Participating in the racing program is a great way to build sailing skills. Our race programs are designed for new and experienced racers alike. The BSSC Race Program includes weekend race series under PHRF handicapping. These races are either short distance (around the buoys) or long distance (for example, to Lexington and back). In addition, there is the annual Bark Shanty Regatta. Attracting sailors from across Lake Huron, it’s one of the many highlights to the BSSC Racing season. BSSC is an active member in both the Lake Huron Yachting Association (LHYA) and the United States Sailing Association (USSA). You’ll find a BSSC boat in almost every major Lake Huron race, including Bayview’s famous Port Huron to Mackinac race.
Racing can be intimidating in part because the rules are not easy to understand. NO MORE!
These rules have been written simply to make it less daunting initially to ‘race’. They do not substitute or contravene the full ISAF Racing Rules - they are just an easy way in for beginners to learn them.
These are about as simple and straightforward as you can get. 10 simple rules that will keep you out of trouble and let you know what to expect from other boats racing. The ISAF President, Paul Henderson, has recommended the following highly simplified racing rules for club competition.
Ten Racing Rule Commandments from ISAF's President
The next step, from USSailing adds a bit more explanations. This is available from USSailing as a laminated card.
Summary of the Rules That Apply When Boats Meet
Simplified, Condensed, Unofficial
Below is a summary of the sailing rules that apply most often on the race course. This summary is intended as an aid to sailors and not as a substitute for the Racing Rules ofSailing, a copy of which all racing sailors should own. See reverse side for more information about the Racing Rules of Sailing.
PORT-STARBOARD. Port-tack boats must keep clear of starboard-tack boats. (Rule 10) Note: You are "keeping clear" of another boat when she doesn't have to avoid you.
WINDWARD-LEEWARD. When boats are overlapped on the same tack, the windward boat must keep clear. (Rule 11)
ON SAME TACK, ASTERN-AHEAD. When boats are on the same tack and not overlapped, the boat clear astern must keep clear. (Rule 12) Note: One boat is "clear astern" if she's entirely behind a line through the other boat's aft-most point, perpendicular to the other boat. The other boat is "clear ahead." Two boats are "overlapped" if neither is clear ahead of the other.
TACKING TOO CLOSE. Before you tack, make sure your tack will keep you clear of all other boats. (Rule 13)
LIMITATIONS ON RIGHT OF WAY
If the other boat must keep clear, you have "right of way". Even if you have right of way, there are limitations on what you can do:
AVOID CONTACT. You must avoid contact with other boats, but a right-of-way boat will not be penalized under this rule unless the contact causes damage. (Rule 14)
ACQUIRING RIGHT OF WAY. When you do something to become the right-of-way boat, you must give the other boat a chance to get away from you. (Rule 15)
CHANGING COURSE. When you change course, you must give the other boat a chance to keep clear. (Rule 16)
ON THE SAME TACK; PROPER COURSE. If you are overlapped to leeward of a boat on the same tack, and if just before the overlap began you were clear astern of her, you cannot sail above your proper course (i.e., the course that will take you to the next mark the fastest) while you remain overlapped. (Rule 17.1)
PASSING MARKS AND OBSTRUCTIONS
There is a set of special rules for boats that are about to pass a mark or obstruction. However, these special rules don't apply between boats on opposite tacks on a beat to windward. (Rule 18.1)
Except at a starting mark, you must give boats overlapped inside you room to pass a mark or obstruction, and boats clear astern must keep clear of you.
There's a two-length zone around marks and obstructions, and a boat's rights and obligations with respect to another boat are "frozen" when the first of them enters that zone. If you are clear astern of another boat when she enters the zone, you must keep clear of her until both boats are past the mark or obstruction, even if you later become overlapped inside her. (Rule 18.2)
TACKING NEAR A MARK. Don't tack within the two-length zone at a windward mark if you will cause a boat that is fetching the mark to sail above close-hauled to avoid you, or if you will prevent her from passing the mark. (Rule 18.3)
ROOM TO TACK AT AN OBSTRUCTION. When boats are on the same tack on a beat and come to an obstruction, the leeward boat gets to decide which way they are going to pass it. If the leeward boat hails for room to tack, the other boat must give it to her; but the leeward boat must give the other boat time to respond before she tacks. (Rule 19)
Before your Preparatory Signal, and after you finish, don't interfere with boats that are about to start or are racing. (Rule 22.1)
If you break a rule while racing, get away from other boats and do two 360-degree turns; if you hit a mark, do one turn. (Rules 20 and 44) Note: Sometimes the Sailing Instructions require you to fly a flag acknowledging that you broke a rule, instead of doing turns.
If you start too soon, keep clear of others until you get behind the line again.
Copyright © 2001 United States Sailing Association
Rules of racing are governed by the International Sailing Federation and are revised and published every 4 years. The new edition takes effect January 1, 2005.
The order of layout is as follows: (Page numbers stated are as in the printed version).
|Introduction, Basic Principles & Parts 1 to 7||The Introduction, Basic Principles and Parts 1 to 7 of the RRS 2005 - 2008 (pages 1 - 46 in the printed version) in pdf format.|
|Appendices A - C||Appendices A - C (pages 47 - 78 of the printed version of the 2005 - 2008 Racing Rules of Sailing).|
|Appendices D - G||Appendices D - G (pages 79 - 102 of the printed version of the 2005 - 2008 Racing Rules of Sailing).|
|Appendices H - K||Appendices H - K (pages 103 - 120 of the printed version of the 2005 - 2008 Racing Rules of Sailing).|
|Appendices L - N||Appendices L - N (pages 121 - 150 in the printed version of the 2005 - 2008 Racing Rules of Sailing).|
|Appendix P||Appendix P (pages 151 - 152 of the printed version of the 2005 - 2008 Racing Rules of Sailing).|
|Protest Form||Download the Protest Form in pdf format.|
|Index||Download the Index to the Racing Rules in pdf format.|
|Definitions||Download the definitions in pdf format.|
New Starting Sequence!
We are now using a light system for starting it will be the same time increments as the standard 5 minute sequence but with light instead of flags. Please read below for the full sequence.
5 minute warning all lights go on (3 in total)
4 minutes to go one light goes off (2 lights remaining)
1 minute to go a second light goes off (1 light remaining)
0 at the start the last light goes off (0 lights remaining)
The lights are located on the roof of the Port Sanilac Marina building - for all races that are recorded with the camera the starting line is between the camera and the A mark. Lining up the end of the North breakwall with the light board is usually the best range for siting the line.
Below is our traditional start sequence with flags and sound signals the race commitee may revert to this when the light system is not in use - the start sequence being used will be announced at the skippers meeting before each race.
5 minutes before the Start, the class flag (white) will be flown and a sound signal made. This is the race warning signal, boats are still required to proceed in accordance with the International Rules for the Prevention of Collision at Sea [IRPCS] ie, as you would normally sail if you had no intention of racing.
4 minutes before the Start, the Preparatory flag (blue) will be flown and a sound signal made. You are now under the Class Racing Rules, though you must still observe the rules with regard to boats not racing.
1 minute before the start, the Preparatory flag is lowered and a sound signal is made.
0 At the Start, a sound signal will be made and the class flag is lowered. Remember that the lowering of the flag, not the sound signal, is the moment of the actual start.