RULES GOVERNING THE RUNNING OF THE SWALE REGATTA
Paramount Consideration: The SWALE REGATTA is about having FUN on the water and the following rules have been written with this in mind so as to keep everyone safe whilst treating all fairly. Whether you are an experienced racing yachts-person or cruising family, the Committee ask that you read the following rules.
- The event will be known as the Swale Regatta, hereby referred to as the Regatta. The Regatta will be open (but not limited to) members of the following yacht dubs. Conyer Yacht Club (CCC), Conyer Cruising Club (CYC), Queenborough Yacht Club (QYC), Whitstable Cruising Club (WCC) and Whitstable Yacht Club (WYC).
- The Regatta will be controlled by a committee of representatives from the clubs listed above, hereinafter referred to as the Committee and includes all persons helping to run the races and any other event in connection with the Regatta.
- The Regatta will take place over three days, on a weekend in June of each year, dates to be decided by the Committee.
- The Race Officer of the Day (0.0.D) will be appointed by the Committee. Are further reminded of their additional obligation to local bylaws.
- The International Regulations fro the Prevention of Collision at Sea will apply at all times during all events. (Competitors are reminded that yachts racing have no priority over any other vessels). Competitors are further reminded of their additional obligation to local bylaws.
- Insurance – All competitors must be insured against Third Party Liability and entry into the Regatta implies the possession of such cover.
- Liability – The Committee will not be responsible for any loss, damage, death or personal injury howsoever caused to the owner, skipper, competitor, crew or yacht as a result of their having taken part in the Regatta.
- Safety – It is the responsibility of each competitor to ensure that his vessel is seaworthy, properly equipped and that his crew are sufficient in number, experience and fitness to take part in the Regatta.
- SOLAS V – Competitors must be familiar with the regulations for the operation of pleasure craft contained in chapter V of the “Safety of Life at Sea” manual and to instruct the crew in accordance with the aforementioned regulations.
- Handicaps – Swale Regatta handicaps will be in accordance with the Byron Handicapping System or allocated by the Committee in the event of adjustment for rig variations. The Committee’s decision is final. It is the responsibility of competing skippers to ensure that the Committee is in possession of a current handicap certificate for the competing yacht. This information should be lodged with the Committee not less than one week prior to the Regatta.
- Communications – Throughout the Regatta, communication will be conducted via VHF Channel 37 (M or M1 on some sets) unless otherwise advised. It is also advisable for competitors to monitor port operation channels, 12 (London) and 74 (Medway Radio) for shipping movements. In addition, competitors have a duty to keep a listening watch on Channel 16.
- Identification – A competing vessel must show clearly it’s name and / or sail number. When racing, competing vessels should:
- A) Not wear ensigns and fly “Q” or a yellow flag on the backstay N.B. Yellow ribbons are no longer acceptable, as it is often difficult to see them in a crowded river.
- B) Hail the Committee boat having crossed the finishing line.
- Briefing, Start and Finish.
- A) There will be a daily pre-race briefing 30 minutes before the first starting time.
- B) In order to avoid congestion on the starting line, there will be two starts to each race. The first for boats with a handicap of 1100 and above, the second for boats with a handicap of 1099 and below.
- C) Signals will be by foghorn, broadcast on VHF channel 37 (M1), as follows: ten minute warning, five minute preparatory signal and start.
- D) A fog horn will be sounded as each competitor crosses the finishing line. To assist the 000 the competitor will please note his own elapsed time and the names of the boats immediately ahead and astern of his vessel.
- E) Spinnakers and cruising chutes must not be flown prior to a competing yacht crossing and going clear of the start line and other yachts.
- Engines must not be run after the five minute preparatory signal except In the following circumstances:
- A) To avoid impeding commercial shipping (IRPCS rule 9).
- B) To recover a man-overboard.
- C) To render assistance to other vessels in an emergency.
- D) To re-float after grounding
Any use of engines must be reported to the OOD and no advantage must be gained from the use of the engines: A) will require a 360° turn once clear of the situation and other yachts, D) will incur a 20 minute penalty and B & C) will be assessed on merit and will be judged by the OOD, whose decision will be final.
- Closing time – The closing time for each race will be announced on the day and will be the latest time a competitor may finish in order to qualify for a place in the final results.
- Protests – Protests will not be allowed. In the event of a genuine dispute, the decision of the OOD will be final.
Notwithstanding the above rules, it must be stated that the emphasis on the Regatta is FUN. Although run for and on behalf of the Swale yacht clubs, the Regatta is open to visiting yachts, please make them welcome.