Catawba Yacht Club
Sailing, Rowing and Water Fun
Lake Wylie, Charlotte, NC 
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Since 1939

These rules are effective as of the first Spring Series race day, 4/21/2012

These rules shall govern Racing Series of the Catawba Yacht Club. These rules supplement the US Sailing Racing Rules of Sailing and the class rules of each participating boat. These rules will be published on the club website prior to the series start and explained at the first skippers' meeting in a series. Thereafter, skippers are responsible for being knowledgeable of the rules.


The series will be scored according to one of the following scoring systems.  The scoring system to be used by each fleet will be announced and explained at the first skippers meeting in a series, but additional communication may be provided ahead of time.  

There shall be two fleets:  Dinghy and Portsmouth. Trophies will be presented for each fleet as shown later in this document.  The Dinghy class is set up for monohull, trailerable sailboats under 20 feet, with a handicap rating of 83.0 or higher. Examples include MC Scow, Wayfarer, and Flying Scot. The Portsmouth fleet is intended for handicap racing and includes all other monohull boats.

Boats not sailing in the dinghy fleet are scored based on the Portsmouth Handicap System. Handicaps are assigned to each make and class of boat with specific sail combinations as declared by the skipper prior to the beginning of the series. Once a sail combination is declared for a series, no additions or changes can be made for the series. While the Portsmouth class is not intended for dinghies, dinghies are eligible for the class if they desire to race under a handicap.

Skippers must declare their participation class at the beginning of the series and remain in that class until the series is over.


Fleets using the Low Point Scoring System will be scored according to the procedures listed in Appendix A of the US Sailing Racing Rules of Sailing, 2015-2020 as modified per the following.  We use the low-point system defined therein. We also discard 25 percent of all races sailed in a series. The discards allow a skipper to miss one fourth of races without penalty. They also allow a skipper to miss races while attending a class regatta.

If the Principal Race Officer (PRO/OOD) for a race is a racing skipper, he or she shall receive the average of his/her on scores for the series for the races missed while serving as PRO/OOD. [The intent is to give the PRO the score closest to what s/he would have earned on the water.  To do this, all race scores earned on the water throughout the series will be averaged together.  The score will change from week to week as more races are sailed.  DNS and DNC scores do not count.] 

If a boat drops out of a race to render assistance to another sailor or other emergency situation, that boat shall receive the average for that race of his or her on water finishes from the entire series (ala PRO scoring). (2020)

Boats scored DNS, DNF, DSQ in any given race shall receive a score equal to the total number boats sailing on THAT day plus 1. This changes US Sailing rule A5.2 (2022 for clarification only).

In the event of a tie for any place in the series, the schedule in Appendix A shall be used. If a tie still remains, the sailor who sails the most races shall be declared winner.


In the event that the High Point System is used for a CYC club series, the title above links to the process. 

Course Selection

All CYC series, unless otherwise stated at the skipper's meeting, will be Windward/Leeward courses and will be either one or two laps.

In all CYC races, regardless of course, all course marks are left to PORT. 


The PRO will hold a Skippers Meeting on the day of each race to review the race course and any rule changes.   The time for the skippers meeting and subsequent race start are as follows:

- Spring Series:  Skippers Meeting 12:30.  Racing:  1300
- Summer Series:  18:00  Racing (No skipper's meeting).
- Fall Series: Skippers Meeting: 1230  Racing:  1300
- Winter Series: Skipper's Meeting 12:30  Racing:  1300

The goal on all race days except summer evenings is approximately 2 hours of racing.  No race will start more than 2 hours after the first gun.   The PRO will run a minimum of three races if time allows [2 races in the summer series].

**2019 Temp Update.  Until further notice, as a Covid precaution, all skipper meetings are canceled.  Skippers should be at the starting line at the designated time.

Intent to Race

A skipper establishes an intent to race by attending the days skipper's meeting or showing up at the starting line.

Race Starts

The starting line shall consist of two orange buoys, or one buoy/mark and the port flag stanchion on the committee boat.  The committee boat may disengage from the starting line for purposes of race supervision as long as an orange buoy is attached to the original anchor line and left in place.  The committee boat must return to the line to record the finish. 

The PRO will make every attempt to start the first race sequence on any given race day at the designated start time.

Races for all fleets will be started under the 3-minute Start Sequence:
3 Minutes - Three Long Blasts
2.5 Minutes - 2 Long & 3 Short Blasts
2 Minutes - 2 Long Blasts
1.5 Minutes - 1 Long & 3 Short Blasts
1 Minute - 1 Long Blast
30 Seconds - 3 Short Blasts
Start - One Long Blast

[These are sounds on the club automated starting machine.] 

Optional flags may be added to the three minutes start as follows.
3 Minutes - Class Flag Up
2 Minutes - Prep Flag Up
1 Minute - Prep Flag Down
Start - Class Flag Down

In all series except winter, there shall be two starts. Start one shall be for all dinghies. Start two shall be for all Portsmouth boats/Ensigns. In the winter series there shall be one Portsmouth start. 

The starting line shall be closed for all multi-start racing and open for single start races. When the line is closed, the following rule is in effect: After completing the first leg of the course, a boat shall not cross the start/finish line. A boat shall not cross the start/finish line until she is completing the last leg of the course and finishes. A boat that breaks this rule shall not correct her error. However, she will be exonerated if she takes a Two-Turns Penalty (see rule 44.2). This changes rule 28.1. On a leg of the course from W to L or from L to W, boats may leave the start/finish line either to port or to starboard. For reasons of safety, on legs of the course from W to L or from L to W, the start/finish line and the starting buoys and race committee boat are, taken together, one obstruction, and therefore rules 19 and 20 may apply between boats while they are approaching and passing it

Rule 30.1 [I-Flag] shall be in effect for all CYC races. In the event of a violation of this rule in the minute preceding the start, the individual recall signals (flag, horn, hail, VHF, etc) are not made until after the start.

Individual Recall

The PRO/OOD must comply with the Individual Recall rule (Rule 29.2) for boats that are over the starting line within 1 minute of that fleet's start; this rule calls for a prompt display of the X flag and a single sound of the horn. The I-flag shall be in effect for all races.  Boats over early must re-round either starting buoy to restart.  Skippers must recognize that PROs will not always have staff to run flags and horns.  They should comply in good sportsmanship with any obvious attempt by the race committee to call a boat over early.

General Recall

The PRO shall signal a general recall in accordance with the General Recall rule (Rule 29.3) by raising the 1st Substitute flag and making two long blasts of the horn.  In the event of a general recall, all boats will return to the pre-start side of the starting line and the starting sequence shall be restarted.  Skippers must recognize that PROs will not always have staff to run flags and horns.  They should comply in good sportsmanship with any obvious attempt by the race committee to command a general recall.

Race Cancellation

If a race is canceled, the PRO shall lower all flags and sound three blasts of the horn.  Races shall be canceled in accordance with Rule 32.

Time Limit

The time limit for rounding each mark shall be 30 minutes or as modified by the PRO/OOD on race day.  A race shall be declared over fifteen minutes after the lead boat crosses the finish line. Any boats remaining on the race course will be scored with on the water finishes and should report back to the starting area for additional races, if appropriate.

There is no time limit for mark roundings in the winter series unless declared by the PRO/OOD on race day. 

Course Changes

The PRO shall make every attempt NOT to change the course during a race.  If deemed absolutely necessary, the PRO shall signal a shortened course by flying the red flag and the black flag after the lead boat has rounded a mark. The change may be supplemented by an audible signal. In the event that a race is shortened, it should be shortened to the next mark. The committee boat should reposition the finish line with the appropriate mark. Races shall not be lengthened.

Skippers must recognize that PROs will not always have staff to run flags and horns.  They should comply in good sportsmanship with any obvious attempt by the race committee to shorten course.

Avoiding Contact

Boats shall avoid contact if reasonably possible in accordance with rule 14.


Rule 31.2 shall be in effect for any boat touching a mark during a race (360 penalty turn rule - not necessary to reround). Rule 44.2 shall be in effect for any violation of rules contained in Part 2 (720 penalty turn rule).  Exception:  A boat under spinnaker may perform a single 360 penalty turn provided that the spinnaker is doused prior to the turn and reset at the end of the turn. Penalty turns must be taken as soon as possible and after getting well clear of other boats.


I. Awards 

Awards will be provided for first, second, and third place for all fleets racing in a given series.

Occasional non-member guest sailors must sail 3 race dates per series to have their scores included.  At the point that they sail three races, they should pay the race fee for that series.

III.  Multiple Skippers

In the case of a multi-crewed boat, multiple skippers are allowed in the CYC racing series provided that a primary skipper is designated for the series. Additional skippers must be part of the regular crew.  Regular crew is defined as a participant on the boat for 50 percent or more of scheduled races.  The intent of this rule is twofold:  1) Allow a skipper who cannot attend a given race day to let his crew sail the boat and avoid a DNC and 2) allow skipper and crew to switch positions during a race.

For the 2016 series races, races in the dinghy class only shall reside with the skipper. In other words a skipper may sail multiple boats in a series as long as the boat meets the requirements of these club rules: monohull, under 20 feet, trailerable, handicap rating of 83.0 or higher. 

IV.  Protests

All protests must be filed with the fleet captain, in writing, immediately after the conclusion of racing on the day the alleged infraction occurs or via e-mail within 24 hours.  The fleet captain shall form a committee and hear the protest prior to racing, on the following race day, or as soon as possible.  Protest forms are available at the clubhouse.  The protest committee shall consist of all members of the CYC race committee NOT involved in the protest.  Three members will constitute a committee.

V.  Rules Issues

The CYC Fleet Captains shall be empowered to resolve any issues not directly addressed in these sailing instructions.

VI.  Cancellation of a Race Day [Added 2018]

The Chair of the Sailing Committee in consultation with the Sailing Committee may decide to postpone or cancel sailing on any race date if conditions are not appropriate. Sailing on a race day shall not be postponed or canceled prior to 3 days before the race date. Only 1 postponement is permitted per series. The race day shall be postponed to the next weekend when no racing is previously scheduled, but a race day shall not be postponed past the first race date of the following series and in that event the race day would need to be canceled instead. The Sailing Committee may use the examples below as guidance when determining to postpone or cancel a race.
Average wind speed over 20 mph steady or gusts greater than 23 mph
    Preferably based on live measurements on the race course
    Alternatively based on local live wind measurement available on the internet (not forecast)
Air temperature below 32F during the day and time when races are scheduled to occur
Unsafe road conditions (government officials warning to stay off of roads due to ice, snow, or flooding)
Named weather system 
Abnormally high water or air contamination/pollution
Broken or unsafe facilities for launching and docking of boats
Loss of bathroom facilities