SYC Racing Rules 2021

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  1. Applicability of SYC Handicap & Special Requirements

The racing events conducted by the Saylorville Yacht Club shall be guided by the US Sailing Racing Rules of Sailing (RSS), as amended by these SYC Racing Rules 2021 (SYC Rules).Handicap adjustments shall be made for non-standard yachts in accordance with Appendix A.

  1. Shifting Ballast

Shifting ballast, such as water ballast or an extendable keel, is not permitted unless it is included in the yacht’s handicap rating. One Design (OD) yachts racing in OD Fleets may remove their transom-mounted engines if permitted by class rules. For all other Fleets, transom mounted engines may be removed from the transom or tilted up or mechanically lifted. For those yachts that elect to leave the engine on the transom, either tilted up or mechanically lifted, this position shall beunderstoodasthenormalracingpositionforatransommountedengine.SYCRule

  1. amends RRS51.

  1. SYC Race Committee

The SYC Race Committee shall consist of the Race Director, the previous year’s Race Director, all Fleet Captain(s) or a representative from each fleet in that particular series, and a SYC Ratings representative appointed by the Race Director.

Fleets in section1.3 of the SYC Rules are defined for the governance of the racing program, not necessarily for each specific racing event.

Fleets are defined as 5 registered boats in any series defined as either being a One-Design fleet (5 boats of the same class) or 5 boats with SYC handicap ratings over 200 or greater and 5 boats with a SYC handicap rating under 200 or five boats above and below a logical break in the SYC handicap ratings. The “logical break” will be determined by the Race Director. The SYC handicap fleet will only be defined as an A and B fleet when both fleets have 5 or more boats.

The Commodore may be asked to participate as a voting member on decisive matters.The Race Director shall serve as SYC Race Committee Chair.


  1. Owner/Skipper

It is suggested that all yachts have a current copy of the US SAILING Racing Rules of Sailingwhich govern all racing activities as amended by these rules.

  1. SYC Responsibility

Competitors participate in the SYC series events entirely at their own risk. See RRS3, Decision to Race. The organizing authority (SYC) will not accept any liability for material damage or personal injury or death sustained in conjunction with or prior to, during, or after the race that is part of any SYC series or regatta.

  1. Racing Insurance

All yachts shall carry adequate liability insurance that covers club racing and provide proof of this insurance upon request.

  1. Safety

All participants are responsible to equip their boats with the necessary safety equipment. The SYC racing program requires that all participating boats have a working VHF radio on board in order to communicate and receive communications from the Race Committee.


  1. Yacht Ownership

Only a yacht owned by or under full season charter to a SYC member in good standing will be scored in any closed (not open to the public) SYC race event or series. A yacht may not participate in any race or series or be scored for any race or series prior to the date upon which their annual club dues are paid.

  1. Member Onboard Requirement

Each yacht owned by or under full season charter to a SYC member participating in a SYC race event or series shall have at least one SYC member in good standing on board from the Warning Signal to when the yacht finishes or withdraws from a race.

  1. Race Series

A race series is defined as a group of two or more races. Trophies for each race series are defined in each series Notice of Race and Sailing Instructions. Prizes will not be awarded for the Wednesday Series.

  1. Handicaps, Data Forms, and Declarations

Boats competing in any SYC handicap scored races will be assigned a PHRF handicap rating by the SYC Race Committee. The SYC Race committee may ask each boat to prepare a handicap data form identifying the exact make, model, year of the yacht and key dimensional information. Any changes from the standard production yacht that have been made shall be identified.

Yachts may change their data form and their participation in a series, but no later than the day of the first race in that series. The Race Committee shall assign a handicap rating to each yacht in accordance with similar PHRF handicaps or according to a valid LMPHRF rating certificate. Yachts claiming a spinnaker in a series will have a base rating which includes the spinnaker.

  1. Measurement

Boats may be asked to measure their largest headsail, any main sail that has been changed in size or configuration or custom designed and spinnaker(s), as designated on their handicap data form,measured prior to participating in each racing series.

(Participants in the Wednesday Night Series who do not have their sails measured will be assigned a SYC handicap rating by the Handicap Fleet Committee Chairperson).

A member of the Race Committee working with the person in charge of the boat shall perform the measurement. It is the responsibility of the boat owner to assure that new sails are measured in a timely manner, prior to the use of the sail in a series. This requirement does not in any way limit the rights of the Race Committee to measure other sails, spars,or other yacht parameters if they appear to be inconsistent with a yacht’s rating.

Yachts participating in the Wednesday Night Series that do not have a SYC handicap will be given a rating by the Race Director to facilitate the starting group.

  1. Fleet Declaration

No yacht may change Fleets during a series.

  1. State and Federal Requirements

Each participating yacht shall have onboard the boating safety equipment as required by the Federal Government, and/or State of Iowa for that size yacht. Each yacht shall also have the proper state and/or federal government registration documentation and shall display the required licenses, numbers, decals, etc. as required by law.

  1. Autopilots

Autopilots may not be used in any series, from the Warning Signal until a yacht has

finished and is no longer racing or has with drawn from a race.


The races shall take place in the waters of the Saylorville Lake, located adjacent to Polk City, Iowa. Races shall be conducted between the dam and the Route 415 Bridge (Mile Long Bridge).

  1. Measurement Inquiries or Protest

A formal protest may be lodged by any competitor against any yacht of the same fleet with just cause to believe modifications have taken place after certification in accordance with RRS Rule78.1.


  1. Points System

Scoring for each race shall be done using SYC handicap ratings as calculated by Appendix A . Elapsed times will be calculated using a Time-on-Time Scoring System as defined by US PHRF. Boats that only have Dixie Portsmouth Numbers (D-PN) as a handicap will be converted to a PHRF handicap using the conversion factor defined by US PHRF.

  1. Counting Races

A race counts for any series if two (2) yachts in that fleet start the race and at least one (1) yacht finishes.

  1. Posting of Race Results

Race results will be posted on the SYC website as soon as possible. Postings shall

include a yacht’s SYC handicap rating for each race in all series.


  1. Fleet Series Awards

Each Fleet in a series, except the Wednesday Series, shall receive awards based on participation. The number of awards will be left to the discretion of the SYC race director. There will be no awards for the Wednesday Series.

  1. Dan Wisnousky Memorial Trophy

This award shall be a traveling trophy awarded to the winner of the SYC handicap Buoy Course combined fleet at the Regatta. Only boats sailing on the Buoy Course shall be eligible for this trophy. Only races in which all fleets sailed the exact same course races shall be used in the calculation. If, for some reason, a buoy course is not sailed at the Memorial Regatta, the Dan Wisnousky Memorial Trophy will not be awarded.

  1. Dr. Keith Riggins Memorial Trophy

This traveling trophy shall be awarded to the winner of the Distance Fleet Series at the Regatta. Only boats sailing the Distance course shall be eligible for this trophy. This trophy will not be awarded if a distance course is not sailed at the Memorial Regatta.

  1. Overall Regatta winner – Commodore’s Trophy

This traveling trophy shall be awarded to the boat that beats the most boats in the SYC Regatta.

  1. Ownership of traveling trophies

The Dan Wisnousky Memorial Trophy, the Dr. Keith Riggins Memorial Trophy, and the Commodore’s Trophy are each the property of the Saylorville Yacht Club and are awarded to the skippers of the winning boats at the SYC Annual meeting and shall be returned to SYC at or before the next SYC Regatta.

  1. Sportsman of the Year Trophy

This award shall be given to the skipper who exhibited the most yachtsmanship or sportsmanship conduct, i.e. helping others, most improved sailor, or most sportsmanlike behavior as selected at the discretion of the SYC Board of Directors.


  1. The Club Race Director is solely responsible for any change or assignment of Committee Boat duty.

  1. Each race of each series will be administered by a Race Committee. One member of the committee will be designated as the Principal Race Officer (PRO).

b) The PRO shall establish the Course to be raced for all Fleets.

d) The PRO shall run the races using established race management practices as described by The Racing Rules of Sailing 2017-2020.


The SYC race director will be responsible for modifying the SYC Racing Rules, the Notice of Race for the club series events (Buoy, Distance, OD, or Wednesday night), but not the Club Regatta or any other non-series event regatta. This modifies RRS89.2(a)andRRS90.2(a).

SYC Racing Rules 2021 Appendix A

The SYC handicap rating of each yacht participating in a SYC scored race, excluding one design events with handicap scoring, shall have its standard rating adjusted for the variations from the standard configuration and/or Standard Dimensions as defined in the US Sailing Performance Handicap Racing Fleet Handbook using the following adjustment factors. Changes made to a standard configuration not addressed in the adjustments below shall be considered on a case by case basis. Each adjustment is additive to the yacht’s standard SYC rating.

Sail and Rig Definitions

I-Foretriangle height, distance measured vertically from the point of intersection of the forestay with the deck to a horizontal line which intersects the point where the forestay is attached to the mast.

J - Fore triangle base, distance measured horizontal from the point of intersection of the forestay with the deck to the front side of the mast. This dimension must be measured horizontal and not at an angle. If the cabin top extends above the deck, the measurement must be taken above the cabin top.

P-Vertical length of the “potential” main luff, distance measured from the top of the boom at the mast to highest point to which mainsail head can be raised. For yachts so equipped, this distance can be measured between the lower edge of the upper black band around the mast and the upper edge of a lower black band around the mast.

E - Horizontal length of the “potential” main foot, distance measured along the top of the boomfromthemasttoendoftheboomortotheforwardedgeoftheblack band around the boom near the end of the boom. “E” is assumed to be measured at 90 degrees to “P”.

LP - Distance from the “projected” corner of the jib (genoa) at the clew to the outside edge of the luff measured perpendicular to the luff. The “projected”corner for determining the LP is found by extending the edge of the leech and the edge of the foot to a point of intersection in smooth continuous curves. These are imaginary lines that may not necessarily meet on the actual sail.

SA SailArea

Sail Area Formulas

Standard (STD) Sail Area Formulas

Use the rig dimensions for the “standard class boat” from the manufacturer specifications or the measurements taken on the boat. If required numbers are not available from either source, use the following:

Jib Area = (1.02 · I · 1.55 · J)/2Spinnaker(1) =.87 · I· 1.8· J Mainsail Area =.6· P · E

(1)For all spinnakers including cruising spinnakers and asymmetrical spinnakers.

Actual Sail Area Formulas

Use actual dimensions for sails and rig. If rig has not been modified from standard, standard rig dimensions may be used.

Jib Area = .50· Length of Luff· LP

Spinnaker Area = .87·Length of Luff (SL)·Max. Girth(SMW)

Asymmetrical SpinnakerCruising Spinnaker Area = .72· Length of Luff (SL) ·Max. Girth (SMW)

= [.72 · (Length of Luff + Length of Leech)/2] ·Max. Girth(SMW)

Mainsail Area = [3·Main Foot(E)+4 · Main Mid-Girth(MGM) + 4 · Main Upper Girth (MGU) +Headboard Width(HB)]·Main Luff(P)/12


Rating adjustments are based on sail area (SA).

Boats are rated based on the actual sail area of their largest mainsail. Rating adjustments are based on sail are a change over or under the total area of the standard (STD) sails, resulting from a non-standard mainsail. A standard mainsail has a standard “P” and a standard “E”. Non-standard mainsails can result from changes in actual mainsail “P” or “E” (resulting in smaller or larger than standard mainsails), extra roach, extra luff curve, etc.


Determine the SAFM rating adjustment by referring to the SAFM table below.


1.170 –up





- 9


- 6


- 3











0.809 --lower


  1. Jib Sail Area

Jib Sail Area Factor (JSAF) = (Actual Jib SA + STD Main SA) / (STD 155% Jib +STD Main SA)

JSAF Range Rating Adjustment Jib Size Code








- 9



- 6



- 3




















  1. Roller furling adjustments

There will be no roller furler credit for One Design boats that have roller furlers as standard OEM equipment.

All roller furling sails must have the foot of the sail six (6) inches or more above the deck and a Jib Sail Area Factor (JSAF) no larger than 1.000 or they will lose three (3) seconds from any roller furling adjustment.

Standard” Roller Furler set-up -- A boat that uses only the one headsail claimed and does not change headsails for varying conditions and the sail has an UV cover: +6seconds.

Performance” Roller Furler set-up -- A boat that will be using a roller furling headsail that does NOT have an UV cover or has an inventory of more than one furling headsail and plans to change headsails for varying conditions:+3seconds.

  1. Spinnaker Sail Area

A symmetric spinnaker is to be defined as having luff and leech within 2% of each other and being symmetric about the centerline in shape and material. Adjustment is normally based on the largest spinnaker.

Spinnaker Sail Area Factor (SSAF) (Actual Spinnaker SA+STD Main SA)/(STD Spinnaker +STD Main SA)


RangeRating AdjustmentSpinnakerAdj. Code

1.3150 --UP



1.2850 --1.3149



1.2550 --1.2849



1.2250 --1.2549



1.1950 --1.2249



1.1650 --1.1949



1.1350 --1.1649



1.1050 --1.1349

- 9


1.0750 --1.1049

- 6


1.0150 --1.0749

- 3


0.9550 --1.0149

- 0


0.8950 --0.9549



0.8350 --0.8949



0.7750 --0.8349



0.7150 --0.7749



0.5000 --0.7149



  1. Staysails

No adjustment for staysails flown in addition to a spinnaker, if they are between the spinnaker sheet and the spinnaker guy. Staysails shall not extend aft of the mast or forward of the forestay. The tack of the sail shall be attached to the foredeck and the sail shall not be attached tot he forestay.

  1. Asymmetrical Spinnakers

An asysmetric spinnaker is defined as having over 5% difference in luff and leech lengths. Boats flying an asymmetric spinnaker shall report how the sail will be attached to the boat (i.e. centerline tacked on bow, on fixed sprit, on articulating sprit, pole, etc.).If a boat has multiple asymmetric spinnakers that attached in different manners, the largest of each must be reported separately.

Spinnaker Mid-Girth (SMG) must be at least 75% of the spinnaker foot (SF) and at least 1.7 times the longer of the “J” or the spinnaker pole length, otherwise it is considered a jib. If attached to the forestay along the luff it shall be treated as a jib. Calculate the actual or non-standard spinnaker sail area and rating adjustment using the formula in B above.

  1. Non-Spinnaker  (No Flying Sails)

To be eligible for a non-spinnaker rating a boat shall not fly a spinnaker or a staysail and shall use a jib or genoa as the only headsail. The luff of the sail shall be attached to the forestay along its entire length with hanks or headfoil. Ratings adjustments are based upon the largest jib declared for a given race series.



S, 1,2,3


4, 5,6


7, 8,9,L


  1. Spinnaker Pole Length Adjustment

Standard Length Pole

Spinnaker Adj. Code Allowable Spinnaker Pole Length (ASPL)

5, 4,3,2,1, S “J” Dimension

6, 7,8,9,W,X, Y, Z  Longer of “J” Dimension or Spinnaker Max Girth (SMW)/1.8

Pole Length Rating Adjustment

=or <ASPL








Ratings for adjustable poles shall be based upon their maximum extendable range. An extendable bowsprit or bow pole is not a spinnaker pole; however, unless rated as part of the standard configuration and class rating, their length shall be rated as an over-length spinnaker pole using the table above.

  1. Whisker Poles

Allowable Whisker Pole Length (AWPL)=Longerof“J”or0.75*LP Pole Length Rating Adjustment

=or <AWPL








Adjustable whisker poles shall be rated at their maximum extended length unless they are made non-adjustable while racing and clearly marked so that the pole rated length can be determined.

  1. Engines and Propellers

Each yacht shall have an electric or internal combustion engine. Boats without board engines shall have engines with at least horsepower per 1,000lbs.of boat weight.

Inboard Rating Adjustment Rating  Adjustment

Folding or Feathering Propeller  0

Fixed Two Blade in Aperture  0

Fixed Two Blade Not in Aperture + 6 

Fixed Three Blade in Aperture + 6 

Fixed Three Blade Not in Aperture+12

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