LSYC General Racing Regulations

A. General Club Rules Eligibility & Responsibility 

A.1 Races are open to yachts belonging to and under the control of members of LSYC, with the exception that certain races are also open to non-members. Races in the latter category are identified as “open” in the programme.

A.2 A yacht may be disqualified in any race or series of races if, after warning from the Sailing Committee, at the time of that race, or of any race in the series of races, the subscription of any member of the Club on board that yacht is unpaid, or if the owner/skipper of a yacht has failed to provide a declaration to the satisfaction of the sailing committee confirming that they have appropriate insurance cover, under (A.3) below.

A.3 The safety of a yacht, and its entire management, including insurance, is the sole and inescapable responsibility of the owner/skipper. The Club accepts no responsibility for loss of or damage to any vessel. Yachts shall carry insurance protection for Third Party and Passenger liability of not less than 1,500,000 Euro. Such cover should include Club Racing.

A.4 The Race Committee reserves the right to refuse any entry.

A.5 In compliance with ISAF Racing Rules of Sailing 2021-2024 rule 90.3, a race shall be scored providing one boat starts and finishes the set course.

B. Racing Rules  

B.1    All Club races shall be sailed under the ISAF Racing Rules 2021-2024 with Irish Sailing Association prescriptions.

C. Special Club Rules for Fahan Race Starts.  

C.1 Between the Warning Signal and the Starting Signal for her class, a yacht may not hoist a spinnaker on any Club Race commencing at the Fahan starting line, until she has actually started (this rule does not apply to any other race starts on the Lough).

C.2 For race starts the inner Club Start Mark at Fahan shall be considered to be surrounded by navigable water.

D. Additional Club Racing Rules 

D.1 The Round-an-End Rule (30.1) shall apply to all starts but, in amendment of that rule and ‘Race Signals’, International ‘Code Flag I’ will not be displayed and no sound signal will be made.

E. Race Committee  

The Race Committee for each race shall be appointed by the Sailing Committee and shall consist of the O.D. and at least two other persons.

F. Minimum Structural Accommodation and Equipment Standards  

Yachts shall comply with the Club’s minimum standards at the appropriate level 1 to level 4 as defined in the Safety on the Water section of the handbook.

The Race Committee reserves the right to inspect participating yachts to verify that these requirements have been complied with, and to penalise non-compliance by time penalty or disqualification.

Club members participating in events outside Lough Swilly are requested to comply with the safety requirements of the organising club, and to be mindful of their responsibility to uphold the good name of Lough Swilly Yacht Club in this respect.

Members are also reminded that compliance with the International Regulations for the Prevention of Collisions at Sea is required by law.

G. Classes and Handicaps  

Cruisers will race in two divisions:

IRC Class – yachts with valid IRC certificates

Club Class – Open to all Yachts (Non-IRC)

—    All Yachts wishing to Race in IRC Class will be required to provide a copy of their current IRC Handicap Certificate to the Sailing Secretary before 31st May.  Any yacht without a current IRC Handicap Certificate will not be allowed to race in IRC class.  Yachts will observe the appropriate starting sequence, i.e. Club class start.  Yachts must observe the instructions of the OD.

—    Yachts in IRC Class will fly International Code flag “Pendant 1” (White with Red dot) from their backstays while racing.

—    Yachts in Club Class will fly International Code flag “Pendant 2” (Blue with White dot) from their backstays while racing.

Dinghy Handicaps will operate as follows:

(i)  For all regatta and special races, Portsmouth Yardstick will be applied. For series races, handicaps will be fixed at the beginning of each month.

(ii)  Handicaps will be adjusted depending on performance of boat and crew, with the objective of encouraging a number of different race winners.

(iii)  For those boats with a P.Y. of 140 or more, when sailing within the creek, one lap less than the total set for the race will suffice. The corrected time for the full race will be calculated from the number of laps completed, e.g. 3 laps for the race means 2 laps for boats with P.Y. 140 or more.

H. Postponements, Recalls and Alterations to Race Instructions  

When it is necessary to make alterations to the Sailing / Racing Instructions, the Officer of the Day will announce on VHF channel 6. (Flag “K” may be hoisted at the discretion of the O.D.). It is the sole responsibility of each competitor to ensure that they have acquainted themselves of any such alterations before starting, and take appropriate action.

I. Starting and Finishing Lines

Unless otherwise specified all races will start and finish at the Club Starting Line at Fahan. This line is the transit of the Inner Limit Start Mark with the painted line on the wall at the battery hut. An Orange buoy marks the outer limit, which may not be on the transit line.

Alternative finish line – In the event that the tide does not suit a Fahan finish and unless specified otherwise by the O/D, the O/D may call Alternative Spit Finish. The finish line will be on the East side of Spit buoy on a transit line from Kinnegar and Spit Buoys and at a distance of no more than 50 metres from Spit Buoy.

J1. Starting sequence  

Note: The Racing Rules 2021-2024 Five Minute Timing Sequence will be used.  All signals will be announced on VHF Radio on Channel 6. IRC Class will start first and the starting signal for the IRC Class will be the Warning Signal for the Club Class.

The Dinghy Handicap Class will start after the Club Class, when the Club Class has safely cleared the start line.

The warning signals for the dinghy class will be made by horn.

J2. Super Saturday and Super Sunday Races

Each individual boat’s start time for the second race of the day will be their individual finish time for the first race.


Warning Signal IRC  |  5 minutes to IRC start

Preparatory Signal IRC  |  4 minutes to IRC start

One Minute Signal  |  1 minute to IRC start

Start IRC/Warning Club  |  5 minutes to CLUB start

Preparatory Signal Club  |  4 minutes to CLUB start

One Minute Signal  |  1 minute to CLUB start

Start Club/Warning Signal Dinghy | 5 minutes to dinghy handicap start

Preparatory Signal Dinghy | 4 minutes to dinghy handicap start

One Minute Signal Dinghy | 1 minute to dinghy handicap start

Start Dinghy Handicap

K. Courses  

Courses for club series will be selected from the lists attached. The choice of course is the sole responsibility of the Officer of the Day. Course details will be broadcast on VHF Channel 6. Courses may be changed at any time before the warning signal.

L. Shortened Courses

At the discretion of the Officer of the Day, any race may be shortened at any mark of the course. Such an alteration will be communicated by a broadcast on VHF Channel 6.

M. Time Limit

Club series races starting after 1800 hours (actual, not scheduled) will be subject to a time limit of two and a half hours. If one yacht in any class finishes within this time limit there will be an extension of one hour for all other yachts in that class. There will be no time limit for special races or for races starting at or before 1800 hours.

N. Points System 

In all races organised by the LSYC, points will be awarded for each race on corrected time, as follows:

1st  3/4 point                                                 Non-starters  No of Starters +4

2nd  2 points                                                  Disqualified  No of Starters +4

3rd  3 points, and so on                               Unpaid Crew No of Starters +4 (did not rank as a starter)

Sole Yacht in Race  4 points

Retired  No. of Starters +1

Four points will be awarded to a yacht which is the sole boat in a fleet and which starts and completes the course.

It is presumed that all club-racing yachts are entered for all races; therefore if a boat does not turn up for racing it will be classed as DNC (did not compete: did not come to the starting area)

Race Ties will be resolved using ISAF 2021-2024  racing rules.

O. Sailing During the Hours of Darkness 

Between the hours of sunset and sunrise the ISAF 2021-2024 Racing Rules shall cease to govern the race, which shall be continued under the International Regulations for the Prevention of Collisions at Sea.

P. Use of Main Engine

If an engine is used to enable a yacht to sail clear of a large power-driven vessel or to avoid nets or other obstructions, the yacht shall thereupon retire from the race and so inform the Race Committee. If use of an engine is necessary to render assistance to another vessel in emergency or to recover a man overboard, the yacht may thereafter continue racing but shall make a full declaration of the circumstances to the Race Committee.

An engine may be used for charging batteries, pumping or supplying power for weighing anchor or hauling off, but in such cases the shaft must be held stationary.

Q. Protests and Rule Infringements  

Protests, in writing and on the standard Protest Form, must be lodged with the O.D., the Sailing Secretary or the club representative manning the Clubhouse within one hour of the last yacht finishing. A Time and venue of any hearing will thereafter be advised. The Race Committee will be responsible for reaching decisions on all protests.

R. Trophies  

Trophies will be awarded as detailed in the instructions for individual races and series. However, in the event of low entries in any class or division, trophies may be reallocated at the sailing Committee’s discretion.

S. Visitors and Unpaid Members  

S.1 In races for members’ yachts only, the skipper and crew of each yacht must be members of the Club (other than Social members), with the exception that crew members other than the skipper may be Visitors to the Club. Visitors taking part in club racing will pay a levy of €5 or £5 per race day. This levy is waived for the first visit of the season, and payable for the remaining five allowable visits in the year.

S.2  In open races, the skipper and crew of visiting yachts need not be members of the Club.

S.3  No member of the Club whose subscription remains unpaid after June 30 may sail as skipper or crew in any Club race. Unpaid members may not be introduced as Visitors to the Club, and may not sail on visiting yachts in open events. Yachts infringing this rule will not rank as starters.

S.4  All skippers must submit a Race Declaration Form to the Sailing Office at the end of each race, listing crew, their membership status, and including any levy due from visitors. Forms are available to download and in the clubhouse.

T. Rescue Boat  

The club Rescue Boat is a 14 foot semi-rigid inflatable capable of approximately 20 knots. It is manned by volunteers and is on the water primarily to provide cover for Club organised dinghy events. The craft can provide assistance to other vessels provided dinghy sailing safety is not compromised as a result. Club members should not expect the rescue boat to provide a ferry service.

The rescue boat carries a portable VHF radio, and can be contacted on Channels 6  or 16, using the station name Swilly Bug.

LSYC News Sign Up

Hi there 👋
It’s nice to meet you.

Sign up to receive our latest news in your inbox, right as it happens!

We don’t spam! Read our [link]privacy policy[/link] for more info.