An update from Racing Services

Portsmouth Yardstick and guidance changes

Following a recent appeal case where a club had not specified the handicap system or how they would score their racing. we wanted to draw your attention to some of the things that you need to remember when writing your notice of race and sailing instructions.

Within your notice of race, it is a requirement that you detail the type of racing you will be doing (RRS J1.1(4)). Will it be handicap, class, or pursuit racing? This section should also say how you will assign the number to each boat for example. “Event organisers will use the Portsmouth Yardstick handicap system using the RYA base list to assign handicaps to each boat”. You can then go on to detailing how you will adjust numbers and finally how you will score the races ie. Will it be first boat across the line or will you be applying a handicap system.

The Racing Rules of Sailing sets out the requirements for your notice of race and sailing instructions in Appendix J and Clubs, Classes and their race officials should review against the requirements of Appendix J when writing NoR's or SI's. Recommended wording for Notices of Race & Sailing Instructions can be found here. Further guidance on the PY Scheme can be found on 

If a club has any questions around the PY system, or how best to write suitable rules, please feel free to contact the Technical department on or call 02380604200 who will be more than happy to help answer your questions.

New and updated guidance

Safety Flash Notice - Starting Cannons

Race committees should be aware of the potential for damage and injury resulting from the use of starting cannons and similar devices. Due consideration should be given to the necessity of their use, their placement and where competitors reasonably may be expected to be at the time of firing.


The RYA wishes to ensure that all race officials are aware of the potential for damage and injury resulting from the use of starting cannons and similar devices. 


Keelboat Race Organisation

Supplementary guidance to the RYA Race Management Guide for Organising Authorities looking to run inshore and offshore keelboating events.

Template Club Notice of Race 

The Race Management Committee have recently updated the Club Notice of Race guidance, this provides guidance on the information required to be included in a notice of race and an example of how the minimum requirements may be met for simple club racing.

Rules Disputes Process

The RYA’s Racing Rules Committee has recently updated their guidance on rules disputes. The wording throughout this guidance has been updated and made clearer. It is emphasised that the Arbitrator/Adviser gives an opinion rather than makes a decision. Advisory Hearing has been changed to ‘Advisory Meeting.’

Update on Starting penalty guidance

Updated guidance to reflect changes in the definition for the 2021 - 2024 rules and to provide guidance on the introduction of World Sailing Development Rule DR21-01.

Updated UKTRA Standard SIs

The UK Team Racing Association have recently completed a full review of the standard sailing instructions used for team racing events in the UK following the updates to the RRS.

The RYA recommends use of the UKTRA Standard SIs for team racing events.


View all guidance for Race Officials on the RYA website