Sailing Instructions – Nobbys, Gaffers and Classics


1. Conditions

The races will be sailed in the spirit of and under the current Racing Rules of Sailing (RRS) and the requirements of the International Regulations for the Prevention of Collision at Sea, Section II, Rule 12. In cases of dispute or conflict, then the requirement of the International Regulations for the Prevention of Collision at Sea, Section II Rule 12, shall be deemed to hold precedence over any other rules. The purpose of this is to make the races serious, yet enjoyable.

2. Race Briefing

The briefing for the Annual Nobby/Gaffers race and the OGA Race will be held on Friday 19th July at 1900 hrs at Conway Yacht Club.

3. Entry

3.1 The Annual Conwy Nobby/Gaffers Race
(a) The Nobby class is open to all ‘Morecambe Bay Prawners’ under sail whose hull is constructed of traditional materials and whose rigging and hull design is basically as originally planned.
(b) The Gaffers class is open to all Gaff Rigged Boats under sail as defined by the Old Gaffers Association (e.g. Gaff, Gunter, Lug).
(c) The Classics class is open to all yachts that in the opinion of the organisers are of a traditional and enduring design.

3.2 The OGA race is open to all Gaff Rigged Boats under sail as defined by the Old Gaffers Association (e.g. Gaff, Gunter, Lug) and includes Nobbies. Other traditional or classic boats may be permitted to race at the discretion of the CRF Committee, but are not eligible to win OGA prizes.

4. Safety

All entrants will be required to certify that they hold valid 3rd party insurance to the value of £3,000,000, to include racing risks. This is compulsory for all craft.
Adequate life-saving equipment shall be carried.
Crew members shall wear life jackets during the race.
It is expected that all craft conform to the requirements of SOLAS Chapter V.

5. Starting and Finishing

Starts for all races will be controlled by the Committee/Start boat moored in the start area shown on the course diagram and/or advised at the relevant briefing.

The start line will be line between the main-mast on the Committee/Start Boat and the outer distance mark. An inner distance mark, not forming part of the start line, may be positioned off the start boat: boats must not pass between it and the Start Boat at any time.

The Finish line is the same as the Start line.

6. Race schedule

The starting sequence will be as follows:

Sat 20th JulyNobby/Gaffer/Classics Race and OGA race1205Nobby/Gaffer warningGun + Flag E Up
1209Nobby/Gaffer prepGun + Flag P Up
1210Nobby/Gaffer startGun + Flags E & P Down
Sun 21st JulyRace 21245Nobby/Gaffer warningGun + Flag E Up
1249Nobby/Gaffer prepGun + Flag P Up
1250Nobby/Gaffer startGun + Flags E & P Down

All the above signals will be accompanied wherever possible by a broadcast on VHF Channel 69.

7. Postponement

Postponements to the starting procedure will broadcast on VHF Channel 69. In this event the whole of the listed start sequence will be postponed equally by the amount of time broadcast.

8. Premature starters

In the event of any boat or boats being on the course side of the start line when the starting signals are made, the relevant class flag will remain flying until all boats have started correctly. Boat names will be announced on VHF.

9. Finishing

The finish line for the races will be between the Committee Boat when at anchor on her finishing station and flying a large blue flag and the nearest mark of the course to her.

10. Courses

The course will be shown on a course card, which will be available at the briefing and/or before the relevant race. Alternatively, the course may be notified by VHF prior to the starting sequence.

11. Mark boat

In order to assist competitors to identify marks in turn a Pathfinder Boat may be used during the race. This boat will leave the starting area at the preparatory signal and head directly to the first mark of the course to indicate its position. When the leading boat approaches this first mark, the Pathfinder will head directly to the second mark. It will then move to each mark of the course in turn as the lead boat approaches the mark it had been indicating previously. Pathfinder will fly a large Black Flag to identify it to competitors.

12. Engines

The use of engines after a class preparatory (5 minute) signal and before finishing the race is prohibited. Engines must be stopped between these times. Use of an engine during these times will be deemed to indicate that a boat has retired and does not consider herself eligible to be posted in the race results.

13. VHF radio

VHF Channel 69 will be used at all times. All boats must have working VHF and should listen out on Ch 69 for race signals and other announcements.

14. Prizegivings

Prizes for races will be awarded at the Final CRF Prizegiving at on Sunday 28th July at the end-of-festival party.

15. Parade of Sail, Saturday 14th July

In order to assist boats with their pilotage to the start area on 20th July, it is intended that a Committee Boat act as a guide. The Committee boat will depart from Conwy Quay at a time to be advised at the briefing. Boats are requested to follow the guide boat to the start area. This exercise will also provide an excellent Parade of Sail spectacle for all the many people who will be watching the race. VIPs will be embarked in the cruise boat Queen Victoria. Competing boats are encouraged to salute the VIPs on passing them.

16. Protests

Protests against other competitors must be notified to the Committee Boat and a protest flag flown as soon as possible after the incident. A protest committee will be available to determine any protests which arise. Before the committee can consider any protest it must be submitted in writing and a £10 deposit paid by the protestor. This will be returned if his protest is upheld.

17. Handicaps

Prizes for these races will be awarded for 1st across the line in each class and for finishing order on handicap. The handicapping system being used is the OGA T(H)CF formula. In order to be considered for Handicap prizes boats are requested to complete the entry form as fully as possible. Boats not completing this form can regrettably only be considered for actual finishing order prizes.


Rule 4 of the Racing Rules of Sailing states: ‘The responsibility for a boat’s decision to participate in a race or to continue racing is hers alone’

Sailing is by its nature an unpredictable sport and therefore involves an element of risk. By taking part in the event, each competitor agrees and acknowledges that:

(a) They are aware of the inherent element of risk involved in the sport and accept responsibility for the exposure of themselves, their crew and their boat to such inherent risk whilst taking part in the event;
(b) They are responsible for the safety of themselves, their crew, their boat and their other property whether afloat or ashore;
(c) They accept responsibility for any injury, damage or loss to the extent caused by their own actions or omissions;
(d) Their boat is in good order, equipped to sail in the event and they are fit to participate;
(e) The provision of a race management team, patrol boats, umpires and other officials and volunteers by the organiser does not relieve them of their own responsibilities;
(f) The provision of patrol boat cover is limited to such assistance, particularly in extreme weather conditions, as can be practically provided in the circumstances
(g) They are responsible for ensuring that their boat is equipped and seaworthy so as to be able to face extremes of weather; that there is a crew sufficient number, experience and fitness to withstand such weather; and that the safety equipment is properly maintained, stowed and in date and is familiar to the crew.