Series Formats and Times, 2021

The majority of this page covers how races are organised and run. It is equally valid for Pursuit Races and Handicap Races. There is a small section at the foot of the page specifically on the Pursuit differences. 

Sunday Racing

Now that we have a warm building to gather in, we are going to use it! (Covid permitting) Please check what we are doing, and come and join in discussions on all sorts of things between races on Sundays. This is a chance for the club to be sociable and exchange sailing techniques and ideas.

Most Sundays have three races - a pursuit (generally 60 minutes) which will normally be run from the OD hut. As this is near the launching bay, it is quick to get started, and quick to get back after the race. The race will start at 12:00. . After this, we will have a break for lunch and then two handicap races starting at 14:00. These races are most likely to be from Penelope (the Committee Boat) at the north end of the reservoir. If there is a clean northerly wind we may in fact continue with the OD hut, or move our Committee Boat.

  • Depending upon how many boats are racing, there may be ONE or TWO start sequences in a Handicap race. If there are two, boats with an Asymmetric Spinnaker will be the first fleet, and the second fleet will follow 5 minutes later.
  • Asymmetric boats will sail using ONLY the WINDWARD and LEEWARD buoys and any start line limits.
  • “Conventional” boats (no spinnaker or a symmetrical one, like GP14, Merlin) will sail all the buoys indicated, and be the second start if they are racing with a separate start

The Racing Programme is the key to what happens, when. It is worth looking at it,

November Sunday Racing

In November only, we will run 2 races only, starting at 12:00. First is a pursuit, then a handicap. They will be run back-to-back. These will be run from the OD Hut as we are not allowed to sail in the the North half of the reservoir.

Wednesday Racing

The OD hut, showing a course
The OD hut, showing a course


On Wednesdays, there is a single Handicap or Pursuit race, as shown in the Programme. This normally starts at 18:30 or 18:45. 

The first two races in March/April, and last races in September and October will be at earlier times as early as 16:45 to make maximum use of the light. You really do have to check the Programme on a particular day!

The nice thing for many of us that we can get together socially after the race. We go to a local pub to eat and drink and chat. 



Summary of Race timesMost of yearNovember
1st Race Pursuit Race 60m12001200
2nd Race; HandicapAbout 1400Back to Back
3rd Race; HandicapBack to Backno race
WednesdaysRace starts at 18:45 (or 18:30)n/a

Club Fleets

On Sundays, there will be a single handicap fleet start unless there are large (>15) numbers when there can be separate starts for ;

  • Asymmetric and
  • Conventional and
  • Junior.

All classes will share the same start and finish lines but will start at 5 minute intervals in the order set out above. 

The full details of the procedure are described in the club Sailing Instructions These refer to the Racing Rules of Sailing, (RRS) which can be bought or downloaded from the RYA or downloaded from This site has the International Sailing Federation and World Sailing Technical Documentation. The rules are updated (slightly) after Olympic Games, and they move around a bit so we will not provide a definitive link to them here. Search for "Racing Rules Download" on the RYA site.

Race Entry

To simplify the work of Race Officers and now that Welsh Water require to know how many boats are on the water, we HAVE TO SIGN ON to our own race management system. This is within the Member's Area. It is remarkably easy to use. If you are OD?Race Officer, you can see the names, sail numbers and crew names of the boats that intends to sail. 

It is the responsibility of each race entrant to check that the OD has their details so they can be included in the results. It is also good practice for the OD to check that they have names and boat types for all boats that sailed. Getting the safety boat to ask unknown crews before the race starts can avoid difficulties later. Wherever possible the OD should supply Boat Type (and rig type for Toppers, Aeros and Lasers), sail numbers and helm and crew name. e.g. Laser Radial 123456, Ben Ainsley,

Race course 

The course will be marked on the committee boat using the buoy numbers and letters. For land based starts the course board will be in front of the OD starting hut in a frame under the movable Start Transit masts. See the picture above. The location of the buoys is shown on the following page Location of LLSC Buoys


The Start SequenceWednesday and OD Hut start lightsLights

5 mins Asymmetric class 'A' displayed. 

1 hoot

Yellow Flashing Light   

4 mins Preparatory 'P' displayed
1 hoot 

plus Green Flashing Light   

1 min Preparatory 'P' removed
 1 hoot

plus Red Flashing Light   

START 'A' flag removed
1 hoot

 Flag 'G' displayed

All lights off   

4mins 'P' displayed

1 hoot


1 min 'P' removed; 

1 hoot


START 'G' down; 

1 hoot 

Flag 'O' up etc. 

General Handicap fleet starts (Conventional boats







Start of Junior start sequence…….


Recall Signals


Individual Recall

Class flag stays up with Flag 'X'

1 extra hoot

 A Green light 

All boats clear when X is removed or the light is turned off


General Recall

2 extra hoots

Flag 'First Substitute' displayed

 A Red light

All boats return to the starting area and wait for a new sequence to run.



Shorten Course (end of the race)


Shorten Course

Flag 'S' displayed, 2 hoots

 A Red light   

 Finish racing when you next cross the start/finish line


Postponement (for any reason)



Flag 'AP' displayed, 1 hoot


Wait for further instructions or a new start sequence. 




Flag “N” is displayed with hoots

Flag N
Flag N

Flag N might be used, or if all three lights come on during a race, with 4 hoots, then the race is to be abandoned. 

Please sail to the launching bay immediately and get off the water. 

If there are boats struggling or capsized, help if you can. 

The cause of the Abandonment could be anything from bad weather to trouble with the safety boats. 


Pursuit Times and how it all works. 

Pursuit times can be found here at   Pursuit Times, handicaps   and in the OD hut and committee boat. Write your time down on the boat for both 45 and 60 minute races - it will remain the same all season. These races can be considered the opposite way around compared with Handicap races. Pursuits have different start times, but we finish at the same time. Handicaps we start together ans straggle over the finishing line spread by up to half and hour.  

Staggered Start 

Unless you are a Topper 4.2, at the start DO NOTHING. Your start is n minutes later, and you will see that it is the slow boats setting off before the faster boats. It is similar to the days when small children were given a start when “race you to the next lamppost”! 

One Finish time

In theory, at the end 45 or 60 minutes after the start, all boats should be lined up, having sailed the same distance. The horn will sound once, and Flag S or the Red light will show. Make a not of the boat in front of you and behind, It can be difficult for the Race Officer and the Safety Boat crew to get all the boats in the correct sequence when recording the results if they are spread out over the whole reservoir. 

There is a small board that should be put with the course numbers on the OD hut. It can be hung l o n g w a y s for a 60 Minute Pursuit, or upright for a thin, short 45 minute pursuit. Even if you struggle to see the letter and numbers the shape should tell you!

L O N G 60 Minute Pursuit
L O N G 60 Minute Pursuit
Short 45 Minute Pursuit
Short 45 Minute Pursuit

Risk Statement

Remember that you (or your child) join in a race at your own risk. It is your responsibility to check the weather and boat and decide whether it is safe to sail

Rule 3 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:

  1. 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;
  2. They are responsible for the safety of themselves, their crew, their boat and their other property whether afloat or ashore;
  3. They accept responsibility for any injury, damage or loss to the extent caused by their own actions or omissions;
  4. Their boat is in good order, equipped to sail in the event and they are fit to participate;
  5. 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;
  6. The provision of patrol boat cover is limited to such assistance, particularly in extreme weather conditions, as can be practically provided in the circumstances;
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