2 of the Racing Rules was flying a spinnaker, she may drop the spinnaker, complete one turn, then re-hoist. This changes rule 42.2


19 Protests

19.1 Boats protesting another boat shall notify the RC at their finish if able.


19.2 Boats completing penalty turns shall notify the RC at their finish.


19.3 Protests shall be written on forms available at the Club House and delivered to the PRC member within 30 minutes after the RC boat lands.


19.4 Protests will be heard in approximately the order of receipt on the day of the race, if possible.


19.5 Protest flags are not required. This changes rule 61.1(a).


19.6 In the event of serious damage or injury, a protest hearing is required.


20 Scoring

20.1 Individual Race Scoring: The Low Point scoring system, rule A2, will apply for individual races. The Portsmouth Handicap System will be used for the Handicap Fleet.


20.2 Series Scoring: The Low Point scoring system, rule A2, as modified below, will apply for each Series. The racing season will be scored in six series. Dates for the start of each series are listed in the Calendar section of the CLSA website:

Spring Series
Memorial Day
Fourth of July
Summer Series
Labor Day
Fall Series


20.2 (a) A race that is abandoned and not re-sailed, or canceled, will not be counted as a race in a series.


20.2 (b) For all long series, results will be determined with minimum qualifying participation of 50%, with a minimum of 50% scored and a maximum of 15% of races sailed excluded. This changes Appendix A2. For Holiday series, 50% participation is required and all races will be scored. This changes Appendix A2 and A9.


20.2 (c) A one-design fleet that normally races in the Handicap Fleet may be scored as a separate class for any series by providing written notice in advance to the Chairperson of the PRC. Boats in that class will not be eligible for Handicap Fleet trophies in that series, but their races will still be scored on a handicap basis toward the Handicap Fleet Season Championship.


20.2 (d) Scoring is based on sail numbers rather than on skippers, except in the case of a skipper who acquires a new boat during the racing season and so notifies the Scorekeeper, or in the case of a “Guest Skipper” who complies with instruction 19.2 (e) below.


20.2 (e) A “Guest Skipper” is permitted, but not required, to request the PRO, prior to any race, to score his or her finish in that race under an alternative sail number. The alternative sail number shall be either the guest skipper’s own same-fleet sail number (in which case the race will be scored and billed to that skipper), or the boat’s existing sail number appended with an “X” ( in which case the race will be billed to that boat’s owner, but not scored for that owner in determining series or season championship results).


20.2 (f) A skipper who uses a sail with a number different from the hull number shall inform the PRO of the actual hull number which will be used for scoring.


20.2 (g) A skipper who uses two or more boats of the same class during a series or season will be scored as though a single boat were used.

20.3 Season Championship Scoring:

20.3 (a) The Low Point scoring system, rule A2, as modified below, will apply for Season Championship Scoring.


20.3 (b) All season races for a class shall be counted for Season Championship scoring.


20.3 (c) A boat must have been a starter in at least 40% of the races scored for that class.


20.3 (d) A minimum of 40% of the races scored for each class will be scored for each boat in the class.


20.3 (e) A maximum of 15% of the number of races sailed by a qualifying boat will be excluded.


20.3 (f) Races scored DNS in a series will not be counted in the season scoring. This changes Appendix A9.


(Fractional percentages resulting from calculation for the above whole numbers shall be discarded.)


21 Prizes

21.1 Individual Races: No prizes are awarded for individual races.


21.2 Series: One trophy will be awarded to the winner of each class having either two or more qualifying boats in the series or averaging at least 2 starters per race in the series. One additional trophy will be awarded for each additional 2 boats per race averaged or qualified by that class in the series.


21.3 Season Championship: One trophy will be awarded to the winner of each class having either two or more qualifying boats for the season or averaging at least 2 starters per race during the season. One additional trophy will be awarded for each additional 2 boats per race averaged or qualified by that class during the season.


21.4 Members failing to serve their race committee assignments without arranging for another member to substitute shall be ineligible for any trophies.


21.5 Non-members of CLSA are eligible to race, and be scored, but not be eligible for CLSA series or season championship trophies, provided they:


21.5 (a) Furnish their name, address, phone number, boat class and sail number to the Chair of the PRC; and


21.5 (b) Pay any race fees due.