Firecracker Regatta Race Instructions

Happy Independence Day, sailors!

I’m grabbing the mic from Racing Vice Commodore Brie Busey because she’s delivering a Lagoon 51 catamaran from France to Norway with Steve Ryan and Gabe Black. This boat will be used in Steve’s son’s charter business on the Helgeland coast in northern Norway. (You can read more about the business on the Nordvær website. It’s super cool!)


So here’s the plan for the Firecracker Regatta:

  • Friday: We’ll have an option race start clinic and some warmup races starting at 7:00 PM. We’ll do about 20 minutes at the whiteboard and then head out to the water, where we’ll practice a few starts and run a couple of short races. The clinic will be geared toward new racers, and we could definitely use a few experienced racers to help run the clinic. This is also an excellent opportunity for our more experienced sailors to get in some warm-up time on the water.
  • Saturday: We’ll have a Skippers’ Meeting at 1:00 PM, followed by racing as soon as the wind allows. Please ensure your boat is rigged and ready by the meeting time, as we’ll start racing immediately if we have a reasonable breeze. We’ll have a potluck following the races if we have a good afternoon breeze. Otherwise, we’ll have the potluck at 5:00 PM and then start racing in the evening breeze at 6:30 PM.
  • Sunday: We’ll have a Skippers’ Meeting at 11:00 AM, followed (hopefully!) by afternoon racing. We will not start any races after 4:30 PM and will attempt to have the fleet back at the dock by 5:00 PM.


We will have at least two fleets:

  1. An Open Fleet that is (as its name suggests) open to any boat. Boats in this fleet will be rated using the Portsmouth Yardstick.
  2. A one-design Bucc 18 Fleet. This fleet is open to any Buccaneer 18 sailboat. Note the Bucc sailors don’t need to race in the Bucc 18 Fleet. Sometimes the Open Fleet can be a bit more relaxed, which can be an excellent option for newer Bucc racers.

Any other group of three like boats can form their own separately scored one-design fleet. For example, if a group of students wants to form a one-design club Lido 14 fleet, they simply need to inform the race committee during the Skippers’ Meeting.

Other Notes

We hope to have a seven-race series, but that depends on the wind. And if you’re new to sailing regattas, here’s a primer on how they’re scored:

How Scoring Works – Appendix A Demystified (by the Kanata Sailing Club)

Recent ASC intro and intermediate class graduates are strongly encouraged to join both the race start clinic and the regatta. It’s a great way to practice your newly minted sailing skills, and we’ll have plenty of experienced sailors on hand to help you guys. Plus, it’s a ton of fun!

Also, I’d suggest everybody bring a watch with a five-minute timer to help with your race starts. You don’t need anything fancy. Any waterproof watch with a timer will do. I find that a countdown timer is easier, but a regular stopwatch timer is just fine.

On, and the featured image for this post is of Tom Harrison sailing his Lido 14 on the Saturday evening of our intermediate class.







3 responses to “Firecracker Regatta Race Instructions”

  1. Paul D Willing Avatar
    Paul D Willing

    Lagoon 51 – now that’s what I call a CAT!

    1. Geoffrey L. Wright Avatar
      Geoffrey L. Wright

      I’m going to see if they’re willing to do a write-up of the trip, and I hope they get lots of pics to share!

  2. Stanbro TL Avatar
    Stanbro TL

    Pot Luck Saturday time depends on the wind 5-ish

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