SYC Racing Rules 2019

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1.1 Applicability of PHRF & Special Requirements 

The racing events conducted by the Saylorville Yacht Club shall be guided by the PHRF handicapping system and its rules. Adjustments shall be made for non-standard yachts in accordance with Appendix A. 

1.2 Shifting Ballast 

Shifting ballast, such as water ballast or an extendable keel, is not permitted unless it is included in the yacht’s PHRF 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 be understood as the normal racing position for a transom mounted engine. SYC Rule 1.2 amends RRS 51. 

1.3 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 PHRF Ratings representative appointed by the Race Director. 

Fleets in section 1.3 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 PHRF ratings over 200 or greater and 5 boats with a PHRF rating under 200 or five boats above and below a logical break in the PHRF ratings. The “logical break” will be determined by the Race Director. The PHRF fleet will only 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.  


2.1 Owner/Skipper 

It is suggested that all yachts have a current copy of the US SAILING Racing Rules of Sailing (RRS) 2017-2020. 

2.2 SYC Responsibility 

Competitors participate in the SYC series events entirely at their own risk. See RRS 4, 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 the SYC series or regatta. 

2.3 Racing Insurance 

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

2.4 Safety 

All participants are responsible to equip their boats with the necessary safety equipment. The SYC racing program requires that all participating boats to have a working VHF radio on board in order to communicate and receive communications from the Race Committee. A boat shall not be penalized for breaking this rule without prior warning and an opportunity to make a correction. 


3.1 Yacht Ownership 

Only a yacht owned by or under full season charter to a SYC member in good standing shall 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 annual club dues are paid. 

3.2 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 onboard from the Warning Signal to when the yacht Finishes or Withdraws from a race. 

3.3 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 shall not be awarded for the Wednesday Series. 

3.4 PHRF Handicaps, Data Forms, and Declarations 

Yachts competing in any SYC PHRF scored races, excluding the SYC Regatta, shall prepare a PHRF 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. This form shall be submitted before the season begins (before the first race of the Spring Series) and shall identify: 

(1) all series, other than the Regatta, in which yacht plans to participate, 

(2) the largest headsail the yacht will carry in each series, 

(3) any alterations to the hull, keel or boat itself, and 

(4) if the yacht will fly a spinnaker in each series. 

Each yacht shall be scored for all races in all series designated on the registration form. Yachts starting races that they did not designate on the PHRF Data Form will not be scored in those races. 

Yachts may change their PHRF Data Form and their participation in a particular series, but no later than the day of the first race in that series. The Race Committee shall assign a PHRF rating to each yacht in accordance with the PHRF regulations. Yachts claiming a spinnaker in a series will have a base rating which includes the spinnaker. 

3.5 Measurement 

All yachts participating in the Buoy, Distance, One Design, or Wednesday (registered New Racers only) Series shall have their largest headsail, any main sail that has been changed in size or configuration or custom designed and spinnaker(s), as designated on their PHRF Data Form, measured prior to participating in the that series or as new sails are acquired. (Participants in the Wednesday Night Series who do not have their sails measured will be assigned a PHRF rating by the PHRF Committee Chairperson. A member of the Race Committee 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 PHRF Certificate will be given a rating by the Race Director to facilitate scoring. 

3.6 Fleet Declaration 

No yacht may change Fleets during a series. 

3.5 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. 

3.6 Autopilots 

Autopilots may not be used in any series, from the Warning Signal until a yacht has finished or has withdrawn 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). 


All break walls, including the ones at the Cherry Glen and Lakeview Recreation Areas, are considered to be obstructions for any course. All Iowa Department of Natural Resources (DNR) or Corps of Engineers designated anchorages and swimming areas are considered to be obstructions for any course. 


6.1 Starting Area 

The Starting Area is defined as the area extending 200 feet (approximately 8 boat lengths) in all directions from the Starting Line. During the starting sequence, the Starting Area is reserved for the Fleet who's Warning Signal has been sounded. Boats that are not in their starting sequence are asked to please keep clear of this area. 

6.2 Weather Related Postponement or Abandonment 

The Saylorville Yacht Club recognizes that the safety of its members is the highest priority when conducting on the water events. The Principal Race Officer for an event should use their best judgment in deciding if conditions are safe for the participants. Safety considerations may include, but are not limited to, wind conditions, storms, the presence of lightning and temperature. 

Participants of any SYC Racing event are reminded of US Sailing Rule 4 – Decision to Race. The responsibility for a boat’s decision to participate in a race or to continue racing is hers alone. 


7.1 Off Station Marks 

In the event that a mark of the course is off station, the Principal Race Officer shall decide if it is far enough out of position to have a significant impact upon the race results. If the impact is significant and it provides an unfair advantage for one or more yachts in the fleet, the race may be abandoned. 


8.1 General Procedure 

a) The PRO shall organize a protest committee if one is needed. 

b) In the event that the hearing must be rescheduled, the PRO shall contact all parties and arrange a suitable hearing date, preferably prior to the next scheduled race of the series. 

Utilize the Electronic Protest Submission as needed.

8.2 Measurement Protests 

A formal protest may be lodged by any member against any yacht of the same Fleet with just cause to believe modifications have taken place after certification in accordance with RRS Rule 78.1. 

Utilize the Electronic Protest Submission as needed.


9.1 Points System 

Scoring for each race shall be done using SYC PHRF handicap ratings as defined in Appendix A, in a Time-on-Time Scoring System. 

9.2 Counting Races 

A race counts for any series as long as two (2) yachts in that Fleet start the race and at least one (1) yacht finishes. In the Buoy Series when only one registered yacht from a fleet races, that yacht’s score will be used in the Overall Trophy computation, but not in the fleet computation. 

9.3 Posting of Race Results 

Race results will be posted on the SYC web site as soon as possible. Postings shall include a yacht’s PHRF rating for each race in all series. 


10.1 Fleet Series Awards

Each Fleet in a series, except the Wednesday Series, shall receive awards based on participation. If the series has 5-7 boats registered, then First and Second place awards will be given, if more than 7 boats register then First, Second, and Third place awards will be given. If fewer than 5 boars are registered for a series, the Race Director will decide how many trophies will be awarded. Boats receiving an award must participate in at least 50% of the races in that series. Note, in accordance with Paragraph 3.2, the yacht owner need not be onboard for a race to qualify under the at least 50% race participation requirement in the Buoy, Distance and Single Handed Series. There will be no awards for the Wednesday Series. 

10.2 Dan Wisnousky Memorial Trophy 

This award shall be a traveling trophy awarded to the winner of the PHRF 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. The winner shall keep the trophy for one year and upon returning it to the club. 

If, for some reason, a buoy course is not sailed at the Memorial Regatta, the Dan Wisnousky Memorial Trophy will not be awarded. 

10.3 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. 

10.4 Overall Regatta winner – Commodore’s Trophy 

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

10.5 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. 

10.6 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 by the Board of Directors. 


Channel 72 shall be the official Race Committee radio channel for official use only in all series. Please set your radio to low power. When calling the Committee Boat, refer to it as "Committee Boat." 


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

b) Each race of each series will be administered by a Race Committee. One member of the committee will be designated at 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 2013-2016


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 RRS 88.2 (a) and RRS 89.2 (a). 


The Race Director shall compile all proposed changes to these Racing Rules and present them and subsequent iterations to all registered racers for review and comment prior to finalization of the changes. 

SYC Racing Rules 2019

Appendix A 

The PHRF rating of each yacht participating in a SYC PHRF scored race, excluding one design events with PHRF scoring, shall have its standard rating adjusted for the variations from the standard configuration and/or Standard Dimensions as defined in the PHRF 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 PHRF rating. 

Sail and Rig Definitions 

I - Fore triangle 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 main sail 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 back band around the mast. 

E - Horizontal length of the “potential” main foot, distance measured along the top of the boom from the mast to end of the boom or to the forward edge of the black 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 - Sail Area

Sail Area Formulas 

Standard (STD) Sail Area Formulas 

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

Jib Area = (1.02 · I · 1.55 · J)/2 

Spinnaker(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 Spinnaker & 

Cruising 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 area 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. 

SAIL AREA FACTOR for MAINSAILS (SAFM) = (STD Jib SA + Actual Main SA) / (STD Jib SA + STD Main SA) 

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


1.170 – up - 15 

1.130 – 1.169 - 12 

1.090 – 1.129 - 9 

1.050 – 1.089 - 6 

1.010 – 1.049 - 3 

0.980 – 1.009 0 

0.940 – 0.979 + 3 

0.900 – 0.939 + 6 

0.860 – 0.899 + 9 

0.810 – 0.859 +12 

0.809 -- lower +15 

B. 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 

1.170 -- UP - 15 L 

1.130 -- 1.169 - 12 9 

1.090 -- 1.129 - 9 8 

1.050 -- 1.089 - 6 7 

1.010 -- 1.049 - 3 6 

0.970 -- 1.009 0 5 

0.930 -- 0.969 + 3 4 

0.890 -- 0.929 + 6 3 

0.850 -- 0.889 + 9 2 

0.800 -- 0.849 +12 1 

0.500 -- 0.799 +15 S 

B.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: +6 seconds. 

“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: +3 seconds. 

C. 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) 


Range Rating Adjustment Spinnaker Adj. Code 

1.3150 -- UP - 30 Z 

1.2850 -- 1.3149 - 27 Y 

1.2550 -- 1.2849 - 24 X 

1.2250 -- 1.2549 - 21 W 

1.1950 -- 1.2249 - 18 V 

1.1650 -- 1.1949 - 15 U 

1.1350 -- 1.1649 - 12 9 

1.1050 -- 1.1349 - 9 8 

1.0750 -- 1.1049 - 6 7 

1.0150 -- 1.0749 - 3 6 

0.9550 -- 1.0149 - 0 5 

0.8950 -- 0.9549 + 3 4 

0.8350 -- 0.8949 + 6 3 

0.7750 -- 0.8349 + 9 2 

0.7150 -- 0.7749 +12 1 

0.5000 -- 0.7149 +15 S 

D. 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 to the forestay. 

E. Asymmetrical Spinnakers 

An asymmetric 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. 

F. 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 a head foil. Ratings adjustments are based upon the largest jib declared for a given race series. 


S, 1, 2, 3 +18 

4, 5, 6 +15 

7, 8, 9, L +12 

G. 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 0 

ASPL x (1.001 to 1.050) - 3 

ASPL x (1.051 to 1.100) - 6 

ASPL x (1.101 or longer) - 9 

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 a part of the standard configuration and class rating, their length shall be rated as an over-length spinnaker pole using the table above. 

H. Whisker Poles 

Allowable Whisker Pole Length (AWPL) = Longer of “J” or 0.75*LP 

Pole Length Rating Adjustment 

= or < AWPL 0 

AWPL · (1.001 to 1.100) - 3 

AWPL · (1.101 to 1.200) - 6 

AWPL · (1.201 or longer) - 9 

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. 

I. Engines and Propellers 

Each yacht shall have an electric or internal combustion engine. Boats with outboard engines shall have engines with at least 1 horsepower per 1,000 lbs. 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 

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