Pembroke Haven Yacht Club

Hobbs Point, Pembroke Dock

NYC/PHYC cruiser racing Sailing Instructions
Version 2301

These sailing instructions cover Cruiser Racing run by Neyland Yacht Club and Pembroke Haven Yacht Club for series and individual races throughout the season.

Please remember to read your tide tables and study chart(s) before competing in racing.

1 Rules
Racing will be governed by the Racing Rules of Sailing (ISAF), the prescriptions of the
RYA, class rules where appropriate except as any of these are changed by these Sailing

2 Conditions of Entry
2.1 Eligibility

  • Eligible boats may be entered by completing registration with Neyland Yacht Club or Pembroke Haven Yacht Club.
  • Registration forms are available from the NYC website & Starting Deck and PHYC website and Notice Board and at the Marina office.
  • Please provide an e-mail address for future notifications.

2.2 Safety

  • The safety of a yacht and her entire management including insurance is the sole responsibility of the owner/competitor racing the yacht who must ensure that adequate safety equipment is carried.
  • The decision on whether or not to start or continue in a race is that of the owner/competitor; the race organisers accept no liability for loss, injury or damage. The race officer has the authority on duty-of-care grounds to cancel,postpone or delay any planned race at any time.
  • Moreover, every owner/competitor warrants the suitability of his yacht for the races.
  • All yachts shall carry:
    • A minimum third party insurance in the sum of £2,000,000
    • An engine capable of propelling the yacht at 4 knots in calm water and sufficient fuel for 2 hours motoring. Engine and associated equipment must be fully functioning and in a safe working order before the starting procedure commences. Random checks may be carried out by the Race Committee.
    • A VHF radio capable of transmitting and receiving Channels 16, 12, & 37. Immediately after the start all yachts racing will keep a dual watch on channel 16 and 37. MHPA signal station wishing to communicate directlywith a yacht will call on Channel 16 and request yacht(s) to switch toChannel 12. On completion of any such communication the yacht(s) concerned will resume dual watch on Channel 16 and Channel 37. The Clubs strongly advise all yachts to monitor commercial activity on Channel 12 especially when tankers are being berthed or the when Ferry is en-route.Random radio checks may be carried out at the discretion of the Race Officer.

2.3 Lifejacket Rule

  • When flag Y is flown from the start club’s flag staff or Committee boat, ALL competitors will wear lifejackets. Failure to comply with this rule WILL result in a disqualification.

2.4 Classes

  • The Byron James rating system will be used. The rating for a boat will need to be verified by printed BJ Certificate held by the club Sailing Captain and may be subject to independent verification.
  1. Fast Division 1 - Pennant 1 – All yachts below BJ1000.
  2. Slow Division 2 - Pennant 2(recommended) or 3(historical)– All yachts BJ1000 and above. Note: this arrangement covers the majority of races.
  3. Gentleman’s class – Pennant 4 – Yachts sailing under white-sails-only
  4. Variations
  • Boats close to PN1000 can opt to race in either fleet subject to agreement of Race officers
  • If there are sufficient numbers of entries, the Race Officers may create a split within the classes to enable appropriate courses to be set. The sailing instructionswill be amended accordingly.
  • To make a division valid for a series there must be at least three yachts entered, however only two need to be present to constitute a race. Yachts without BJ Numbers will be allocated a number. Allocated numbers may be adjusted during the series.
  • If three or more identical boats enter and take part in a race series, a separate class result may be extracted from the overall series results to encourage class racing, the winner may qualify for separate prize.

2.5 Rating Certificates

  • It is mandatory that all boats should submit data and obtain individual BJ ratings. For the 2023 season all boats must refresh their certificates. A new refresh date is to be set, but the default will be a yearly refresh requirement.
  • Written confirmation of measurement data and resulting handicap number must be submitted to the club ratings officer. 
  • Under agreed circumstances a class BJ listed number may be used by members of other clubs taking part in individual races, e.g. regattas.

2.6 Class Pennants

  • Prior to her preparatory signal, and for the duration of the race, each yacht shall fly her class pennant at least 1 metre above the stern pulpit.
  • The class pennant shall be the numeral pennant listed in 3.1. This pennant will be flown at all times when racing.
  • Any yacht failing to fly a class pennant will not be considered a starter or, if having started and sailed the course, will be deemed to have retired.

3 Communications with Competitors

3.1 Class Signals

  • Fast Division 1 - Numeral Pennant 1
  • Slow Division 2 - Numeral Pennant 2 (recommended) or 3 (historical)
  • Gentleman’s Division - Numeral Pennant 4

3.2 Changes to Sailing Instructions
Changes will be displayed on NYC and PHYC club notice boards and Neyland Yacht
Haven one week prior to implementation and will be available on the NYC/PHYC
websites. Entrants who have provided an e-mail address will be notified by e-mail.
Competitors' attention may be drawn to such changes by flying International Code Flag
and/or announcement on VHF Channel 37 prior to the start of a race.

4 Schedule of Races, Courses & Starting Procedure

4.1 Races

  • Racing will take place on the dates listed in the club programme.
  • Nominal Starting times will be as follows:
    • Sunday morning     11.00
    • Wednesday evening    1845

4.2 Courses
Details will be transmitted approximately 20 minutes prior to start sequence.
Note that some racing marks may be classed as “Passing” marks.

4.3 Starting

  • NYC: Transit through an orange coloured pole mounted at the rear of NYC Clubhouse and the NYC flagpole extending to the south shore. There is no ODM.
  • PHYC: Transit through yellow/red pole on the end of Hobbs Point and the Clubhouse balcony flagpole, extending to the north shore. There is no ODM.
  • Starts will be east/west unless otherwise stated.

4.4 Starting Duties
Any PHYC/ NYC yacht (skipper or crew) nominated to man the starting deck and
unable to participate in a race, will receive a position equal to that yachts average
position at the end of the series. Any PHYC/NYC yacht nominated (as above) to
man the starting deck at PHYC /NYC and fails to do so will not be allowed to
start in that race. Any yacht doing so will be disqualified from that race.

4.5 Starting Signals
Signals will be given in accordance with RRS 26 at the following intervals:
Warning Signal (class pennant plus one sound) Start minus 5 minutes.
Preparatory Signal (P plus one sound) Start minus 4 minutes.
One minute (Prep flag removed plus one sound) Start minus 1 minute.
Starting signal (Class pennant lowered plus one sound) Start time.
Times shall be taken from the visual signal, the absence of a sound signal shall be

4.6 Recalls & Starting Penalties

  • If any part of a yacht’s hull or equipment is on the course side of the starting line when the starting signal is made, a sound signal will be given and the code flag X will be flown until all such yachts have returned to the pre-start side of the line, or for 2 minutes whichever is the earlier. The officer of the day may transmit the sail numbers of premature starters on VHF Channel 37. Failure to do so shall not be grounds for a request for redress. Yachts recalled but failing to return correctly will be disqualified.
  • If a race is restarted, re-sailed or re-scheduled, any yacht disqualified under SI 4.6 may compete in it without penalty, the appropriate RRS being amended accordingly, except in the case of SI 4.4.

5 Finishing

5.1 Time Limits
RRS 35 is to be replaced with:

  • Maximum time limit for 1st boat home on Sunday racing ;
    • Div 1  220 minutes
    • Div 2 & Gentleman’s   220 minutes
  • Maximum time limit for 1st boat home on Wednesday racing ;
    • Div 1  120 minutes
    • Div 2 & Gentleman’s  120 minutes
  • The time limit is 1.4 x E (where E= elapsed time of the first boat to finish in each fleet.)
  • In the event of races potentially exceeding the time limit, the Race Officer may announce the elapsed time of the first boat to cross the finishing line for each fleet and the latest valid time to finish. It is the responsibility of the crews to estimate theirown elapsed time and decide whether or not to retire.
  • Race officer has plenary powers to amend time limit to suit weather conditions inorder to obtain a fair and valid sporting result.

5.2 Shortened Course
A shortened course will be signalled using International Code Flag 'S'. This signal may
be made before the leading yacht has rounded the penultimate mark of the shortened course or the last mark of a lap, i.e. the finishing line may be crossed in the opposite direction to the course instructions if this is the case.

5.3 Retirements
A yacht retiring from a race must inform the race committee at the earliest opportunity preferably by VHF.


6 Alternative Penalties

  • A yacht infringing a rule of Part 2 of RRS may exonerate herself in accordance with RRS 44.2 (720 degrees turns penalty)
  • A yacht touching a mark may exonerate herself in accordance with RRS 31.(360 degrees penalty)

7 Protests

  • Immediate on-the-spot notification must be made by hailing and flying of protest flag as per racing rules.
  • Only International Code Flag 'B' or a red rectangular flag will be accepted as a protest flag.
  • Protests must be notified to the race officer by VHF on finishing. Additionally Race Officer and Protester will agree, either by VHF, telephone or in person and within 1 ½ hr of finishing, the method of full protest submission and of informing the Protestee if there is doubt from the on-the-spot incident. In the case of VHF use, due consideration to other finishers being dealt with by the race officer must be observed.
  • The protester must submit a full paper protest ideally on his/her club form to the Race Officer or nominee as agreed above by the time limit specified below. Possible methods to be agreed include:
    • Meeting in person
    • Transmission by third party(s)
    • Electronic transmission of scanned form
    • Delivery to clubhouse letterbox
  • Submission time limit: 8pm on the day after the race day.  For specific races it may be appropriate to require same-day resolution of protests, and in these cases the Race Officer should notify contestants before the race start.
  • Protests are to be accompanied by a £15.00 fee. (Refunded when a protest is upheld).
  • The Race Officer may chair the protest committee or may appoint another club member to be chair. The parties to the protest will be notified of the time and place of the hearing.
  • Failure on the part of any party to the protest, or a representative, to attend the hearing may justify the protest committee in deciding the protest as it thinks fit without a full hearing.

8 Scoring System

  • For any race, there must be two starters in any class or three in a combined division (see 2.4).
  • The Low Point System (Appendix A) shall apply, amended as follows:-
    • a yacht that does not finish or, having finished later retires (DNF or RET) will score points equal to the number of starters in the race plus 1
    • a yacht that is disqualified (DSQ) will score points equal to the number of starters in the race plus 3
    • a yacht that comes to the racing area but fails to start (DNS) will score points equal to the number of starters on that day plus 1
    • a yacht that does not come to the racing area (DNC) will score points equal to the number of entrants in the series ıplus 2.
  • Series discards are organised by an algorithm within the Sailwave results programme. The norm will be 000111222333
  • For short series (e.g. the Spring Sunday series) the Sailing captains may agree a custom discard system if appropriate to factors that may prevail. 

9 Allowances

  • Helms may request permission to use a BJ number calculated for sailing without spinnakers, gennakers, cruising chutes, square sails and all other purpose made down-wind sails. This measure applies on individual races and on a series basis and must be requested prior to the first race in which they compete. Boats sailing in Gentleman’s class will sail white-sails only, without pole and will use the boat’s BJ base rating. Note: this is to encourage novices to racing in this class, where listed ratings can be used as an alternative to measured BJ ratings.
  • Cruising chute with a boom is an acceptable alternative to a conventional
  • Spinnaker
  • Propellers are not to be removed.
  • Vane or other automatic steering devices are not to be used.
  • Use of engines:

In order to avoid any potentially dangerous situations, yachts may use

their engines to motor clear, provided this is done in a way as not to give

unfair advantage. Yachts that do use their engine in this way shall report

the circumstances to the race committee within an hour of finishing any

race, which may or may not apply a penalty.

10 Bylaws & Other Rules

  • All Yachts shall comply with Milford Haven Port Authority Bylaws and not interfere with, obstruct or inconvenience any commercial shipping. Any yacht that is reported by the Port Authority as having infringed commercial shipping will be disqualified without redress.
  • Smoking and the use of naked flame is strictly forbidden when passing Oil / GAS, tankers / installations.
  • MHPA may be provided with a list of yachts competing by name, sail number and hull colour if requested.
  • Minimum crew; two people required to compete. Advice to all helms; it is good practice to race with at least 3 people on board.