Bringing Racing to the Upper Bay

General Race Procedures


In the vicinity of Betterton, near Mark “Y” at 1030. Non-members must check in with the Committee Boat at least one half-hour before the start to receive and return the Liability Waiver Form. Waiver forms for members are sent with the membership renewal forms annually. ALL BOAT MUST HAVE SIGNED A WAIVER TO RACE.

Classes and Times

The Committee Boat will provide starts for two classes – Spinnaker (S) and Non-Spinnaker / Single Headsail (NS). Boats starting in the S class will fly any code flag 6 through 9 (corresponding to the CBYRA spinnaker classes) from their backstay or stern pulpit. Boats racing in the NS class will fly Code Flag 5.
The schedule for the starting sequence is given below:

One blast or cannon, White Flag
White flag is dropped, no sound
One blast or cannon, Blue Flag
Blue flag is dropped, no sound
One blast or cannon, Red Flag
Spinnaker Start
Red flag is dropped, no sound
One blast or cannon, Red Flag
Non-Spinnaker Start

Start Line

The START line for the Series Races, termed “Y”, will be located between Lloyd’s Creek and Betterton in the lower Sassafras River, between an ORANGE buoy and the YELLOW flag on the Committee Boat.
The Committee Boat may use a white standoff buoy It is to be honored, but is NOT a mark of the line at the START. It is only used as an extension of the Committee Boat for its safety. No boat shall sail between the standoff mark and the Committee Boat after the preparatory signal for their class start. Doing so shall invoke the 360° penalty.

Finish Line

The finish line, normally at “Y”, will be between the ORANGE pin buoy and the WHITE stand off buoy, crossing in the direction from the previously rounded mark. Click here for specific details of the procedures when the Committee Boat is racing.


Click here for the club race mark locations. These are no longer the same as the CBYRA Greenbook. These are our marks as reflected in the handbook.  Separate courses could be posted for each class.
The course to be sailed will be designated by letters displayed on the Committee Boat, preceded by a Code Flag 6 for the S Class, and Code Flag 5 for the NS class, when separate courses are set. Marks shall be passed in the order displayed, reading left to right. Marks posted with red background shall be left to port; those with a green background are to be left to starboard. If the numeral “2” appears in the course posting, all marks preceding the numeral shall be passed twice in the order displayed. The letter “Y” posted last in each course sequence represents the Finish Line. If “Y” appears in the middle of a course, it represents the red pin buoy as the mark to be rounded, not the Committee Boat and definitely not the white standoff mark.

  • FG2Y = FGFGY (Finish)
  • FGY2 = FGY (buoy) FGY (finish)
  • BEFY = BEFY (finish)

Drop Buoy Races Days, when scheduled, shall take on a slight different format than typical “round the buoy racing”. Click here for details.
It will be helpful for boats to check in with the Committee Boat prior to the start to receive any special instructions. No course change will be made after the Spinnaker Class prep signal, without posting the AP flag and postponing the race for a restart.

VHF Communications

The Committee Boat will monitor VHF channel 68 during the race. Recalls will be announced on the radio as will other information during the race.


Boats withdrawing from the race are asked to advise the Committee Boat by VHF radio (channel 68).


The Committee Boat will monitor the Start Line to ensure a fair start:

  • Individual recall – Code Flag “X” followed by one blast of the horn for each boat over. Recalled boats will be hailed with a Loud Hailer and on Channel 68.
  • General recall – Code Flag “First Substitute” followed by one long blast of the horn, and announcement on a Loud Hailer and on Channel 68. In the case of a General Recall, the recalled class will start five minutes after the last starting class.


Races may be cancelled and not rescheduled when:

  • No “S” class boat finishes before 1600, the S class race will be cancelled
  • No “NS” class boat finishes before 1605, the NS class race will be cancelled.

Shorten Course

The Committee Boat may, at its discretion, shorten the course at a Turning Mark. In this case, the Race Committee Boat will be stationed at the new Finish Mark (an original mark of the course, new Marks MAY NOT be added) before any of the other fleet can round, and will fly Code Flag “S”.
The finish will be between the Mark and the RC Boat with the finish line perpendicular to the course from the previously rounded Mark, leaving the Mark to its posted side.
If the lead boat in her class determines, arithmetically, that she cannot finish from her present position within the time limit based on the average speed of 7 knots, (at 7 knots, a boat will cover one nautical mile in 8 minutes 34 seconds), this information must be communicated to the race committee boat for a decision. The Race Committee Boat decision is FINAL.

Rules and Penalties

The 2001 – 2004 version of the U.S. Sailing Association Racing Rules will apply, except protest situations will be handled in the following manner. Skippers recognizing that they have committed a foul to another boat, and/or notified by the skipper of the fouled boat, shall carry out a 720° penalty on their own. Touching a mark requires carrying out a 360° penalty. The penalty shall be taken as soon after the incident as possible after getting clear of other boats.
Concerns regarding a violation of the rules by another boat can be brought to the attention of that boat during or after the race on a skipper-to-skipper basis. This will upgrade our understanding of the rules and improve the quality of the racing.
Repetitive concerns should be brought to the attention of the GRF Race Committee.

Scoring and publication of results

The results will be posted on the GRF web site or communicated within the week by email or US mail to race skippers.
Low point scoring will be used for each series. However, to be scored in the series races, and to be eligible for Series Trophies, both Spinnaker and Non-Spinnaker class boats must meet the following requirements:

  • Must have valid PHRF rating.
  • Must be paid up members of the GRF by, at the latest, the start of the second race of each Series.
  • Must start in at least three races in each Series.

In each race, a boat’s score will be its finishing position among GRF boats, adjusted for handicap, (1 for a win, 3 for a third, etc.) A boat, which starts but does not finish, gets a score equal to the total number of boats in its class in that race plus one.
The series winner will be the boat with the lowest score from its best three races. In the event of ties after three races, the tie will be broken by comparing scores in the fourth race, then fifth race and, if necessary, by following the procedure in the USSA Racing Rules of Sailing, Appendix A-8.

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