All Sailing Instructions for Combined Club Championship

Haven Combined Club Series - General Sailing Instructions

Haven Combined Club Series



The following rules will apply

a) The Racing Rules of Sailing (RRS) 2017-2020.

b) World Sailing Offshore Special Regulations Appendix B Special Regulations for inshore racing.
c) The Notice of Race, these Sailing Instructions, & any supplementary Sailing Instructions.
d) Prescriptions of the RYA.
e) In the event of a conflict, these Sailing Instructions shall prevail over the Notice of Race.
f) The Sailing Instructions may change other Racing Rules.

1.2 These Instructions may be amended by the Supplementary Sailing Instructions or a Notice to Competitors.


2.1 See Notice of Race for Points Series or Passage Series.


The Bylaws of the Harwich Haven Authority apply, as do the International Regulations for Preventing Collisions at Sea as between competitors and any vessel not racing. Any competitor found to have infringed these bylaws or regulations shall be liable to Protest.

Any boat which finds itself disabled or out of control within the Deep-Water Channel shall promptly advise Harwich VTS on VHF channel 71 of its situation.

Any boat which while racing suffers damage or gets into difficulties but does not need assistance shall advise Dover Coastguard of her situation by normal VHF procedure or by telephone (01304 210008), to avoid unnecessary emergency action should she be reported in difficulties by a third party. She shall then if possible inform the Race Officer of the situation by the means provided below (“Communications”).

Any competing boat which touches a moored or anchored boat shall retire immediately unless she claims that she was wrongly compelled to touch it by another competitor, in which case she shall protest.



Competitors in danger of obstructing or being involved in a collision with a commercial vessel may use their engines to keep clear. They must inform the Race Officer as soon as possible after finishing. In such case the race committee shall adjust the competitor’s elapsed time as it considers in its absolute discretion to be fair and equitable. This changes RRS Rule 42.1.


In the event of a Notice to Competitors (including changes to the Notice of Races or Sailing Instructions) IC flag Lima will be displayed prior to the start of the first race affected and competitors should listen for instructions. 

When appropriate and if time permits, notices will be e-mailed to all competitors and posted on the Series website, but inability or failure to do so shall not be grounds for redress.


Competitors are required to monitor VHF Channel 72 from 1 hour before the published start time to their finish of the last race of the day.

The race officer may provide a mobile telephone number, if one is available for that day. In emergency, or for purposes stipulated in these Sailing Instructions, competitors may communicate with the Race Officer using VHF Channel 72 or the mobile telephone number.


Competitors must check in with the Race Officer prior to their warning signal, declaring the number of crew on board, and obtain an acknowledgement. Only boats declaring a crew count and receiving an acknowledgement will rank as starters. Where possible (i.e. if the race officer is afloat), check in should be by hail and NOT over the VHF.



Competitors must display their class flag on their backstays while racing. Competitors may, in addition, wear the burgee of the club they are representing. Ensigns must not be worn.

The “experienced fleet” will display IC No. 1 pennant. The “relaxed fleet” will display IC No. 2 pennant.

For Passage Races, all boats must display IC flag H or their class flag on their backstays while racing.

Competitors in the experienced fleet shall display a sail number whilst racing. Competitors in the relaxed fleet should endeavour to ensure their sail has a unique distinguishing mark (such as a class insignia) if they do not have a sail number.


See Notice of Race Points Series or Offshore Series.


10.1 Beacon Hill Line

The Beacon Hill line is located just inside Dovercourt Breakwater. The line is between the yellow “Beacon Hill” racing mark (located approximately 2 cables north of the seaward end of the Dovercourt breakwater) and a staff with an orange flag on the committee boat anchored approximately 2 cables in an easterly direction from this buoy. 

10.2 Measured Mile Line

The measured Mile Line is located in Butterman’s Bay, approximately half way between HPYC and Pin Mill. The line is a transit of two posts on the south bank of the River Orwell, the riverside post with a yellow triangular top mark, apex up and the rear post marked with white hoops and a yellow triangular top mark, apex down. The northern limit of this line is a Committee Boat, stationed on the north side of the buoyed channel.

10.3 RHYC Line

This line is a transit of two posts on the south bank of the Orwell, just to eastward of RHYC Marina, the riverside post marked with red and white hoops with a yellow triangular top mark, the rear post is a black and white mast behind the starting box. The northern limit of this line is a white-topped wooden pole to the north side of the buoyed channel and moorings. 

10.4 PMSC Line

The PMSC line extends from the main mast of the club on the south bank to the “no. 5 starboard channel mark” on the north side of the channel.

10.5 HPYC Line

The HPYC line is defined by a line drawn through the Signals Mast at the Race Officer’s building and a fore-mark with two triangles as top mark, positioned on the up-river quay head of the Suffolk Yacht Harbour entrance. The line is to be crossed in the direction specified by the course set for the race in question.

10.6 Shotley SC Line

A line extended from the mast in front of the starting hut in the dinghy park and a laid outer limit mark approx 50 m below high water mark. The outer limit will be a laid orange or yellow mark.  If no mark is present, the line will be deemed to extend 180 degrees from the mast, for approx. 0.2 NM.

10.7 H&DSC Line

The transit of two triangular top marks, one on the HDSC on-shore start hut, the other on a barge a few metres out from the quayside. The outer distance mark is a 1 metre diameter orange buoy, marked H & D, approximately 200 metres North West of the old Harwich train ferry long arm.

10.8 Passage Races

For the Passage Races, further instructions pertaining to the start and finish lines shall be provided in the respective Supplementary Sailing Instructions.

10.9 Alternative Start Line

An alternative start mark may be used, which may be a navigation mark or a laid mark such as a Dan buoy or anchored dinghy. The committee boat will fly IC flag Lima, and the location and identity of the start mark, and new start time(s) will be announced by VHF and/or communicated verbally or by a board from the committee boat. A postponement be made to the scheduled starting times to give competitors sufficient time to reach the new start line area before their class warning signal is made. If a course is shortened and a subsequent race is to be sailed, that race may be started at or near the finish of the first race, using the procedure described above.


If the official committee boat fails to arrive on station a substitute committee boat may be appointed. If this is a competitor that boat will be awarded race points in compensation at the absolute discretion of the Race Officer.


A Dan buoy or other mark, which may be wearing a flag, may be anchored close to the committee boat as an inner limit mark. A boat shall not sail between the mark and Committee Boat after her warning signal has been made. If a boat has to sail in this area she must return to the pre-start side of the line before starting by sailing round the Committee Boat.

A ball or other mark extending on a staff from a Committee Boat, or a dinghy or other floating object secured alongside, shall be regarded as a part of the starting mark and not as a temporary or accidental attachment.


13.1 Starting Sequence

Rule 26 starting signals shall apply (5,4,1,Go). Time shall be taken from the visual signals; the timing or absence of a sound signal or VHF message shall be disregarded and is not grounds for redress.

13.2 Recalls

Individual or general recalls will be signalled according to Rules 29.1 and 29.2 respectively.  Where the first class to start is recalled, it’s starting sequence may, at the discretion of the race officer, be delayed until after the start of the 2nd class.

13.3 Order of Starts for Points Races

Class 2 (relaxed fleet): Warning Signal (1055), Start (1100).
Class 1 (experienced fleet): Warning Signal (1125), Start (1130).


Competitors are required, while racing, to avoid navigating within the limits of the Harwich Deep water channel seaward of the Shotley Spit Cardinal Buoy, as defined by straight lines joining consecutive channel marks including the Landguard buoy, and out to sea as far as the Rough buoy. For the purposes of the RRS such lines are to be regarded as a Continuing Obstruction.

For passage races, a boundary extending 50 meters from the extremities of any Wind Farm shall be treated as an obstruction and RSS Rules 19 and 20 shall apply.


15.1 Points Series

The course to be sailed will be announced by VHF and may also be indicated by a display board, as follows:

A VHF announcement will be made not more than 15 minutes before the Warning Signal. At least one repeat broadcast will be given, and further repeats to competitors may be made on request by any boat when convenient, but not during any starting sequence.

In the event of VHF communication problems, the following may be used:

A display board may show each mark of the course in turn (including the finishing mark) using the two-letter abbreviations set out in the “Abbreviations” section of the Course Marks List, and indicating the side to which each is to be left.

If a course that has been displayed and/or broadcast is subsequently changed, displaying IC flag L together with a sound signal will signal this event. The change of course signal will be made at least 5 minutes before the Warning Signal. The signal flag L will be removed at the Start Signal. In the event of a discrepancy between the displayed course and that broadcast, the displayed course will prevail.

15.2 Passage Races

Courses will be as defined in the Supplementary Sailing Instructions.

15.3 Marks that are always in the course

If the course issued by the race officer involves sailing past any of the following marks; Harwich Shelf, Shotley Horse, Collimer, then the marks that are passed must be left on the appropriate side, as follows:


  • Harwich Shelf must always be left to starboard when leaving the harbour and left to port when entering the harbour.

  • Shotley Horse must always be left to starboard when leaving the river Orwell, and to Port when entering the river Orwell.

  • Collimer must always be left to Starboard when heading downriver and to Port when heading up river.

In the event that the course provided on the day explicitly conflicts with sailing instruction 16.3, the course provided by the race officer shall prevail.


For points series races, the finishing line will either be one of the lines defined in section 10, or a line between the indicated finishing mark and a staff or mast displaying an orange flag on an adjacent committee boat, leaving the finishing mark on the indicated side.

For passage races, competitors should finish in accordance with the instruction in the relevant Supplementary Sailing Instruction.

In exceptional circumstances the committee boat may be off station at the finish, in which case the following procedure (Timing In) should be used.


If the race officer is not on station for the finish of a points series race, competitors shall take their own finishing times and report them to the Race Officer by VHF (or telephone if available) or to the Haven Series Secretary (07778 010580) as soon as possible and not later than mid-day on the following Monday, together with the names of the boats finishing immediately ahead and astern of them, if visible. Times shall be corrected to GPS time indicating BST or GMT as applicable.

Where the finishing line was bounded at one end by a committee boat that is no longer on station, a competitor shall finish when the finishing mark bears 90.


The course may be shortened to finish at any mark of the course for any reason at the discretion of the Race Officer (this changes RRS Rule 32.1). A committee boat will display IC flag S and the line shall be crossed from the direction of the last mark, on the proper side of the mark as prescribed by the course definition. The finish line will be defined by the mark in question and a staff or mast displaying an orange flag on the committee boat, or the fore mast of the Committee Boat (this changes RRS Rule 32.2 the definition of “Race Signals”).


There will be no time limits.  The Race Officer shall remain on station for 5hrs after the start. A boat finishing more than 5hrs after their start should time themselves in as described in section 18 and report their time to the race committee or the Series Secretary.

20. RETIREMENT OR DELAY (Mandatory Safety Requirement)

Any boat retiring, or withdrawing from a subsequent race the same day, must report to the Race Officer that it is so doing by hailing, or by VHF or telephone as above (Communications), at the earliest opportunity and obtain an acknowledgement.

Any boat significantly delayed while racing but not requiring assistance should report her situation and estimated finishing time to the Race Officer by the means indicated above (Communications).



Declarations are not required for Points Series races. Declarations are required for the passage series, see Supplementary Sailing Instructions.


Any points race that is abandoned may be re-sailed. If practicable and if circumstances so permit, the Race Officer may re-sail an abandoned race on the same day. Otherwise the Organising Authority will provide at least 7 days notice of the date on which a race is to be re-sailed. 


These are to be notified verbally to the Race Officer at the finish or by telephone or VHF radio within two hours thereafter, and confirmed in writing to the Series Secretary, 17 Beach Lane, Alderton, Woodbridge, Suffolk IP12 3BU at the earliest possible time. Protests will be heard on the Friday following the race at 20.00 BST at the RHYC, or failing this at a time and place appointed by the Chairman.

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