Offshore GSIs

2022 Offshore General Sailing Instructions (GSIs)

1.1 Races are governed by The Racing Rules of Sailing, except as any of these are changed by:
a) the Event Notice, or b) the event Sailing Instructions.


2.1 Notices to competitors will be posted on the Official Regatta Notice Board located outside the lower level of the FBYC Clubhouse, known as Fannie’s House, on the Jackson Creek side, and/or to the FBYC website home page at
2.2 Changes to Sailing Instructions will be posted not later than 0830 on the effective day, except that any change in the schedule of races will be posted not later than 1800 on the preceding day.
2.3 Signals made ashore will be displayed on a Race Committee Boat at her berth on Jackson Creek. This will constitute “ashore”.
2.4 When a change to these sailing instructions has been posted (see above), code flag “L” will be displayed either on the Committee Boat or on the flag pole located near the center dock on Jackson Creek.
2.5 When flag Y is displayed ashore, Rule 40 applies at all times while afloat. This changes the Part 4 preamble.
2.6 The display of code flag “AP” made ashore accompanied by two sound signals means the start of racing is postponed. The lowering of flag “AP” ashore accompanied by one sound means the Warning Signal for the next race shall be made in not less than 75 minutes. This changes Race Signal “AP”.
2.7 The display of code flag “B” made ashore means that the Protest Time is underway.

3.1 The time of the first Warning Signal for the first race of each day shall be as designated in the Event Notice for that event.
3.2 If the Race Committee intends to start another race on the same day, it may display the second substitute (with no sound) while boats are finishing.

4.1 A boat competing shall clearly display its class flag at the stern approximately 5 feet above her deck, on or near the backstay.
4.2 For Offshore Division events, classes, their class identification code flags and sub-class rating splits are as follows, unless different classes, subclasses, splits and/or flags are specified in the event Sailing Instructions:

Class Subclasses  
Class Flag Rating
PHRF-Spinnaker PHRF A 9 Up to 112
  PHRF B 6 113-160
  PHRF C 7 161 and Above
PHRF- Non Spinnaker ALL 5 All Ratings
One Design ALL OD Class Insignia  
Cruising Class (Non-Sanctioned) ALL White flag / streamer All Ratings

For a class or subclass not listed above, the flag designated by the Event’s Sailing Instructions, if any, shall be displayed.

5.1 Rounding and passing marks are designated in Appendices A, B, and D to these Sailing Instructions and may be modified in the Event Notice or Sailing Instructions.

5.2 "FBYC B" is a yellow tetrahedron placed by the race committee for each event in which it is a mark of the course at the approximate latitude and longitude indicated in Appendix A.

 The course to be sailed will be designated by letters and numbers displayed on a Race Committee boat or in the Sailing Instructions. See Appendices A and B for designation of government and special marks used in setting courses, and Appendix D for drop mark course descriptions.
a) The dropmark courses are illustrated in the Yearbook Appendix D, SUGGESTED COURSES, and online at These course diagrams show the approximate angles between legs, the order in which marks are to be passed, and the side on which each mark is to be left.
b) A numeral in the course designation indicates the number of legs.
c) The “W” course configuration includes a leeward mark positioned to windward of the start/finish line. In the absence of this leeward mark in that position, the boats shall round the starting line mark (pin).
d) Adding the “S” letter to the course designation indicates that boats finish on the opposite side of the RC Signal Boat from the starting line.
e) Adding "L" to course designation "W" or "H" indicates that the RC will set two windward marks: the classes designated to sail the "L" course will round the farther windward mark for all legs, and all other classes will round the nearer windward mark for all legs (see e.g. WL diagram at appendix D). This course shall be designated by WL [number] or HL [number], and the course board shall indicate the distance to the appropriate mark for each class.
6.2. Course Displays.
a) The course board will be divided into vertical columns for designated classes and subclasses. The class designations will be; P = PHRF Spinnaker, all subclasses; A =PHRF Spinnaker A; B = PHRF Spinnaker B; C = PHRF Spinnaker C; N =Non-Spinnaker (and Cruising Class, if applicable). The order of classes from left to right will correspond to the order of starts.
b) Sample courses described in Appendix D: The course designation will appear directly below the letter identifying the class or subclass to which it applies. The approximate magnetic bearing to the first mark from the start will be displayed immediately below the course designation, and below that will be displayed the approximate distance to the first mark from the starting line. If the course, the bearing to the first mark, or the distance to the first mark is unchanged for later classes or subclasses, there shall be a blank in the appropriate row on the course board in the column for that class or subclass. An Appendix "D" course designation using red or black course designation letter(s) indicates that all marks are to be left to port. Green course designation letters indicate all marks are to be left to starboard.
c) Courses using government marks identified in Appendices A and B:  If the Race Committee sets a course around government marks identified in Appendix A, that course will be represented by displaying an “X” (any color) on the course board below the letter identifying the class or subclass which will be sailing that course, and
1) The detailed course designation will be displayed, using either board letters or magnetic letters, either on the stern or the side of the Race Committee signal boat; and
2) Marks shall be rounded in the order displayed reading from left to right or from top to bottom. Marks designated in red or black shall be rounded to port; those designated in green shall be rounded to starboard; and
3) The first and last letters indicate the starting line and finishing line marks, X is the first dropped mark (usually, but not always, the starting pin), Y the second dropped mark (usually a windward mark), and Z the third mark dropped at any point.
4) If the government mark course uses the same first mark as a drop mark course (signaled by designating the first mark after the start “X” or “Y”), the course and distance displayed on the course board for drop mark courses will apply also to the government mark course.

Example of how the Course Board might be filled out:

A B  
WL4   W4
Course Designation
190         Mark and Magnetic course to first mark
2.5   1.5
    Length of first leg
XYCEOX On Stern or side of Committee Boat

Explanation:  PHRF Spinnaker subclasses A & B will sail course WL twice around for a total of four legs.  Their first mark after the start bears 190 degrees from the start and is 2.5 nautical miles away.  The J Class and the PHRF Spinnaker subclass C will sail course W twice around for a total of four legs.  Their first mark bears 190 degrees from the start and is 1.5 nautical miles away.  The PHRF Non-spinnaker class will sail a government mark course described using letter boards posted at the stern or side of the Committee signal boat.  The first mark after the start for this course bears 190 degrees from the Committee boat and is 1.5 nautical miles away.

The government mark course displayed on the stern or side of Committee boat:  X is a drop mark which is the pin end of the starting line as well as the finishing mark; Y is the first mark after the start (a drop mark) - the course and distance of Y are as displayed on the main course board.  After rounding Y, boats are to round marks C, E and O (described and shown in Appendix A and B) as indicated by the color of the letters, and finish between X and a blue or orange flag on a Race Committee boat.

Courses set in advance in Notice of Race or Special Sailing Instructions:  The course designation will be designated using the letter designation in the NOR or SSIs (i.e. A, B, etc.) and will appear directly below the letter identifying the class or subclass to which it applies.  The approximate magnetic bearing to the first mark from the start, preceded by a mark designation ("X", "Y", or government mark from Appendix A), will be displayed immediately below the course designation, and below that will be displayed the approximate distance to the first mark from the start.  If the course, the bearing to the first mark, the identity of the first mark, or the distance to the first mark, is unchanged for later classes or subclasses, there shall be a blank in the appropriate row on the course board in the column for that class or subclass.

Example of how the Course Board might be filled out for a distance race:

Course Designation
G100 Y100   Mark and Magnetic course to first mark
5 2   Length of first leg

Explanation:  For this race, at least 2 predetermined courses, designated “A” and “B” have been announced in the NOR or SSIs. PHRF spinnaker subclasses A, B & C will all sail course A, but the first mark for subclasses A & B will be government mark G (App A), bearing about 100° and approximately 5 nm from the starting line. For subclass C, the first mark will be a drop mark bearing 100° about 2 nm from the starting line. The color of the mark designation determines how it is to be rounded. PHRF non-spinnaker (and Cruising) will sail course B, and their first mark will be drop mark Y, bearing about 100° and about 2 nm from the Committee boat (i.e. the same first mark subclass C will use).

 The Principal Race Officer has the right to direct abandonment of a race. The most senior of Flag Officer, Fleet Captain or Offshore Division Commander present may also direct the Principal Race Officer to abandon a race, to the same extent the Race Committee is empowered to do so under Rule 27.3 and 32.1. This changes Rule 27.3 and 32.1. 
7.2 If a postponed or abandoned race is not restarted on the day it was scheduled and it is to be started on another date, the date the race will be started or re-sailed will be posted on the Official Notice Board at least forty eight (48) hours before it is to be started or re-sailed, and an attempt will be made to notify registered skippers by announcement on the website ( or in the Log.

8.1 Races will be started by using Rule 26 with the warning signal made five (5) minutes before the starting signal.
8.2 The starting area is specified in the Event Notice for the event.
8.3 The starting line for each event will be between a yellow or orange flag on the committee boat and either an adjacent government mark or dropped inflatable mark, unless otherwise specified in the Event Notice or Sailing Instructions.
8.4 Each boat shall check in at the Race Committee Boat before the first warning signal of the first race each race day, sailing past the stern of the Race Committee Boat and receiving its acknowledgement. If a boat is unable to check in following this procedure, the boat may check in providing sail number via hail on VHF-72. A boat may not protest a breach of this instruction. This changes Rule 60.1.
8.5 Unless the Sailing Instructions specify otherwise, the Race Committee will determine order of start for all classes competing in each race.
8.6 Boats starting later than four (4) minutes after their starting signal will be scored Did Not Start (DNS) without a hearing. This changes rules A4 and A5.
8.7 After a postponement, to alert boats that a race or sequence of races will begin soon, multiple short sounds may be made before a warning signal is displayed. This is not a timed sound signal.

9.1 In the event of an individual recall the Race Committee will attempt to hail boats identified as OCS via hail on VHF-72. The timing and order of such hails or the failure of a boat to hear a hail will not be considered an improper action or omission of the race committee under rule 62.1.

10.1 Between sunset and sunrise the following shall apply: when one of two boats is about to pass the other and they are on the same tack and within three overall lengths of the longer boat of each other, the boat being overtaken shall maintain her course, and the boat clear astern, if she elects to pass to windward, must do so at least three overall lengths (of the longer boat) from the leeward boat.
10.2  Boats finishing without proper display of navigation lights may be subject to disqualification.

11.1 The finishing line will be between a blue or orange flag (or staff with code flag “S”, if the course has been shortened) on a Race Committee boat and the designated finishing mark.
11.2  A boat sailing the course whose finish position cannot be changed no matter how she finishes, may be requested by the Race Committee to immediately return to the starting area. Such a boat will be scored as though she had completed the race. This changes Rules 28.1, 35, A4.1 and A4.2.
11.3 A boat approaching the finish at night must show a white light when no less than ¼ mile away from the finish line to call attention to her presence and when crossing the finish line to illuminate her racing or sail numbers. An ordinary flashlight is not acceptable for this purpose.
11.4 A boat finishing after dark, or if the Race Committee is not on station at the finish, shall take its own finishing time and attempt to record any boat finishing directly ahead and directly astern and shall give this information to the Race Committee if requested.

12.1 The protest period shall begin immediately when Signal Boat returns to the dock and shall last for 60 minutes. This protest time limit will be posted on the Signal Boat and/or the Official Notice Board.
12.2 A boat intending to protest another boat must so notify the Race Committee by hail or radio transmission immediately after finishing or retiring and be acknowledged by the Race Committee. This notification must include the protested boat’s name and/or sail number.
12.3 Appendix T will be in effect - Arbitration
12.4 Breaches of instructions, 15.1 or specified requirements in the Event Notice will not be grounds for protest by a boat. This changes Rules 60.1(a) and 61.2. 
12.5 The Race Committee will post a list of boats scored OCS, ZFP or BFD, on the Official Notice Board before expiration of the protest time limit. The time for filing a request for redress based on such a score shall be made no later than 30 minutes after the protest time limit expires. This changes RRS 62.2.
12.6 A notice of protests and requests for redress filed, approximate hearing times, and place of hearing will be posted on the Official Notice Board within 30 minutes after the end of protest time.
12.7 It is the responsibility of each skipper to check the Official Notice Board to see if his/her boat has been cited in a Protest or scored OCS, ZFP, BFD or DPI.

Scoring for all events will be Time on Time (ToT) using the standard PHRF W/L ratings except the Distance Series shall be scored using the PHRF CR ratings unless amended in the Event Notice.

13.1 Scoring System for Daily Results: For the Spring, Fall, Winter, and Long Distance daily results, the “Low-Point Scoring System” described in RRS Appendix A will be used except that:
a) Rules A2, A8, A9 do not apply.
b) A boat that did not start, did not finish, retired, or was disqualified shall be scored points for the finishing place one more than the number of boats competing in that race. This modifies Rule A4.2.
13.2 Scoring System for Series Results: For the Spring, Fall, Long Distance, and Winter Series, the “High-Point Percentage Scoring System” as described by US Sailing will be used for overall series awards and standings.
a) Under the “High-Point Percentage Scoring System”, each boat finishing that race and not thereafter retiring or being disqualified will be scored as follows:

Finishing Place Score
First N
Second N-1
Third N-2
Fourth N-3
Each place thereafter Subtract 1 additional point

'N' will be defined as the number of boats that compete in a particular race. All other boats that compete in that race, including any that finish and thereafter retire, are disqualified, or are scored TLE will score 0 points. Boats that do not compete in that race (DNC) will not be scored.

b) The series score for each boat will be a percentage calculated as follows: divide the sum of her race scores by the sum of the points she would have scored if she had placed first in every race in which she competed; multiply the result by 100. No scores will be excluded unless modified in the Sailing Instructions or Event Notice for the event or series.
c) To qualify for series awards a boat shall finish 51% or more of the series races completed or shall start and finish all of the races on two days of the series.
d) Each boat that competes in the series and attains 100% participation will receive an additional 3 points added to the sum of her race scores.
d) The qualified boat with the highest series score is the winner, and others are ranked accordingly.
e) Unless modified in the Sailing Instructions, one race is required to be completed on two or more days to constitute a series.
f) RRS/US Appendix A8 (Series Ties) is modified to specify that if methods A8.1 and A8.2 do not resolve a tie between two or more boats, the final result shall be a tie.
13.3 FBYC Event Scoring:
a) For a race that is not part of a series of races, a class (i.e. PHRF SPIN, PHRF NON-SPINNAKER, or One Design) must have at least three boats come to the starting area for that race to be valid and to be scored for that class or subclass. In a series of races, if the three-boat minimum is met in at least one race, all races in the series will be valid for that class and scored for class or overall. In addition, if at least three boats in a sub-class (PHRF A, B, or C, NON-SPIN, OD) come to the starting area, that sub-class and all other subclasses of that class will be scored separately for that race, and, if the race is part of a series, for all races in the series.
b) A boat sailing in more than one class over the course of a series shall only be scored for the series in the class designated on the entry form for the first race in the series in which she raced.
c) For the Spring, Fall, Winter, and Long Distance Series, a skipper who has registered for the series and serves on race committee for one of the series races or race days may either (1) have someone else race his/her boat or (2) be assigned a score for the race or races for which he or she serves on race committee equal to the average of all his/her scores for the other races in the series.
d) In the Spring Series, Distance Series, Fall, and Winter Series only, if the Race Committee abandons the race pursuant to RRS Rule 32.1 after one or more boats has finished:
For daily awards: Finished boats shall be scored according to their finishing places and the boats remaining on the course shall be scored one point more than the number of boats that finished the race prior to abandonment.
For series awards: Finished boats shall be scored according to their finishing places and the boats remaining on the course shall be scored one point less than the number of boats that finished the race prior to abandonment.  This changes RRS 32.1 and 35.
13.4 CBYRA High Point Scoring:  For 2020 the recognized classes in Region IV North are PHRF Spinnaker A, B, & C and PHRF Non-Spinnaker. For eligibility, requirements, and scoring for CBYRA High Point, refer to the CBYRA Year Book. All FBYC perpetual trophies will count all CBYRA sanctioned races plus any non-sanctioned race specifically identified as being counted.
13.5 Every attempt will be made to announce and post on the official notice board and at, following conclusion of each day’s racing.

Except in an emergency, a boat shall neither make radio transmissions while racing nor receive radio communications not available to all boats. This restriction applies to mobile telephones.
14.2 The Race Committee will monitor and make any announcements to competitors over VHF Channel 72.
14.3 The Race Committee will respond to transmissions from competitors to acknowledge retirements, protests, penalties reported or taken, or requests for emergency assistance.
14.4 Race Committee broadcasts of its intentions (i.e. the course to be sailed, starting times, changes, recalls, and attention signals prior to warning and any others) are made as a courtesy only. Neither the failure to broadcast, or of a competitor to hear, any such announcements, nor the timing or content of any broadcasts that are made, shall be grounds for redress. This changes RRS 62.1(a)

15.1 A boat retiring shall, as soon as possible, notify the Race Committee and receive acknowledgement. Penalty for a breach of this rule shall be the boat’s disqualification for the last race the boat started prior to her retirement.
15.2 The scoring abbreviation for a discretionary penalty imposed under this instruction will be DPI.
15.3 Notification of the Race Committee shall be the following:
Radio hail to the Race Committee on Channel 72 and receipt of acknowledgment; if not acknowledged then; Cell phone contact to the Offshore Division Commander at 434-825-5743, if not acknowledged a message is to be left, and then; Cell phone contact to the FBYC General Manager at 804-334-7575, if not acknowledged, a message is to be left.

16.1 A boat may not exercise right of way, cross in proximity to, or interfere with reasonable transit of the race area by commercial freighters, tugs and tows, or other commercial vessels that are unable to readily respond.
16.2 A boat without way in a ship channel that uses an engine to clear the channel at the approach of commercial traffic, shall either retire, or if the incident was unavoidable, continue racing and request redress.
16.3 A boat racing at night in the vicinity of vessels with which they might collide shall illuminate their sails by all available means to ensure that they are clearly seen by the other vessel(s). This is in addition to the navigation lights and shapes required by the COLREGS or other applicable government regulations. Such display shall not be grounds for protest.
16.4 Any vessel fouling commercial crab pot(s) and severing or dislocating them by more than 100' is required to record the license number from the pot float, report the event (with vessel contact information) to VMRC by calling 757-247-2127, and reimbursing the licensee for any loss if so claimed.

17.1 The Skipper/Owner of each boat shall be responsible for all actions of his/her crew and guests.
17.2 Boats shall not put trash in the water. Trash may be placed aboard support and race committee boats.
17.3 In the event of a serious breach of conduct or sportsmanship, the destruction of property, or the failure to comply with a request of the Club Manager, a Club Officer, or a member of the FBYC Race Committee, the offending owner or crew member may be evicted from the club premises. The Skipper/Owner will be responsible for all damages and the Race Committee may rescind the boat’s entry at any time during the regatta.


Fishing Bay Yacht Club
Office Mail: Fishing Bay Yacht Club, 2711 Buford Road #309, Bon Air, 23235,
Clubhouse Address: 1525 Fishing Bay Road, Deltaville, VA 23043 (no mail delivery)

Phone Numbers: Club House 804-776-9636

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