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SLTWYC - South Lake Tahoe Windjammers Yacht Club

Latitude 38’s Basic Racing Guidelines

Since sailboat racing is a recreational sport, we think the number one rule should be to have fun. Beyond that, some basic guidelines help prevent collisions and ensure that racing is both fun and fair. Below is an outline of the 10 basic rules which cover most racing situations. For completeness and total accuracy, refer to Racing Rules of Sailing 2017-2020, published by US Sailing. See www.ussailing.org/rules for details.

1. Port tack keep clear of starboard tack.

2. If boats are on the same tack and overlapped, the windward boat must keep clear of the boat to leeward.

3. If boats are on the same tack, a boat clear astern must keep clear of a boat clear ahead.

4. When tacking or jibing, keep clear of boats on a tack.

5. Avoid collisions. If you have the right of way and hit the other boat, causing damage or injury, you will both be penalized.

6. Don’t obstruct. Don’t make it hard for the ‘keep clear’ boat to do so. (No hunting allowed.)

7. Sail the course prescribed. You have to round the marks in the directions specified in the Sailing In structions and can’t touch a mark.

8. Proper Course (same tack, within two hull lengths). If the leeward boat came from astern, leeward boat shall not sail above its own proper course during the overlap. (Remember that the windward boat still has to keep clear, even if windward is forced above what it believes is windward’s proper course. Leeward still has right of way.)

9. Give room at marks and obstructions to yachts over lapped on the inside, except:

a. When the overlap did not exist before the lead boat reaches the three-boatlength zone.
b. When approaching a windward mark on opposite tack.
c. At a starting mark surrounded by navigable water. That is, you don’t have to let a barger in at the start except to avoid collision (then protest).

10. Acknowledge your fouls and protest those who don’t.

A free rule book comes with US Sailing membership. See www.ussailing.org.

This article is provided with permission and courtesy of Latitude38






The Crew List

How does the crew list work?

You start by filling out the crew list form. The form contains your contact information, your preferences in sailing and any qualifications that you may have. By the way, we encourage beginners to submit their names to the crew list. Many skippers prefer training someone new rather than trying to get rid of "bad" habits of "experienced" crew. We also encourage skippers to try out new crew members. Like most sports we like to get new people involved. The skippers meetings take place day of the race at our Club House. This may present a potential crew member with the opportunity to get on a boat.

The Racing Crew List

When filling out your experience try not to oversell yourself because it will be come apparent soon after you start what your real qualifications are. This is the most active crew list and it can get you on a boat quickly. We encourage novices to post. You would be surprised how many skippers would prefer an enthusiastic novice over someone with experience.

The Cruising Crew List

If you are looking to sail and meet some new friends, this is the list for you. Experience is less important than for racing and it's a good way to get your feet wet, so to speak. When a skipper contacts you to go sailing, it's a good idea to ask him about his experience. You don't want to go out as a novice with a novice skipper. Skippers appreciate it if you volunteer to bring food or drink along for the sail.

Signup to crew or find crew on our Crew List page.


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SLTWYC Clubhouse

Tahoe Keys Boulevard 589, Suite E2
South Lake Tahoe, California

The clubhouse is only open for events, so please see the Events calendar for more information. 

You can contact us here