Yacht Racers Resource Center

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Getting Into Racing

Why the Resource Center ?

This site is designed for the new racing sailor in Southern California.  For the new racer we offer everything you need to get racing; a Classified Section to get crew, a Forum to ask questions about racing and sailboats, and a list of everything you need to do to be a legal racer.

 

For the experienced yacht racer we offer the Forum offers a place to discuss issue, make suggestions for change and basically have a way to communicate with other racers and race management. The Classified Section answers the question, "How do I find new crew?" Well now you have a list and no more excuses. My name is Mike Guccione, I have been racing for over twenty five years in Southern California and this site's only purpose is to make racing more enjoyable and to aid people into getting involved with the sport.  Clink on blue hyperlinks and they will take you out of this site to another on the internet. 

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What do I need to race?

If you own a keel boat of just about any type or design you can race your boat. Racing is a fun way of increasing your enjoyment of sailing and your investment in your boat.  The most popular way of racing different types of boats is through a  handicap system and the number one system in use is P.H.R.F.. In order to race you need to have a P.H.R.F. certificate, a proper sail number given to you by the S.C.Y.A. Service Center and a US Sailing Membership. Then you need to join a Yacht Club. Now you need to know some Basic Rules and you are off racing. Well it sounds difficult but it can all be done in a morning by using the links in this site. You can bypass all this by trying a few minor league races. These minor league races are called the Cruiser Class or cruiser type races. This type of race is held at a number of Yacht Clubs in the area. You only need to be a member of a Yacht Club and most clubs will look the other way for a few races. There is only one rule to remember, "Don't hit anybody".  The cruiser handicap system is a golf type, based on performance so if you do bad this time you get a better chance next time.

The rule files are available in PDF (Portable Document Format). You may need to download Acrobat Reader.
Adobe Acrobat Reader (.PDF file reader) is available for free download

 

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What is the Performance Handicap Racing Fleet (P.H.R.F.)?

P.H.R.F.or Performance Handicap Racing Fleet can be accessed by this pink hyperlink. This handicap system is a time on distance type. Let's say you wanted to race your 30 foot boat against a 50 foot sailboat. To make it a fair race we need to give you an allowance to make it even. PHRF does this for you by calculating and comparing your boat speed potential against the fifty footer. Then they might give a rating of zero to the fifty footer and 120 to your 30 footer. Now for every mile you sail in a race you must stay within 120 seconds of that 50 footer to stay even in the race. After ten miles of racing the fifty footer's elapsed time was 22 minutes and 30 seconds. Your elapsed time was 42 minutes and 10 seconds. Now we deduct your allowance of 20 minutes(120 seconds for every mile raced) and we find that you beat the fifty footer by 20 seconds. That in a nut shell is what PHRF does. It rates the boat's potential and not the skipper's. Each area has a local PHRF board to take your complaints and questions to. You need to be a member of this organization unless you plan to race only against boats of your type which is called one design. If you are reading this you probably don't have a one design boat so join PHRF.

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What is the Southern California Yachting Association?

Southern California Yachting Association is the regional yacht club association for Southern California. All the harbor associations in Southern California belong to this and all the yacht clubs belong to harbor associations. The only thing that you need here is the service center. That's the place you go to get a sail number. If your boat has been raced before this has probably been done. If your sails have five numbers on them then you are most likely set. If not then you need a number and this pink hyperlink will take you there. Then you need a local sailmaker to put them on for you. They go on every sail you own and plan to use racing.

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Who is U.S. Sailing? Do I need it?

U.S. Sailing is the national authority for sailing.  You don't actually need this but it will save you money in getting into racing and will get you a lot of information you will need. They are the national authority that govern yacht racing. They establish the rules and a lot more. Join!!

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How do I join a yacht club

Yacht Clubs: The quickest way to get involved with a yacht club is to join South Bay Yacht Racing Club. SBYRC is a paper club devoted to racing and only racing. Paper clubs do not have landed facilities and therefore are much less expensive to join. 110 bucks will pay for you first year's dues and initiation fee. Then it's 50 bucks a year. Each yacht club is a little different and over the twenty five years I have  sailed I have been a member of four yacht clubs. As your needs change so will your yacht club. The yacht clubs are all listed on the yacht club hyperlink which is the home page for the Association of Santa Monica Yacht Clubs. Visit all the clubs and ask for the membership director. Tell him or her you are looking for a club to join, if they don't treat you like a honored guest move on. Join South Bay then take your time finding a landed club. Most SBYRC members belong to a landed club as well.

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What's a Sailmaker?

Local Sailmakers:

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What's a cruiser class?

Cruiser Class: This is a relatively new program for sailors that want to get the feel of what racing might be like. Many major races now have cruising classes. The Wednesday night series in Marina Del Rey Yacht Club has two cruising classes.  This is a system that handicaps the skipper and crew and not the boat.  These are a lot of fun and the best way for a first timer to get the feel of racing.  Check with the yacht clubs in your area to see who hosts these types races. 

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What if I get stuck on something?

Hey that's the basics. If you get stuck email me at Innove8@email.msn.com with your phone number and the problem and I will get back to you. You are going to like racing and so will your boat!

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