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Sailing Rules


1. Rules and Conduct

Races will be sailed under the jurisdiction of the Race Officer (R.O.) on each course and the Head Race Officer (H.R.O.). All races will be governed by The Racing Rules of Sailing 2013-2016, the prescriptions of the United States Sailing Association, the International Hobie Class Association, the Rules and by-laws of The ILYA, and by these sailing instructions. Observations from the P.R.O. on the 2013-2016 Racing Rules of Sailing, including US Sailing Prescriptions.

These comments are preceded by the disclaimer that the CLYC PRO and the CLYC Race Committee are only trying to inform the Yacht Club members regarding changes in the rules. The Racing Rules of Sailing for 2013-2016, including US Sailing Prescriptions, available from US Sailing is the defining document and will be the governing rules for CLYC racing program for the next three years, as modified by local exceptions approved by the CLYC Board of Directors (eg. starting sequence).

It is very important that the sailors recognize that all of the right of way rules require that the right of way boat must permit the give way boat room to keep clear but that is a short term obligation. This is a part of an attempt to get rid of Slam Dunks and other gotcha situations.

Additionally, Rule 16.1 says “When a right of way boat changes course she shall give the other boat room to keep clear. The most obvious situation is when boats sailing to windward are crossing and the Port boat appears to be able to cross clear ahead. If the Starboard boat gets lifted, it cannot ride the lift up if it would force Port to tack as they will not have the room or time to keep clear. Painful but reality.

The new 16.2 says that if a port tack boat is keeping clear by sailing to pass astern of the starboard tack boat, the starboard tacker shall not change course to force the port tacker to change her course.

The new 17 says that if you overtake a boat to your windward from clear astern you may not sail above your proper course. This does not apply if the overlap begins while the windward boat is required to keep clear by Rule 13, which says the port boat must keep clear.

Finally, the 3 boat length zone. Read rule 18, in particular 18.2. Unless you are sure that you will be nowhere near any other boat as you come into the windward mark zone on port, DON’T DO IT. If you tack inside the zone and have to luff a windward boat up to make the mark, you have violated 18.3(a). You basically have no rights once you tack onto Starboard. If there is traffic, do not go into the zone or be prepared to sail above the Starboard lay line in order to keep clear.

New Rule 18 basically says that (18.2 d) “If there is reasonable doubt that a boat obtained or broke an OVERLAP in time, it should be assumed she did not.” Do not go into a mark rounding situation where you are unclear if you have rights because it is basically assumed you do not. This is new and significant.

Please review Rules 10 through 23 and know them. We have very few protests and that is a good thing. Let’s keep it that way.

Any conduct deemed detrimental to the spirit of sailing in a Clear Lake Yacht Club sponsored event, either on or off the race course, may result in expulsion from that event and/or future events. The R.O. or H.R.O. will bring recommendations to the board officers for a final ruling. The subject Sailor will be notified in writing of the ruling and no appeals are allowed. Examples of such conduct include harassment of another competitor or official, improper language, unsportsmanlike conduct, and violating safety requirements.

New definitions:

1 Keeping Clear: a. give way boat must allow right of way boat room to sail her course without having to “take avoiding action”, b. the overlapped give way boat (on either tack) must be far enough away from the right of way boat so that she can change course in either direction without immediately making contact.

2. Room: The space a boat needs in the existing conditions, including space to comply with her obligations under the rules of Part 2 (When Boats Meet) and rule 31 (touching a mark), while maneuvering promptly in a seamanlike way.

3. Mark: Basically the change says that a buoy on a tag line off the stern of a committee boat is now considered a mark.

4. Mark Room: Room for a boat to leave a mark on the required side. Also,

a. room to sail to the mark when her proper course is to sail close to it and, b. room to round the mark as necessary to sail the course. However, mark room for a boat does not include room to tack unless she is overlapped inside and to windward of the boat required to give room and she would be fetching the mark after tacking.

5. Finish: Rule has been changed so that if you sail across the finish line on the second beat of a three beat race you haven’t finished. The old rules suggested that once you crossed the line you had finished but you hadn’t.



18. Mark Room: 18.2 (c) when a boat is required to give mark room by 18.2(b),,,(2) if she becomes overlapped inside the boat entitled to mark room, she shall give that boat room to sail her proper course while they remain overlapped.(Basically that means that the right of way boat cannot sail above her proper course to hunt down the give way boat at the leeward mark).

18.2(e) If a boat obtained an inside overlap from clear astern or by tacking to windward of the other boat and, from the time the overlap began, the outside boat has been unable to give mark room, she is not required to give it.

18.3 If a boat passes head to wind and is then on the same tack as a boat that is fetching the mark, rule 18.2 does not thereafter apply between them. The boat that changed tack (a) shall not cause the other boat to sail above close hauled to avoid contact or…..

20. Room to Tack at an Obstruction: The part which applies to our sailing is Hailing, 20.1(c) She shall not hail if (c) the obstruction is a mark and a boat that is fetching it would be required to respond and change course. Second, 20.2 Responding (a) After a boat hails, she shall give the hailed boat time to respond, (b) The hailed boat shall respond even if the hail breaks rule 20.1 (c) The hailed boat shall respond either by tacking as soon as possible or by immediately replying “You tack” and then giving the hailing boat time to tack and avoid her….Third, 20.3 Passing on a hail to an Additional Boat. You may pass on a hail to another boat for room or right of way. That used to be illegal.

44 Penalties at the time of an incident: Basically, if you violate two rules or more you need only take one penalty for it.


2. Entries and Eligibility

Entries must be completed and all fees paid before any boat is to be scored in a series.


3. Notices to Competitors

Notices to competitors may be made through the CLYC newsletter, through a calling tree of the fleets or on the racecourse with the use of Code Flag “L” [Come Within Hail]. The limited use of VHS Radio’s by the on water P.R.O. and the sailors is appropriate. Sailors contacting the R.O. should identify themselves. Asking if there will be a race prior to the normal starting time is not appropriate. The Race Officers will use channel 72 and spectators are encouraged to monitor Channel 72 but should not broadcast on it except to respond to the R.O.’s request for assistance. Those who can help during any particular race are encouraged to let the R.O. know they are available to help prior to the beginning of the starting sequence.


4. Personal Buoyancy

While Racing, all competitors in the X Class shall wear life jackets. This obligation extends from the preparatory signal until the boat has finished and fulfilled all obligations under the rules after finishing.


5. Signals Made Ashore

There will be no Signals Made Ashore for club racing.


6. Postponement Procedure

The final decision to race, during postponement, will be made no later then 10:00 a.m. or 2:00 p.m. on Saturday and 10:30 a.m. and 2:30 p.m. on Sunday. If the R.O. is committed to a race and mark setting or a starting line shift causes the warning signal to be fired after the designated times, the race may be continued at the discretion of the Race Officer.


7. Courses

Courses will be Windward-Leeward. On the course board, W (odd number) designates an upwind finish and L (even number) designates a downwind finish. The number designates the number of legs to sail. Any other course may be used only with advance notice to the Fleet Captain and their agreement with it. The Race Committee will entertain requests for other than W-L courses but is not obligated to fulfill those requests.


8. Marks of the Course

Round orange buoys will be used to mark the course, and a smaller orange buoy will generally be used as the offset at the windward mark. The offset must be rounded with every windward mark rounding. On Saturday p.m. and Sunday a.m. the smaller orange mark used as part of the starting line will also be used as the leeward mark for the X and MC fleets. The remaining fleets will use the large orange mark and shall not cross the starting line, in either direction, until all remaining fleets have properly started and the starting line flag is lowered.


9. The Start

Classes will start in the order listed on the course board, at three (3) minute intervals with one (1) minute between fleets.  All fleets will have a red class flag.

The starting line will be between a staff displaying an orange flag on the race committee boat and an orange buoy. Signals will be made from the race committee boat stationed at the starboard end of the line.

Rule 30.1 -The One Minute “Round the Ends” Rule will be in effect on all starts even when the flag ‘I’ is not displayed.

Boats starting have the right away over boats not starting one minute prior to each start. (i.e. Boats on starboard tack, but not starting, must stay clear of boats on port tack that are in the last minute before their start.)

The Saturday morning races will begin at 9:30 and afternoon races at 1:30. The Sunday morning races will begin at 10:00 and the afternoon races at 2:00.


10. Individual Recalls

When at her starting signal a boat must comply with rule 29.1 or rule 30.1, the race committee shall promptly display flag X. The signal shall be displayed until all such boats are completely on the pre-start side of the starting line or its extensions and have complied with rule 30.l, but not later than four minutes after the starting signal or one minute before any later starting signal, whichever is earlier.

A recall announcement is a courtesy and failure to hear it shall not constitute grounds for redress.


11. General Recalls

Rule 29.3 is in effect.


12. Abandonment, Shortening or Rescheduling After Start

After the starting signal, the race committee may abandon the race (flag N or flag N over H or A) or shorten the course (flag S), as appropriate. However, after one boat has sailed the course and finished within the time limit, if any, the race committee shall not abandon the race without considering the consequences for all boats in the race or series.

Every effort will be made to complete a race as scheduled. Postponed or abandoned [make up] races shall be resailed, normally back-to-back, at the discretion of the R.O. Back to back makeup races, as a guideline, should not be sailed in winds less than 5 or more than 18 MPH.

Rule 32 is expanded to provide that the Race Committee may abandon or cancel a race when the first yacht, each fleet, that has started correctly, fails to reach the windward mark in the time allowed as follows:

1          – on a course with two windward legs, 60 minutes

1a       -on an X course with two windward legs, 45 minutes

2          -on a course with three windward legs, 50 minutes

3          -on a course with four windward legs, 40 minutes

Any starting sequence, which follows the use of code flag “N”, shall begin with a warning signal as soon as possible.

When the flag “H” is displayed alone with three sound signals, all yachts are to discontinue racing and find safe harbor.


13. Change of Course after the Start

At any rounding mark the race committee may signal a change of the direction on the next leg of the course by displaying flag C and the compass bearing of that leg before any boat begins it.

The new compass bearing to be hailed or displayed.


14. Time Limit

The time limit for all courses and all classes, except X Class, shall be two and one half hours. The X Class shall be two hours.


15. Finish

Rule has been changed so that if you sail across the finish line on the second beat of a three beat race you haven’t finished. The old rules suggested that once you crossed the line you had finished but you hadn’t.

A code flag A displayed by the RC in the finishing area indicates that racing has concluded and no more racing will be done.  The absence of a code flag A indicates that competitors should prepare for another race, to be started as soon as possible. Hailing is a courtesy only.


16. Protests

A boat intending to protest because of an incident occurring in the racing area that she is aware of shall hail ‘Protest’ and conspicuously display a red flag at the first reasonable opportunity for each. She shall display the flag either until she finishes or retires, or if the incident occurs near the finishing line, until the race committee acknowledges seeing her flag. In all other cases she shall inform the other boat as soon as reasonably possible.

Any yacht in class C, MC, M17 and X, that acknowledges a foul may complete two tacks and two gybes in any order. Any yacht in Class E and Hobie may acknowledge a foul by completing one tack and one gybe in any order. These penalty turns must be completed at the first safe, reasonable opportunity after the foul, regardless of the tactical situation. Yachts completing tacks and gybes to fulfill penalties are advised to report these turns at the finish, in the event of a dispute over completion of penalty with a protesting yacht.

The intent to protest must be lodged with the Race Officer at the finish of the race. It is the duty of the protestor to remain in the finish line area until a Race Officer has the opportunity to acknowledge the protestors intent to protest.

Written protest shall be submitted to the Protest Committee Chairman Bill Nicholas III at 1111 North Shore Dr., Clear Lake, IA 50428.  Mailed protest must be postmarked by midnight for the first working day after the race that the incident occurred. E-mailing Bill Nicholas at   may also help explain the protest situation.

Protests shall be heard at the first reasonable opportunity after the filing of the protests. Parties to the protest will be notified by the Protest Committee Chairman or Head Judge as to the time and location of the protest hearing. The protest chairman will attempt to include one representative from each fleet with the Head Judge presiding ex officio [non-voting] except to break ties. However, the Protest Committee must include at least three registered CLYC sailors, before the hearing can be opened. It is recommended that the fleet involved in the protest not be included as part of the protest committee. It is the responsibility of the Fleet Chairman to provide a list to Protest Chairman Bill Nicholas, in writing, of sailors selected to serve.


17. Scoring

1) Each boat starting and finishing and not thereafter retiring, being penalized, or given redress shall be scored points as follows. The low point scoring system will be used, One point for first, two for second, three for third, etc.

2) To be scored for the first series, second series, and championship series, a boat must sail 60% of the scored races in that series.

3) A “throw-out” will be awarded in the first series and another in the second series as long as the boat can score enough races to meet the 60% requirement without the “throw-out”. The “throw-out” will consist of the race with the highest number of points (worse race).

4) Ties will be broken based on the best finishes, most number of firsts, most number of seconds, etc.

5) When needed, redress will be the average points of all the races in the series (first or second). A “throw-out” will be allowed for the redress calculation as long as the 60% requirement is maintained, not counting the race where redress is being granted.

6) If a boat so desires, they will be granted redress for any races they miss due to attending one of the following off the lake regattas:

ILYA E Invitational                ILYA E Championship          E Nationals

ILYA C Invitational                ILYA C Championship         C Nationals

ILYA MC Invitational             ILYA MC Championship      MC Nationals

MC Masters                          MC Youth Championship

ILYA M17 Championship     M17 Nationals

X Championship                    X Blue Chip                            GLSS (X-boat)

X-Treme (X-boat)

For your boat to be officially scored, the scorer must be contacted in each race that the number on your sail is not your official registered sail number. Scorer Marcus Lundberg can be contacted at 507-252-0749 or Email


18. Trophies

Trophies will be awarded to the best-ranked yacht for each series, each regatta, the seamanship award, and the fleet championship. Additional trophies will be awarded based on the following calculations. For each series there shall be one additional trophy awarded for every three yachts registered. For each regatta there shall be one additional trophy awarded for every three yachts participating in the regatta.


19. Lake Usage

It is important that all members of the Clear Lake Yacht Club remember that our sailing program is only one of many programs or groups of people who count on Clear Lake as a great resource of recreational pleasure. We share the lake with fishermen, water skiers, powerboats, other sailors, and a host of others. If we are to expect others to respect our rights and needs during our races, we must return the respect to those who are also using the lake.