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HomeGRYC Sailing Instructions
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REVISED  on June 6, 2014



1.1       All club races will be governed by rules as defined in The Racing Rules of Sailing (RRS) 2009-2012, the rules of the Grand Rapids Yacht Club, the rules of each individual Class (except as modified by an individual GRYC Fleet) and by these sailing instructions.


2.Eligibility and Classes

2.1       Boats in the following fleets are eligible to compete:

                        FLEET                              FLEET CAPTAIN(S)

                        Optimist                        Hazel McGovern

                        Butterfly                        Murphy Wynsma

Butterfy -Adult Sue Madden

                        Laser                                Eric Wynsma and Steve Goulet

 Laser Radial -

                        Snipe                                Carl Erickson

                        Rebel                                Mary Vorel

                        MC                                   Vasiliy Gagin


2.2       Each fleet must have 3 boats present on the water for a race to be started and scored.

3.Notices to Competitors

3.1       Notices to competitors will be posted on the bulletin board in the club house.

4.Changes to the Sailing Instructions

4.1       Changes to the sailing instructions must be approved by the Yacht Club Board of Directors and posted 90 minutes before they will take effect.

4.2       Changes to the schedule of races will be posted before 1900 hours on the day before they will take effect.

4.3       Temporary changes that do not conflict with the provision of fair competition and the implied spirit of these Sailing Instructions may be made verbally on the water by the Race Committee in accordance with Racing Rule 90.2(c).

5.Signals Made Ashore

5.1        Signals made ashore will be displayed from the Race Committee Signal Boat.  If a postponement is signaled ashore, the warning signal will be made not less than 20 minutes after AP is lowered.

5.2        The RC Signal Boat will sound one long horn when it leaves the dock.

6.Schedule of Races

6.1 Weekly Races Memorial Day through Labor Day

Tuesday         6:30pm                     Optimist, Butterfly

            Wednesday 6:30pm                     MC (no more than 2 races)

            Thursday              6:30pm                     Laser, Snipe, Adult Butterfly, Laser Radial, Rebel

            *Saturday               1:30pm                     MC

            *Sunday                        11:00am        Optimist, Butterfly

            *Sunday                        1:30pm                     Laser, Snipe, Rebel, MC, Laser Radial

            *maximum of 2 races per day per fleet on Saturdays, Sundays and holidays

No races will be started after 8:30pm on weeknights

6.2 Holiday (Memorial Day, July 4th and Labor Day) Weekend Races:

            All days            11:00am            Optimist, Butterfly

            All days            1:30pm                     Laser,Snipe, Rebel, MC, Laser radial

            The following exception will apply only to July 4th due to parades and other events:

            July4            Optimist, Butterfly will not race

            July4            3:00pm            Laser, Snipe, Rebel, MC, Laser Radial

6.3 All sailors are expected to be on the water and to check in with the Race Committee prior to the first signal on each day of racing.

7.Race Course

7.1       The Racing Area will be Reeds Lake.

7.2       The Course shall be set by the Race Committee.

7.3       Courses may be windward/leeward, triangle or other course layout and may use offset marks.  Fleet Captains are expected to communicate any course preferences to the Race Committee before the RC Signal Boat leaves the dock.

7.4       The Course may utilize existing marks, landmarks or other locations as shown on Illustration A.

7.5       The Race Course will be displayed on the handrails of the Race Committee Signal Boat.  The Race Course displayed may indicate the order of marks to be rounded using the race mark numbering system described in Illustration A.

8.Marks of the Course.

8.1       Course marks will be orange buoys unless otherwise specified by the Race Committee.

8.2       The starting and finishing marks will be an orange flag on the Race Committee boatand a white, orange or yellow floating mark.

9.The Start

9.1       Laser, Snipe, Rebel, MC and Laser Radials and Adult Butterfly races will be started using a 5 minute start sequence and visual signals in accordance with Racing Rule 26.  The Race Committee reserves the right to change starts for these fleets to a 3 minute sound sequence – and will provide notice of this change on the water.

9.2       A yellow flag will be used in place of individual class flags.  Aluminum placquards hanging on the handrails of the RC Signal Boat will indicate the order of starts.

9.3       Optimist and Butterfly races will be started using a 3 minute start sequence and sound signals in accordance with Appendix S of the RRS.

9.4       The starting line will be between an orange flag on the Race Committee Signal Boat and the port end starting mark.

9.5       Boats whose preparatory signal has not been made shall keep clear of the starting area and of all yachts whose preparatory signal has been made.

9.6       On days when multiple fleets are racing, starts may be conducted using “rolling starts” wherein the warning signal for each succeeding fleet is the same signal as the starting signal for the previous fleet.  “Rolling starts” are not required by these sailing instructions but may be used at the discretion of the Race Committee.  The order of starts will be at the discretion of the Race Committee.   The order of starts and whether starts will be “rolling starts” will be announced on the water from the Race Committee Signal Boat.

9.7        Subsequent races on any given day will be signaled and started at the discretion of the Race Committee.


10.1      For any boat deemed OCS at the start, the Race Committee will attempt to hail her sail number.  Failure to hail or be heard will not be grounds for redress. This changes Rule 62.1(a).

10.2      When a general recall has been signaled and there are other fleets waiting to start, the recalled fleet shall go to the end of the starting order.

10.3      When a general recall has been signaled and rolling starts are being used, the rolling sequence will be stopped and a new warning or preparatory signal shall be given. When a general recall has been signaled and rolling starts are being used and there are no other fleets waiting to start, the starting sequence automatically “rolls” into another sequence unless otherwise indicated by the Race Committee. 

11.Change of the Next Leg of the Course

11.1      To change the next leg of the course approximately 5 degrees or less, the Race Committee will move the original mark (or the finishing line) to a new position.  No signal of such change shall be required.  This changes Rule 33.

11.2      To change the next leg of the course more than 5 degrees, the Race Committee will lay a new mark (or move the finishing line) and remove the original mark as soon as practicable.  When in a subsequent change a new mark is replaced, it will be replaced by the original mark.  Any offset marks will be removed for the balance of the race when changes are made at the windward mark.


12. The Finish.

12.1      The Finishing Line shall be between an orange flag on the Committee Boat and a designated mark or buoy.

13.Time Limits

13.1      The Time Limit for each race will be 90 minutes for the first boat to finish.

13.2      Boats not finishing within 20 minutes of the first boat to finish in their Class will be scored Time Limit Expired which shall be the number of boats that have finished plus 1.

13.3      If only one boat remains on the course when the time limit expires, that boat will have its “position secured” and will be scored as if it finished the race in that position.

13.4      If the first boat of a Fleet racing does not reach the first mark within 30 minutes, the race will be abandoned.

14.Wind Limits

14.1      The reference point for all wind speed decisions shall be the East Grand Rapids City Building weather web site at:

14.2      If the wind speed is consistently below 3mph prior to the scheduled start of racing, the RC will signal an on shore postponement for a period not to exceed 30 minutes after the originally scheduled first race signal.  If the winds do not increase by the end of that period, races scheduled to begin at that time will be cancelled by the RC.  For example, if racing is scheduled for 6:30pm the postponement will go no later than 7pm.

14.3      Races will not be conducted for the MC Fleet when sustained winds exceed 20 mph or gusts exceed 23 mph.

14.4      Races will not be conducted for the Melges 17 Fleet when sustained winds exceed 20 mph or gusts exceed 24 mph.

14.5      Races will not be conducted for the Butterfly and Optimist fleets when sustained winds exceed 20mph.

14.6      Decisions to cancel races based upon these Wind Limits will be made by the RC with input from the fleet captains for the fleets scheduled to race.  For Butterfly and Optimist fleets, this shall include the advice and input of the Sailing School adult supervisor ("Boat Boss") who is officially on duty that day.

14.7      The final decision making authority for any disputes or confusion regarding Wind Limit decisions shall be US Sailing Certified Race Officer and GRYC Board Member Scott Corder (616-485-3400 mobile) or GRYC Commodore Larry Pinckney (616-308-5169 mobile or 616-245-1781 home).

15.Protests and Requests for Redress

15.1      The Race Committee must be advised of intention to protest at the conclusion of each race.

15.2      Protests shall be written on forms available at the Yacht Club and filed with the Protest Committee or the Race  Committee within 1/2 hour after the Race Committee Signal Boat docks.

15.3      Protest notices will be posted within thirty minutes of the protest time limit to inform competitors where and when there is a hearing in which they are parties to a protest or named as witnesses.

15.4      Boats wishing to exonerate themselves during a race may utilize the 720 degree turn alternative penalty as described in Part 4, Rule 44.2 of the RRS.

15.5      Each Fleet is required to provide a representative to the Protest Committee.  The RC will convene a full or partial gathering of these individuals (or substitutes designated by the fleets) to hear protests as necessary.  The Fleet representatives for 2015 are as follows:

                        Laser:                        Curt Miller

                        MC:                        Scott Caston

                     Adult Butterfly Sue Madden

                        Rebel:                        MaryVorel

                        Snipe:                        RichGrant

16.Safety Regulations

16.1      Boats are expected to come within hailing distance of the Race Committee Signal Boat and be acknowledged prior to the first race each day.  Competitors cannot be protested and will not be penalized for failing to be acknowledged.

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

16.3      All Butterfly and Optimist sailors are required to wear U.S.C.G.approved personal flotation devices (PFD) at all times while racing.

16.4      It is the responsibility of all other sailors to wear U.S.C.G. approved personal flotation devices (PFD) when conditions warrant.

17.Scoring and Awards

17.1      Each fleet shall adopt its own scoring system.

17.2      The Race Committee will provide score sheets to the Fleet Captains in a timely manner.

17.3      The Race Committee will place completed score sheets in the designated location inside the clubhouse.

17.4      Fleet captains or their representatives will be responsible for all score sheets once they have been placed in the designated location inside the clubhouse.

17.5      No racing boat will be eligible for scoring points at the GRYC until (7) days after dues (or other fees) are paid in full.  All fleet captains are required to check with the Treasurer to verify qualification prior to awarding points or trophies.

17.6      Each Fleet is required to submit a request for trophies to the Board of Directors in a manner and at a time specified by the Board of Directors.

18.Disclaimer of Liability

18.1      As stated in Rule 4 of the Racing Rules of Sailing 2009-2012, competitors participate in races entirely at their own risk. The organizing authority will not accept any liability for property damage or personal injury or death sustained in conjunction with or prior to, during or after races.

Illustration A

Courses using race marks placed in the areas shown below may be described on the Signal Boat by the mark numbers shown below.