Published on February 4, 2014
Yacht Racing Primer for Ship 378
Topics • • • • • • Why Race? Race Course Set Up Parts of a Race Regatta Organization The Rules Handling Rule Infractions
Why Race? • It’s Fun – More time on the water • Teaches Sailing Quickly – Boat handling in stressful situations – Makes cruising safer • Fellowship (Social) – 4th S of Sea Scouting • Any other reason that makes sense to you
Objective • First to finish while complying with the rules • Impossible to win without abiding by and accepting . . . – Safety – Sportsmanship – Tactics . . . As defined by The Rules
Racing • Usually 2-3 laps around a course • Intent is for race to last 60-90 minutes • If the race committee chooses to shorten race – Pre-arranged visual signal
Race Course: Triangle
Race Course: Windward - Leeward
Parts of Race • Starting – 5 minutes before racing begins • Racing – 4 minutes before the race begins until finishing • Finishing – Crossing the finish line with any part of the boat – Clearing the area
Finish • A boat finishes when any part of its crew or equipment legally crosses the finish line and clears away from the line – Crew & equipment in normal operating position – Line must be crossed in the correct direction
Starting Sequence • 5-Minutes (Warning) – Engines off • 4-Minutes (Preparatory) – Racing rules fully in effect • 1-Minute (62-67 Seconds to go) – Final line-up for start • Start (Go) – Permission to cross the starting line
5-Minutes (Warning) • Propulsion Rule goes into effect – Engines must be off – No propulsion allowed besides • Wind • Waves • Current
Rules Go Into Effect Instantly • Propulsion Example • As soon as the Warning signal (5-minutes) is applied, the engine must already be off. – Killing the motor as the signal is applied is too late • Immediate disqualification (DSQ)
Rules Go Into Effect Instantly • Preparatory Example • If any part of your boat (equipment and crew) touches a starting mark, a foul has been committed – Imaginary starting line – Committee boat – Marker
Warning (5-Minutes) • Any Solid-Color flag (Usually) • One sound signal when raised
Preparatory (4-Minutes) • P – Flag up • One sound signal when raised
Preparatory (1-Minute) • P – Flag down • One sound signal when lowered
Start • Any Solid-Color flag (Usually) • One sound signal when lowered
First Race • Goal: Finish within the time limit • Actions – Stay out of the way – Watch experienced racers – Learn & understand the rules – Experiencing racing environment – Learn the lingo – Have fun!
Organization • Regatta Committee – Club’s committee responsible for racing program • Race Committee – Club’s committee responsible for a race • Boats – Race Participants • Observes / Judges – Referee / witness, on-water safety/rescue staff
Organization • Protest Committee – Judges whose decision impacts race outcome • “The Rules” – International Sailing Federation (ISF) regulations
Acronyms • OCS: Over Course Side – Over starting line • DNF: Did not finish • DSQ: Disqualified
Terms • Passing / Rounding a Mark – Going past a mark on the correct side without hitting it • ColRegs – Collision Regulations (Rules of the Road) • Damage – Anything a prudent skipper would repair
Terms • Tack: Port / Starboard – The side opposite where the boom is carried • Leeward Boat – The boat on the leeward side of another boat – Leeward is determined by the side the boom is actually carried on (not by the wind) • Windward Boat – Opposite of Leeward Boat
“The Rules” • Primary Purpose – Allow close quarters maneuvering wo colliding • Primary Effect – Defines tactics • Things you can legally do to gain advantage • The racing rules are an extension of the ColRegs
Hierarchy of Rules • Collision Regulations – Avoid boats restricted in their ability to maneuver • Boats on Different Tack: Windward vs Leeward – Boat on port tack keep clear • Boats on Same Tack: Windward vs Leeward – Windward boat keep clear • When Boats Meet (on collision course) – Follow rules above
Hierarchy of Rules • Overtaking – Port tack boat keeps clear of starboard tack boat – Applies to racers only – ColRegs apply when non-racers are on the course • Obstructions: Different Tack – Port tack boat keeps clear • Obstruction: Same Tack – Allow Room
Hierarchy of Rules • When Passing Marks – Above rules apply – Allow room for any boat within 2-3 boat lengths when your boat is within 2-3 boat lengths of the mark • Does not apply at the windward mark
The Rules: Key Points • Primary purpose is to avoid collisions • All collisions are avoidable • Good sportsmanship, good seamanship, and safety must prevail • Assumes boats skippered by competent crews • Other boats must be allowed adequate time to respond to your rightful actions • Other boats not required to anticipate action
Rules Enforcement • Rules enforcement is by the honor system – No referee – Self-monitoring • If you think you’ve committed a foul, take the appropriate penalty • If you’ve done something to be disqualified, disqualify yourself
Penalty Turn • Goal – Cause an offending boat to lose time and position • Accomplishment – Sail in a 360º circle with a least one tack and one jibe out of the way of other boats
Common Disqualifying Actions • “Guilty” boat involved in a collision • Failing to assist vessels in distress • Failure to assist your own MOB crew member
Common 1-Turn Penalty Infractions • Touching a mark – Doesn’t apply when the actions of another boat cause the mark to hit your boat • Violate a “When Boats Meet” rule
Common 2-Turn Penalty Infractions • “Innocent” boat involved in a collision • Refusing to give-way at the start of race
Protests • Protest – An assertion by one boat that another boat has committed an infraction of the rules • Shout “Protest” at the offending crew • Raise Protest flag (rectangular red flag)
Protest Committee • Judges decide what would have been done if two competent skippers encountered the same situation • The Race Committee helps with protest procedures – Will not argue the protest
Provides the basics of yacht racing to Sea Scouts to enable them to participate in races according to the sailboat racing rules.
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