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New Racer FAQ

         New Racer FAQ

How do I get started?

Participation in LORC races is quite easy.  The first step is to complete a registration that is available on the LORC Web Site (see Registration on the Home Page).

You will also need to determine what type of race you want to do.  LORC has two types of races.  The Offshore series has races that go around a set of marks that may be temporary, or permanent marks like navigation marks.  A leg in an Offshore race can be 10 or more miles long.  These races are generally day races. 

The other type of race is the Regatta Series.  These races use a standard Windward/Leeward course with legs that are usually about 1.0 to 1.5 miles long.  Boats will generally go around the course twice and there may be 2 or 3 races in a day.  Each race usually takes about 1 to 1½ hours.  Some regattas will run on Saturday and Sunday.  The yacht club that hosts the Regatta will have a party on Saturday night for the racers with awards and dancing.  Mooring for the night is provided at no charge by the club.

What equipment do I need?

This depends on the type of race you do.  Offshore races have a standard equipment list that may change depending on the race course used.  The Susan Hood, which is an overnight Offshore race requires additional safety equipment.

The Regatta series requires that you have all the standard safety equipment required by the Ministry of Transport, plus some additional items needed for racing.  A full list of the equipment is included in the Sailing Instructions for either the Offshore or Regatta Series but some of the basic additional items include a marine radio, the Sailing Instructions and a Sailboat Racing Rule Book (available at most marine stores).

What am I responsible for?

As the owner and skipper, you are responsible for the safety of your boat and its crew.  If you feel that you should not race, or drop out of a race due to conditions, its your responsibility to make that decision.  Every boat racing in LORC is responsible for carrying at least $2 million in liability insurance.

Each skipper is responsible for understanding the Sailing Rules as they determine who has right of way on the course.  Failure to follow the rules can result if your boat being disqualified from the race.  Most of the rules used in racing follow common sense and are consistent with the Rules of the Road that everyone has to follow.  The two fundamental rules to remember are that boats on Starboard tack have right of way over Port tack boats, and the Leeward boat has right of way over the Windward boat.  There are some excellent books available that explain how the rules work.

How do I get details about a race?

LORC publishes Sailing Instructions for all the races.  These are available on the LORC web site and a copy is required to be on your boat when racing.  The Sailing Instructions will provide everything you need to know race on a particular day.  There are different instructions for the Offshore Series and the Regatta Series.

What about Crew?

Each boat is responsible for getting its own crew.  The LORC web site does have a crew bank that you can use to help identify crew.  Your club may also be able to help identify people that would like to race, but don’t have a crew.  If you are a first time racer, possibly ask some of the experienced weeknight club racers if they will come out for a race to help you get your bearings.

How do I know when to start or what division I am in?

All races will have several starts.  Each start will have one or more divisions.  A division can represent a one design class, or a group of dissimilar boats with a similar rating.  On the LORC registration form, your boat will need to identify whether your boat is a One Design Class (currently these classes are:  J105, 8 Metres, Etchells, Dragons, J 80, J 24, ).  If you don’t have a One Design boat, you will need a PHRF or IRC rating.  Most boats race with a PHRF certificate which can be easily obtained by contacting your club’s PHRF handicapper.  If you need assistance, the LORC Handicapper can assist you in determining what is required.  The LORC Handicappers email address is results@lorc.org.

For boats that race PHRF, you have the option of racing with a Spinnaker or racing White Sails, which means without a spinnaker.

On thing to remember when racing is that LORC has a rule that unless you are within 6 minutes of your start, that you are not allowed in the starting area.  This is so that the boats that are starting have room to maneuver.  You can actually be disqualified if you are sailing around the starting line and its not your start.  As a rule of thumb, the starting area for a start is ½ the length of the starting line below and to each site of the starting line.



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