Sailing Instructions and Local Rules


For detailed sailing instructions please go to the links within the ‘Sailing’ section on the website ( Below is a summary of the key rules that apply to racing at Ranelagh (for Open meetings please confirm rules with the Race Officer).

Zone – The area around the Mark is 3 boat lengths not 2 as in the past.

Touching the Mark – The Penalty amended from a 360 to a re-round the Mark.

On the water incidents (other than touching the Mark) – The penalty is a 720.

Note: penalties must be taken as soon as practicably possible, before the next mark and you must keep clear.

On the Water – Boats should be afloat at the Preparatory Signal (4 minutes) and crew aboard. Rule 42 is amended, crew are not permitted to stand in the water and hold the boat, before the start. However, anchoring is permitted. Holding onto any other structure, fixed to the river bed, is not permitted. Penalty for not being afloat at the Preparatory Signal is disqualification.

Finish – The Clubhouse finish will always be through the start/finish line from the direction of the previous Mark.

I Flag (Round-an-End rule) – For Clubhouse starts this will not be flown….

The following is not within the ISAF/RYA rules but can make it realistic for certain races, especially down river ones, when there is a large tidal flow with little wind. All other Rules apply.

Starting – When there is very little wind the Race Officer may allow a “Le Mans” start. Boats may stay onshore or be anchored by standing on the riverbed after the Preparatory Signal but must start within 2 minutes of the Start Signal. The start within 2 minutes only applies to the Le Mans starts. Boats being held must not interfere with those sailing, so shall be held close to the shore with centreboard and rudders raised.

On course side at start – where a boat is over the line at the start all endeavours shall be made to get back across the line and validly start. If this is not possible due to the prevailing conditions, then after 10 minutes, at the instruction of the safety boat, you can re-join the race.

Spinnakers – Downriver races only: no spinnakers are to be used until after Putney Rail Bridge as the fleet can get congested.