Cruiser Class Racing

We are a group of casual racers who race according to 2 primary rules: sail safe and have fun (ask me about the 3rd rule when we are enjoying a post race cocktail). Our boats are to be enjoyed.

We divide the racers into 2 groups based on the PHRF (relative speed) rating of their boat. If you don’t have a PHRF, we’ll look one up for you. Click here for more info on sailing handicaps in general and PHRF in particular.

The slower boats start first followed by the faster boats 5 minutes later. There is a 5 minute countdown (the starting sequence) before each start.

The starting line will typically be a line between one of the race marks and a temporary buoy set perpendicular to the course of the first leg. It will be announced at the skipper’s meeting and via VHF if it is different.

The goal is to cross the starting line as close as possible to the starting time without crossing the line early. If you do cross early, you must turn around and re-cross the starting line.

A typical race day looks like the following:

Night before:
You will receive an e-mail with some general info about the expected weather and probable course (if the forecast holds). It will also include a link for the next morning’s virtual skipper’s meeting.

Race Day:
9:00 – Skipper’s meeting. We meet at the pavilion at the end of the 400 dock. Usually only takes about 10 or 15 minutes. Any questions answered. Probable course set. Boats head for the race course afterwards.

9:30-ish – We are out on the course. Actual conditions observed. Course is set. Starting line is set. Final course is announced via VHF channel 71.

10:00 – Starting sequence for the first start (the slower boats). The race committee will make VHF announcements at 5 minutes, 4 minutes, 1 minute, and a 5 second countdown to the start. Also, please forgive the race committee because I’ve been known to miss the 4 minute announcement…

10:05 – Start for Cruise 2 (the slower boats). This also serves as the start of the 5 minute sequence for Cruise 1 (the faster boats). Same VHF procedure applies for this starting sequence.

10:10 – Start for Cruise 1

Our buoy race courses will normally be sausage shaped… we will start at the center mark, race to one of the outer marks, round it, and head for the opposite mark. Finish happens back at the center mark. If the breeze is up, we’ll do 2 laps.

If the weather really cooperates, we’ll race to the weather buoy and back.

After crossing the finish line, you can report your finish time to the race committee via VHF or text (number provided in the email and at the skipper’s meeting).

As always, if you have questions before the race or during the race, do not hesitate to contact the race committee on the radio. We are here to help.

After all boats have finished, the times will be entered into the scoring spreadsheet, sent out via email, and posted on this website.

I cannot stress this enough: if you have any questions (before, during, or after), reach out to the group (cruiserclass@googlegroups.com) or reach out to me directly (stephemd@gmail.com). We do this because it is fun and we all love it.

Day after the race:
I send out revised results because I somehow screwed up the scoring again. Only half joking…