Regatta Rules

Azorean Maritime Heritage Society International Whale Boat Regatta

New Bedford, Massachusetts, USA  – September 6 – September 8, 2013

Rowing and Sailing Instructions


The rowing race shall be held on the West side of Clark’s Point. The starting area shall be in the vicinity of the Carol St. Boat Ramp.

Course: A straight line course approximately a ½ mile in length. All races shall be run in the same direction. Boats shall towed back to the starting area within five minutes of their finish. Boat rotation shall take place once back in the starting area.

Start: The start line shall be between two floating marks. The jury boat will sound a warning signal and display the “P” flag approximately ten minutes before the start. At this time boats take there positions on the start line without going over the line. The boats shall assemble in ascending order (Boat 1 being the closest to the shoreline). The Jury will sound a start signal and raise the yellow start flag when it feels all boats are properly assembled.

Finish: The finish line shall be between two floating marks. Within the two finish line floating marks there will be three finish gates marked with smaller marks. Each boat must finish within their respective finish gate.

Safety: Use of personal flotation devices (PFD’s) during rowing events is recommended but not required. The intentional delay of any race by any crew or the intentional interference of another boat’s progress may result in disqualification.

Boat rotation to follow lottery selection for sailing races.


Rules: This regatta shall be governed by the International Sailing Federation (ISAF) rules of sailing, International rules of the road and prescriptions noted in the sailing instructions and any addendums or amendments to the aforementioned.

Entries: Entries in this regatta are by invitation only. Entrants shall consist of one crew each representing the Island of Faial, Island of Pico, and the AMHS. Boat assignments, rotation, and starting position shall occur as set forth in The Notice of Race.

Crew Substitutions: Each boat/crew will be allowed to substitute a maximum of two crew members per race. A  launch boat will be available to facilitate crew transfers. All crew transfers must be completed prior to the hoisting of the “P” flag. A complete crew roster must be submitted by the start of the Skipper’s Meeting.

Safety: All participants shall wear a personal flotation device (PFD) at all times during sailing events. Failure to do so may result in disqualification. Use of PFD’s during rowing events is recommended but not mandatory.

Notice to Competitors: Notices to competitors will be posted on the bulletin board at the Low Tide Yacht Club.

Course: The course will be a triangle with the start and finish to windward. Direction and the distance of the windward mark will be announced prior to the start by the race committee.

Schedule of Races: A warning signal will sound (one short horn blast) and the “P” flag will be displayed at 9:45 am on race day. At this time the boats should be in position to tie up for the start tow. The start will occur approximately 15 minutes after the “P” was hoisted at the discretion of the race committee.

The Start: The Jury boat, with the “P” flag hoisted will tow the boats in ascending order according to the lottery. All boats being attached to each other by a line of  marked equal length.

The jury boat will lead the tow to the start area in a direction approximately ninety degrees to the wind. When in position the Jury Boat will sound a signal (one short horn blast) and lower the “P” flag, signaling “ONE MINUTE TO START”. All boats shall have their masts raised with sail lowered. Raising the sails only after the “Start Signal” (One long horn blast and hoisting of yellow flag).

After the start signal each boat is obligated to immediately release the tow line which attaches them to the boat behind them.

The Jury reserves the right to abandon any start and initiate a restart. Abandonment will be by sounding three short horn blasts and raising the “N” flag.

The Jury may also postpone a start due to weather conditions or other reasons at its discretion by sounding two horn blasts and raising the “AP” flag.

Any boat which seriously impairs a competitor’s ability to start may be disqualified.

Withdrawal: In the event that a boat withdraws from a race, for whatever reason, it must communicate this intention to the jury boat or the finish boat. A boat having withdrawn shall keep clear of those still racing.

Finish: The approach to the Finish line shall be a short windward leg. The Finish Line shall be between an Orange Flag on the Finish boat and a designated floating mark approximately 50 yards to its port side.

Time Limit: A time limit of thirty minutes after the finish time of the first boat to finish shall be imposed. All boats must finish within thirty minutes of the first boat. Boats finishing after this time limit shall be scored as a DNF.

Shortening Course: Should the need arise to shorten course the Jury boat will sound two short horn blasts and raise the “S” flag. The Jury boat and/or other support boats will then provide audible instructions to each competitor.

Scoring: A low point scoring system shall be used:

First     = 0.75
Second = 2
Third = 3

Boats which did not start, did not finish, or were disqualified, shall be scored points for the finishing place one more then the number of boats entered in the regatta.

Breakdowns: In the event of gear or equipment failure aboard a boat, spare parts and assistance will be available after said boat has finished or withdrawn. Competitors must notify the Jury Committee of any damage. The Jury at its discretion may postpone the next race to allow reasonable time to effect repairs.

If the damage is such that the boat is unable and/or unsafe to participate in the remaining race(s) the following process shall be implemented:

Elimination Series

Race  winner

Round 1 winner

Race  second                                                     Elim Series winner

Race 1  third

Round 1 runner up

Elim Series second & third Place

Round 2 runner up

Elimination Series finish points will be awarded in accordance with low point scoring system which shall be added to points awarded for any completed race(s) to determine regatta finish positions. Should a tie result the Elimination Series finish positions shall be used to break the tie.

The jury at its discretion can abandon any future races due to unsafe conditions. One race completed by at least one boat shall constitute a regatta.

Protests: A boat’s intent to protest shall be signaled by displaying a red flag to the jury boat. A protest must be filed in writing on a standard protest form and submitted to the Jury Chairman at the Low Tide Yacht Club no later then 90 minutes after the finish of the last race of the day. A hearing and decision will follow. If no Protest Flags are displayed to the Jury Boat it is assumed that no protests will filed.

Touching a Mark: A boat which touches a “Race mark” a mark with any part of its hull, rig, or crew shall re-round the mark.