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Dinghy sailing and racing in Christchurch Harbour

A unique friendly club that brings together sociable and competitive sailing in a safe harbour location

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Racing will take place under the current Racing Rules for Sailing, these Sailing Instructions (SI) and the Notice of Race (NR), if issued for the race in question.


Before commencing to race, all competitors shall have paid the required entry fee and signed on for the event.  All sailors shall possess third party insurance to a minimum value of 2m and may be require to declare the name of their insurance company on entering.  In a class regatta, all boats shall have a valid class certificate.

The safety of the boat and its entire management including insurance shall be the responsibility of the competitor, who must ensure that he and his equipment are properly prepared to face the conditions that may arise in the course of the competition.  Neither this SI, nor an inspection of the boat under this SI, reduces the responsibility of the competitor for himself and his equipment.  Mudeford Sailing Club and any event sponsors shall not be responsible for any loss, damage, personal injury or death, however caused, as a result of competitors taking part in a race or races.


Each competitor shall display his sail number on his mainsail.  Competitors may be required to display an advertising sticker on their hull or sail if provided by an event sponsor.


Notices to competitors will be published on an official notice board in the clubhouse.  Changes to this SI may be made by the race officer at the pre-race briefing or be published at least one hour before the first scheduled race of the day, accompanied by the appropriate signal.


The Race Committee and/or the OOD have the right to postpone, cancel or abandon racing if circumstances warrant it. In potentially hazardous conditions the OOD must consult a Flag Officer or the Sailing Secretary before Juniors (i.e. those under 18 years old, and not acting as crew for an adult) are allowed to race. As a guide, winds above 16 kts are potentially hazardous for all but the most experienced Juniors, and in winds of 21 kts and above Juniors are not to race.

Competitors shall wear personal buoyancy at all times when racing.  It shall take the form of at least a waistcoat type buoyancy aid.


A meeting will be held before racing begins at which competitors will be briefed on the courses to be sailed, the start sequence and the procedure for individual and general recall.  For club racing, this meeting may take the form of the posting of the course and start sequence on the notice board, at least 30 minutes before racing is due to begin.  Alterations may be notified at briefings, or on a board on the committee boat.

There are many marks in the harbour, but it is the responsibility of helms to familiarise themselves with Club racing marks before racing begins.


Series races will be published by date, type of race, start time of the first race and number of races in the annual racing calendar.  OODs may abandon races due to adverse conditions but may not increase the number of races on a given day.  Sailors who race will be given race points.  DNF or RET will be scored as fleet + 1, DNS or DSQ as fleet + 2.  These points will be carried forward for the Series.  Sailors who DNE a race day will be scored Series +1 for those races.

Racing in the Club will be on a Handicap basis, using the RYA Portsmouth Numbers as a guide.  The race committee may publish amended PNs from time to time based on experience gained at Series racing. 

Sailors entering a Series will have their results recorded according to the category of dinghy they sail.  These are 3-Lap Fleet (PN<1180), 2-Lap Fleet (PN 1180 or greater) and Crewed boat Fleets.  Skippers of 3-lap fleet boats may opt to sail in the 2-lap fleet in order to gain racing experience and crewed boats with a 3-lap Fleet PN may sail with either fleet.

Sailors of dinghies that have a number of rig options are to declare the largest rig they intend to use in a Series at the first race they sail in that Series. They may sail with a smaller rig to suit the conditions, but will be scored at the faster PN. For instance, a Laser sailor declaring a Full Rig may sail on a Radial or a 4.7 as they choose during the Series but will be scored as if they were still sailing a Full Rig. Sailors may declare a different rig on a change of Series.

If a sailor who has declared a smaller rig changes to a larger one during a Series, they shall be scored as a separate boat.

Sailors may change boats in mid-series when that change is to be permanent, for instance on the purchase of a new boat, when only the PN will change. Where the new boat is in a different fleet, the sailor may carry forward his results from his old fleet. 

Sailors who normally sail with a crew may sail single-handed and vice-versa (with the appropriate PN adjustment) but will be allocated to the category in which the majority of their results were gained.

None of the rules in Para 9 above is intended to prevent a sailor reefing his sail, changing sails because of equipment breakage, sailing with a different crew because of indisposition or other “force majeur”.  The aim is to promote fair racing at all levels.


For Club Series, the discard system is as follows:

For the first 6 races sailed: 1 discard.  For every 2 subsequent races: 1 additional discard.

If a Series consists of 5 or 6 races, there will be 2 discards; for 3 or 4 races there will be 1 discard.


Club racing uses a simplified protest system see Annex A 

In open meetings, a competitor intending to protest shall inform the race committee (afloat or ashore) after he finishes the race in question and complete and hand in the protest form to the race officer or committee member within one hour of the race or series in back to back racing.  For Inter Club racing, on going ashore he must complete a protest form and hand it to the race officer or committee member of his Club as soon as possible.


The racing area is Christchurch Harbour unless indicated in the briefing for the day.  At all times, competitors must give way to vessels that are limited in their ability to manoeuvre.  This principally applies to vessels in the marked channels, in particular ferries and other commercial craft.

The Blackberry Point and Stanpit Bight nature reserve is a prohibited area (an SSSI) marked with yellow buoys, to the SW of the Club.  Access or landing is not permitted except in an emergency.


All moored boats in the harbour are Obstructions as defined by RSS.  When boats on the same tack opt to sail to one side of a moored boat, a boat with an inside overlap shall be given room.  When boats on opposite tacks are sailing towards an obstruction, the port tack boat may call for water to tack to avoid the obstruction.

Buoys, of whatever sort, are not Obstructions.


Helms need only sign off if they retire from the race or series in question.


[Home] [Join & Renew] [Directions and map] [Club Rules] [Safety Policy] [Data Protection] [Discounts] [A short history] [Learning to Sail] [Club boats] [Dinghy storage] [Social] [Racing] [Calendar] [Sailing Instructions] [Club PNs] [Protest System] [Racing Marks] [Race Officers] [Open Regattas] [Inter Club] [Mudeford Week] [Results] [For Sale]