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SAC Rules

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) 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 map, 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, including insurance as part of a condition of 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.
  • 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 10 years and above. Must be 10 on the first day of registration.
    Competitors aged between 10 and 15 years must be accompanied by a parent or guardian.
    Sea Angling Classic classes any one of 16 and above on the first day of registration as an adult and therefore can participate without any guardianship but are not allowed to be recognised as the Captain of a boat until they become 18 on the first day of registration. 
  • Each boat MUST have a minimum of 2 anglers per boat participating in the recreational category and a maximum of four.
  • 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 scorecards by the designated time to secure their catch of the day being recorded
  • Official photographs are to be taken to validate a catch. Fish are to be measured on the official measuring board as instructed.
  • Fish minimum sizes are as follows: Bream (any) 24cm, Bass 42cm, Rays (any) 41 cm across the wings, Tope & Smouth-hound 51 cm.


  • All anglers are to be insured as per event requirements see the insurance and waivers section for more details.
  • 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.
  • All anglers participating in the event must:
    – undertake a minimum of one cleanup operation locally to where they live before the event; photographic evidence must be provided
    – In the case, a cleanup is not conducted before the event there will be a £50 contribution per angler competing in the event to go towards the children’s initiatives and shoreline cleanups.
  • This event is for recreational anglers, therefore in the spirit of fairness persons that are currently, or have within five years from the event start date operated a commercially coded angling charter boat from any port within 25 miles of Portsmouth Spinnaker tower will not be permitted to enter the Recreational Boat event.


Note: The Captain is recognised as the person in charge of all participants in his party. In the recreational boat category, the Captain is the person who operates the boat.

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 sections E06 to E08) and be authorised to compete. The boat Tag must be securely fastened to the boat using a cable tie and remain easily visible to marshals and competitors or produced upon request.


B01- All members of a boat entry must register together at one of the designated times (see the official event itinerary on the website) and provide the organisers with all required documents (read carefully through the registration process in your competitors’ pack – Incomplete documentation will mean you will forfeit your turn during registration).
B02- Once all documents are in order including any outstanding balance paid, competitors will be provided with an identity bracelet which must be worn throughout the competition including prize giving.
B03- 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 captains or their nominees are to attend the Captain’s briefing.
C02- All queries in relation to the rules received by the event team will be compiled and addressed during the captain’s briefing. Answers given during this meeting will be final and supersede any others given previously.
C03- Only branding flags/banners in connection with registered sponsors/organisations as shown on the 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- To be eligible for prizes the following applies: – boats will be checked at the organisers’ discretion
* A valid VHF licence must be held by the captain or member of the crew
* A valid boat insurance
D03- 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.
D04- 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.
Do5- Prizes will be awarded in accordance with the event’s terms and conditions.


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 with Sea Angling Classic during the competition a boat must have:
– A bailer or an operational pump.
– A foghorn or acoustic warning device.
– Flares in date
– An approved dry-chemical extinguisher.
– A VHF radio
– A first aid kit
– A life jacket per person on board (Rule E06 & E07).
– An appropriate anchor/weight properly secured to the boat with a minimum of 50 meters of rope is required.


E06- Competitors on recreational boats are required to wear a properly fastened life jacket at all times while on board from leaving the berth to coming back.
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 provided.
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- Boats are forbidden to tie up to or make contact with any pot buoys, marker buoys or structures attached to the sea bed with the exception of the boat’s anchor.
E17- The competition’s head marshal may disqualify a boat from use if the boat or anglers are deemed unfit to go afloat.
E18- 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.
E19- In the event of thunder anglers are to stop fishing immediately without waiting for the head marshal’s order and seek shelter in the nearest safe location.
E20- 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.
E21- All competitors are reminded to respect speed restrictions when on the water. In the event of low visibility 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 stand by 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- The official start time for the competition is 08:00. All boats are to be facing in the same direction as instructed.
F02- While waiting for the start, a Daily Security Picture must be taken and sent following this procedure to avoid an ORANGE card.
– The picture/selfie must show all anglers on the boat wearing their properly fastened lifejackets
– The picture must show at least one other boat competing boat in the background on the start line
– One angler must be seen holding the Catch Card with the first Fish Unique Number of the day and the correct daily color sticker.
– Picture MUST be sent via the App.
F03- The official end time of the competition is 16:00 and anglers will not be able to submit any fish after this time.
F04- All boats must pass the designated finish line as instructed within 90 minutes from the end of the competition. Failing to pass the finish line in time will result in voiding the scorecard of the day.
F05- A boat not crossing the line within 90 minutes of the end of the event will automatically activate a location search.


Competitors are liable for the loss or damage of the item provided to them as detailed in the Angling Spirit terms and conditions.
G01- For the good running of the event, organisers will supply each boat captain with an official measuring board, scorecards for both days, and GPS tracker. 

G02- Competitors are to use their own IOS/Android device to operate the Sea Angling Classic leaderboard app. 
G03- Captains will be informed daily of their Fish Unique Numbers to the email address provided on their onsite registration form. 


H01- At the organiser’s discretion marshals and or media can board the boat.
H02- At organisers’ discretion cameras will be installed on competitors’ boats.
H03- Drone use is restricted to organisers and accredited media throughout the competition including support activities.
H04- 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.
H05- 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.
H06- Fishing is only permitted within the boundaries of the allocated competition area.
H07- Only fish caught with the hook inside of the mouth the fish will count.
H08- Treble hooks are  permitted and count as one hook.
H09- Wireline and wire traces are permitted.
H10- Competitors are  limited to 3 hooks used per rod
H11- Pennel rigs are permitted. They count as 2 hooks.
H12- 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, bringing the event into disrepute and the taking of illegal substances are prohibited).
I04- Anglers cannot take to any public communication channels including social media to post any comments, or grievances that 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 take part in the event without the intention of cheating and when necessary 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 competitors’ tackles and boats 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- Each recreational boat entry has the freedom to upload an unlimited number of catches. However, only the three longest bass, three rays (of any type), three bream (of any type), three topes, and three Smooth-hounds (of any type) will be counted for scoring purposes on a daily basis.
J02- Any fish that has been caught but for which the data has not been received by the event headquarters must be submitted and verified no later than 90 minutes from the conclusion of the daily competition.
J03- In order to be counted, fish must be measured using the “official measuring boards” provided by the organizers
J04- Only fish that are caught by the mouth and meet or exceed the minimum length requirement will be considered eligible. Any fish that fall below the minimum size requirement should be released immediately with utmost care.
J05- To be counted, the catch must undergo a strict validation process, which includes the following steps:
– Catch must meet the minimum length requirement for the specific species (see Event details)
– Catch must be positioned correctly on the official measuring board provided by the organisers (see J09 How to measure a catch)
– Avoid mistakes that would void the catch – (see J10 catch will be void with no possibility of re-submission when)
– The Fish Unique Number MUST match on all these platforms: Catch ID Card in picture #1 and picture #2, as well as on the APP and scorecard.
– Data must be recorded in the App within 10 minutes of the catch, accompanied by two pictures taken in the following order:
Picture #1: Fish on the official ruler & showing the Fish’s Unique Number on the Catch ID card.
Picture #2: Fish to be presented safely showing the Fish’s Unique Number on the Catch ID card.
– The fish are to be released into the water alive.
Failure to comply with any of the aforementioned guidelines will result in the catch being deemed invalid and therefore not considered for scoring purposes.
J06-Only full centimetres will be recorded for the length of the fish. If the fish passes a length marker, the next whole centimetre number is to be recorded.
J07- It is the angler’s responsibility to correctly record the length of their catch. The length submitted by the angler will be the one recorded at HQ providing the fish lip/nose/wing is clearly touching the headboard. However, if the length is overdeclared it will be readjusted down accordingly. In any case, the length recorded will be the one of the fish visibly seen as touching the headboard.
J08- The organizers retain the right to request marshal boats to verify the boats’ daily scorecards against the leaderboard.

* Bass and bream: right flank down with lips touching the headboard and tail flat. The tail can be pointed.
All rays: measured across the wings. One wing clearly touching the headboard.
 Smooth-hounds and tope: belly down and nose tip touching the headboard

Fish Unique Number (FUN) already used                           Excessive bloodstained fish
Lip/nose/wing not touching headboard                              Poor exposure
Fish not positioned properly on measuring board            Dead fish
Fish Unique Number not readable                                       Life jacket missing on picture#2
The fish type not matching the picture submitted            Hand covering the fish head
– In the event of a fish being rejected, competitors will receive a message specifying the reason for the rejection. It is important to only resubmit the fish if specifically invited to do so.
– Please note that delays in response may occur due to phone connection issues, and all submissions will be processed according to their log
– If you wish to proceed with a dispute, you have 90 minutes from the end of the competition to visit the Results Desk at Gunwharf Quays.

– Send to Result Desk via SMS a screenshot/picture of you trying to process the catch onto the App (tip best if a picture is also taken from another phone).
– Repeat for as many catches as you need.
– Once in range log in your catches as normal. If Result Desk has received your SMS time of reception will be taken into account.

– Captains are to receive two scorecards at the start of the competition.
– Anglers are to record the 3 fish per species above the legal size they want to keep a record of. Only fish submitted on the card will ultimately be taken into account.
– Anglers are responsible for verifying they get a return message for each submitted catch.
– The competitor must date and sign their scorecard. Once signed scorecards are submitted via the App, information cannot be changed.

– Before submitting your signed scorecard check your catch list on the App. Make sure to record your best 3 longest fish per species as the final results will only be processed against the signed scorecard.
– For a scorecard submission to be valid competitors’ boat must have crossed the finish line and the signed scorecard submitted within 90 minutes of the end of the competition. Failing to have completed both of the above actions within 90 mins of the end of the daily competition will result in voiding the scorecard for the day.
– Once a signed scorecard has been submitted no changes are possible.
– If anglers have a query they must have ticked the dispute box on the scorecard. They have then 90 minutes from the end of the competition to arrive at Gunwharf marina and make their request for a meeting known to a pontoon marshal.  The captain or nominee from the entry will then be escorted to Result Desk.


K01- Results will be done in the following order:
– 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 smooth-hound, longest tope and finally on the time of first scoring fish on day 1. 

On day 2, the results of day 2 will be added to the results of day 1 and a countback will be done on the overall longest of each species in the same order as above over the 2 days. 

In the unlikely event, that there is still a tie, the winner will be determined by the time of the first fish caught on day 1 and then on day 2 if necessary. 

In the event of a tie in the longest fish categories, the angler who has caught the first longest fish will be declared the winner of that category and receive the prize and trophy.


L01- Any reports of cheating, or 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 scorecard 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 send a picture on the start line – 10 cm deduction today scorecard.
– Loss of Catch ID card/scorecards/map/ruler – 20cm deduction if before the start of the competition. During competition must return to event HQ to collect.
Recreational boat category only: a 50 cm deduction each time an angler is seen not wearing his lifejacket – additional penalty if angler is not wearing his life jacket on picture#2 (angler holding the fish) disqualification of the fish.
– For a scorecard submission to be valid, the competitors’ boat must have crossed the finish line and the signed scorecard submitted within 90 minutes of the end of the competition. Failing to have completed both of the above actions within 90 mins of the end of the daily competition will result in voiding the scorecard for the 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 deduction of fishing time 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.
– 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
– Going ashore during the competition without permission (Rule E16).
– Use of drones during the competition and support activities.
– 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 and disqualification from the event.
– 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 prosecution.

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 right 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 –
RYA equipment for uk pleasure vessels –
MUST READ: King’s Harbour Master Portsmouth has two sections on their website that are a must-read for all boat Captains. – KHM local sailing rules: –

SAC23-30/05/23 V4