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Home > News > New BSC Harbour Code Of Conduct And 2023 Club Racing Documents Published
Home > News > New BSC Harbour Code Of Conduct And 2023 Club Racing Documents Published

New BSC Harbour Code Of Conduct And 2023 Club Racing Documents Published

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Published 15:30 on 23 Mar 2023

With the new season now upon us we have several new documents for your attention.

Below are details of the new BSC Harbour Code of Conduct which has been agreed with the Harbour Master and which we ask all members to carefully read and respect at all times - whether racing or not.

In addition if you go to the Club Racing Documents section of the website you will see that the 2023 Club Racing Notice of Race and Sailing Instructions, plus the Notes and Guidelines for Patrol Boat Duties and Launching and Recovering Club RIBs have also been posted.



The waters of Brightlingsea Creek are used extensively for sailing races, rowing races, day sailing, fishing, cruising and commercial vessels and would seem to be busier than ever.

The club has a responsibility to ensure that we comply with the Harbour Byelaws and work with the other boating and water-based communities in the harbour.

We remind our members that they are just one part of the harbour and hope that they will give and receive courtesy from all concerned.

There is no reason why all the activities cannot work in harmony, and we are all fortunate to not be burdened with endless restrictions. However, to ensure that freedom from limiting restrictions continues, we would like to remind the members of areas where we must uphold high standards.

There is a 4 knot speed limit in Brightlingsea Creek and this always applies. For the small number of boats racing there is a dispensation from the Harbour Master in place to exceed the limit. This dispensation is and has always been discretionary. We must not abuse this privilege if we wish it to continue.

At all other times you are required to obey the 4 knot limit with the only exception to maintaining steerage way. If you wish to test or practice in high-speed craft, then exit the creek directly as close to 4 knots as possible and sail in the unrestricted areas of the estuary. On your return, again sail directly to the club ramp, as close to 4 knots as is possible. If you ignore or abuse this, the Harbour may well decide to prosecute you and that will be out of the hands of the Club. We will not be able to support any member in this situation.

Please note that foiling craft shall not sail upriver of a line between the seaward end of the Marina complex and the end of the Fisherman's Pontoon.

The club maintains regular contact with the harbour and informs them of our calendar in terms of races, events and courses. They in turn inform us of ship movements and other events which may require us to change or postpone a race or activity.

There is a perception from yachts and power boats that some of our faster boats are not in control. We know that this is generally not the case but please make your movements clear and keep well clear of yachts etc as much as possible.

We in turn, may also assume that yachts and power boats are under control, but as we know this is not always the case. Be prepared for them to act in a different way than expected. Frustrating as this is when racing please try to keep clear and "ignore" them. Please do not use rude and aggressive language or intimidating actions.

While our club racing is run under the Racing Rules of Sailing, when vessels racing meet vessels not racing the International Regulations for the Prevention of Collisions at Sea (IRPCS) apply (not the Racing Rules of Sailing). Remember that at most states of the tide, yachts will be "constrained by their draft" and "restricted in their ability to manoeuvre". Therefore, under the IRPCS, the yachts have right of way. Power boats are often heavily affected by the wind and will again have difficulty in manoeuvring at slow speed. Do not pass unnecessarily close to yachts and power boats.

Keep clear of commercial craft, which obviously includes ships but also other commercial vessels such as fishing boats and the ferries.

When racing, as much as possible try to avoid excessive sailing off the town hard and keep clear of the (first) Heritage Pontoon. We know that there can be a short run to the line for some types of boat so that it is necessary to do a timed run from by the wharf, but generally if boats waiting to start can keep to seaward of the end of the pontoons this will help.

We have seen an increase in "open water swimming". We have always had people swimming along the side of the promenade which has not been a problem. However, we are now having swimmers crossing the creek and across the estuary to East Mersea. Some swimmers may tow a bright float some may not. Please be aware that these people might be there and that black blob in the water may not be a seal which will get out of the way.

10th March 2023

Last updated 12:28 on 4 March 2024

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