Sailboat Racing Rules & Procedures

All scheduled races will be governed by International Yacht Racing Rules as adopted by US Sailing Association. Following are the underlying basics of the rules:

Fundamentals: Help anyone in danger, and avoid collisions whenever possible.

  • Opposite Tacks: Starboard has right of way.
  • Same Tack: Leeward or clear ahead have right of way.
  • Changing Tacks: Boats tacking or jibing keep clear.
  • Limits: Right-of-way boats changing course or when gaining right of way
    must at first give others room to keep clear.

A target starting time for the race is decided upon at the skippers meeting (9:00 AM the day of the race in the clubhouse). Final decisions are made out on Lake Michigan before the race by communicating via VHF channel 69. All times are referenced to GPS time and if there is no committee boat, each racer must keep a record of his finish time and report it to the race manager after the race. Races are handicapped using Lake Michigan PHRF ratings (non-spinnaker) with Time-On-Time scoring.

The race course consists of a race from a starting latitude to a 2nd latitude and back. There are NO buoys. You record your time when you reach the 2nd latitude and then again when you come back and cross the starting latitude. Latitudes 3 minutes (3 nautical miles) apart are usually chosen. There are NO limitations as to where you cross the latitudes.

Past Sailboat Race Winners

Click a race for more information.

Note: Tower Harbour Yacht Club does NOT sponsor any type of boat racing. All boat racing amongst members is to be organized by them with NO involvement of the club. As a courtesy to club members, race announcements and results will be shown in the club directory and on the club website.