At the Canada Games, there will be two “race circles” being run at any time, Each circle will run races for Lasers & Radials on one circle, 29ers on another circle, and 2.4mRs will rotate in for their own circle. At these Games there will be three race groups rotating through 2 race circles each half day of racing.
The racing is one-design fleet format. Races start with sailors maneuvering their boats for a position on the start line in a countdown from 5 minutes to GO. The imaginary start line is between the race committee boat and a mark found to the left (looking upwind) of it. At GO, when the class flag is dropped, all boats are to blend the skills of tactical positioning and full upwind boat speed as they cross the start line.
Boat positioning amongst the fleet is crucial throughout a race. The race is run as a “windward-leeward” course. Each competitor must sail the entire course, rounding the buoys in proper sequence, with those marks to the port side of the boat. While racing, sailors must always take into account wind direction, wind velocity, and where the other competitors are. The sailor wants to figure out at which angle and on which tack to sail in order to sail the shortest distance in the strongest wind.
Sailing always involves adjusting efficiently to the changing wind and speed direction. Sailors must have endurance and strength, as well as tactics, strategy, boat mechanics, and sail trim to cross the finish line ahead.
Rules of Play
The regatta will be governed by the rules as defined in the Racing Rules of Sailing (RRS) with Sail Canada Prescriptions, the ISAF Regulations, and the Canada Games Competitor Eligibility Rules (Appendix 1) and Canada Games rules, regulations, and requirements.
As in the highway traffic act, there are rules to prevent collisions while racing, as defined in the Racing Rules of Sailing. These must be obeyed by all competitors.
Two basic ‘rules of the road’ in sailing are as follows:
1) Starboard tack boat (wind blows across the sailboat from right to left) has the rights of way over a port tack boat (wind blows from across sailboat from left to right).
2) Leeward boat has the right of way over windward boat (boat closes to the wind).
If a competitor believes that a rule has been broken by another on the race course, he/she may ask the fellow competitor to do “penalty” turn(s). One penalty turn (or 360) consists of a “tack” and a “gybe”. If there is disagreement as to who was “really in the right”, a competitor may file a protest on shore. After the race (once onshore), a written complaint is then made to the jury which investigates the charge. At the Canada Games, decisions made by the jury are final.
Rules of propulsion (cheating) - are enforced by a jury that floats on the water in a powerboat and carefully observes the racing. If a jury feels an infraction has been made on the water, it can “flag” a boat, which then must do a penalty 720 turn (360 for 29er) before continuing on in the race. If the competitor is flagged 2 or more times he/she must withdraw from the race.