Race Instructions

Weekend Racing (Sunday)

Sunday races are held once or twice a month.  There are different courses for most races, providing variety and different levels of challenge in both the enclosed waters of Pittwater and into Broken Bay.

Please note that with most Sunday races there is no official “start” boat. Rather the race is run on an honour system where one boat in the fleet will make the four start signals (5 minute, 4 minute, 1 minute and Start) and all boats racing, including the starting boat, will cross between the green Channel marker South of Soldiers Point and a PBYC Mark on the start signal. For this season, the primary start boat will be “Addiction” and the secondary start boat will be “Element”, with the tertiary start boat being “Frangipani”.

Division 2 yachts will start on the 1 minute signal while Division 1 yachts will start at the Start signal. This will allow some separation between smaller & larger yachts at the start.

The finish line for all Sunday racing is between the green Channel marker South of Soldiers Point  and the PBYC Mark.

Competing boats will time their own finish, based on the time of the start signal, and forward that elapsed time to the Handicapper by SMS no later than Monday afternoon following the race if they wish to be included in the results. All on-water communications will be via VHF Channel 73.

For yachts that do not comply with Category 5 Safety but wish to race on Sunday, an alternate Pittwater course (Yellow Flag) is listed on the Race Program.

If you retire from a race, you are requested to start boat of your retirement. If this is not possible then please phone a Club Official ASAP

Twilight Racing (Friday)

Throughout the daylight saving period, races are held each Friday evening, as shown in the yearly racing calendar. Please note there is a break in the program over the Christmas holiday period. There are 2 different types of Twilight race conducted by the club which take place on alternate weeks. 1/Divisional – Twilight Races and 2/Handicap – Pursuit Twilight Races. Each is described below:


This is a traditional race with a start boat and a formal start process along with a season point score and an annual season trophy.

Our twilight races are conducted in two divisions and the Race Committee will allocate you to the appropriate division upon payment of your racing fee.  Your handicap will be established after a few races with handicaps adjusted, based on performance after each race, to ensure that everyone has a chance of gaining a place in subsequent races.

The starting line for all Divisional Twilight Races is set a short distance to the North of Portuguese Beach between an orange PBYC buoy and green channel marker Marker.

You are requested to pass near the start boat, displaying the club burgee, to ensure that the starter is familiar with your boat before the start of each race. This also allows you to check for any course changes.  Course changes and start instructions will be announced on VHF Channel 73 by the Start Boat.

Flag Types flown from the Start Boat:

Course flags:                Start proceeding to the north – GREEN

.                                       Start proceeding to the south – RED

Division 2 flag:            5 min. flag – blue triangle with white dot
Preparatory flag:         5 min. flag – blue with white square
Division 1 flag:             5 min. flag – white triangle with red dot

Yellow flag:                   Change in course or starting instructions
Yellow & black flag:    Boat(s) breaking the start

The Start sequence shall be as per Rule 26 with a 5 minute warning, 4 minute Preparatory, 1 minute signal and a Start signal

Division 1:    Bigger yachts, generally over 10 metres – Start at 18:00
Division 2:    Smaller yachts and larger cruising yachts – Start at 18:05


Starting yachts are required to start between the green Channel marker and the larger PBYC mark at the other end of the line.

You do not have any rights to push in between a starting yacht that is close hauled and the start line markers if you are the windward yacht as you must keep clear (see Rule 11).

Buoy room does not apply at the Start Line (see Rule 18.1).

This is commonly called “barging” and is the cause of many heated discussions and quite often can result in damage, sometimes serious, when the leeward yacht cannot bear away due to other yachts to leeward. It is much better to approach the start line already close hauled so all yachts are effectively on parallel courses.

The best approach is “IF IN DOUBT, DON’T” as we all want to avoid a collision.

Crossing the line too early – If you cross the starting line early you should hear two clear blasts of the horn to indicate an early crossing. You must then Return to start or perform the required 720 degree turn penalty.

Shorten Race – round the mark as normal and cross the line in the process.

In the event that the starter decides to shorten the course (usually due to a lack of wind), the Committee Vessel will hoist Code Flag S (White Rectangle with a Blue centre) and make two sound signals to draw attention to the signal or alternatively announced the change of course via VHF Channel 73.

This may be the original Start line or may be at any of the rounding marks.

The new finish line shall be crossed from the direction of the last mark (i.e. if the new finish mark was a rounding mark, it no longer has a “required rounding side”)
You do not have to sail around the new finish mark

If you retire from a race, you are requested to return and inform the start boat of your retirement. If this is not possible then please phone a Club Official ASAP

Navigational lights – must be activated when sailing after sunset or when visibility is restricted

After each twilight race, you are encouraged to come back to Club Palm Beach for dinner, drinks and race results and prizes.  All race results are uploaded on the club’s website (www.pbyc.com.au) as soon as possible.


This is a fun race with a handicap start and no start boat, no formal start process, no season point score and no annual season trophy.

There is no formal start boat but a nominated club yacht will stand by the Stokes Point Mark to act as starter.

Each yacht will start racing based on the handicap time allocated to them for each race based on the start times posted on the Web Site by the Handicapper in the week prior to that race. The handicap for the upcoming week will be found by clicking the link on the home page of the club website. www.pbyc.com.au.

Please check your handicap prior to each race, as they change each race.

See race program for course details.

As the race continues, the fleet should begin to converge.

The race will continue until either a) the finish is reached or b) the time is 19:30.

In case b), the next mark to be reached by the lead boat will be the finish mark.  All on-water communication will be via VHF Channel 73.

In either case, each competitor should record the time they reach the finish and report this to the Handicapper.