Racing Instructions

Racing Instuctions

  • All racing at THSC will be governed by the ‘rules’ as defined in the Racing Rules of Sailing. ( CYA/ISAF Racing Rules of Sailing (RRS)), the prescriptions of theCYA, and these instructions.
  • The Race Committee reserves the right to amend these sailing instructions. Amendments shall be posted on the Race Committee Notice Board for at least one hour before the first start of the race for which they will be in force.
  • In the event that there are insufficient race committee crew for any club race, the Race Fleet Captain may call on crew from as many yachts as necessary to make up a race committee.
  • It is the sole responsibility of each yacht to decide whether to start or continue in any race.

Fleet divisions

  •  Each yacht intending to race shall hold a valid PHRF certificate. We will be submitting club results to PHRF-LO at the end of the season.
  • Those yachts possessing a valid PHRF certificate are eligible and invited to participate in ABYC Tuesday and Thursday night fixed course races.
  • Any yacht that wishes to race but does not hold a valid PHRF Certificate will be allowed to race and will be assigned a rating by the Club PHRF Handicapper. This rating will be based on PHRF-LO Standard Boat Data with an automatic 15 point rating reduction.
  • All yachts must register in order to race. A yacht can change Divisions if she so desires but only at the beginning of a new series for each of the Wednesday night series. A yacht may sail in either division for the weekend races but must register in the chosen division prior to starting the race.
  • THSC will run two divisions again this year:
DIVISION I  Spinnaker        DIVISION II   White Sails
  • All yachts intending to race shall come within hailing distance of the Race Committee vessel, either before the warning signal for the first class, or immediately after their class warning signal, and report their sail number and receive acknowledgement from the Race Committee. Boats not racing shall keep clear of the starting area.
  • Race results will be calculated using the PHRF-LO handicap Time on Time system.
  • The Race Committee Reserves the right to assign any yacht to any division despite the foregoing and to run separate or combined starts for the divisions.


  • This is a FRIENDLY series and your Race Committee would like this to continue. Avoid putting yourself in violation of the rules and if a situation arises, do your penalty and get on with racing. You can learn from your mistakes back on shore.
  • That said, know your current CYA/ISAF Racing Rules of Sailing (RRS).
  • A red protest flag must be flown and verbal notice of protest must be given to the other yachts involved as soon as possible after an incident occurs.
  • Protest forms (available from the Race Committee) must be completed and presented to the Race Committee within 30 minutes of the docking of the Race Committee vessel.
  • Any protest will be considered immediately after the race involved. If an acceptable decision can be reached by the parties involved, no further action will be taken. This would include withdrawal of the protest.
  • If an acceptable decision cannot be reached, the protest will be heard by a pro tem committee of 3, drawn up by the Race Fleet Captain or by the Rear Commodore.


  • All race series will be scored with each race counting for equal points under the low point system (i.e., First = 1 point; Second = 2 points; Third = 3 points, etc.)
  • DNF will score the number of boats in the same division that started in a given race plus 1.
  • DSQ will score the number of boats in the same Division that started in a given race plus 2.
  • DNS will score the number of boats registered in the Division for the series or race plus 2.
  • For the Trophies that will be awarded in Series I, II, and III in the Wednesday Night Races, the 4 best placings will be counted. If fewer than 4 races in a series are completed then all will count.
  • For Overall Season Trophies in each Division, the best 10 placings in all three series will be counted. If fewer than 10 races are completed, then all will count.
  • Six Weekend Long Distance races are planned. Each race will have its own trophy. For Overall Trophies in each Division, 5 placings will count. If fewer than five races are sailed then all will count.
  • Each yacht must carry the safety equipment specified for that yacht’s size and use by the Small Vessels Regulation (Transport Canada), as published by the Canadian Coast Guard in the current Boating Safety Guide. Skippers can have their yachts inspected by the Club Safety Officer.
  • Each skipper of a powered yacht is obliged to have a Toronto Harbour License for operation of that vessel within the boundaries of Toronto Harbour.
  • All yachts entering THSC races must supply proof of proper insurance, including coverage for club racing events.
  • New Requirement this year. All yachts entering THSC races must sign liability waiver which accompanies the registration form. Please see Race Fleet Captain for Registration.

ABYC yachts are eligible for flags but not THSC club trophies.

Starting & Finishing Procedures

  • The raising of an orange flag on the Race Committee vessel shows that the starting line has been established and that the Race Committee vessel is on station.  Starting area diagram
  • The start line will be between the halyard carrying the orange flag on the Race Committee vessel and the starting mark. The starting mark can be any one of the fixed course marks for Wednesday night races.
  • The starting area extends the length of the starting line ahead of and behind the starting line. It also extends one-half of the length of the starting line past either end of the line. See diagram on the next page.
  • All races on the permanent course will be sailed leaving marks to port.
  • The raising of the blue flag on the Race Committee vessel shows that the finishing line has been established and that the Race committee vessel is on station.
  • Curfew will be at 2045 to May 31st; 2100 to July 31st; 2045 to September 15th, and 2030 to season end. However, if any boat in a Division finishes within the time limit, there will be an extension of 10 minutes beyond curfew for the remaining yachts in the Division. The Race Committee vessel will make 4 sound signals in rapid succession to signify end of time for all Divisions. The Race Committee reserves the right to alter these curfew times up to one hour before the race.

The starting area extends to the length of the start line ahead of and behind. It also extends one half length past either end of the line. Once your prep sequence has begun and until the start, your fleet has priority in that box. Boats in other fleets should keep well clear of the area.

bullet The hoisting of the P Flag – Preparatory – with 1 sound signal indicates the 4-minute mark in the start sequence. The lowering of the P Flag – Preparatory – with 1 long sound indicates the one-minute mark in the start sequence. black flag with white square interior
bullet The raising of the First Substitute Pennant, accompanied by 2 sound signals in rapid succession indicates a general recall. black triangle pointing to the right
bullet The hoisting of Code Flag “X”, accompanied by a sound signal, will indicate a single or several premature starters. This flag will be lowered when all premature starters have properly restarted, or one minute before the next starting signal. The Race Committee will attempt to call out the sail number or yacht name of each premature starter. Failure to hear recall shall not relieve a yacht of the obligation to make a proper start. white flag with black cross
bullet If a “Change of Course” is required, the Race Committee shall signal the leading boat by posting Code Flag “C”. The flag will be accompanied by continuous sounds (horn) before the lead boat rounds the mark for the next leg on which the course has been changed. white flag with three horizontal black stripes
bullet The raising of the Code Flag “S”, accompanied by 2 sound signals in rapid succession, indicates a shortened course. Yachts will finish at the mark at which the Race Committee vessel is stationed. white flag with black rectangle in center
bullet The raising of the Code Flag “N”, accompanied by 3 sound signals in rapid succession, indicates the race has been abandoned or cancelled. black and white chequered flag
bullet The raising of the Answering Pennant, accompanied by 2 sound signals in rapid succession, indicates a postponement. tapering pennant with grey and white vertical stripes

Starting Sequence

THSC will use the current starting sequence Rule 26. Races shall be started by using the following signals. Times shall be taken from the visual signals; the absence of a sound signal shall be disregarded. It is basically 5, 4, 1 Go!
All racers should carry a current rule book and have a good understanding of the rules.

Signal Flag or Shape and Sound Minutes before
starting signal
Warning Class Flag: 1 sound – Gun 5* minutes
Preparatory P flag 1 sound – Horn 4 minutes
One-minute Preparatory flag removed: 1 long sound – Horn 1 minute
Starting Class flag removed: 1 sound – Gun 0 minutes

* or as stated in the sailing instructionsThe start signal for the first division will be the warning signal for the second division.  Division II will take the first start.  Division I will take the second start.

Start Times: The first warning signal will be at 1830h. The first start will be at 1835h and the second start will be at 1840h. The Race Committee reserves the right to amend start times as deemed necessary.

Class Flags shall be as follows:

Division I – Spinnaker Fleet Numeral Pennant One white pennant
Division II – White Sails Fleet Numeral Pennant Two black pennant
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