VHF Use in Interclub Racing

As provided for in the Sailing Instructions, the Race Committee may use VHF to communicate with racers. Use of VHF does not replace nor supersede any required code flags or sound signals, and is only for the convenience of racers. The lack of any VHF communication shall not be grounds for redress.

The RC may use VHF announcements to inform racers of:

  • Race postponement, abandonment or cancellation.
  • The intended course.
  • A shortened course.
  • Individual or General Recalls.
  • Boats “clear” after being called OCS.
  • A change of the next leg of the course.

More information on each situation is provided below.

Under normal circumstances, except where safety is a concern, competitors should not communicate with the RC via VHF.

More details and sample calls:

  • Race postponement, abandonment or cancellation: The RC may make announcements such as “AP is up; race is postponed”; “AP is down; warning signal will not be before 1842” (e.g. in the case of a race postponed ashore); “N over A is flying; all races today are abandoned.”
  • The intended course: If the RC intends to set a different course for some fleets, they may announce, for example, prior to the starting sequence, “Division 1 will sail an extended W course; Division 2 will sail a regular W course.” Obviously, the RC will also fly the appropriate course flags at the appropriate times for each fleet.
  • A shortened course: If the RC shortens the course, they may announce that on VHF. E.g. “Code flag S is flying over the Tanzer and Shark Class flags; the Tanzers and Sharks shall finish at the windward mark.”
  • Individual Recalls: Individual recalls will be signalled per RRS 29.1. The RC may announce on VHF the sail numbers or boat names of the OCS boats. E.g. “Code flag X is flying; 3250, 47863, 872 – OCS. I say again, 3250, 47863, 872 – OCS.” If any boat does not return to re-start, the RC may repeat the sail number of the OCS boat(s). If a boat returns to re-start but does not return fully to the pre-start side of the line, the RC may again repeat the sail number of the OCS boat. E.g. “872 – OCS”.
  • General Recalls: General recalls will be signalled per RRS 29.2. The RC may also announce the general recall on VHF. E.g. “General Recall. Code flag First Substitute is flying. All boats return to the start area. The warning signal for the C&C 27 fleet will be after the Shark/Tanzer start.”
  • Boats “clear” after being called OCS: Following an individual recall, the RC may announce on VHF when a boat has returned fully to the pre-start side of the line. E.g. “5784 Clear; X flag is down.”
  • A change of next leg of the course: If a windshift warrants a change of the next leg of the course, it will be signalled per RRS 33. The RC may also announce the change on VHF. E.g. “Code flag C is flying; new windward mark is at a bearing of 320°.”

If you have comments or questions on the above, feel free to discuss these with, or e-mail them to, Hugh Morrin and/or the Fleet Captain

Page updated: 2021-12-01.

Update log:
2021-10-14, HM: Page created (over the course of several days).
2021-11-11, HM: Updated to consider course change announced on VHF radio.
2021-11-21, HM: Updates based on Greg Dargavel’s feedback.
2021-11-24, HM: Updates based on Van Sheppard’s feedback, in particular, that this should not apply to dinghies.
2021-12-01, HM: Removed references to SI 13.3 and 13.4.

Page maintained by H. Morrin.