Lake Bluff Yacht Club Racing Program and Rules


We race Sunfish every Sunday afternoon from late May through mid October and the official schedule is posted on our calendar. We welcome beginning racers and competitive racers. Everyone is extremely helpful to get newbies up to speed. We conduct racing workshops on beach a few time througout the summer to review everything from rigging to rules. And after racing refreshments add to a welcoming social atmosphere.


We break the season into two racing series - a summer series with the last race on Labor Day, and a Fall series through mid October.

We also host regattas for local midwest sailors, and also every year or two we host additional regattas - Regional regattas, North American Sunfish Championship, North American Women's Championship, and more..



1. Rules

Races shall be governed by the International Sailing Federation (ISAF) Rules, the prescriptions of the United States Sailing Association and the U.S. Sunfish Class Association class measurement rules (except as any of these are altered by local sailing instructions) and by these sailing instructions.

2. Entry

Club members with boats complying with the U.S. Sunfish Class Association Measurement Rules may be entered by completing registration with the LBYC Race Committee.  Guest sailors may sail with the permission of the race director or other race official.  Guest sailors will not be scored in the days racing.

3. Notices to Competitors

Notices will be posted on the Race Notice Board located at the club boat compound at Lake Bluff beach.

4. Changes in Sailing Instructions

Any changes in the sailing instructions or race schedule will be approved by the Race Committee and posted before 1:00 PM on the day it will take effect.

5.Schedule of Races

Races are scheduled every Sunday afternoon beginning in late May continuing thru Labor Day weekend, and a separate Fall series beginning the Sunday after Labor Day through Late October. All races begin promptly at 1:30 PM.

6. Racing Area

All races will be on Lake Michigan in an area adjacent to the Lake Bluff beach.

  1. The Course
    1. The descriptions below show our triangle course (A), the Olympic course (B), a windward-leeward (C), a short course (D), the approximate angle between legs, the order of rounding marks, and the side on which each rounded mark is to be passed.

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    1. Sailing a course other than the courses listed will be clearly communicated prior to the beginning of the race.

7. Marks

Original marks 1, 2, and 3 will be our racing buoy marks. The starting and finishing marks are described in instruction 9. - "The Start", and instruction 12. - "the Finish".

8. The Start

    1. The first race of the day will be started in accordance with Racing Rule 26 in International Yacht Racing Rules:





Warning signal

5 minutes to start

raise Class flag

1 horn blast

Preparatory signal

4 minutes to start

raise blue flag

1 horn blast


3 minutes to start




2 minutes to start



One Minute

1 minute to start

lower blue flag

1 horn blast

Starting signal


lower Class flag

1 horn blast

    1. The starting line will be between a staff displaying an orange flag on the race committee boat at the starboard end and Mark 3 at the port end.  The port end bouy will be light orange.

9. Recalls

    1. Individual recalls shall be accomplished by hailing the individual boat or skipper.
    2. When there is either a number of unidentifiable premature starters, or an error in starting procedures, a general recall signal, 2 blasts, will be made and the race will start over with a new warning signal (5 minutes to start).

10. Changes of Course After the Start

    1. It will be standard procedure to shorten the race course when conditions are judged by the race officer to warrant it. Two horn blasts or a hail from the committee boat/race director will indicate that the race course has been shortened.

11. The Finish

    1. The finish line will be between a staff displaying an orange flag on the committee boat at one end and the starting bouy at the opposite end.  If for any reason (safety or otherwise) the committee boat is off station at the finishing line, the first three finishers will keep track of the finishing position of subsequent boats in the race.

12. Time Limits

    1. The time limit for each race shall be one hour from the starting signal. If no boat reaches the first mark within 30 minutes after her starting signal, the race shall be abandoned. Boats not finishing within the time limit will be scored "did not finish - DNF".
    2. If no competitor has crossed the starting line within 5 minutes of the starting signal, the race will be restarted, postponed or abandoned by decision of the Race Committee.
    3. No race will start after 4:00 PM unless otherwise instructed by the race officer.

13. Postponements and/or Abandonments

No race in which there are fewer than 4 participants will count in the series standing and the race committee or officer in charge can postpone or abandon any race if, in their judgment, conditions warrant such action.

14. Safety

The committee boat shall render assistance to any boat or sailor needing help. All sailors shall be guided by Fundamental Rule 1 (Safety) of ISAF Rules regarding helping boats in danger, and life-saving equipment. In addition, LBYC requires competitors and the Race Committee to wear life-jackets at all times.

15. Scoring

The Low Point Scoring System, appendix A of the US Sailing Rules, will be used with the following changes:

    1. Each boat finishing a race and not thereafter retiring or being disqualified shall score points equal to her finishing position.
    2. A boat which does not start or rank as a starter shall score points equal to Fleet + 2 or at least 10 points.
    3. A boat which is disqualified after finishing a race shall score Starters + 2 or at least 10 points.
    4. A boat which ranks as a starter but does not finish will score points equal to Starters + 1.
    5. Any member who participates in a sanctioned Sunfish racing event as a representative of the Lake Bluff Yacht Club that causes that member to be absent from Lake Bluff on the day of a series race, may, upon application with a member of the Race Committee, be given special consideration in scoring. Such member shall be scored at the average of all of his races sailed in the series. For the Summer Series, a maximum of 5 races may be scored in this manner. For the Fall Series, a maximum of 3 races may be scored in this manner, provided the Fall Series is 20 races or more. If there are less than 20 races for the Fall Series, this system will not be used.
    6. To qualify for final standings in the series, you must race in at least 30% of the total series races sailed.
    7. The best 60% of the total races for each racer during the series will be counted to determine the final standings, (40% throwouts).
    8. For the 20 race series the best 60% of the total races for each racer during the series will be counted to determine the final standings, (40% throwouts).
    9. Any member who participates in a sanctioned Lake Bluff Yacht Club sailing regatta as either the regatta chair or as a member of the regatta race committee and such duties cause the member to be unable to race in such regatta, may, upon application with a member of the Race Committee, be given special consideration in scoring. Such member shall be scored at the average of all of his races sailed in the series. A maximum of 5 races may be scored in this manner.

16. Alternative Penalties

    1. The two turns penalty and one turn penalty will apply for an infringement of racing rules, as described in Rule 44.1 of the Racing Rules of Sailing. Protested boats must be informed at the time of the rule infraction, so they may do their penalty turns, and continue the race in good standing.


17. Protests

    1. Protests shall be written and lodged with a representative of the Race Committee after the last race of the day and within one hour after the time of the last boat's arrival at the beach.
    2. The protest committee shall hear protests in approximately the order of receipt beginning immediately after racing or as otherwise posted.
    3. If, in the judgment of the protest committee, they find it unsuitable to judge the protests immediately after the conclusion of racing, the protest committee will reschedule the protest hearing to a later time, but no later than prior to the next series race.
    4. Decisions of the protest committee will be final.