Hope Town Sailing Club, Abaco, Bahamas

2021 Dinghy Racing Schedule (All Sundays) and Rules

For Races to be held, a Committee Boat and a Mark Boat must be volunteered, usually, but not always, from Club members. To volunteer for either of these essential services, and enjoy a day on the water, please sign up in the clubhouse, or contact the race committee chairman. Volunteers are invited to the post race Stand-Up social gathering at the clubhouse.


Sunday, 10th January 2021

Sunday 24th, January 2021

Sunday 7th, February 2021

Sunday 21st, February 2021

Sunday 7th, March 2021

Sunday, 21st, March 2021

About Dinghy Racing

A Six-Race Dinghy Series is held every year. You do not have to be a club member, and there is no entry fee. Races start at 1:00 p.m., just outside the Hope Town Harbor entrance. The Hope Town event is open to:

1- Abaco Dinghies 2- Sunfish 3-Junior Optimist Dinghies 4- 420's

Registration may done at the skippers’ meeting at 11:30 A.M. on race day, or given to the committee boat, immediately prior to the start of the races. Race instructions will be available at that time, or from "Solitaire 1" in Hope Town Harbor prior to race day.

All race participants are welcome at a informal Awards Stand-up at the Clubhouse immediately following the races. Bring your own refreshments while the sailors discuss the races and the awards are presented.

Sunfish racing has become very popular, and there are between 8 and 15 sailors competing in most races. There are 7 HTSC Sunfish available to members, courtesy of the Junior Sailing Program, and they are raced by both juniors and adults (see guidelines below). There is also a growing number of both members and non-members who have their own Sunfish who participate in the racing, and others are always welcome.  Participation by Junior Sailors in their Optimist Dinghies has also been a great addition to the Dinghy Series.

Dinghy racing is a great Spectator Sport.  

Bring a boatload of your friends and cheer on your favorite!

2020-2021 Race Committee

David Allin, Chairman

Linda Eshleman, Secretary & Dinghies

Catherine Allin, Big Boats & Dinghies

Di Hunter, Big Boats & Dinghies

Ted Estep, Big Boats & Dinghies

Claire Estep, Big Boats & Dinghies

Hope Town Sailing Club Rules & Guidelines

For Sunfish, Abaco Dinghies, 420s, and Optimists

1. RULES- Races are governed by ISAF Racing Rules and the prescriptions of the U.S. Sailing Association, subject to change by the HTSC Race Committee Sailing Instructions and these specific Dinghy Sailing Instructions.

2.NOTICES TO THE COMPETITORS will be posted on the official Notice Board located in the Club House. (Note: “Notice of Race” consists solely of the HTSC Annual Race Calendar posted on the Official Notice Board).


3.1 Races are open to Sunfish, Abaco Dinghies, Optimist Dinghies, and 420s. The HTSC Race Committee may declare any boat ineligible at its sole discretion.

3.2 Handicaps where applicable are determined at the sole discretion of the Hope Town Sailing Club Race Committee.

4.CLASS FLAGS - For all participating classes the class flag shall be a red rectangle flag.


5.1 A Skipper’s meeting will be held in the Clubhouse at 11.30 am on the morning of the race series.  Any skipper who cannot attend may register on the course, prior to the start of the first race, by sailing past the transom of the Committee boat, and giving their name and sail number, but skippers are urged to attend, in order to be briefed on the race course and special instructions.

5.2 All skippers are requested to sail past the transom of the Committee boat before the start of the first race, whether or not they attended the Skipper’s meeting, to confirm their participation, and to provide their name and sail number.


6.1 The course will be announced at the Skipper’s Meeting, but may be changed by the Race Committee at any time, to allow for prevailing weather conditions.

6.2 Sunfish and 420s will normally sail a six leg course, of a triangle followed by windward, leeward, windward legs.

6.3 Abaco Dinghies and Optimists will normally sail the triangular course: windward, reach, reach, and windward to the finish.

6.4 All marks will be left to Port.  A boat may not sail through the starting line, except for the start and the finish.  Disqualification shall result from infraction of this rule.

6.5 A course sketch is available from the Race Committee


7.1 All turning marks of the course will normally be inflatable tetrahedrons

7.2 The starting mark (outer limit buoy) normally is a round inflated ball.

7.3 The "inner limit buoy" (barging buoy) is normally a round inflated ball.


8.1 The first race will start at 1.00 pm.  The starting sequence will be conducted under Rule 26. A Warning signal will be given five minutes before the start.  Flag and sound signals are as follows:

Signal                          Flag                                         Sound                          Minute before start

Warning                       Red flag hoisted                      1 Sound                                  5

Preparatory                 “I” flag hoisted                        1 Sound                                  4

One-minute                 “I” flag removed                      1 Sound                                  1

Start                            Red flag removed                    1 Sound                                   0

8.2 When more than one Class is participating, the warning signal for each subsequent class will be one minute after the previous start.  The order of starts for each race will be Sunfish, followed by Abaco dinghies, and Optimists and 420s starting last, on a split starting line.

8.3 Number of Races:  If possible, three races will be conducted for each Class.  The starting sequence for Races 2 and 3 will begin with a warning signal approximately five minutes after the last place finisher of the previous race, with the aim of commencing the sequence on an exact five minute time,  -  e.g. at 2.25 pm or 2.50 pm as convenient.

8.4 The starting line will be set approximately half way up the windward leg.  The starting line will be between the telescopic flagstaff from which the signal flags are flown, and a round mark for the pin end of the line.

8.5 When approaching the line to start, boats shall pass between the inner limit buoy (barging buoy) and the outer distance mark (pin end, inflatable round mark). Race participants shall not pass between the inner limit buoy 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.

8.6 The One Minute Rule will be in effect at all times.  Any boat over the starting line during the one minute before its start must go around one or the other end of the starting line in order to start correctly.  Failure to do so will lead to a disqualification.  The One Minute Rule is shown to be in effect by the use of the “I” flag (yellow with a black ball) as the Preparatory signal.

8.7 Any boat that has broken any of the Racing Rules shall do a One Turn Penalty (360 degrees) as soon as possible after the infringement, to exonerate themselves from a protest or disqualification.  If the Race Committee observes an infringement of the rules, and the offending boat does not execute the One Turn Penalty, the Race committee may disqualify the offending boat. (Changes Rule 44.1).


9.1 Individual recalls will be signaled by signal flag “X” (blue cross on white) with one sound signal.  The Race Committee will attempt to notify premature starters verbally.

9.2 A General recall will be signaled by the “First substitute pennant” (blue triangle with a yellow center), and two sound signals.  The warning signal for a fresh start will be made one minute after the “First substitute pennant” is removed, with one sound signal.

10.THE FINISH - Boats will finish between the telescopic flag staff on the Race Committee Boat and the finish mark, normally an inflated round ball (usually the same mark used as the starting mark).


11.1 A postponement is signaled by the “Answering pennant” (vertical red and white stripes) with two sound signals. The “Answering pennant” will be removed one minute before a new warning signal, together with one sound signal.

11.2 A cancellation or abandonment is signaled by Code Flag “N” (checkered blue and white) plus three sound signals


12.1 Life jackets (personal flotation devices) shall be worn by all competitors in any dinghy race under the auspices of the Hope Town Sailing Club.  Failure to follow this Rule will lead to an automatic disqualification of the offending skipper by the Race Committee.

13.DISCLAIMER OF LIABILITY - Competitors participate in these races entirely at their own risk. (See Rule 4).  The Race Organizers will not accept any liability for material damage or personal injury or death sustained in conjunction with, or prior to, or after the races.  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.

Sunfish Sailing Guidelines

Junior Sailors have priority for the use of Hope Town Junior Sailing (HTJS) Sunfish. For any other usage, the following guidelines will apply:

The Sunfish Fleet Captain will check out the prospective sailor, who is then required to sign a “Hold Harmless Agreement.”

At least two people must go out, either on one or two Sunfish, or one Sunfish and a chase boat.

Each Sunfish must be skippered by a Club member or other person who has been checked out by the Sunfish Fleet Captain for competence in sailing a Sunfish, and approved by an HTSC Board Member.

Life jackets must be worn.

Boats and sails must be put away clean, and sails rinsed with fresh water.

Sailors are responsible for costs and repairs for any damage to Sunfish, Club equipment and/or another boat. Any damage must be reported at the end of each usage to the Sunfish Fleet Captain.

There is no fee for using the Sunfish. This is Junior Sailing’s way of saying “Thank you” to all HTSC members whose generous donations made it possible to purchase these boats.

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Hope Town Abaco, Bahamas

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