Eligibility and Regatta Rules


The  Cruiser Challenge is a laid-back regatta for trailerable pocket cruisers 26 feet and under whose primary purpose isn’t racing.   The event is conducted using ordinary “Rules of the Road” (USCG Colreg. Inland and Coastal Waters) instead of complicated (and ever-changing) racing rules.   This is a “friendly” competition between many boat types and the varied experience levels of their skippers.  Aggressive racing tactics are frowned upon, and are grounds for disqualification.     Luffing up, barging, not leaving room at marks, etc. do not demonstrate welcome skills.   Being safe, sailing fast, and having fun is the goal. 


Boats must have required CG equipment, an anchor, and auxiliary power in place for immediate use.   Boats must have inside sleeping accommodations for two adults.  While there will be no inspections, stripping  boats of “excess” weight is not in the spirit of the  event.   Maximum headsail is 155% genoa with no spinnakers for Saturday’s CC races.


The courses will be determined by the race committee (RC), based on prevailing conditions.  Saturday, there will be a RC boat , with a simplified starting sequence.  We hope to have two moderate distance races to settle who gets CC trophies (and bragging rights) for Small boats (15’ and under), Medium boats (15’1” to 19’11”), and Large boats (20’-26’). CC awards Saturday night.  Trophies for first three places in each division.


On Sunday, we can do some sailing/whale watching.   For those heading back to Moss Landing, we can have a cruiser “race” using a “rabbit” start sequence.


Since the CC is a non-handicapped event, the RC reserves the right to move boats into different divisions if suitability is in question, in order to “level the playing field”.  If a boat does not fit eligibility requirements (for example:  you’ve got an open cockpit day-sailor), you are still welcome to participate, but just can’t win a trophy.  If there are enough boats for a fourth group of “non-conforming” types, perhaps we can add a separate start.  There will be no formal protest function.  We encourage pleasant communication among skippers on the water in following the “rules of the road”, and in sharing the pleasures of sailing on Monterey Bay. 


The CC was started after a friendly exchange between West Wight Potter and Montgomery 15 sailors.  The event has proven that it’s not who goes the fastest, but who has the most fun, WINS!



 I.	Avoid collisions.

II.	The basic USCG ColReg “Right of Way” rules apply.  In order:
	1.	A boat being overtaken has the right of way 
	2.	Sail has right of way over Power.
	3.	A boat on starboard tack has the right of way over a boat on a port tack.
	4.	The boat to the leeward has the right of way over the windward boat.
	5.	However, boats within two boat-lengths of a mark that have overlap must be given room to round the mark, regardless of which tack they are on, or which boat is downwind.

III.	Racing Divisions.
	1.	Division A, large class: 20’ to 26’ LOA.  (Division A & B start together.) 
	2.	Division B, medium class: 15’1” to 19’11”  LOA.
	3.	Division C, small class:  15’ LOA or less.  
	4.	The Race Committee reserves the right to move boats into different divisions if suitability is in question in order to “level the playing field”.  

IV.	Hard start times.  Race start times will be confirmed at the skippers’ meeting with any changes announced on the VHF once the fleet is on the.  Starts will be in “pursuit” format with Division C (small class) starting first, followed 10 (ten) minutes later by the combined A & B (large and medium class) start.  We will try to start:
	1.	First race: Division C (small class) starts at 11:30 am.  Division A & B (large and medium class) starts at 11:40.  
	2.	Second race (winds and time permitting):  Division C (small class) starts at 1:30 pm.  Division A & B  (large and medium class) starts at 1:40 pm.
	3.	However: due to conditions once on the water, the start times for the first race may be delayed 30 (thirty) minutes until 12:00 noon.  Listen on the radio for changes and for the five-minute warning horn (five blasts) sounding before the start of the Division C (small class) race. If the first race at 11:30 am is delayed, expect the second race at 1:30 pm to be cancelled.

V.	Horn Blasts before the race.
	1.	Division C. At 10 minutes before, a preparatory signal begins the starting sequence with a 1 Long Blast.  5 minutes before - 5 short blasts.  1 minute before - 1 short blast.  Start - 1 Long Blast.
	2.	Division A & B.  The 1 Long Blast for the Division C start is the 10 minute preparatory signal for the larger boats.  The sequence follows at 5 minutes - 5 short blasts.  1 minute before - 1 short blast.  Start -  1 long blast.
VI.	All horn signals will be backed up with an announcement over the VHF radio.

VII.	Radio use is encouraged and will be used extensively by the Race Committee.  The frequency will be announced at the skippers’ meeting.  If in doubt as to what is happening, sail or motor to the committee boat and ask for clarification.

VIII.	A skipper may use the boat’s motor up to one minute before the start time for his or her class.  It is the skipper’s responsibility to stay clear of boats under sail and to stop the motor one minute before start time.  The one-minute warning to stop engines will be announced over the VHF.   
IX.	The race course will be briefed at the skippers’ meeting.  Expect an upwind leg to Mile Buoy (R’4’), followed by a downwind leg to a marker by the cannery, then a short upwind leg to the start/finish line.

X.	Special Cruiser Challenge racing rule:  HAVE FUN.