NStYA Race Regulations

Organizing Authority - Northumberland Strait Yachting Association

The races will be governed by the latest Racing Rules of Sailing (RRS), the prescriptions of Sail Canada as laid out by ISAF, and the sailing instructions except as any of these are altered by the sailing instructions.

The NStYA member club's Race Committee and Protest Committee shall have final jurisdiction on all matters.

Eligible boats may enter any NStYA sanctioned races by completing the NStYA Membership Form and sending it together with the required fee to:

NStYA c/o Greg Bowles
60 Harvard Street
Summerside, PE
C1N 1P4

or complete the online application form. NStYA membership registration may be completed at the host club prior to the NStYA sanctioned race. The series is open to all boats owned by a member of the NStYA and any visiting yachts.

An NStYA Race Entry Form must be complete, signed and submitted to the host club race committee before the start of the event or race.

Boats racing in NStYA sanctioned races are required to have an official rating from the Nova Scotia Yachting Association (NSYA). First time boats without an NSYA rating may participate after filling out an NStYA Temporary Yacht Declaration Form. This declaration is done with the understanding that the sails will be measured prior to this yacht entering any further NStYA races (otherwise, 12 sec/mile penalty). If a vessel making this declaration finishes 1st in a class or 1st overall the sails must be measured at the end of the race. If the information contained in the Temporary Yacht Declaration Form are false as determined by measurement or other, the vessel will be awarded DSQ for the race.

Eligible boats must have permanent sleeping accommodations for a minimum of two crew members, and a minimum crew of two for daytime races.

Boats racing in NStYA sanctioned open races, will be divided into Classes A, B, C (spinnaker) and Non-Spinnaker Class D (white sail). See Class Rating Cutoffs.

Class divisions are made according to each boat's NSYA base rating with spinnaker before any adjustments. For the most recent NSYA base ratings list, click here.

A minimum of 4 participating NStYA Member Yachts shall constitute an official "race".

Yachts may only carry sails allowed under their PHRF Rating Code. Automatic steering devices may not be used.

Radio communication may only be used in case of emergency.

Must be used in accordance with International Rules of Collision Avoidance.

Any yacht will be subject to inspection upon completion of any race, and shall be subject to disqualification.

The NStYA does not assume any responsibility whatsoever for accidents or injuries to yachts, crews, or spectators as a result of staging any race. It is the sole responsibility of the owner of a participating yacht to see that it is adequately equipped, completely manned and safely sailed.

Competitors participate in the regatta entirely at their own risk. See rule 4, Decision to Race. The organizing authority will not accept any liability for material damage or personal injury or death sustained in conjunction with or prior to, during, or after the regatta.

Each participating boat shall be insured with valid third-party liability insurance with a minimum coverage of $1,000,000.00, or the equivalent.

It is understood that auxiliary power may be used to assist in the recovery of a person overboard or to answer a distress signal. In the event of one of the foregoing emergencies, an affidavit, signed by the yacht owner and crew, stating the amount of time the auxiliary power was used for propulsion, as well as all other pertinent details connected with the emergency situation shall be handed to the race committee as soon as possible after the yacht finishes the race.

The starting line for each race will be clearly defined at the Skipper's Meeting.

Skippers, or their representative, to attend only. Times will be announced on the club bulletin board.

International Code flags will be used for signals at race starts. Recall - code flag - 1st substitute


     - Yellow shape up 5 minutes pre-race
     - Blue shape up 4 minutes pre-race
     - Blue shape down 1 minute pre-race
     - Red shape up RACE START

The one minute rule will be in effect. See CYA Rule Book.

In these racing instructions Honour means:

     - Red Buoys Starboard returning Port leaving
     - Green Buoys Port returning Starboard leaving
     - Fairway Buoy (Red-White) To be rounded

Boats are instructed to honour these buoys as marked on enclosed charts.

Entrants approaching a finish line in fog or at night should burn a flare to attract attention to themselves. As the line is crossed, every attempt must be made to illuminate the distinguishing code flag or sail numbers. It is emphasized that in the event of poor visibility at the finish line, the onus will be on each yacht to take their own time on crossing the line and to identify themselves to the Race Committee at the line by VHF on the channel set at the skipper's meeting.

Yachts must not re-cross the finish line and must stay clear of the line of vision of the Race Committee if approaching to confirm their identity. Upon finishing, yachts should proceed to the Club anchorage. *As per CYA Rules.

All races will be sailed without time limit (unless otherwise stated at the skipper's meeting) and any yacht abandoning a race should notify the Race Committee at the earliest possible time. The possibility of an organized search for a missing yacht at great expense to government and personal danger to search personnel makes prompt notification mandatory.

Protests must be submitted in writing, signed by the Skipper of the protesting yacht, to the Race Committee as soon as possible after crossing the finish line. In case of a protest, the Race Committee may, in its discretion, penalize the offending yacht by increasing her elapsed race time by two hours, in lieu of disqualification. (Code Flag B)

All pleasure craft vessels racing or traveling in the Northumberland Strait should adhere to equipment required by Transport Canada's Safe Boating Guide*

For complete specifications, please view online or obtain a copy through your local club or a marine associated outlet.

Category A & B Races:

     - MOB pole
     - Whistle per person aboard
     - Water activated strobe light

Category A Races:

     - Fixed Mounted VHF
     - Safety Harnesses and tether for each person on deck after dark
     - Jack Lines

* Safe Boating Guide describes required items for specific sized vessels and includes: flares, watertight flashlight(s), fire extinguisher(s), reboarding device, radar reflector, anchor, PFDs, sound signalling device, bailer, life buoy (or buoyant heaving line) and navigation lights - please refer to the Guide for vessel size and corresponding required items.


     - VHF Radio with DSC capability
     - Means to monitor weather forecasts
     - First Aid Kit
     - Charts
     - Suggested Publications to have Aboard: Current Tide Tables, Chart 1, Sailing Directions, & Safe Boating Guide, Aids to Navigation
     - Tools & Engine spare parts
     - Binoculars
     - Compass(s)
     - Softwood Plugs
     - Appropriate provisions such as water, food and fuel (1/3rd Rule is recommended: 1/3 of each item for initial trip, 1/3 for return trip and 1/3 for reserve.)
     - Navigation & Plotting Equipment


     - Current Racing Rules of Sailing
     - Protest Forms
     - Protest Flag
     - Timer
     - Notice of Race Direction


Inspection: Pleasure craft racing or cruising within the Northumberland Strait and adjoining waters should submit to a Courtesy Marine Examination (CME) - and display sticker prominently. These are available through a Canadian Power & Sail Squadron, Coast Guard, Auxiliary, Coast Guard, or other trained volunteers through Transport Canada. Vessels engaged in NStYA competition may be subject to required equipment inspection.


- Pleasure Craft Operator's Certificate
- ROC(M) - Restricted Operator's Certificate (Maritime) for VHF use
- Proof of Insurance
- NSTYA Membership (For racing within NSTYA sanctioned events.)

NStYA Pennants:

NStYA Pennants are presented to winners of all races, by the following criteria:

     - 1st Overall - BLACK
     - 1st in Class - RED
     - 2nd in Class - BLUE
     - 3rd in Class - GREEN

Trophies are also presented for individual races. All NStYA trophies are to remain in the possession of the Home Club of the Annual winner. In the case of a winner not belonging to a Member Club, the trophy shall remain at the race finish member YACHT CLUB. If a recipient wishes to retain a trophy, he/she must submit a deposit of a $100.00 REFUNDABLE post-dated cheque payable to NStYA for replacement cost of any trophy.

NStYA Overall Championship:

The NStYA Overall Championship will comprise of NStYA Category A & B races. A boat must participate in at least two (2) Category A races to be eligible to win the NStYA Overall Championship. Any boat that has raced two (2) or more Category A races will be deemed to have finished ahead of any boat that has not. Any boat that has raced one (1) Category A race will be deemed to have finished ahead of any boat that has raced in zero (0) Category A races.

Points from best four (4) races will be added together, with no more than two (2) Category B Races. The boat with the lowest point total will be the NStYA Overall Champion. The boats with the lowest score in each class will be the winner of the class.

Tie Breaker: If a tie in class occurs, the overall points will be the tie breaker. If a tie in overall standings occurs the class points will be the tie breaker. If a tie still exists after that then the results from the best five races will be used.

For further information contact your local club NStYA representative.