Tuesday, 27 May 2008

Definitions | 15

Postpone A postponed race is delayed before its scheduled start but may be started or abandoned later.

The difference is in timing. Postponement always happens before the starting signal with AP. Abandonment always after the race has started. Postponement is signaled with AP, which is sometimes accompanied with sign flag H or A:

Even if you can't see the flags, you can count the sound signals. Postponement is always signaled with two sounds, abandonment with three sounds.
If you have a hard time remembering which was again the H or the A flag:
  • H (for home) is red like a traffic light which means stop, but expect a different signal later (ashore).
  • A (for abandoned) is blue, for the disappointment that there will be no more racing (today)
It makes a great deal of difference if the postponement is canceled ashore or on the water. According to the RRS a warning signal will be given one minute after lowering the AP. If that would be done ashore, nobody would be able to be on time for the start. That's is why in the sailing instructions normally this time is extended to 30 or more minutes, depending how far the race area is from the boat park. Starting a race without adequate time to get to the race area, can be grounds for redress, provided you made every effort to get there.

In addition to sign flags A or H, AP ashore can be hoisted with a numeral pennant, whereby the meaning of the pennant- i.e. 1, 2, - till 6 - will signal the number of hours a race is postponed from the scheduled starting time. So if first pennant number one is used and after an hour exchanged for pennant two, the postponement is extended with one more hour till it is two hours after the original scheduled time. If there's no numeral pennant the postponement is for an indefinite time.

There are some interesting nicknames for AP. Well at least in my language. Translated we call this flag 'the rattail'. How about in yours? If there are any names you like to share, please leave them in the comments.


  1. In slovenian it is called "kodeks", in italian it is "intelligenza".

    But I have a question regarding the next situation.

    Match race, first match of the Nth flight is in progress, second match in in the middle of the starting procedure, third pair still waiting for their procedure to start.
    RC decides that there are no conditions to continue with races and decides to go ashore.

    Should there be two different signals: AP for the second match and N over A for the first/third?

    Should the AP be hoised prior the N over A or is it just the same?

    Is N over A enough for all?

  2. We call it the "cat-in-the-hat" after Dr Suess's mischievous character. It indicates we have more time to get into trouble....

  3. For AndraZ: If you translate those terms into English, what would the meaning be?

    As for your dilemma: I would first AP the second match and then one minute after lowering AP, give N over A to get everybody back to shore.

    For bruce: Nice one. I wonder if the tail like shape of the AP flag wasn't also basis for this nickname...

  4. Well, I have no idea why "kodeks" which would translate to "codex" and absolutely no clue for "intelligenza", which would translate to "intelligence". :)


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