At Holyhead Sailing Club we are trying to get more yacht owners involved in our club events and to increase the visibility of our club in the IRC Racing Scene by entering events organised by other bodies such as ISORA and the IRC Welsh National Championships in Pwllheli. The club runs what are known as tandem race results system where races are scored under both NHC and IRC handicaps. Two trophies are awarded for each month's series across the year and although the presentation at the AGM was very confusing, your chances of silverware are increased, so come on get registered...
The NHC handicap is a varaible handicap, like a golf handicap, which changes depending on each result in a series and aggregated over the year. The IRC handicap is based on an algorithm with data from the boat design, rigging and sails allowing your results to be compared to the theoretical performance of the yacht; this system does not change over the year, unless you make changes to the sails or rigging.
The NHC handicap is to encourage variation in the results and the IRC lets you see how your crew's performance is improving over the year. The IRC certificate varies from year to year based on a variety of different details and consequently we require a valid IRC Certificate for 2017 for anyone intending to compete in the IRC Fast Cruiser Class. Currently the club has the following yachts registered or applying for their 2017 certificates.
- Just Enough
- Just Jay
- Pipedreamer VI
- Hits: 1232
Due to the weather conditions on Sunday 19th March race was cancelled
There are no more races planned for March but we are intending to continue weekend racing over the spring, summer and autumn before restarting the winter series. Our next weekend race will be 2nd April 2017 so get your yacths back in asap!
We are hoping that the three yachts will soon be joined by others....
Race 2 Sunday 12th March
Weather conditions as the teams prepared for the race were improving, a break or two in the clouds and by 12:00 the rain had ceased. The holyhead Port weather station was showing F4 gusting F5 at 275° as the winds gradually veered to WNW. The start was again delayed to allow late coming crews from the Manchester area due to the roadworks on the A55. Phil and Mark had discussed course selection for the race and this course was agreed:
- Meath (P)
- Langdon Ridge (S)
- Bolivar (S)
- Meath (S)
- Hits: 1778
- Hits: 1400
Provisional Offshore Programme for 2017
22nd April ISORA Race 2 Pwllheli Castle Race - Coastal
13th May ISORA Race 3 Holyhead to Dun Laoghaire - Offshore
20th May to 22nd May Cruise to Porthdynllaen HW 08:05
27th May to 29th May Cruise to Ireland HW 12:10
27th May ISORA Race 4 Dun Laoghaire to (Probably) Arklow - Offshore
3rd June ISORA Race 5 HYC to Lambay and Liffey festival Coastal
10th Jun HW 11:49 10:00 start to East Mouse and back Race
14th June ISORA Race 6 Dun Laoghaire to Dingle - Offshore
17th June Peaks Yacht Race
30th June ISORA Race 7 Lyver Race Holyhead to Dun Laoghaire - Offshore
25th Jun HW 12:00 10:00 start to East Mouse and back Race
15th Jul LW 09:06 09:00 start to Menai Bridge (clockwise) Race
16th Jul MB slack 14:50 1200 start to Holyhead (same way back) Race
5th August Round Anglesey Race - (Menai Strait Regatta 27th July to 4th August)
5th August ISORA Race ? Dun Laoghaire to Pwllheli - Offshore
11th - 13th August IRC Welsh Championships
18th August - ISORA Race W2 Pwllheli Coastal Night Race
19th Aug HW 09:06 09:00 start to Llandwyn and back
25th (Friday) to 28th Aug Bank Holiday weekend Cruise. LW on 25th 07:25
26th August ISORA Race W3 Pwllheli Day Race Coastal
09th Sep HW 13:06 12:30 s tart to LLandwyn and back
09th Sept ISORA Race ? Pwllheli to Dun Laoghaire - Offshore
- Hits: 2009
The next race scheduled for Sunday 26th Feb was cancelled due to bad weather...
Race 2 February 19th
The weather forecast was for low visibility and as we set off mist shroweded the harbour wall. Just Enough and Lily were racing as Just Jay was still awaiting the return of her rigging. The winds however was SW 12 - 15 kt, ideal for the race. A course was set to suit the blue screen issue of Just Enough's GPS and Bolivar was selected rather than Langdon Ridge.
- Hits: 1551
In looking for replacement burgee I thought I would look at what was actually required. The Club's online shop which I was asked to put up is just an embeded page from Sional where we get our branded clothes. I have asked the question on how members can get burgees or other items for their yachts and dinghies.
See below for an abstract from the RYA web site on Flag Etiquette. There are some points which should be understood in relation to ordering a club burgee, The size of your flag depends on the size of your yacht. "The burgee for a yacht up to 34ft 15" in the fly (the horizontal measurement) should look appropriate on vessels up to 34ft. This increases to 18" for up to 42ft, 24" for up to 50ft and 30" up to 60 ft." A tatty flag is not acceptable so we should be looking at renewing regularly. Your RYA, Lifeboat membership flags go on the port flag halyard and the club burgee should be on the starboard flag halyard.
If you want to renew your Club Burgee I have put this form together so that we can inform the club how many new burgees are required and of what size.
A brief overview designed to demystify the basics of flag etiquette follows:
What to put where
The most senior position for a flag on a vessel is reserved for the Ensign - this is as close to the stern of the vessel as possible. The Ensign shows the country of registry of the vessel and indicates its nationality. A UK flagged vessel must wear her ensign as required by the Merchant Shipping Act, which includes when entering or leaving a foreign port and on demand. It is recommended that the ensign is worn at all times in daylight, especially when near to or in sight of land or another vessel. A UK registered vessel should wear the national maritime flag, the Red Ensign, unless entitled to wear a special Ensign. Wearing anything other than an authorised Ensign is a violation of British and International Law.
As the Ensign takes the senior position on a vessel, the order of precedence for positions for flying other flags is: 2) masthead, 3) starboard spreader, 4) port spreader. This assumes a simple plan of one halyard per spreader; other combinations including motor boats are discussed in the Members’ section.
Traditionally, the burgee is flown at the main masthead. A burgee must match a special Ensign if one is worn and it should always be higher than the Ensign. Flag etiquette states that only one burgee is flown at a time, but it is not uncommon nowadays to see yachts flying more than one burgee. Although this might cause offence to some, there is nothing legally wrong with this practice provided the rules governing the wearing of a special ensign are adhered to.
The starboard spreaders are used for signalling. This is where both a courtesy flag and the Q flag, as signals, should be flown. These days it is becoming increasingly common for yachts to fly a burgee from the starboard spreaders because of instrumentation sited at the main masthead. Again, legally there is nothing wrong with doing so but this practice presents a number of problems for those who wish to adhere to the traditions of flag etiquette.
More than one flag may be flown on a halyard except that flag etiquette states that no flag can be above the burgee on the same halyard and no flag can be worn above the courtesy flag. If you fly a burgee at the starboard spreaders and are sailing in the territorial waters of another country this presents something of a dilemma, particularly if you must fly a burgee to match a special Ensign. Unless the burgee is in its traditional position at the masthead, you risk flouting one or another element of flag etiquette. How you choose to resolve this is a matter of choice.
A word on courtesy flags, most countries use their national flag at sea and it is therefore not uncommon to see a foreign visitor flying a Union Jack as a courtesy flag when visiting UK waters. This is wrong; the correct flag is always a Red Ensign. There is no legal requirement to fly a courtesy flag; it is a courtesy that acknowledges that the vessel will respect the laws and sovereignty of that country. However, if one is not flown or it is tatty or faded, it may cause grave offence and in some countries can lead to a fine.
The port spreaders are used for house flags. A house flag is normally but not always a small rectangular version of a burgee. It may indicate membership of an association (i.e. the RYA) or society or may be to indicate membership of another club should that club have a house flag. More than one house flag may be flown on the port halyard, but with caution as too many might appear vulgar to some.
The Union Jack, Welsh Dragon, the Crosses of St Andrew, St George and St Patrick and the EU flag are primarily land flags and must not be flown at sea as an Ensign by cruising yachtsmen. At sea the cross of St George is the flag of an Admiral and it should therefore not be flown by anyone else, without special dispensation. A vessel flying the St Andrew’s Cross could be mistaken as saying "my vessel is stopped and making no way through the water" as this is the meaning of code flag M which has the same design and the St Patrick s Cross could be misinterpreted as code flag V "I require assistance".
Union Jack or Union flag?
There is often a lively debate about which term is correct. In fact both terms are acceptable having been given parliamentary approval in 1908 when it was stated that "the Union Jack should be regarded as the National flag".
Sizing your flags
The sizes and condition of flags are important. They should not be tatty and should not hang in the water, but should still be large enough to be seen.
The best advice is "what looks right" but a rough guide is:
The general guideline for the size of Ensign used to be an inch per foot of yacht, but on many modern yachts this is found to be a little on the small side for the vessel to look "well dressed". Roughly speaking a 3/4 yard Ensign should look right on a boat of 21-26 ft, 1 yard for 27- 34 ft, 1 1/4 yard for 35 - 42 ft, 1 1/2 yard for 43 - 50 ft and 1 3/4 yard for 51 - 60 ft, but some discretion may need to be applied.
A burgee of 15" in the fly (the horizontal measurement) should look appropriate on vessels up to 34ft. This increases to 18" for up to 42ft, 24" for up to 50ft and 30" up to 60 ft.
Having an undersized, faded or tatty courtesy flag in many places is worse than having no courtesy flag. Again as a guide only, 12" in the fly should look appropriate for 21-26 ft, 15" for 27- 34 ft, 18" for 35 - 42 ft, 22" for 43 - 50 ft and 30" for 51 - 60 ft. Availability may however end up dictating the size of the flag.
A house flag of a similar size to those listed for the courtesy flag will generally be appropriate.
In addition to the national maritime flag, the Red Ensign, there is a White Ensign, a Blue Ensign and there are a number of Red Ensigns with a badge, Blue Ensigns with a badge and a light blue Ensign with a badge. These additional Ensigns are special or privileged Ensigns may only be worn with permission, which is granted ultimately by the Queen.
A warrant grants this permission and the Ensign must be worn in accordance with the warrant, which will in most cases require the corresponding burgee to be displayed. In most cases the warrant is granted to a Yacht Club, which in turns gives its members permission to wear the Ensign under the conditions of the warrant, by issuing the members with a permit.
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