RSYC holds a series of Fast Sail races throughout the sailing season, with eight races on the schedule for 2020. Our Fast Sail Captain for this season is Jim Moody.
To make the events competitive, boats are handicapped using the Lake Champlain PHRF rating system. To get your boat rated, download an application here. The maximum head sail size allowed is a 155% genoa (no spinnakers permitted). Fast Sail races typically start near Point Bay Marina at 10:30.
This year, we will hold two pursuit style races, one to Westport, N.Y., in conjunction with the club weekend in Westport, and one back home to Town Farm Bay from our club weekend trip to Burlington. In pursuit style racing, start times vary depending on PHRF rating, with slower boats starting first, so the winners are determined at the finish line.
In this 2020 sailing season of social distancing, we will dispense with the usual captains’ meeting at the RSYC tent and instead make announcements prior to the start of each race on VHF Channel 8. The announcements, including which course (long or short) and other information will be made at 10:15. Please be sure to monitor your radio throughout the race.
For the non-pursuit races, all captains are to keep their own time in hours, minutes and seconds, and report to the Fast Sail captain on Channel 8 after finishing. If a boat does not make it across the starting line at the close of the five-minute start window (typically 10:30-10:35), the captain shall start recording time at the close of the start window. No motorized momentum is allowed in the starting zone or after the start window has closed. For each race, each boat will receive 1 point for starting the race; 1 point for finishing the race and 1 point for each boat they beat on corrected time. Every boat starting a Fast Sail will receive at least one point. The overall season winner will have its boat name and captain’s name engraved on the club’s John Donnelly Fast Sail Trophy.
There are multiple courses, depending on the wind strength and direction: RSYC Fast Sail Courses. The course and start times will be announced at the captains’ meeting. RSYC loosely follows the racing rules of sailing, (a great summary of the changes to the racing rules in the 2017-2020 edition from the prior one can be found by clicking here). Note that the use of autopilots is allowed, which is one local tweak to the racing rules. Fast Sails absolutely follow boating rights of way, and most importantly follow good sportsmanship. The Fast Sail captain’s decisions on the rules are final.