Lilliput Sailing Club Gate Start Guidance
The normal procedure for starting internal club races is to use the modified gate start described below.
It ensures that the committee boat starts at the same time as the rest of the fleet and it's crew does not have to worry about raising an anchor and sails before starting. In addition, it eliminates the contentious subject of the time allowance claimed by OOD's getting their boats away after starting a race.
The committee boat will not anchor before the start, but will sail, fully rigged, in the vicinity of the starting point, but on the port hand side of the course, furthest from the first mark. The OOD will signal the 5, 4 and 1 minute warnings as usual. As the start time approaches the committee boat should be on port tack with the aim of passing close by the starting mark (normally the Vinyl Solutions mark approx. 50.41.06N 01.51.18W, previously known as "Ancasta Cobbs Quay") which will be left to port.
The committee boat should pass the mark as the starting signal is given or soon afterwards and continue, close hauled, on port tack until the rest of the fleet has started. If necessary, the committee boat can use her engine to reach the mark in time but must switch it off as she passes it by.
Before the start, the rest of the fleet will congregate on the starboard side of the course, to starboard of the committee boat's anticipated track. As the latter proceeds, competing boats start by sailing, on starboard tack, across an imaginary line between the stern of the committee boat and the Starting Mark.
The committee boat has all rights over all other competitors, even though she is on a port tack until the starting procedure is complete. Hindering the progress of the committee boat during the starting procedure will result in disqualification.
Any boat finding herself on the 'wrong' side of the committee boat's path at the starting gun will be considered to have made a false start. To rectify this she should go round the Starting Mark to port before proceeding.
Once the OOD considers that all competitors have had a reasonable opportunity to start he should give one more sound signal to indicate that the starting procedure is complete. At this point he/she will be subject to the normal racing rules.
Competitors arriving late for the starting signal can start their race by passing the starting mark to port and proceeding to the 1st mark as usual.
Kindly note that the committee boat's start is not delayed under this procedure. Therefore the OOD cannot claim any time allowance for starting the race.