Sailing at Milford Cruising Club
Racing at Milford Cruising Club
Sailing Races
Racing at Milford Cruising Club
Sailing with Milford Cruising Club
MCC Sail Racing Series
MCC Yacht Racing
MCC Racing Series
MCC Racing

Race Rules

YNZ Safety Regulations of Sailing
ISAF Racing Rules of Sailing

All races shall be under the control and management of the Milford Cruising Club Sailing Committee and will be conducted in accordance with the International Sailing Federation Rules of Sailing (with YNZ Prescriptions) including the local rules that follow.

The International Rules for Prevention of Collision at Sea 1976 (IRPCAS), apply in all races between Sunrise and Sunset replacing the relevant parts of ISAF rules Part 2. View IRPCAS link.

Yachts, while racing, must not enter Ports of Auckland and Auckland Regional Authority Protected Mooring areas as shown on Chart 5322. Harbour regulations will always apply. The Milford Cruising club and its Sponsors disclaim any and every responsibility for damage, either to persons or property that may be suffered both onshore or at sea as a consequence of participating in any way in Club Races. Attention is drawn to the ISAF Fundamental Rule which states inter alia, A boat is solely responsible for deciding whether or not to start or to continue racing. The safety of a yacht and her crew, is the sole and inescapable responsibility of the owner, who must do their best to ensure that the yacht is fully sound, thoroughly sea worthy, and manned by experienced crew who are physically fit to face bad weather. The owner must ensure that all safety equipment is properly maintained and stowed and that the crew know where it is kept and how it is to be used. Neither the establishment of these special regulations nor their use by sponsoring organisations for the inspection of a yacht under these regulations in any way limits or reduces the complete and unlimited responsibility of the owner or skipper.

Every yacht must carry the YNZ Racing Handbook 2017- 2020 which can be purchased at the Clubhouse.

Safety Regulations

Safety regulations apply to all racing in accordance with Part 11 of the YNZ Safety Regulations (offshore and Coastal racing). Category 4 & 5 Races require the owner to declare to the Milford Cruising Club that all safety regulations are complied with.

Category 4 will apply to all Passage Races. Category 5 will apply to all Tidal Races. View Category 4 & 5 Checklist

Local Rules



Yachts will race in two divisions (Racing and Cruising) in every race other than Ladies, Winter, Summer Evening, Juniors, Olympic and Closing Day Races. Yachts may change divisions during the season. In doing so, they become ineligible for points and trophies in the division which they are leaving. Cruising Division will carry only those sails that can, with advantage, be carried when working to windward. Mainsails and mizzens must be fixed to the mast and booms in the normal way and headsails must be fully hanked to the stay. (Foresails attached to luffspars, seastays or similar devices will be regarded as hanked to a stay). Twin foresails hanked to the same stay and mizzen staysails are not permitted. The use of a spar to boom out normal headsails is allowed. Yachts must fly their division flags while racing which are to be no less than 30cm square. Racing Division – Blue. Cruising Division and all other races – Yellow


All yachts must either tow, for the entire Summer Cruising Series, or stow on deck, for the entire Summer Cruising Series, suitable dinghies, unless otherwise stated. Inflatables must be inflated. All dinghies that are towed will have a minimum Painter length of 2 metres, and a maximum of 5 metres, from the yachts transom. Changing without authorisation, will incur a 10% penalty. In rough conditions, a previously towed dinghy, may be stowed an board. It should be noted that this will incur a 3% penalty, and must be declared to the OOD or the finish boat. Dinghies are not required for the Ladies Series, Summer Mid Week or Winter races.

Stacking Devices

The use of a trapeze or any mechanical device for supporting any member of the crew outboard of the gunwale is prohibited.


Any alteration to the hull, sails, spars, engine, rudder or ballast must be notified to the Race Committee for the purpose of re-handicapping where necessary.

Race Entry

Entries for the Summer Series close 1800 hrs Friday prior to the race. Late entry fees may apply. Members may invite a non-member skipper to participate in these club races, the entry fee will be at the non-club members rate. This person can claim a sponsor’s prize but not claim any points or Club trophies while a non-member.

For all other races, entries close prior to the race. All entries must be received by the Racing Secretary or the Official Starter prior to the commencement of the race.

Outstanding fees from a previous race in a given series will render a current entry invalid.

A full season’s entry may be paid in advance, whereby one race in that series which is prepaid shall be free, except for the Ladies Series.

Entry to any Race shall become a declaration of compliance with Safety regulations (rule 20). No formal inspection is necessary but the right to inspect any yacht is reserved by the Sailing committee.

Starting Line & Procedure

The Club Starting line, for shore based starting signals, is from a conspicuous pole located in the Milford Reserve 50 metres South of the Estuary entrance, and the Outer Distance Marker, which is a moored buoy. Alternatively starts may be started from the water whereby the starting line shall be between the Starting boat and the outer distance moored buoy.

Starts may be delayed, up to 10 minutes, to allow any regulation yacht (1.4m draught), to negotiate the Wairau Creek. The start line also defines the finish line. View Start Line.

Starting Races

Races shall be started using the following signals. Time shall be taken from the visual signals; the absence of a sound signal shall be disregarded.

  • At 5 minutes before the start the Class flag will be broken out with 1 sound.
  • At 4 minutes before the start a Preparatory signal : the “P” flag (Blue Peter) is hoisted.
  • At 1 minute before the start the Preparatory flag is removed and 1 long sound signal given.
  • Starting : the Class flag is removed and 1 sound signal given.


Individual Recall: When at the starting signal, any part of the yacht is over the line, the starter shall make a sound signal and display CODE FLAG “X” (White square with blue cross). In addition the starter will call up identified boat on VHF Ch 77. The responsibility for returning shall rest with the yacht concerned.

General Recalls: In the event of the starter being unable to identity all premature starters or there having been an error in the starting procedure a General Recall will be made by making two sound signals and a call up to all boats on VHF Ch 77 – the FIRST SUBSTITUTE (Yellow triangle with blue border) may or may not be displayed. The Start signal will be the 5 minute warning signal for the restart.


Any yacht deciding not to start, or withdrawing from a race is obliged to inform the PRO or a member of the Sailing Committee as soon as possible.

Penalty Rule

A 720 degree  or 360 degree turn as applicable will apply in all races as per ISAF Rules.


Protesting yachts must fly Code Flog “B’ (Red) to regulation size. A protest shall be made in writing in accordance with ISAF rules and presented to a member of the Racing Committee within 2 hours of finishing. Where finishes are away from the Club, the protest must be lodged with the Race Finisher on the Mark Boat. A fee of $5.00 must accompany the protest. This is refundable if the protest is successful. A protest committee shall be appointed by the Sailing Committee, and the protest heard at the earliest convenient time. See Protests.

Night Racing

The International Rules for Prevention of Collision at Sea, 1976, apply in all races between Sunset and Sunrise replacing the relevant parts of ISAF rules Part 2.


If the mark boat is not on station, yachts are to take their own time. In any passage race should the Finish mark boat not be on station, the first yacht to finish should take her own time, and is requested to anchor as near as possible to the finish station, and to take the time of other competitors until relieved.

After finishing a race, any yacht re-crossing the line in either direction will be liable to disqualification. For tidal races the finish line is between the outer distance buoy and flag pole on shore or boat on water (if on station).

Fairway Marks

The following marks are to be considered fairway marks and all vessels are to keep to seaward of them.

  1. Iliomana Beacon
  2. Black Rock
  3. Emu Point Marker
  4. Fairchild Reef Marker


The Points system to be used will be the Low-Point Scoring System described in the YNZ Handbook Racing Rules of Sailing 2009 – 2012, Appendix A Scoring: Rule A9 will apply to all series.

Cancellation or Postponement

Appropriate flags will be flown from the Clubhouse as per ISAF Racing Rules.

V.H.F. Radio

Announcements on cancellation or postponement, course selection and additional marks or obstructions which must be passed on only one side, shall be made via the Club radio on channel 77 no later than the Divisional warning or the Preparatory signal. Due to time constraints because of tide, it may not be possible to request acknowledgement from each competitor, or to postpone the race start time. After the starting signal, channel 77 shall also be used for announcements abandoning the race or shortening the course. The onus shall be on the competitor to monitor Channel 77 both prior and during the race as no other method of communication may be possible.

Any race may be postponed to a later date and/or shortened to any mark that is part of the Course by the OOD or the Sailing Committee may substitute the Course of any race, with any published MCC Course, or a course determined on the day of the race, should it seem prudent to do so.

Shortened Courses

Race Officials may shorten a course to a finish line at any mark. This will be notified to all competitors on VHF channel 77. Where possible the finish boat will sound two sound signals as the leading boat of each division approaches the finish line and a further sound signal will be made as it finishes. Should the Finish boat not be on station, the first yacht to finish should take her own time, and is requested to anchor as near as possible to the finish station, and to take the time of other competitors until relieved. Failure to sound the sound signals will not override the announcement made on VHF channel 77.

Course Changes

Where Course 1 and 2 are listed, Course 1 is the intended Course. The OOD may change to Course 2, if conditions warrant, before the race starts.


May be used.

Use of Motors

  • ISAF Rule 42.3 ( c ) is amended to read “Any means of propulsion (including a propulsion engine) may be used to help a person or another vessel in danger, or to avoid ships in the shipping channels.”
  • ISAF Rule 42.3 ( d.) is amended to read “To avoid grounding, or to get clear after grounding, a boat may use force applied by the crew, or any equipment including a propulsion engine”.
  • If a propulsion engine is used in these circumstances the yacht may not be manoeuvred closer to the next mark, nor may it gain any advantage.
  • The use of a motor, during a race must be reported to the OOD or any member of the Sailing Committee involved in the race, as soon as practically possible.


All times have been adjusted for daylight saving where applicable except for the Tidal predictions. During races the OOD can be contacted on VHF channel 77 or alternative channel as posted in amended sailing instructions.

Club Trophies & Prizes

Overall Points Trophy

The Garth Denney Memorial Trophy is presented to the yacht with the most consistent performance during the season. All yachts that compete in 6 or more of the points races qualify and points are allocated from the Low Points System.

Aggregate Points Trophies

The Tom Webster Cup is allocated to the Racing division and the Stafford Bush Motors Cup to the Cruising Division. The Bob Hyland Trophy is awarded to the lady member or spouse or a member considered by the Sailing Committee to have achieved the best overall performance in helming a boat in the Ladies Series. The Steve Palmmer Memorial Trophy is awarded to the member considered by the Committee to have achieved the best performance in a yachting event or contest outside the club activities. In addition to the John Gladden Gunboat Trophies there are Angling Shields, the Webley Best Sportsperson Trophy and the Sherson Helmsperson Trophy.

The many fine Cups and Trophies are presented to the first boats on handicap in each division for the race. Trophies and Place getter plaques are presented at the annual prizegiving but trophies and cups must remain in the clubhouse.