- Yacht of the Year
- Beercan Series
- Dave O’Donnell Memorial Regatta
- Pursuit Races
- Sail & Share Regatta
- Commodore’s Cup (Revised on 10/11/2018)
Start Line Etiquette – part 2
This is an addendum to the previous Start Line Etiquette post based upon feedback about a recent race.
Outboard Motor Rules
When does an outboard need to be Vertical?
Our SI’s have a rule about them (11.5):
“Boats with transom mounted engines shall have their engine stowed aboard or left mounted with the shaft in the vertical position from the preparatory signal until after that boat starts the race.”
Your Prepatory signal is the blue/white flag which is raised one minute after your division pennant.
The definition of START in the US Sailing RRS (roughly speaking) is the point when your boat crosses the start line and is clear of any start line penalties. If you were OCS (over early), you cannot raise your motor until you re-cross the start line.
In simple terms: Keep your outboard stowed or left in vertical position during your sequence until after you cross the start line without penalties.
When can you use your outboard motor?
Per RRS 42.1 and the preface to Part 4, you cannot use your motor WHILE RACING.
What is RACING? Per the definition (roughly speaking), you are racing from your Prepatory signal until you finish and clear the finish line.
Start Line Etiquette
The St. Croix Sailing Club has a busy starting area. With 2, 3, or more starts, and over 25 boats in many races, the start line can be a confusing time. Here are some tips to keep your boat in good standing with your fellow racers, the RRS, and the Race Committee.
What is the Starting Area?
It is the area between and around the Committee Boat and the nearby mark (orange buoy to port). Any boat currently in sequence defines this area, and all other boats MUST keep clear!
The R/C regularly notes that boats not currently racing interfere with boats currently in sequence and racing. (see RRS definition of “racing”) If you are affected by this, speak up – to the offending boats and to your R/C. Protest if required.
Program your GPS devices ONLY when your division flag is flying. The R/C is permitted to reset her position between start sequences. The Orange flag may or may not be dropped during these changes. (see Orange Flag below)
The R/C recognizes that our shortened 4-minute sequence may contribute to crowding on the start line. SCSC may return to the standard RRS 26 sequence in 2018 to alleviate congestion at the start line.
Watch the Flags – Is your Division flag flying?
If the flag for your division isn’t flying, then stay away from the starting area. This is for several reasons:
- The Committee Boat may be moving
- Other boats may be starting
- Aliens may be attacking, or a million other reasons…
Interfering with other boats currently in sequence carries harsh penalties! Please stay away or pay very close attention to other boats around you.
If your start is upcoming, simply pay attention to the flags on the Committee Boat. They are huge and visible from quite a distance. You’re welcome to venture close, but pay attention to other boats currently in sequence.
Prior to every sequence, the R/C hails via VHF 72 and sounds 5 horns prior to the start of each sequence.
What is the Orange Start Line Flag?
The staff holding the orange/red flag on the Committee Boat denotes the starboard end of the start line. Anyone above the line drawn between that staff (per SI’s) and the course side of the port mark shall be called OCS (over early).
The Orange Flag has no bearing on the Committee Boat’s status – she could be setting anchor and drifting or resetting due to a drifting anchor. Or she could be parked and waiting for late boats to approach the line.
Traditional courtesy states that the Orange Flag flies when the Committee Boat is on station at the starboard end of the start line. While the Race Committee will continue to honor this courtesy to the best of their ability, it’s important to note that this cannot always be done!
That massive Orange/Red bedsheet has a story behind it… Ask KT sometime.
The Committee Boat must be on station (anchored, not drifting) no later than the Prepatory Signal (RRS 27.2). Our R/C extends this to the Warning signal out of courtesy, but it is not required of the R/C and will not be grounds for redress.
How to read the Race Results
This is a question that comes up from time to time. Here are the specifics!
Race Results can be found on the Results page.
Yacht of the Year (YOY)
Yacht of the Year results are broken into two sections. The top of the page includes overall “Series” results for each division. This is your standing to date for the overall YOY trophy.
YOY races use the Low Point scoring system – the fewer points your boat has, the better! Note that discards come into play after a certain number of races throughout the year – these can change the standings dramatically and give additional boats a chance for year-end awards.
YOY – Overall
The above is an example of the overall series scoring for Division 1. It is found at the top of the Yacht of the Year results.
Sailed: Number of races sailed to date
Discards: Number of discarded races based on number of sailed races (see SI’s). Discarded races appear in parentheses.
Rating System: We use PHRF Time on Time for ratings. See the Ratings and Divisions page for more details.
Entries: Number of boats registered in the division
Total: Total number of points a boat has accumulated
Nett: Number of points, excluding discards
Notes: See the Ratings and Divisions page for more details.
Note that SCSC also presents awards based on standings for each sub-series (Spring, Summer, and Fall). Those are published as needed, and typically just prior to the award ceremony.
YOY – Individual Race
The above is an example of the individual race scoring for Division 1, Spring Series race #1. It is found below Overall Scoring for Yacht of the Year results.
Start: Which start the division participated in for this race. Typically 1, 2, or 3.
Finishes: Means that the “Finish” column is an exact recording of the time on the R/C’s stopwatch. This time, minus the Start Time (see “Time” below) equals the Elapsed Time.
Time: Time of the Start signal. Our R/C uses stopwatches started at an arbitrary time. Some clubs use GPS time.
Distance: Distance of the course, typically measured to the hundredth of a mile.
Course: The course sailed. This field usually does not denote changes of course or shortening of course.
Wind dir: Average wind direction during the race.
Ave wind: Average wind speed, as noticed by the R/C occasionally at the start and during the race.
PHRF TOT: The boat’s PHRF handicap for Time-On-Time scoring. See the Ratings and Divisions page for more details.
Finish: Finish time, as recorded on the R/C’s stopwatches. (also see “Time” above)
Elapsed: Actual time to sail the course. “Finish” minus “Time” fields.
Corrected: Elapsed time adjusted for the boat’s handicap via a nifty mathematical formula.
BCE: (Back Calculated Elapsed) Shows how much time you needed to knock off your elapsed time to win.
Points: How many points the boat gained in this race.
Notes: See the Ratings and Divisions page for an explanation of the codes used here. Scroll to the bottom of the page.
Beercan Races are similar to Yacht of the Year races, with two major distinctions:
- Beercan Races are scored using the High Point system. In other words, the MORE points you earn, the better!
- Beercan Races do not have an overall trophy. Therefore, the top section (overall scoring) is largely irrelevant.
SCSC holds many other types of races throughout the year. Aside from Beercan races, they are typically scored using the Low Point system (like the YOY races). See the NOR or SI’s of each event for specifics.
- Yacht of the Year
- Beercan Results (Throwouts have been removed, per SI 15.4. They were previously included in error.)
- Dave O’Donnell Memorial Regatta
- Sail & Share Regatta
- Pursuit Races
- Commodores Cup
Welcome to Committee Boat Corner, with your Principal Race Officer, Patrick! I will bring up topics related to US Sailing Rules noticed during races.
I will reference the US Sailing Racing Rules of Sailing (RRS), the US Sailing Appeals book (noted as “Appeal”) and the ISAF Case Book (noted as “Case”). The Appeals book is available to any US Sailing member in PDF form for free, or in print for a few bucks. The ISAF Case Book can be found here: http://www.sailing.org/documents/caseandcall/case-book.php
Welcome to the inauguration of “Committee Boat Corner”! This first post covers a wide range of topics. They are based upon incidents over the past two or three weeks.
1) Taking a penalty (doing turns)
If you wish to clear yourself of protest, you MUST do your turns as soon as safely possible. You do not have time to consult your rule book. Turns should be done on the same leg, with the exception of nearing the next mark – in which case turns at the mark or shortly after are acceptable.
Which rules apply? Let me quote the US Sailing Appeals Book, Appeal 60:
“Rule 44.1 permits a boat to take a penalty at the time of the incident. Rule 44.2 requires the boat to sail well clear of other boats as soon as possible afer the incident and promptly make two turns as described in the rule. Together, these rules require a boat that decides to take a penalty to do so as soon as possible afer the incident. The rule does not provide for time for a boat to deliberate whether she has broken a rule. If she delays in doing her penalty turns, she is still liable to be disqualified.”
2) What if another boat caused me to break the rules?
If you have rights over another boat, and that boat breaks a rule which in turn causes you to foul a third boat, you should protest!
This happens occasionally: Say you are the Leeward boat (L) on port with Windward boat (W) overlapped above you. Starboard boat (S) is coming at both of you. Despite your hails, W fails to tack and you force S to bear off… S hails PROTEST! You should in turn protest W!
RRS 64.1(a) states that “when as a consequence of breaking a rule a boat has compelled another boat to break a rule, the other boat shall be exonerated.”
Appeal 52 Talks about this in more detail.
3) There was a collision, what now?
First of all, let me state that collisions are NEVER ALLOWED. Ever. A protest should result from EVERY contact between boats. See RRS 14.
But what about RRS 14(b) – the part about exoneration if no damage or injury? What is “Damage”?
The ISAF Case Book talks about “Damage” (Case 19):
“It is not possible to define ‘damage’ comprehensively, but one current English dictionary says ‘harm . . . impairing the value or usefulness of something.’
This definition suggests questions to consider. Examples are:
– Was the current market value of any part of the boat, or of the boat as a whole, diminished?
– Was any item of the boat or her equipment made less functional?”
4) I saw another boat break a rule against another boat, what can I do?
Per RRS 60.1 and 60.1 (a): “A boat may…protest another boat, but not for an alleged breach of a rule of Part 2 or 31 unless she was involved in or saw the incident.”
In simple terms, if you saw it happen, you may protest on behalf of another competitor. This is especially important when the incident involves someone new to the rules! We do NOT want new sailors taken advantage of.
Rule 60.2 also permits the Race Committee to protest, despite the RRS “Basic Principals” which state that competitors are expected to enforce the rules.
Racing events are organized to appeal to sailors of all abilities. They include several weekend and mid-week racing series, fun races, and special regattas such as the Spring Invitational; the Breaking Waves Regatta and Commodore’s Cup (overnight race/cruise from Hudson to Prescott); the Carlson Classic; the Labor Day Regatta; and the Autumnal Equinox.
The Labor Day Regatta (now known as the “Fall Regatta” or “Sail and Share”) has brought in sailors from Iowa, Lake of the Woods, Lake Pepin, Lake Waconia, Lake Minnetonka, White Bear Lake, Medicine Lake and Lake Mille Lacs. The festivities begin on Friday night and, after two days of racing, conclude Sunday with the awards ceremony and cocktail party. Saturday’s racing is often followed by dinner and live music.