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Changes to Sailing Instructions – 2024

Saturday 13th January 2024

The Brass Monkey Series commences tomorrow, our first race of 2024.  There are two points to consider: changes to Sailing Instructions for IRC classes and Race Entry.

Change to Sailing Instructions (classes)

Please accept this message as notification that Section 3.3 of the Sailing Instructions has now been amended as follows:

Presently it reads:

“3.3. IRC/ TCC Handicap System

3.3.1. Class One IRC TCC 0.936 or greater

3.3.2. Class Two IRC TCC Between 0.935 or below Yachts may elect to sail in the class above. Yachts that do this will have to use the lowest TCC for

the class they are sailing in e.g. a Class 2 yacht sailing in class one will have to use a TCC of 0.936.

3.3.3. “Venture Races” run under the RYA’s “NHC” handicap system: A boats handicap will be adjusted after every race. An adjustment in handicap number is not grounds for redress, this changes RRS 62. For a new Venture entry it is the owners responsibility to identify the best match on the RYA’s NHC base. The club may assist in that process but it is not the clubs responsibility to arrange a NHC TCC on the owners behalf.”

The new wording is:

“3.3. IRC/ TCC Handicap System

3.3.1. All boats entered into the IRC race will sail in one class.

3.3.2. “Venture Races” run under the RYA’s “NHC” handicap system: A boat’s handicap will be adjusted after every race (subject for enough boats completing the race to trigger an adjustment). An adjustment in handicap number is not grounds for redress, this changes RRS 62. For a new Venture entry, owners should provide an initial handicap from an RYA NHC base list.  As the RYA no longer provide NHC base handicap, where a boat is not shown on the base list, the Vice-Commodore, Race Captain, or a member of the Sailing Committee (in that order) can appoint a person to determine an initial base handicap for a new Venture entry.  A person appointed to assess an NHC base handicap TCC for a yacht, will use publicly available data to determine a reasonable TCC figure.  Where an Owner believes that the determined initial base handicap TCC is significantly wrong (more than 0.1) they can request redress.  Where a redress hearing determines the initial NHC base handicap is significantly wrong, they can apply an alternative figure.”

The reason for IRC class no longer being split is that the present IRC fleet TCCs range from 0.877 to 1.017 (No Prima and Lillebolero moving back to Venture), which is not that great and will give a larger fleet to race in.  The Sailing Committee will continue to monitor the IRC fleet composition and may reintroduce a split before a future series.

The reason for the rewording of the Venture class is that the RYA no longer support NHC which means new boats may not be able to obtain a base handicap.  This will not affect existing Venture class boats as their handicap determined after their last race will carry over to this year.

Going forward, the Sailing Committee are looking at moving the Venture fleet from NHC to YTC (which is supported by the RYA).  All boat Owners are encouraged to obtain a 2024 YTC certificate from the RORC.  It is free.

Change to Sailing Instructions: Race Entry

It has been noted that, in 2023, boats have not been following the Sailing Instructions: Namely, Crew Safety Sheets have not been emailed to the race office and boats are not reporting the number of persons on board to the Race Office before departing the lock.  A boat that does not enter a race as per the Sailing Instructions but sails the course may well be classed as ‘Did Not Start’ (DNS).

To be clear race entry by Whatsapp is not acceptable (something I have been guilty of) and a Crew Safety Sheet must be used (it can be a photo of a completed sheet) as it includes your declaration to follow the rules.  It is helpful to send a Whatsapp to the LYC Race Office group letting the Race Officer know you are entering.  We still have not found a convenient way for Race Officers to receive the emailed entry forms.  We continue to look for a way to make this easier.

Please ensure you use the latest Crew Safety Sheet.  It was amended recently and can be found on the website.

Please also accept this message as notification that Section 4.1 of the Sailing Instructions has now been amended as follows:


4.1. Members’ boats enter by submitting their completed Crew Safety Sheet by email to  before leaving the lock and shall inform the Race Team of their intention to race by VHF Ch.37 prior to leaving the lock with the number of persons on board.

4.2. Crew Safety Sheets must include all crew and a phone number for each crew members’ next of kin/emergency contact.

4.3. Sending a Crew Safety Sheet, by way of entering each race, acknowledges that the skipper abides by the Racing Rules of Sailing and LYC sailing instructions without exception.

4.4. The email or Crew Safety Sheet must contain the following:

4.4.1. I agree to be bound by The Racing Rules of Sailing and by all other rules that govern this event.’ See RRS Appendix J 2(6).

4.5. If the crew changes on the day, skippers MUST advise the Race Team BEFORE racing. Failure to do so may result in disqualification.

4.6. It is each skipper’s responsibility to ensure that all members of their crew comply with the rules and conduct themselves with respect to the safety of themselves and others.

4.7. Each boat will pay an entry fee for each race of £3. Race entry fees and temporary membership shall be paid direct to the club bank account, with the description <boat name> race fees. Skippers may choose to pre pay a block fee in advance for races.

4.8. For entry by non‐members or to enter long races, use the current Race Entry Form found on the LYC website:‐information  

I look forward to seeing you on the water.

Kind regards,


Sailing Captain

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