Start Racing

START RACING AT SCALING DAM

SUMMARY & INTRODUCTION

This document has been put together for those members who are new to racing. It has been reduced to a minimum of what is needed to enter your first race. There are lots of other details but let’s leave those for another day and try to ensure your racing is as enjoyable as possible right from the start.

  • ENTRY – Enter your name, boat class and sail number on the Signing-on Sheet by the notice boards. The Race Officer needs this to recognise your boat as a racer (not a casual sailor).
  • COURSE – Copy the course onto something that will survive getting wet. I use the back of my hand, others use white insulating tape.

Note the number of laps. It is written as (eg) Start + 2 laps which means sail the course from the start line to the finish line, then start counting whole laps finish line to finish line.

  • LAUNCH IN GOOD TIME – Be on the water 10-15 minutes before the start. This will allow time to adjust to the conditions and sail to the start line area.
  • START SEQUENCE – Single Start

TIME

SIGNAL

MEANING

Start – 5 minutes

2 lights + horn

Warning

Start – 4 minutes

No lights + horn

Preparatory

A few seconds later

1 light comes back on

Start – 1 minute

2 lights + horn

1 minute

Start

No lights + horn

Start

If there is more than one start in succession the Warning for the next start is the 1 minute signal of the current start.

  • STARTING RULES – If you are over the line at the start return to the pre-start side by sailing round one of the end marks and restart.

Don’t charge in at the starboard (right hand) end of the line – it always looks like there’s space but it isn’t allowed.

Advice – hang back a bit to avoid the crowds.

  • SAIL THE COURSE – Follow these basic rules you learned on your RYA Level 1 & 2 courses – there are lots more but these will keep you safe.
    • Port & Starboard – Port tack boat keeps clear of starboard tack boat
    • Windward & Leeward – Windward boat keeps clear of leeward boat
    • Overtaking – Overtaking boat keeps clear of the other boat
    • Rounding Marks – Give room to any inside boats (ie boats closer to the mark)
  •  FINISH – Keep on sailing the course until you get a finish signal – Horn + red light

The race may be shortened – signalled by 3 lights and 2 horns – finish the next time you sail through the finish line.

  • AND FINALLY – Well done – your first race completed. Go ashore and SIGN OFF on the race sheet – telling the Race Officer you completed the race within the rules. If you decided to retire from the race – say so on the race sheet – “RETIRED” or “RTD”.

There is a more comprehensive guide – for when you are ready.