SAC Rules

SAC Press Cuttings on Flipboard

All fishing must be carried out in a respectful manner in line with the spirit and tradition of an international event. Any activities deemed to be in violation of competition rules or carried out in a disruptive/disrespectful manner may lead to disqualification and banning from the competition at the discretion of the organisers.*

  • The organisers (Angling Spirit Ltd) will have absolute control and discretion over the competition, rules, and terms & conditions.
  • The organisers reserve the right to modify all or any part of the rules and terms and conditions at any time.
  • Sea Angling Classic rules abide by and include all relevant local rules, and have been reviewed and authorised by appropriate local authorities.
  • All competitors must provide the organisers with all relevant and required documents, insurance documents as part of a condition to their entry into the event.
  • All competitors will be required to sign a registration form to include an event disclaimer to confirm acceptance of the full and final event rules, terms & conditions as well as COVID-19 measures.
  • All offences will be reported to the organisers and dealt with in accordance with their seriousness and may lead to disqualification.
  • Organisers have the right to use images of competitors and helpers at their discretion on any support material they deem appropriate at the time of the event and in the future.
  • The official itinerary is published on the event website. All times given refer to local time. Official time format is 24 hours.
  • English is the Official Language of the Sea Angling Classic.
  • SAC rules/T&Cs are the property of Angling Spirit and cannot be used or copied even partially, without prior written consent from the organisers.


  • The competition is open to all from the age of 16 accompanied by a parent or guardian.
  • Each boat MUST have a minimum of 2 anglers participating in the event.
  • The event is run as a strict catch photograph & release competition.
  • The competition is run as a two-day event.
  • The event is run on The Solent
  • There is one daily finishing line.
  • Anglers are to submit daily cards by no later than 17:45 to secure their catch of the day being recorded
  • Official photographs are to be taken to validate a catch. Fish to be measured on the official measuring board showing fish left flank for (bass and bream (any), smoothhound, tope) across the wings (rays – any) down with its Fish Unique Number (FUN) readable.
  • Fish minimum sizes are as follows: Bream (any) 24cm, Bass 42cm, Rays (any) 41 cm across the wings, Tope & Smouthound 51 cm.


  • All anglers to be insured as per event requirements
  • All competitors will be required to sign the on-site registration form which includes a disclaimer to confirm acceptance and understanding of the full and final event rules, terms & conditions, and any COVID-19 measures put in place.
  • All anglers participating in the event must:
    – undertake a minimum of one cleanup operation locally to where they live prior to the event; photographic evidence must be provided
    – In the case a cleanup is not conducted prior to the event there will be a £50 contribution per angler competing in the event to go towards the children’s initiatives and shoreline cleanups


A01- Captains must arrange to have their boat and equipment checked at one of the designated times (see event itinerary).
A02- Only boats compliant with England’s regulations & Sea Angling Classic requirements will be given an approved boat tag (see section E06 to E08).
A03- Failure to obtain an approved boat tag will delay YOUR start time as the boat will need to be re-checked and issued its approved boat tag.
A04- The approved boat tag is then to be securely fastened to the boat using a cable tie and must remain easily visible to marshals and competitors.


B01-All Boat Captains to register with Desk A.
B02-Any angler who wishes to make any changes to his registration details must register at Desk B.

B03-All anglers to register to the desk according to their surname which is arranged in alphabetical order.
B04- Once all documents are in order including any outstanding balance paid, competitors will be provided with a colour-coded identity bracelet which must be worn throughout the competition including prize giving.
B05- Anyone not registered within the official registration times could be excluded from the competition and their entry fee forfeited unless prior notice is given. If competitors have a valid reason for late arrival they must contact the organisers by leaving a personal message on the Sea Angling Classic Facebook page. A decision will be made by the organisers and this will be final.


C01- All boat captains are required to attend all scheduled daily briefings.
C02- All queries in relation to the rules received by the event team will be compiled and addressed during the daily captain’s briefing. Answers given during this meeting will be final and supersede any others given previously.
C03- The official group picture will take place at the end of the flag parade. All competitors are required to be present.
C04- Only branding flags/banners in connection with registered sponsors/organisations as showing on Official List are permitted. Any use of rogue branding will lead to penalties being enforced.


D01- Follow this link to access SAC prize table.
D02- Prizes will only be given to competitors who are present at prize-giving – If competitors are not present to receive their prizes they will be donated to the local Spirit OF Angling Fishing Academy.
D03- Awarded prizes cannot be exchanged for cash. Organisers reserve the right to exchange advertised prizes for any alternative to the same or greater value of the one first mentioned. Once awarded, prizes become the winner’s sole responsibility and appropriate arrangements are to be made to ensure their security.


E01- The use of boats in all circumstances throughout the entire competition is entirely at the competitors’ own risk and responsibility. Angling Spirit & Sea Angling Classic are not liable for any damage/accidents resulting from the use of boats by competitors.


E02- To be allowed to fish from a boat in the competition, anglers must abide by the following:
– Signing of an on-site registration form to include an agreement to abide by the rules, an understanding of event public liability details, and confirmation of receipt and understanding of the terms & conditions.
– Signing of the Sea Angling Classic disclaimer. Use of boat during the competition is at the sole responsibility of the anglers.
– Provide organisers upon request with proof of boat insurance including its 3rd party public liability.
– Anglers are required to have their own public liability insurance.


E03- All boats used during the competition must conform to host venue and Sea Angling Classic requirements (Rule E06).
E04- Propulsion allowed: electric, petrol or diesel.


E05- To be compliant during the competition a boat must carry at any time:
By law:
– An appropriate anchor/weight properly secured to the boat with a minimum of 50 meters of rope is required.
– A bail or an operational pump.
– A foghorn or acoustic warning device.
– Flares in date
– An approved dry-chemical extinguisher.

Additional to meet Sea Angling Classic requirements:
– A VHF radio
– A first aid kit
– A life jacket per person on-board (Rule E06 & E07).


E06- Competitors on private boats are required to wear a properly fastened life jacket at all times while on deck from leaving the berth. On charter boats, anglers are to wear life jackets as instructed by the Captain.
E07- Life jackets will be checked and must meet the following requirements:
– Must be CE certified and conform to the European standard of at least EN396 – 150 Newton.
– Must be fitted with a whistle and a luminous stick or waterproof electric light.


E08- During the registration competitors boat, its equipment, and life jackets will be checked. Only boats complying with rules as listed in E05 to E07 are to be allowed to compete.
E09- Security spot check: Organisers, Sea Angling Classic marshals and local authorities have sole discretion to conduct spot checks at any time during the competition.
E10- If a boat is found non-compliant, competitors are to immediately return to the marina and take action as necessary. They will need to go through a complete security check before being allowed to return to the competition. If a boat is found non-compliant by local authorities, it is at their sole discretion to impose local laws. Depending on the severity of the non-compliance, the event organisers have the right to issue a yellow or red card.


E12- Local, national, European, and international boating rules apply in this order. Sea Angling Classic will endeavour to provide any local boat rules relevant to the good running of the event but it is the boat captain’s sole responsibility to manoeuvre their boat appropriately and safely according to those rules.
E13- Fishing is only allowed within the designated fishing zone as per provided chart. No fishing is permitted in any habour or within half a mile of any habour entrance.
E14- During the competition, boats are required to keep a minimum distance of 30 meters from other competing boats and 50 meters from non-competing boats. Competing boats will be identified by competition stickers and flags.
E15- If any boat when at anchor becomes closer than 30 meters to any other boat then the last boat to anchor in that position must immediately change the position of his boat. Any disputes will be decided by the Head Marshal and his instructions are final.
E16- The competition’s head marshal may disqualify a boat from use if the boat or anglers are deemed unfit to go afloat.
E17- During rough weather, the competition’s head marshal may issue an order via VHF, competition App and SMS for boats to get immediate shelter to the nearest safe location. In both instances, competitors are to comply immediately.
E18- In the event of thunder anglers are to stop fishing immediately without waiting for the head marshal’s order and seek shelter to the nearest safe location.
E19- Competitors are to report any queries in writing to event HQ using the number provided on the emergency boat tag. The message will be then dispatched appropriately.
E20- All competitors are reminded to respect speed restrictions when on the water. In the event of low visibility due to i.e. heavy rain or fog, participants are reminded to reduce their speed and make use of their horn/whistle when and as required.


E21- It is the competitor’s responsibility to moor boats securely in the designated area.
E22- Anything left including the boat itself is done at the owner’s sole responsibility. Sea Angling Classic or the marina cannot be held responsible for any loss or damage to boat or  possessions.


E23- Competitors are to raise the alarm immediately if a problem arises by contacting one of the marshals or the event HQ.
E24- In the event of a medical emergency, competitors MUST first contact the Coast Guard on VHF radio on their designated channel and then the event HQ or marshal boat.
E25- In any event where assistance may be required by any vessel, competing boats are to standby in preparation to offer any assistance that may be required. In such an incident, competing skippers are to obey all instructions passed by the event staff and or authorities.


F01- Start of the competition daily procedure:
– Anglers are to undergo a self-security picture check showing appropriate daily reference when displaying all security equipment on board as detailed in rules E05/E07.
– All storage compartments/items are to be opened for boat inspection by event organisers.
– Hulls may be inspected by underwater cameras at the event organiser’s discretion.
F02- When directed, boats will be invited to leave the home port.
F03- The official start time for the competition is 08:30.
F04- The official end time of the competition is 16:00.
F05- The competition will finish at 16.00 each day and anglers will not be able to submit any fish after this time. Anglers must   have sent a picture of their scorecard at the end of the event each day via the App to avoid a penalty.
F06- Signed scorecards have to have been received  by the official result Desk by 17:45 – late card will void any catch of the day.
F07- Signed catch cards are to act as an angler’s safe return. Cards not returned by 18:00 will automatically activate a location search.  


Competitors are liable for the loss or damage of the lent item as detailed in the competitor’s information package.
G01- For the good running of the event, organisers will supply (upon registration) each boat captain with an official measuring board and each competitor with their scorecards.

G02- Competitors are to use their own IOS/Android device to operate the Sea Angling Classic leaderboard app.
G03- Competitors will be informed daily of their Fish Unique Numbers.


H01- At the organiser’s discretion marshals and or media can board the boat.
H02- The act of fishing must be carried out as follows:
– Recreational boats are only permitted to have (4) rods connected with any terminal tackle at any one time.
– All spare rods may have only reels attached with absolutely no terminal tackle, this includes bait rods.
H03- Competitors are not allowed to come back to the shore during the hours of the competition even for re-fuelling or tie to a buoy unless dictated by a medical or mechanical emergency.
H04- Fishing is only permitted within the boundaries of the allocated competition area.
H05- Only fish caught with the hook inside the mouth the fish will count.
H06- Treble hooks are not permitted.
H07- Wire line and wire traces are permitted.
H08- Competitors are  limited to 3 hooks used per rod
H09- Pennel rigs are permitted.
H10- There is no maximum length for permissible fishing rods.


I01- Anglers are to agree that the fishing must be carried out respecting the spirit and traditions of an international event.
I02- Anglers are to fish the competition on a no-kill, catch photographs and release basis with fish welfare of primary importance at all times.
I03- Competitors are also required to adopt respectful conduct at all times of the competition, and behave in a manner that will be a credit to themselves and to the Sea Angling Classic including sponsors, third parties, host venue, and the community (swearing, obscene gestures, excessive drinking and the taking of illegal substances are prohibited).
I04- Anglers cannot take to any public communication channels including social media to post any comments, grievance which they know could harm the reputation of the event, its partners, hosts, or fellow participants. Please refer to the event T&C’s on how to report any disputes. If this rule is not followed sanctions will apply (L15).
I05- Anglers are to comply with event rules at all times and to take part in the event without the intention of cheating and when necessary to report any act of cheating. Hiding an act of cheating will be treated as is and will carry the same sanctions.
I06- The organisers retain the right to search all competitor’s tackle and boat to combat any form of cheating or rule-breaking.
I07- Competitors must comply with requests from official Sea Angling Classic film crews & photographers at all times regarding media coverage, except if they are in the process of landing a fish. Members of the media who are competing will not be granted media access to other competitors.


J01- Anglers may upload as many catches as they want but only  their longest 3 bass, 3 rays (any), 3 bream (any), 3 tope, 3 smoothounds (any) will count on a daily basis.
J02- Any fish caught for which data has not been received by event HQ has to be submitted and verified no later than the return of the daily catch card.
J03- To count, fish must be measured using “official measuring boards” supplied by the organisers. Anglers must follow the procedure as detailed below:
J04- Only fish caught by the mouth and measuring the minimum length and above for the host water will count. Fish below the minimum size should immediately be released with great care.
J05- To count, the catch must meet a strict validation process as follows:
– Minimum length for the species attained.
– Measured using the official board with the fish’s for bass and bream right flank down with lips touching the stand with the tail flat whilst fish is being measured, the tail can be pointed. All rays are measured across the wings. Smooth hounds and tope are measured so that the nose tip is touch the headboard.
 – Pictures with bloodstained fish, poor exposure, showing a dead fish, measured on the wrong flank for bass / bream , lips not touching the headboard, fish type not matching the picture, Fish Unique Number not being readable, life jacket not worn on picture#2 will automatically disqualify the catch  with no possibility for re-submission (See information in the picture on competition map & catch card).

– The length of the fish allocated will be the one visible on the picture rounded up to the next full centimetre provided the head is clearly touching the headboard.
Correct use of the Fish Unique Number on pictures 1 & 2 + submission of daily catch card on time.
* Data has to be sent in full using the event app within 10 minutes of capture accompanied by 2 pictures in this order:

Picture #1: Fish on the official ruler right flank down with lips touching the stand, tail flat for bass and Bream Smoothounds and tope measured flat belly down with nose touching the headboard /rays across wings & showing the Fish Unique Number.
Picture #2: Fish to be held at angler’s discretion as long as it shows the Fish Unique Number.
* The fish are to be returned to the water alive – though this is done in good faith & honourable sportsmanship.

If any one of the above is not followed, the catch will automatically become invalid and therefore will not be taken into account.
J06- Only full centimetres will be recorded. If the fish is over the length marker the next full centimetre number will be recorded.
J07- The catch is to be reported immediately using the event app. Organisers have the right to ask marshal boats to check boats daily catch card against the leaderboard.

Use of official daily catch/scorecard
* Competing anglers are to receive two daily catch cards upon the start of the competition.
Anglers are to submit the 3 fish per species above the legal size they want to keep a record of.
* Upon arrival anglers are to check the leaderboard if the information supplied with the app matches their record.
* The competitor must date and sign their card. Once signed, the information submitted can’t be changed.


K01- Results will be done in order of the following procedure:
– At the end of each day the length of the recorded fish are compiled in centimetres.
– Once the length has been calculated any penalties received during that day are then deducted.
In the event of a tie, the angler with fewer penalties on the day automatically wins.
– Finally, if there is still a tie, a ranking will be allocated on the anglers’ longest ray of the event, longest bream, longest bass, longest smoothound, longest tope and finally on the time of first scoring fish on day 1, time of first scoring fish on day 2 and time of first scoring fish on day 3 in this order.
K02- Once the overall length has been calculated for all participants, centimetres are then converted into points as follows:
– The boat with the greatest combined length to the maximum allocation per day after penalties deduction are to receive 1 point, second to receive 2 points etc…
K03- Winners will be in ranking order of the competitors having the least combined amount of points over the two days event.


L01- Any reports of cheating, misbehaviour is to be reported immediately to the event HQ so as it may be recorded and investigated.
L02- Delayed claims will only be taken into account if substantiated by pictures and/or other proof but must be reported within two hours from the end of catch card submission.
L03- All penalties given will be posted on the website/social networks with an explanation.


L04- Marshals are allowed to issue orange cards.
L05- Issued orange cards remain valid for the whole duration of the event.
L06- Orange cards will automatically be accompanied by an additional penalty as detailed below.
L07- Red card matters will be relayed by marshals to Sea Angling Classic head marshal who may call upon witness and event quorum to discuss the matter. Sea Angling Classic head marshal’s decision on any matter is final.
L08- Red cards may carry an additional penalty as detailed below.
L09- Any sanction will be published on event communication channels at the time of the event and in the future.


Competitors can incur 4 types of penalties during the event: Sanctions, orange card, yellow card, red card.

L11- Sanctions

– Failing to be in the line-up at the arena start position each day – 10 cm deduction and a further 5 cm per minute thereafter.
– Daily catch card not photographed and submitted by the App by 16:30 incurs a 50 cm penalty.
– Failing to cross the finish line by 16:30 incurs a penalty of 50 cm.
– The daily catch card not signed or handed to the results officials by 17:45 will void any catch that day.


– Orange cards remain valid for the duration of the event.
– Subsequent orange cards for an offence already issued carry (each time) a 1-hour fishing ban in addition to a cm deduction each time it is re-issued throughout the competition.
– Each additional orange card entails an automatic 1-hour start delay on the following day. On the last day, it will mean the team sacrifices the penultimate hour of the competition or the disqualification of their remaining longest fish per card issued throughout the competition if no time allows for it.

Orange card applies to:
– An infringement on another competitor’s water = 70 cm deduction.
– Not complying with the marshal’s instructions = will be relayed to the head marshal who has the right to take further action alongside a 50cm deduction.
If a daily morning security boat checks not completed correctly = 50cm deduction.
– Unable to return to port by their own accord (rule E06 – at organiser’s discretion) = 50cm deduction.


Any of the following carries an automatic YELLOW CARD penalty = Longest fish of the day disqualified plus a 1-hour fishing ban.
– Excessive speeding or dangerous boatmanship – local rules apply but can be overruled by marshals if they deem a boat is posing a danger to anyone afloat even if within local speed limits.
– Two YELLOW CARDS result in an automatic RED CARD and immediate disqualification from the event.


Red cards can be the result of two yellow cards (see above) or given immediately as detailed below;
– Fishing outside competition fishing ground
– Any fishing in competition area outside competition hours.
– Going ashore during the competition without permission (Rule H03).
– Any deliberate acts of pollution (i.e. rubbish etc.) on the water or on land will also result in a 3-year ban unless the fine set by local authorities is settled.
– Any boat issued with a ticket by the authorities for poor boatmanship will result in an immediate red card.
– Failing to follow an instruction from the Head Marshal carries an immediate disqualification.
– Misbehaviour that conflicts with the spirit of angling will result in a minimum of a 3-year ban.
– Deliberate acts of cheating with proof/witness will result in a lifetime ban and criminal presecution.

Event organisers have the right if a red card is issued to have this accompanied by a lifetime ban.


M01- Local authorities have granted Angling Spirit the rights to organise the competition on the basis that fish welfare will be observed at all times. The Sea Angling Classic is a strictly catch and release NO KILL competition.
M02- Angling Spirit in association with “Friends of The Solent” – Are very environmentally concerned and wish to keep the water and banks clean. The event organisers will also enforce strict measures if the disposal of rubbish by competitors is not dealt with appropriately.
M03- Link to local rules & information:
RNLI How to call for help at sea –
Chichester Harbour Master local sailing rules 
Queens Harbour Master local sailing rules

SAC21-012/07/21 V2