Hope Town Sailing Club, Abaco, Bahamas

Racing (Cruising Class)

We are all hoping against mounting uncertainty that the Club will be able to hold races this coming winter. Hopetown should be a bright spot attracting cruisers seeking relief from the drumbeat of Covid news.   With that in mind an abbreviated schedule has been put together and with your help we will have a successful 2020-2021 season.

Join us for an exciting time! The races are open to HTSC members and non-members alike. There is no entry fee. Your boat will be given a handicap using PHRF and Portsmouth as a guideline (see details below to request one). You will be racing with a most eclectic fleet of mono-hulls, multi-hulls, sloops, schooners, ketches, catboats and classic Bahamian workboats: All race together for an exciting time with the emphasis on having fun. 

Cruising Boat Race Schedule and Links to Register:

Date  Time High TideEvent Name  
 Saturday, 1/30/2021 11:00 a.m. 9:09

 Charles P. Manchee Trophy  

Racing Registration Charles P Manchee Trophy

 Saturday, 2/13/2021 11:00 a.m. 9:19

 Founder's Cup

Racing Registration - Founder's Cup

 Saturday, 2/20/2021 11:00 a.m. 2:17

 Hopetown Cup (1)

Racing Registration Hopetown Cup (1)

   1:00 p.m. 

 Hopetown Cup (2)

Racing Registration - Hopetown Cup (2)

 Saturday, 3/06/2021 11:00 a.m. 2:08

 Burton Russell Cup

Racing Registration - Burton Russell Cup

 Saturday, 3/20/202111:00 a.m.  1:41

 Spring Regatta

Racing Registration - Spring Regatta








Post-Race Standup

 All racing skippers and their crew are invited to join club members at a Stand-up Awards Party (BYOB) in the Clubhouse following the races. This is a great opportunity to meet your fellow sailors to discuss the race, and cheer for the winners as the awards are presented. 

Volunteers

To hold the races we need volunteers to assist the Race Committee as Mark Boats. Their duties shall be to transport Race Committee members out to the course, place the marks as instructed by the Race Committee, notify racers of course changes during the race, act as impartial observers and otherwise assist the Race Committee as needed. To volunteer for this essential service, and enjoy a day on the water, please email the Race Committee Chairman at htsc.rc@gmail.com. 

Get Ready to Race

This winter's Race Committee Boat, displaying an RC Flag when on station will be "Turnbuckle", a 22' Rosborough powerboat. 

  • Listen for Cruisers' Net Ch.68 at 8:15 Daily for Announcements 

In the days prior to each Race Day, listen for race announcements during the Cruisers' Net (Ch. 68 at 8:15 daily) and register for the event on HTSC website Calendar. If you have a boat but need extra crew, or if you want to race but have no boat, have never raced before, feel rusty, have questions, or for any other reason hesitate to join us, we will be pleased to go over your questions and our racing rules and procedures. Just hail "Hopetown Race Committee" on Ch. 68 after the Cruiser's Net.  As weather impacts the racing, schedule, we will do our best to keep the website calendar and notifications up to date. 

  • Request a Handicap 

Please address an e-mail to: htsc.rc@gmail.com and include details as follows:
Date
Name of Skipper(s)
Boat Name
Boat Builder, Model, Type, Year
Boat Modifications

The Race Committee will assign you a handicap using your PHRF and the Portsmouth (time-on-time) conversion. A 10% increase in your PHFR will be applied if you are a live-aboard cruiser.

You should not hesitate to race while awaiting the Race Committee's determination of your handicap. Use htsc.rc@gmail.com if later, you wish to request a change in your assigned rating.

The Race Committee will attempt to address requests hopefully before the next race whenever possible.   Your request will be emailed  to Race Committee members, and - in the interest of transparency - will be forwarded at the same time to each racing skipper for whom we have an email address.  After consideration by the Race Committee, a response to your request will be sent to you by e-mail, and copies will be sent to each racing skipper for whom we have an email address.

  • Registration 

You are required to sign-in with the Race Committee out on the race course after 10:00 a.m. on Race Day by calling the "Race Committee" on VHF Ch. 66.  Course instructions will be provided and any questions may be asked on the Committee prior to an Alert Signal (6 horn blasts) at 10:54.  After that time the Race Committee will only make Fleet Wide comments over VHF Ch. 66.  It would be helpful to the Race Committee if you Register for the race on the events page of this website; however this is not required. 

  • Race Course 

Our race course usually lies between the Parrot Cays (just outside Hope Town Harbour), Matt Lowe's Cay, and Sugarloaf Cay.  The starting line is determined by the wind conditions. The Starting Signal is scheduled for 11:00 a.m. The course is usually set to provide the average boat a two hour race. Races will be canceled when wind conditions average 18 mph or higher over a one-minute interval.  

Race Instructions  

Races are conducted according to U.S. Sailing Rules as modified below.

SAILING INSTRUCTIONS FOR CRUISING CLASS YACHTS (rev. November 2020)

1.0 Rules - Races will be governed by the current ISAF Racing Rules of Sailing and the Prescriptions of the United States Racing Sailing Association, except where changed by these Sailing Instructions. Competitors shall have a working knowledge of the above-referenced Racing Rules (2013-16).

2.0 Notices - Notices to competitors will be posted on the official Notice Board located in the Club House, on this web site, in our published members Roster and over the Cruiser's Net. Sailing Instructions may be amended or changed no later than 9am on the day of the race, and shall become effective after their announcement on the Cruiser's Net or posting in the Club House.

3.0 Cruising Class - Races are open to all competitors sailing "cruising class boats" (a sailboat of not less than 18 feet in length) and they need not be members of the Hopetown Sailing Club (HTSC), the Organizing Authority.  The definition of "cruising class boats" and the acceptance of any entrant are at the sole discretion of HTSC Race Committee (changes Rule 76).

3.1 Registration - Participants should register for a race either using the Club's website or on Race Day after 10:00am by VHF radio (Ch. 66).  Appropriate handicap or design information shall be provided at the time of registration.

4.0  Handicaps -  Handicaps are determined at the sole discretion of the Hopetown Sailing Club Race Committee using the U.S. Sailing Association PHRF Handicaps Book's ratings and/or Portsmouth Yardstick Manual numbers as guidelines, and are subject to adjustment for live-aboard conditions and subject to further change at the sole discretion of the Race Committee.

5.0 Headsails - Downwind sails such as spinnakers and gennakers are not permitted during racing. All headsails must be attached along the entire luff to a headstay or forestay at all times.  Headsail changes are permitted and all sails may be reefed and un-reefed during a race (changes Rule 50).

5.1 Singlehanded - A vessel being sailed singlehanded may use an automatic steering device (i.e. autopilot) from time to time during racing to affect such activities as sail changing, reefing, sail trim, navigation and other standard shipboard activities that would require absence from the helm.  Use of such automatic steering devices in no way relieves a vessel from full compliance with the Racing Rules of Sailing (changes Rule 52).

5.2 Whisker Poles - Poles and other devices to hold out the clew of a headsail need not be attached to the mast and may be hand-held (changes Rule 50.2).

6.0 Schedule - The schedule of races is listed in the current Club Directory, and is posted on the Club Official Notice Board in the Club House.

7.0 Class Flag - When only one class is participating the Class Flag shall be a red rectangle Flag.

8.0 Location - The racing area is usually the Sea of Abaco, west of Hopetown Harbor.

9.0 Course - The course to be sailed will be announced by the Race Committee on VHF Ch. 66 prior to the sounding of the Alert Signal (6 minutes).  A leg may be lengthened, shortened or changed during the race.  The Committee will attempt to maintain contact with boats at all times during the race on VHF Ch. 66.  Such VHF radio communication shall replace visual and sound signals if such signals are not made.  All competitors shall monitor their radios for this purpose at all times (changes Rules 32, 33, Appendix J2).

10.0 Marks - All turning marks of the course, including the starting and finishing marks, will normally be inflatable tetrahedrons, except in point-to-point races where the marks may be navigational aids, landmarks including islands, or other identifiable objects.

11.0 Start - Following an Alert Signal at approximately 6 minutes to the start, races will be started in accordance with Rule 26 by hoisting a Warning Signal at 5 minutes to the start using a Class Flag or Red Flag accompanied by a sound signal.   The sequence of Flag and sound signals then follows as shown below.  Unless the race is postponed or abandoned, the Start is at 11:00am.  Normally a race not started by 12:00 may be abandoned.  A race so abandoned may or may not be rescheduled.

              SIGNAL                           FLAG                                SOUND             MINUTES TO START

              Alert                                No Flag                           6 Blasts                           ~6 Mins.

              Warning                         Red Flag Hoisted             1 Blast                               5 Mins.

              Preparatory                   "P: Flag Hoisted             1 Blast                               4 Mins.

              One-Minute                  "P" Flag Removed          1 Blast                               1Min.

              START                             Red Flag Removed          1 Blast                              0 Mins.

In case of postponement, the Warning (5 Min.) Flag will be raised one minute after the removal of the postponement flag.

11.1 Starting Line - The Starting Line will be between the RC Flag staff on the Race Committee Boat at the starboard end, and the Starting Mark, normally a tetrahedron, at the port end.  An inner mark (often referred to as the "barging buoy") will be placed near the Committee Boat.  Racers shall not pass between this mark and the Committee Boat after it has been set.  If a boat fails to observe this instruction or is forced between this mark and the Committee Boat by a boat that did not break a rule, then said boat must retire.

12.0 Individual Recalls -Individual Recalls will be signaled by displaying code flag "X" (blue cross on white) with one sound signal and the Race Committee will attempt to notify premature starters by VHF radio; such VHF communication will replace visual and sound signals if such signals are not made (changes Rule 29).  If over early, a boat must return behind the starting line and restart.  A boat restarting has no rights.

12.1 General Recall - A General Recall will be signaled by displaying the "First Substitute" Flag (blue triangle, yellow center) with two blasts and notification by VHF radio; such VHF communication will replace visual and sound signals if such signals are not made (changes Rule 29.2). The Warning Signal for a new start will be made one minute after the "First Substitute" flag is removed, with one sound signal.

13.0 Course Change - The Race Committee may change, shorten or lengthen a leg or legs, or eliminate a leg or legs, of the course after the start and will notify boats by VHF radio before the leading yacht has begun the leg or legs being changed (changes Rules 32 & 33).

14.0 Finish - Boats will finish between the flagstaff of the Race Committee Boat and the finish mark, normally an inflated tetrahedron, as designated prior to or during the race.  The Committee Boat may be stationed at the port end of the finish line, as signaled prior to the finish on VHF radio.  The Race Committee Boat will normally display a solid Blue flag when on station at the finish.

15.0 Time Limit - The time limit for all races is 3 hours from the starting signal until the first boat crosses the finish line.  The Race Committee may retire from the course, at its sole discretion, one hour after the first boat finishes.  A boat that retires from the race shall notify the Race Committee as soon as possible.

16.0 VHF Radio - All visual and sound signals below will be replaced by VHF radio communication on Ch. 66 if the signals below are not made.

16.1 Postponement - The Answering Pennant (vertical red and white stripes) plus two sound signals means that all races not started are postponed.  The Answering Pennant will be lowered with one sound signal one minute before a new Warning Signal or Abandonment.

16.2 Abandonment - The "N" Flag (checkered blue and white) plus three sound signals, means all races are abandoned for the day.

16.3 Shortened Course - The "S" Flag (blue square on white) plus two sound signals means finish between a near mark and the Race Committee Boat.

16.4 Leg(s) Shortened - The "C" Flag plus repetitive sound signals indicates a shortening of the course (changes Rule 33(b)).

16.5 Leg(s) Lengthened - The "X" Flag plus repetitive sound signals indicates a lengthening of the course (changes Rule 33(b)).

17.0 Protests - All boats intending to PROTEST must follow these requirements:  shall hail "Protest", shall display a red flag, shall notify the Race Committee of a protest at the finish line and shall file a written protest with the Race Committee Chairman within two hours of time the last boat finishes.  Protest forms are available from the Race Committee (changes Rule 61.1 (2)).  Remember an alternative penalty may be taken: two turns (720 degrees) for breaking rules of Part 2, and one turn (360 degrees) for touching a mark.  In either case, the racer must notify the Race Committee of their decision to take the alternative penalty at the finish.  Furthermore, while taking the turns the boat has no rights on the course.

18.0 DISCLAIMER - Competitors participate in these races entirely at their own risk.  The Race Organizers will not accept any liability for damage or personal injury or death sustained in conjunction with or prior to, during, or after the race(s).  By participating in this event, each competitor agrees to release the Race Organizers (Race Committee, Protest Committee, Host Club, Sponsors, or any other organization or official) from any and all liability associated with the competitor's participation in this event.  Rule 82 shall not apply to this event.

18.1 Hold-Harmless Agreement - By participation, each boat assents to, and acknowledges acceptance of the Hopetown Sailing Club's Hold Harmless Agreement, posted on the Official Notice Board.




2020-2021 HTSC RACE COMMITTEE

Jay Evans, Chairman

Claire Estep, Dinghies

Ted Estep, Dinghies

Hasty Evans, Cruising Class

David Hanafourde, Cruising Class

Al Hefner, Cruising Class

Di Hunter, Cruising Class

Per Save, Cruising Class

Josh Whetzel, Cruising Class


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Hope Town Sailing Club


Hope Town Abaco, Bahamas


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