Racing rules

Sail Georgina races are governed by the Racing Rules of Sailing (RRS), with the following modifications.

Race Committee
Sail Georgina races are generally run with no race committee or committee boat. As a result, adherence to all rules is primarily on the honour system, and the races are also self-starting. Communication is key to this; contact your fellow racers over the radio if there is any ambiguity. The Sail Georgina fleet captain shall have the final say in case of questions or conflict during the race. In all cases, protest hearings may be held after the race to resolve any disputes.
Note: If you believe another boat has wronged you during a race, please make every effort to infomher during the race, so that she can complete her required penalty turns.
Rule 26; Starts
When possible, the race start will be called over the radio, on a channel identified prior to the race (usually channel 9). The goal is to call out the race warning (at 5 minutes prior to the start), and the race start itself. However this is not always possible, and on occasion the races will simply be started at a pre-designated time. The specifics of a race start will be discussed prior to the race.
Rule 32; Shortened course
With no committee boat, the decision to race a short course must be guided by rules, as all boats are competing. Unless discussed otherwise prior to the start of the race, the course length will be decided based on the time it takes the first boat to complete the first three legs.

  • If the first boat to round the third mark does so less than an hour (elapsed time) after the start of the race, then the race is considered a long race consisting of all 5 legs.
  • If the first boat to round the third mark does so more than an hour (elapsed time) after the start of the race, then the race is considered a short race consisting of just the first 3 legs.

Wherever possible, the first boat to round the third mark should inform the fleet via radio of this fact, to confirm the length of the course (long or short).

Time limits on starting
Any boat that crosses the start line of a race, prior to the first boat finishing that race, shall be considered to have started the race. After the first boat has finished the race, no additional boats can start the race.
Minimum boats participating
At least three boats must start a race, in order for the race to be considered valid.

Rule 30; Starting Penalties
If any boat crosses the start line early, she shall round the mark at either end of the start line, and must cross the start line again to begin the race.
Rule 44; Racing Penalties
A boat shall take a One-Turn Penalty when she has touched a mark while racing.A boat shall take a Two-Turns Penalty when she may have broken a rule of Part 2 (“When boats meet”) of the RRS while racing. This generally occurs when one boat has impeded another (failed to yield right of way, etc). If a boat has broken a rule of Part 2 of the RRS and touched a mark in the same incident, she need not take the penalty for touching the mark. If a boat caused injury or serious damage or gained a significant advantage in the race or series by her breach, her penalty shall be to retire from the race. If a boat finishes a race without completing the required number of penalty turns, her race score will be increased by 2 for every turn she did not take. However, she shall not be scored worse than Did Not Finish. The scores of other boats shall not be changed; therefore, two boats may receive the same score in the race.

Scoring Rules

Sail Georgina uses the “Low Point” scoring system as defined in the Racing Rules of Sailing, Appendix A4, with the following modifications.
A boat with the following race result is scored this many points:

The committee boat
Scores: (Number of boats starting the race + 1)/2 points
Rationale: No one likes to miss a race, so we reward the committee boat with a reasonable result.
DNF (Started, but did not finish)
Scores: (Number of boats starting the race + 1) points
Rationale: You should always try to finish. Even if you are last in a race, you will lose more points if you drop out.
DNS (Did not start)
Scores: (Number of boats in the series + 1) points
Rationale: You should always try to start a race. No matter how many other people enter, and what your result is, you will lose more points if you do not start.
DSQ (Disqualified)
Scores: (Number of boats in the race + 1) points, result can not be dropped
Rationale: Disqualifications are rare, but the consequences are severe.
When there is no committee boat for a race, boats that finish 4 seconds or less (on corrected time) behind another boat with a different PHRF are assumed to have tied. The scores of other boats shall not be changed; therefore, two or more boats may receive the same score in the race.
Rationale: When we race without a committee boat, we recognize that the recorded race finishing times may be slightly inaccurate. When two boats with different PHRFs are apart on the lake, but very close on corrected time, it’s almost impossible to tell who was ahead by only 1 second. As a result, we assume there’s a possible +/-2 second error in both finishing times. This only applies for boats with a different PHRF, as the order of boats finishing with a same PHRF can easily be judged by eye on the water, and so there’s no ambiguity about those times.

The worst results (except DSQ’s) for each series will be dropped. The number of races to be counted for each series is 2/3 of the races run. A minimum of 3 races must be run before any results can be dropped. This formula means (for example):

1, 2, 3 races in series
0 results are dropped
4, 5 races in series
1 result is dropped
6, 7, 8 races in series
2 results are dropped
9, 10, 11 races in series
3 results are dropped
12, 13, 14 races in series
4 results are dropped
15, 16, 17 races in series
5 results are dropped