Sailing Instructions


To Download the GFLYC Sailing rules, click here. pdf

Greer’s Ferry Lake Yacht Club
Heber Springs, Arkansas 2015

1                RULES

1.1         Greers Ferry Lake Yacht Club races will be governed by the rules as defined in The Racing Rules of Sailing.

1.2         The following prescriptions of the US Sailing Association national authority will apply: The rules of each class concerned, these sailing instructions and any other applicable rules.

1.3       Racing rule(s) 30.1 will be changed as follows: Rule 30.1 shall be observed for all starts, even if code flag I has not been raised


Notices to competitors will be posted on the official notice board(s) located at the Committee Boat.


Any change to the sailing instructions will be posted before 1000 on the day it will take effect. On the water the Race Committee may make changes by communicating the changes to each yacht before her warning signal.


4.1         One long Committee Boat horn will signal the departure of Race Committee Boat for the starting line no less than (30) minutes before first warning signal.

4.2         When flag AP is displayed ashore, ‘1 minute’ is replaced with ‘not less than 30 minutes’ in the race signal AP.

4.3         One long Committee Boat horn, after the Committee boat docks, after the last race of the day means: “Time for filling protests has begun and will end in exactly thirty (30) minutes.”

5            SCHEDULE OF RACES

5.1         The racing schedule will be posted on the Web Site (

5.2         Number of races: Weather permitting, there will be seven race days scheduled for the year. Race committee for that date shall decide type and number of races (Island, or  buoy).

(a)     Reserve days may be used if races are not completed as scheduled or if the race committee considers it unlikely that races will be completed as scheduled.

(b)   One extra race per day may be sailed, provided that no class becomes more than one race ahead of schedule.

5.3        While Central Time is in effect, the scheduled time of the warning signal for the first race each day is 1200 hours. When Central Daylight Sayings Time goes into effect, 1300 hours will be the start time. Check Schedule for start times and date of regattas, special events and Twilight Series.

5.4         When there has been a long postponement and when more than one race (or sequence or races, for two or more classes) will be held on the same day, the warning signal for the first race and each succeeding race will be made as soon as practicable. To alert boats that a race or sequence of races will begin soon, an orange flag will be displayed with one sound for at least four minutes before a warning signal is displayed.

5.4.a      To expedite races, Committee Boat may notify a boat that is lagging way behind in a race that they will be given an estimated time and should motor in for start of next race.

5.4.b      A Boat crossing the start line later than 30min after the race has started will receive a DNS for that race.

5.5        On the last day of a regatta no warning signal will be made after 1300 hours.

6            FLEET FLAGS

Fleet flags will be:
Fleet                         Flag

Spinnaker                White

Non-Spinnaker        Yellow

Cat. 22                    Yellow

6.1         If one start for all fleets, White flag will serve for all fleets.

7           THE COURSES

7.1     The identifying letter of the basic course selected will be displayed from the race committee boat before or with the warning signal, on a “White dry-erase Board”

“W – Windward, leeward: Start-1-Finish “T” – Triangle: Start-1-2-Finish

“G” – Triangle followed by windward, leeward (Gold Cup): Start-1-2-3-1-Finish I-    “I” – Island Course

7.2  The Start/Finish line may be located at a turning mark, on a leg of the course between turning marks, or beyond a turning mark as shown in the diagram 7.5. When it is located beyond a turning mark as shown, the mark which is nearest the finish may be passed on either side on the final lap as the yacht is approaching the line to finish.

7.3  Course W and T may be modified by additional laps around the course. When one of the courses is modified, the course posting will show numerically the additional number of laps (lap-the repeat of coarse) to be sailed.

7.4  When the word GATE follows the identifying letter of the course each yacht shall cross the original start/finish line on each windward and leeward leg sailed.

Example: W Gate 2 Laps: Start1st markthrough start finish line2nd markthrough

Start finish line – 1st mark – through start finish line- 2nd mark-finish



Diagram W

Most Common Example: ” W

7.6       ISLAND RACE – Course will be around islands or a combination of islands and buoys. A description of the course will be displayed o n the committee boat or will be contained in the sailing instructions for a particular event.   For the purpose of describing an Island Course, “Goat Island” located NE of Eden Isle Marina is designated as II , “Taylor (or Shiloh) Island” located near Shiloh Marina is 12, and “Snake Island” located West of Eden Isle and South of Shiloh is 13.

7.7       The preferred course will be a port courses (Red Flag), but starboard courses (Green Flag) may be set. These Flags will be flown from committee boats’ yardarm.

7.8         No later than the warning signal, the race committee boat will display the approximate compass bearing of the first leg, on a White “dry Erase Board”

7.9         Shorten Courses: Courses with gates may be shortened at a rounding mark or at the original start/finish line. All other courses will be shortened at a rounding mark.

a) The Race Committee will indicate a shortened course by sounding two horns and raising code flag S. This will occur before the lead boat rounds what will be the last mark before the finish.

8            MARKS

8.1         Marks 1, 2, and 3 labeled on the coarse sheet will be cylindrically shaped orange inflatable, approximately five feet tall and three feet wide.

8.2         The starting and finishing mark will be a orange tube 6″ in diameter and weighted so that approximately 3′ of tubing floats vertically above its waterline and the mast of the committee boat.

9            THE START

9.1                 Races will be started by using rule 26 with the warning signal given 5 minutes
before the starting signal. The Warning Signal for the first fleet will start 1
minute after 5 short sounds.


Signal Flag Minutes to Sound Start
Warning Fleet Flag Raise (White=Spin/Yellow=Non-Spin) 1 horn 5
Preparatory P Flag (Blue w/white square) 1 horn  4
One-minute  P Flag Lowered 1 horn    1
Start        Fleet Flag Lowered 1 horn     0
9.3       Additional Fleet starting sequences (Warning) begin 5 minutes after the start of the preceding fleet.

9.4         Boats Shall check in with the committee boat prior to the warning signal.

9.5       a) If the starting line is set on a leg of the racecourse between rounding marks, the starting line extends from the starting mark to the mast of the committee boat.

b) If the starting line is set at a corner of the race course, then the starting line extends from the nearest rounding mark to the mast on the committee boat.

9.6       Boats whose warning signal has not been made shall avoid the starting area.


10.1       To change the next leg of the course, the race committee will move the original mark (or the finishing line) to a new position.

11         THE FINISH

11.1       a) If the Finish line is set on a leg of the racecourse between rounding marks, the finish line extends from the finishing mark to the mast on the committee boat.

b) If the finish line is set at a rounding mark, then the finish line shall be between the rounding mark and the mast on the committee boat.

c) According to the definition of “Finishing”, US Sailing RRS, page 159: The finish line shall be crossed in the direction of the course from the last mark, regardless of the finish mark’s relationship to the direction for rounding marks of the

11.2       A Blue flag will be displayed when the committee boat is on station at the finish line.

12          PENALTY SYSTEM

12.1               The penalties are as follows: Rules 44.1 and 44.2 of RRS will apply.

12.2     Every Yacht performing a Two-Turns penalty shall report that action to the race committee after finishing. Such notification will eliminate the need for a written protest.

12.3       As provided in rule 67, the [protest committee] may, without a hearing, penalize a boat that has broken rule 42.

13          TIME LIMITS

13.1       Time limits are as follows:

Fleet                          Time limit                 Mark 1 time limit
Spinnaker               3 hours                     1 hour
Non-Spinnaker       3 hours                     1 hour
Others                     3 hours                     1 hour

If no boat has passed Mark 1 within the Mark 1 time limit the race may be abandoned.

13.2       If the wind is below 3 knots or above 25 knots, in the opinion of the race committee. The race committee may postpone, abandon or cancel the race. If temperature is below 35 degrees, the race committee may postpone, abandon or cancel.


14.1       Protest forms are available at the committee boat. Protests shall be delivered there within the protest time limit.

14.2       Any yacht protesting another must comply with the provisions of Rule 60 and 61. A yacht intending to protest another yacht shall notify the race committee boat of its intentions and identity the protested yacht(s) immediately after finishing the race, or ASAP after withdrawing from the race. This modifies RRS 61.1

14.3       For each fleet/yacht, the protest time limit for a written protest is 30 minutes after the committee boat has docked for the day. The race committee will attempt to broadcast their docking time on channel 72. The same time limit applies to protests by the race committee, about incidents they observe in the racing area and to requests for redress. This changes rules 61.3 and 62.2.

14.4       Notices will be broadcasted on channel 72 within 30 minutes of the protest time limit to inform competitors of hearings in which they are parties or named as witnesses. Hearings will be held in the jury room, located at To Be Announced, beginning at T.B.A.

14.5     PROTEST ARBITRATION -(This changes RRS 60.1(b), 63.1,63.6, and 66)

14.5.a   An arbitration meeting will be held prior to the protest hearing for all parties involving violations of Part 2 of the Racing Rules of Sailing, with no allegation of damage.

14.5.b     After a protest form is delivered, one designated representative (conforming to RRS 63.3 (a)) of each party will appear before an arbitrator. No witnesses are permitted.

14.5.c     After hearing the testimony of each representative, the arbitrator shall reach one of the following conclusions:

There was no breach of a rule. If the representatives agree, the protest is withdrawn and cannot be reopened. If any representative disagrees, the matter goes to the protest committee for a hearing.

There was a breach of a rule by one or more of the boats involved. Therepresentative(s) of the offending boat(s) have the option of accepting a 40% alternative penalty (calculated as in RRS 44.3(c)) or submit the matter to the protest committee for a hearing. c. The matter should go to the protest committee for a hearing.

14.6     The acceptance of an arbitrator’s opinion will not be grounds for redress and cannot be appealed.

14.7     The arbitrator will not be a member of the protest committee that hears the protest but will be permitted to observe the testimony given to the protest committee and offer testimony. This changes RRS 63.3(a).

15          SCORING

15.1       The scoring system is as follows: Races will be scored in compliance with the Low Point System described in RRS A4.1 and modified by RRS A9. RRS A8 will decide ties.

15.2       Two races are required to be completed to constitute a series.

15.3       (a) When fewer than 6 races have been completed, a boat’s series score will be the total of her race scores.

(b)   When from 6 to 8 races have been completed, a boat’s series score will be the total of her race scores excluding her two worst score.

(c) When 9 or more races have been completed, a boat’s series score will be the total of her race scores excluding her four worst scores.

15.4       GFLYC uses a modified time on time PHRF Handicap system. Base handicaps    are usually the weighted average of those published annually by US Sailing, however base handicaps may be changed to reflect local experience. Adjustments made to base handicaps generally follow the PHRF Northwest model. Handicaps for new or un-rated boats will be determined by the GFLYC handicapper. Appeals of a handicap may be made, in written form only, to the race officer, who will appoint a committee to hear and decide the appeal. The decision of this committee will be final. Any changes to a boat or its sail inventory should be reported, in written form only, to the race officer no later than two weeks prior to the first race in which the boat will compete in its altered form.

15.5       The skippers of boats competing may be required to serve as race committee as deemed necessary by the race officer. Skippers serving as race committee will be scored for the race, which they served as committee, based on their average placement for the races sailed in the series after throw outs. Failure to comply with the race officer’s request for committee boat duty will result in the skipper of the offending yacht to be scored DNS for that race.


16.1       If a boat is normally equipped from the factory with lifelines, then the crew shall observe rule 49.2.

16.2       A boat that retires from a race shall notify the race committee as soon as possible.

16.3     Life jackets (PFD’s) required when “Y” is flown by committee boat and is required during frostbit series when waters are very cold.


A boat or equipment may be inspected at any time for compliance with the class rules and sailing instructions. On the water, a boat can be instructed by a race committee measurer to proceed immediately to a designated area for inspection.

18          OFFICIAL BOATS

Official committee boat will be a party barge with mast on the bow and a strobe light on top, unless announced otherwise.


Communication between committees and racing yachts will be made on VHS Channel 72. The Committee boat may communicate course, course changes, postponements, etc. by radio. Radio announcements are not allowed as the basis for redress.

26          PRIZES

Prizes will be given as follows: Series brag flags will be exchanged after each race and special events traveling trophies will be exchanged after the event.


Competitors participate in the regatta entirely at their own risk. See rule 4, Decision to Race. The organizing authority will not accept any liability for material damage or personal injury or death sustained in conjunction with or prior to, during, or after the regatta.

28          INSURANCE

Each participating boat shall be insured with valid third-party liability insurance.


To Download the GFLYC Sailing rules,  click herepdf