Course Instructions

RACE 1 – LIVERPOOL TO PUNTA DEL ESTE

REFERENCES

The race will be sailed in accordance with the instructions below and the references included in them to:

  • Clipper 2017-18 Race Notice of Race, dated20 May 2017
  • Clipper 2017-18 Race Sailing Instructions, dated 21 June 2017

GENERAL INFORMATION

  • All times are local, unless otherwise stated.
  • Tidal Information on Sunday 20 August(BST) at:
    • Liverpool (Gladstone Dock) HW 1047 9.0m
    • Dover HW 1051 6.4m
  • Race distance is approximately 6200 nautical miles.
  • The estimated finishing date is 20 – 25 September 2017
  • All bearing shown are relative to True North.

ARRANGEMENTS PRIOR TO THE START

  • 0730 Skippers dockside briefing
  • 0915 First Clipper yacht slip lines at Albert Dock
  • 1015 First Clipper yacht slip lines at Canning Dock
  • 1115 Parade of Sail
  • 1230 Race start outside Albert Dock in River Mersey

START AND STARTING SIGNALS

The start for Race 1 will be at 1230 (BST) on Sunday 20 August 2017

Sequence for the start will be :-
1220 10 minute warning signal Clipper Race class flag and air horn blast
1226 4 minute preparatory signal ‘P’ flag raised and air horn blast
1229 1 minute warning signal ‘P’ flag lowered and air horn blast (engines off)
1230 Start All flags lowered and sound signal.

The Class Flag shall be the Clipper Race Flag.

All flags will be shown on the International Start Line flagstaff.

Sound signals shall be made by an air horn and are made to draw your attention to the flags.

The start will be signalled by an air horn blast or cannon shot (TBC).

The start sequence shall be called on VHF CH 77.

Due to strong tides in the River Mersey around the start time, engines are permitted to be used until the 1 minute warning signal.

STARTING LINE

The start line is the International Start Line with two orange triangles on the flagstaff in transit with each other.

  • The inner distance mark (IDM) will be ‘Dukes’ Port hand mark.
  • The outer distance mark (ODM) will be the motor vessel ‘Brocklebank’.
  • The IDM or ODM may not necessarily be on the start line.
  • The start line between the IDM and ODM will be a minimum of 0.25nm long.
  • The start course will be located in the River Mersey.
  • The exact location of the start course and any marks will be determined by the Race Director and briefed at the pre-race skippers briefing.
  • Any alterations to the proposed start courses shall be made on VHF Channel 77.
  • The Clipper Race Committee reserves the right to change or adjust the published starting procedures or start course and any aspect of the race course to ensure the overall objectives of the Clipper Race are achieved.

START COMMUNICATIONS

The Race Officer will communicate on VHF CH 77 The Stand-by channel will be VHF CH 72. All yachts are to check in with Race Control on VHF prior to the 10 minute gun.

The final 10 seconds before the start will be counted down on VHF. This shall not count as outside assistance; failure to hear the transmission will not be cause for redress.

INFRINGEMENTS

Reference SI 5 (extracts reprinted below)

  • RRS 30.1 (Round – an – End Rule) will be in force for all starts but flag ‘I’ will not be flown.
  • Yachts on the course side of the starting line (OCS) at the start will be penalised by a time penalty of 1 hour plus a further minute for every second over the line at the start signal.
  • Whenever possible yachts over the line will be advised by the starting authority on the designated VHF channel.
  • Yachts may avoid a penalty by returning around either end of the start line and then re-crossing the line.
  • Entering a TSS – a minimum 6 hour time penalty will be applied to that yacht’s finishing time.
  • Entering Gwynt - Y - Mor Windfarm - a minimum 6 hour time penalty will be applied to that yacht’s finishing time.
  • Entering North Hoyle Windfarm - a minimum 6 hour time penalty will be applied to that yacht’s finishing time.

RACE MARKS

Race marks will be established buoys, race marks, navigational marks and virtual waypoints.

COURSE

Ref Mark Rounding Comments
1 Start Course Briefed at the pre-race Skippers briefing
2 Q1 NCM PORT Approx. position 53°31.009N, 003°16.620W
3 Virtual Mark Shepherd PORT 53°35.000N, 003°31.000W Virtual Waypoint
4 Virtual Mark Beggs PORT 53°35.000N, 003°42.000W Virtual Waypoint
5 Virtual Mark Thomas PORT 53°36.000N, 004°31.000W Virtual Waypoint
6 Virtual Mark Morrison PORT 53°36.000N, 004°50.000W Virtual Waypoint
7 Doldrums Corridor NW STARBOARD 12°00.000N, 029°00.000W Virtual Waypoint
8 Doldrums Corridor NE PORT 12°00.000N, 025°00.000W Virtual Waypoint
9 Doldrums Corridor SW STARBOARD 02°00.000N, 029°00.000W Virtual Waypoint
10 Doldrums Corridor SE PORT 02°00.000N, 025°00.000W Virtual Waypoint
11 Bajo Del Este SCM STARBOARD Approx. position 34°58.601S, 054°57.725W
12 Bajo Del Este No. 1 SHM STARBOARD Approx. position 34°58.300S, 054°57.822W
13 FINISH South to North See below


DOLDRUMS CORRIDOR

  • The Doldrums Corridor is a compulsory corridor that is defined as lying between the virtual waypoints; Doldrums Corridor NW, Doldrums Corridor NE, Doldrums Corridor SW and Doldrums Corridor SE.
  • The Doldrums Gate North is defined as the line of latitude between the Doldrums Corridor NW and Doldrums Corridor NE.
  • The Doldrums Gate South is defined as the line of latitude between the Doldrums Corridor SW and Doldrums Corridor SE.
  • Each yacht is permitted the use of its engine whilst in the Doldrums Corridor subject to the following criteria;
    • All yachts are ONLY allowed to motor-sail for a maximum of 6° of latitude or an elapsed time of 60 hours, whichever occurs first.
    • All yachts MUST cease motor-sailing at 2° N regardless of whether they have completed 6° of latitude under engine.
    • All yachts MUST declare their intention to motor-sail a minimum of 3 hours before doing so. The 60 hours elapsed time will begin to be calculated from this declared time regardless of whether the engine is being used or not.
    • When a yacht’s engine is started or stopped a declaration MUST be made to the Race Office within 3 hours, stating the time (UTC), latitude and longitude and a digital photograph taken. This will allow the calculation of 6° of latitude to be made.
    • If 6° of latitude is covered by any yacht before 60 hours has elapsed then the yacht MUST declare its latitude and longitude to the Race Office within 3 hours and a digital photograph taken so that the restart position can be verified. The yacht must either remain at or return to its declared latitude and longitude and wait until 60 hours has elapsed before proceeding.
    • Once a yacht has declared their intention to motor-sail to the Race Office the request cannot be rescinded.
    • All yachts MUST report their time of crossing the latitude of 8° N within 3 hours of doing so regardless of whether they are sailing or not. This is so an elapsed time of 60 hours can be calculated, if for example you decide to start motor-sailing at 5° N and clearly cannot complete 6° of latitude before 2° N is reached.
  • For the avoidance of doubt, skippers MUST record the GPS time (UTC) of crossing a line of latitude and email / contact the race office with these timings within 3 hours. A digital photograph must also be taken which clearly shows time and position. This photograph is NOT to be sent to the Race Office unless specifically requested and must be retained on board for verification as requested.

WARNINGS

  • Traffic Separation Schemes – no TSS shall be entered by a Clipper Race yacht and should be considered an obstruction. If for safety reasons a yacht is compelled to enter a TSS then that yacht must comply with IRPCS Rule 10. To exonerate herself the yacht crossing into a TSS must return to the exact position they crossed into the TSS before resuming racing. For the avoidance of doubt, the magenta area of a TSS as shown on the chart shall constitute part of the TSS and shall not be entered.
  • Safe Navigation Skippers are warned that marks of the course are not necessarily placed in safe navigable waters, in fact in some cases they are placed on land, and therefore they should not be used as route waypoints. The safe navigation of the yacht is the sole responsibility of the Skipper and as such the Skipper shall ensure that when deciding on routing and selecting route waypoints consideration is given to all navigational hazards, crew strength, visibility and whether it is day or night. As a rule of thumb and depending upon circumstances, during daylight a 5nm separation from a known navigation hazard should be considered and at night this should be significantly more, up to 10nm.
  • Skippers should be aware of the high volume of commercial traffic on this route in particular in the Irish Sea.
  • Skippers should be aware of the extensive oil and gas drilling that is taking place in the Irish Sea. Drilling platforms and survey ships may be encountered either underway or anchored. As per IRPCS and also noted on the charts, a 500m exclusion zone must be observed.

STEALTH MODE

As per Clipper SI 9, each yacht shall have the opportunity to use one period (of 24 hours) of Stealth Mode.

SCORING GATES

As per Clipper SI 10, there will be one scoring gate during race 1. This is not a compulsory gate for the race but the first three yachts through the gate will be awarded three points, two points and one point respectively. Any other yachts that pass through the scoring gate will not be awarded any points. Skippers shall record the GPS time (UTC) of crossing the scoring gate and email / contact the Race Office with these timings within 3 hours.

The scoring gate shall be between SG1 West at position 19°N 026°W and SG1 East at position 19°N 023°W

A digital photograph of the GPS time (UTC) shall be taken when crossing the scoring gate and retained on board. This photograph will be used to confirm the timings. The photographs from the first three boats to cross the scoring gate may be checked at the next stopover. Failure to produce the photographs when requested by a member of the race committee will result in disqualification from the scoring gate and the points will be awarded to the next team in line subject to examination of photographic evidence.

OCEAN SPRINT

As per Clipper SI 11, there will be an Ocean Sprint as part of race 1. The Ocean Sprint shall be between the lines of latitude 5°S and 10°S. Skippers shall record the GPS time (UTC) of crossing each of these lines of latitude and email / contact the race office with these timings within 3 hours.

The first three teams with the shortest elapsed time between the two designated points will receive three points, two points and one point respectively. The remaining yachts will receive no points for the ocean sprint.

A start and finish declaration must be submitted by each yacht regardless of whether it is the shortest elapsed time or not as this information is needed for a results table that will be published on the Clipper Race website.

A digital photograph of the GPS time (UTC) shall be taken when crossing the line of latitude. This photograph will be used to confirm the timings. The photographs from the fastest three boats in the Ocean Sprint may be checked at the next stopover. Failure to produce the photographs when requested by a member of the race committee will result in disqualification from the scoring gate and the points will be awarded to the next team in line subject to examination of photographic evidence.

JOKER

As per Clipper SI 12, each team is allowed to play their ‘Joker’ once only during the 2017-18 Clipper Race. It can be played in any individual race and in order to be eligible this request must be submitted to the Race Office in writing at the pre-race Skippers briefing on the day before departure of the nominated race. In the event that there is no planned Skippers briefing then a team must inform the Race Office in writing no later than 24 hours before departure of the nominated race.

The ‘Joker’ means that all points gained from the yachts finishing position at the end of the nominated race will be doubled. e.g. if a team finishes 1st then they will be awarded 24 points and if a team finishes 12th then they will be awarded two points.

Any points gained from Scoring Gates or Ocean Sprints will be unaffected.

REPORTING POSITIONS

Lead Skipper:

  • 20/08 – 02/09 Lance
  • 03/09 – 16/09 Bob
  • 17/09 – Finish GT
  • As per Clipper SI 7, each skipper shall report the position of their yacht to the Race Office by email at 0600 and 1800 UTC each day. Amongst other things, this email shall contain DTF.
  • In the event of Satcom email failure the skipper shall endeavor to pass the scheduled reporting information and daily report back to the Race Office via the sat phone or the Lead Skipper or any other Clipper yacht on VHF.

FINISH LINE

  • Skippers are to report their position and ETA at the finish line to the Race Office by phone or email when within 20 miles of the finish line.
  • Skippers are advised of the dangers of the offlying rocks and hazards approx. 0.700nm SW of Punta Del Este.
  • The finish line shall be off the main breakwater to the harbour. Each yacht will have deemed to have finished when the red Starboard hand mark on the breakwater in approx. position 34°57.593S, 054°57.067W bears due east 090° (M) from the yacht.
  • Skippers must record their own GPS time of crossing the finish line (UTC) and they must send this time to the Race Office via email or any other means within 30 minutes of finishing or as soon as practicable. There may be a finish boat.

ACTIONS AFTER THE FINISH

Once finished each team shall prepare their yacht for berthing and follow berthing instructions issued on VHF CH 77 by the Deputy Race Director.

Communications with other Clipper RACE Yachts and Race Control

In addition to monitoring VHF CH 16 and relevant harbour channels the Clipper Race yachts shall use the following VHF Channels :-

Primary VHF CH 77
Secondary VHF CH 72