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Home >> MTSBC Rules >> Illustrated Rule Descriptions

PostHeaderIcon Illustrated Rule Descriptions


The Course

 is decided by the Host Club, the water shape and the weather. At many venues the course is an ‘M’ shape of the Fast Electric or Power Race type but is actually infinitely variable.

 The race direction depends on the wind and weather!


The course will be marked by buoys or similar and the direction round these marks will be communicated to the Skippers before the race either verbally or using the diagram on the ‘course board’! 


The Start

is the (imaginary) line between two buoys or markers. 


A warning will be given of the time before the start of the race after the boats have entered the water. (Usually 1 minute). This will either be hand timed by the Officer of the Day (OOD) or preferablyby a taped countdown.


Sailing down the startline and potentially baulking competitors approaching at right angles could be deemed a 360° penalty offence and therefore should not be undertaken.


Any Barge crossing the start line before the Start is called, must return, and re-cross the line in the direction of racing after the start – without hindering / baulking any other Barges racing.


The OOD will decide on collision incidents before or immediately afterthe start and may delay or abort the start to allow disentangling!



The Race   

To avoid mass snarl ups with the Barges crowding round the first buoy (B1) after the start, it is hoped that the start line will be of a sufficient length and a sufficient distance from B1 for all skippers to have assessed their line of approach, act sensibly and keep out of each others way! 


There will of course be times when incidents do occur and it is hoped these will be sorted out amicably!! 


Any Barge turning inside a buoy/mark shall return and round the buoy/mark correctly – without hindering or baulking any other Barges whilst so doing. 


Any Barge hitting a buoy/mark shall do a 360° penalty turn before the end of the lap. (Except in the case of being forced into contact by an overtaking Barge – see next.) 




   If a Barge is forced into contact with a buoy/mark by an overtaking vessel in contact with it, then the overtaking vessel shall be deemed to be at fault and undertake the 360° penalty turn.


Turning into another vessel shall be deemed to be an incident requiring a 360° penalty to be incurred.

 Turning across the bows of another vessel and forcing an avoiding manoeuvre shall be deemed ungentlemanly conduct and require a penalty 360° turn to be taken (If such a manoeuvre isintended there must be clear water between the boats - and a verbal warning given by one skipper to the other before manoeuvring).

 Accidental contact between two barges should not (generally) incur a penalty, unless one of the Skippers deems himself to be at fault and takes a penalty 360° turn. 

   All 360° penalty turns should be undertaken in clear water off the racing line without hindering or baulking any other Barges whilst so doing.

   The one thing we do not want is to disqualify a Skipper and call him off the water or ban him from racing.





Rudder use            

The rudder should be used for turning only.


   In light wind conditions a ‘flick’ of the rudder to one side – as an aid to initiating the turn is acceptable. Moving the rudder from side to side – ‘paddling’ – to gain forward movement, is not acceptable.


The Finish of the race is the line between two buoys or markers as indicated prior to the start of the race.


   The race shall constitute a number of laps (generally 2 or more) announced prior to the start of the race.


   A barge shall be considered to have ‘finished’ the race when the furthest forward part of its hull crosses the ‘finish’ line after the announced number of laps.


   (If racing in a mixed class then the bow shall be deemed the furthest forward part of the overall length for finishing purposes.)



Qualifying for the Championship Final:-


   We have gone back (nearly) to Tony Lenchs’ original scoring system such that to qualify for the finals, a barge / skipper combination must attend a minimum of four venues and score 16 or more points from the best race result from each of the best four venues attended.


   The Finals will be a separate scoring venue in its own right


   Remember: A change of boat during the year starts a new Barge / Skipper combination for finals points scoring purposes.


   Barges not qualifying for the Championship Finals (insufficient venue attendances or points) for their relevant classes will be invited to the event to take part in the Bowsprit, Staysail, Coastal and 30” (Little’uns) Barge Matches for other trophies / awards.


Points System:-


   The points awarded for each race will be the same for all classes and will apply to the boat and skipper combination. Change barges and you start a new set of finals qualifying scores:-


   The race result position relates to the points awarded ie.


                        1st                           6 points

                        2nd                          5 points

                        6th or lower           1 point



Last Updated (Monday, 22 March 2010 22:18)