The use of Cowes Fairway Buoys as race marks is prohibited.
Notice is hereby given that the following Harbour Masters Direction has been issued.
The use of Cowes Fairway buoys No’s 1, 2, 4, and 6 inclusive as race marks is prohibited.
This is due to the conclusions made as a result of carrying out a Safety Risk Assessment and consulting with local yacht clubs and commercial vessel operators.
All mariners shall at all times comply with the International Regulations for Collision at Sea and in particular Rule 9 when navigating in or near the Cowes fairway.
Part extract of Rule 9:
a) A vessel proceeding along the course of a narrow channel or fairway shall keep as near to the outer limit of the channel or fairway which lies on her starboard side as is safe and practicable.
b) A vessel of less than 20 meters in length or a sailing vessel shall not impede the passage of a vessel which can safely navigate only within a narrow channel or fairway.
c) A vessel engaged in fishing shall not impede the passage of any other vessel navigating within a narrow passage or fairway.
d) A vessel shall not cross a narrow passage or fairway if such crossing impedes the passage of a vessel which can safely navigate only within such channel or fairway. The latter vessel may use the sound signal prescribed in Rule 34(d) if in doubt as to the intention of the crossing vessel.
Captain S McIntosh
Harbour Master, Harbour Office, Town Quay, Cowes, Isle of Wight, PO31 7AS