Skip to Content (Press Enter)

Dahlgren Yacht Club

2023 PHRF and Centerboard Fleet
General Sailing Instructions

1 April 2023


All racing will be governed by the Rules as defined in the current Racing Rules of Sailing (RRS), and as modified by these Sailing Instructions.


All competitors must complete a Dahlgren Yacht Club (DYC) entry form and submit it to the Race Officer or Event Coordinator prior to racing. This form will include a release of DYC and its officers, including Race Officers of any liability concerning participation in the race. Membership in DYC is required. Guest competitors may be extended temporary participation privileges consistent with normal standards of hospitality. DYC currently hosts the following racing series:

  1. PHRF Series.
    Open to all competitors eligible under PHRF of the Chesapeake policies.
  2. Centerboard Series.
    Open to all competitors under the Portsmouth Handicap System.

Notices to competitors.

Notices to competitors will be distributed to all registered competitors via email.

Signals made ashore.

Signals made ashore will be displayed at the end of the Dahlgren Yacht Club dock. For the PHRF fleet: race abandonment or postponement prior to the Race Officer platform leaving the dock, will be announced on VHF channel 72 by the Race Officer. See 5.G.


All competitors participating in DYC sponsored events shall comply with the following safety requirements. Competitors that do not comply will be disqualified.

  1. Skipper's responsibility. In accordance with RRS 4, the safety of a boat and her crew and its entire management, including insurance, shall be the sole responsibility of the skipper/owner. Neither these sailing instructions, or any action or omission of the race committee shall in any way reduce this responsibility of the skipper/owner. It shall be the sole responsibility of each competitor to decide whether or not to start or to continue a race.
  2. Check-In. All competitors are required to sail close by the Race Officer platform before the start and shall hail the Race Officer to inform them of their intent to race. Additionally, PHRF competitors shall check in by radio on VHF CH 72.
  3. Withdraw/Retire. Any competitor that withdraws or retires from the race shall inform the Race Officer at the earliest opportunity, preferably prior to leaving the race course. This procedure is an important safety measure, so that all competitors can be accounted for.
  4. Minimum Safety Equipment. All competitors will satisfy the minimum safety equipment standards of the USCG (USCG boating safety rules) appropriate to a boat with their size. In addition, competitors in the PHRF fleets will comply with USSailing Nearshore Safety Equipment Requirements (
  5. Lifejacket Rule. When Code Flag "Y" (YELLOW and RED diagonally striped flag) or a lifejacket is displayed from the Race Officer's location, USCG approved personal flotation devices (PFD) shall be worn above deck.
  6. Render Assistance. All competitors are reminded of their responsibility under RRS Rule 1.1 to give all possible help to any person or vessel in danger.
  7. Race Abandonment Due to Safety Concerns. The Race Officer may delay or abandon a race due to bad weather conditions or unforeseen circumstances (such as an active firing range). If the PHRF and Centerboard fleets are both scheduled to race at the same time, either race may be abandoned without abandoning the race for the other fleet. The Race Committee may not override a decision of the Race Officer to abandon a race.
    1. The Race Committee reserves the authority to abandon a race prior to the start. If in the opinion of a majority of the Race Committee members present, conditions warrant abandonment, the Race Committee will inform the Race Officer of the abandonment and the Race Officer will perform the duties required.
  8. Bow Lookout. While in the starting area, prior to a competitor's five-minute warning signal, all boats with three or more crew should post a bow lookout stationed forward of the mast for collision avoidance.
  9. Crew Limitations. All PHRF competitors are required to have at least two persons on board at all times while racing. The PHRF of the Chesapeake maximum crew limitations will not be enforced.
  10. Radio Communications. All PHRF competitors shall have a working VHF radio, and shall monitor VHF channel 72 to aid in safety and communications.

Schedule of Races.

The schedule of DYC races are posted on the DYC website.

Race Administration.

Race Series.

DYC hosts evening racing on separate nights for PHRF and Centerboard boats. The races are grouped into Spring, Summer and Fall Series for each type of boat.

Series Composition.

  1. PHRF Series
    • The PHRF fleet will race as separate non-spinnaker (PHRF-C) and spinnaker (PHRF-B) fleets.
    • PHRF-B boats rated less than 170 will have a delayed start. The length of the delay is listed as a note in Appendix A - The Starting Sequence.
    • A competitor must declare prior to her first start of a series as to whether she is competing as spinnaker or non-spinnaker for that series. If no designation is declared, the designation will be spinnaker. The declaration may be made to either the Race Committee or the Race Officer on her first race of a series.
    • When participating as a non-spinnaker competitor, only one headsail may be used at a time while racing, except for cutter rigs flying headsails in the normal configuration. Two headsails may be flown during a sail change, which must be completed in a seaman like manner.
  2. Centerboard Series
    • All Centerboard competitors will race as a single Portsmouth fleet using a single start as shown in Appendix A - The Starting Sequence.
    • All Laser Class boats will be additionally be scored in a Laser One Design fleet.


Awards will be issued for 50% (rounded up, e.g. two awards for 3 competitors) of the competitors starting in each fleet in each series.

Handicap Requirements.

  1. PHRF Race Event

    Race handicapping will be conducted according to PHRF of the Chesapeake ratings. Competitors without current PHRF certificates will be assigned a temporary handicap by the Race Committee and will be valid for the complete Spring, Summer or Fall Series. Any official PHRF of the Chesapeake rating provided after the start of a series will be applied retroactive to the beginning of the series.

  2. Centerboard Race Event

    Race handicapping will use the Portsmouth handicap D-PN.

Minimum Number of Participants

A minimum of two competitors are required at the start of a race for a valid race.

PHRF Race Courses and Starts.

  1. Race Courses.

    Race courses shall make use of government and other marks in the vicinity of the mouth of Upper Machodoc Creek. The courses are defined in Appendix C. The Race Officer shall display a letter(s) to indicate the selected course. If the letter "Z" is displayed all competitors should sail close by the Race Officer platform to receive details of a special course.

    Furthermore, each course will assume counterclockwise (port rounding) as the default direction; the letter "R" appended to the course designator will indicate a clockwise (starboard rounding) course direction. If the basic course is to be repeated, the number of repeats will be appended to the course designation. One number displayed will be valid for all fleets. If two numbers are displayed, the first number will be the number of laps for the non-spinnaker fleet and the second number will be the number of laps for the spinnaker fleet.

    1. If the Starting Line is located at Light 11, JB shall be a mark of the course and left to starboard, as the first leg.
    2. If the finishing line is located at Light 11, JB shall be a mark of the course and left to port.
    3. All competitors shall cross the finish line for each lap when the finish line is located on the last leg of the lap. (Thread the needle). See Appendix D.
    4. In the event of multiple laps, lap times will be recorded by the Race Officer. If the lead competitor has rounded the lap finish mark, the number of laps for a multi-lap course can be reduced as follows:
      Green Flag
      When appropriate and prior to two competitors completing the original course, the Race Officer may reduce the number of laps in a multi-lap course to the last lap completed by the lead competitor by flying the pure GREEN flag. In this event, the Race Officer shall make every effort to inform all competitors by using VHF CH 72, two sound signal and hailing. The finish line shall be a line from the finishing mark perpendicular to the course from the prior mark. The latest lap times will be used as the official finish times. Competitors that have not completed the lap within time limit will be scored "DNF". This modifies RRS Rule 32.1 and 32.2.
  2. Start and Finish Lines.

    The start and finish lines will be between the orange flag flown from the Race Officer platform and the designated starting or finishing mark. The starting area will be the rectangle formed by the starting line, extending 100 yards in all directions from the starting line. A boat, not racing shall keep clear of boats that are racing. If the Race Officer Platform is not on station at the finish, each competitor shall take her own finishing time when passing the line from the finishing mark, perpendicular to the line from the prior mark. Each competitor should also note the time interval between their finish and those of adjacent finishers, as accurately as possible.

  3. Start Times and Location.

    All competitors should rendezvous with the Race Officer Platform in the vicinity of the junction mark (JB) by 1645. The Race Officer Platform may then lead the fleets to the starting area which may be located in the river. No start sequence shall begin prior to 1654, unless otherwise scheduled.

  4. Time Limit.

    Unless otherwise stated, the time limit for races during April, May, September, and October will be 1900. During June, July, and August the time limit will be 1930. If two or more competitors finish within the time limit, the race shall be valid for all competitors. At the discretion of the Race Officer the time limit may be extended 15 minutes. Competitors finishing more than one hour after the time limit will receive a DNF (did not finish). The Race Officer Platform is required to remain on station unless released by competitors remaining on the race course.

  5. Starting Signals.

    The starting signals and flags described in RRS Rule 26 as modified in Appendix A, shall be used.

Centerboard Race Courses and Starts.

  1. Race Courses.

    Race courses shall consist of orange or yellow balls, "No Wake" buoys and Aids to Navigation (ATON). The course will be specified verbally by the Race Officer before the start.

  2. Start/Finish Line.

    The start/finish line will be between the orange flag flown from the end of the DYC dock or Race Officer Platform and a small orange buoy or other designated mark.

  3. Start Times.

    No race shall start prior to 1700 unless otherwise specified. The number of races run on a given day is at the discretion of the Race Officer. However, there shall be no more than four races per day.

  4. Time Limit.

    There is no specific time limit short of darkness. The Race Officer may abandon a race that, in the Race Officer's opinion, cannot be completed in the principles of fair racing, safety or darkness.

  5. Starting Signals.

    The starting signals described in RRS 26 and modified in Appendix A, shall be used.

Race Officer Duties.

Skippers/owners participating in any Race Series will be required to provide a Race Officer and platform for the purpose of conducting the race in accordance with these sailing instructions. A minimum of two persons are required to serve on the Race Officer Platform, if the race starts/finishes beyond Light 11 in Machodoc Creek. The PHRF and Centerboard Race Coordinators shall make duty assignments for their respective series. It is the responsibility of the skipper to notify their respective coordinator if unable to perform these duties. Skippers neglecting these duties may be disqualified and disallowed from participating in the Race Series.



A Protest shall be made in accordance with the RRS 61, Protest Requirements. A Protest must be declared to the Race Officer at the finish line or on departure from race course. The actual protest form must be submitted within one hour from the time the Race Officer Platform docks or after the last Centerboard race of the day.

Protest Hearing.

The Race Governor or event coordinator is responsible for appointing protest committees and ensuring protests are received, heard and decided in accordance with the RRS , Part Five, Section B. If all parties agree, an arbitrator maybe used to rule on a protest.


Scoring will be accordance with Appendix E, Scoring.


Any amendment to these instructions will be distributed to all competitors and posted at the DYC clubhouse. In addition, changes may be announced on VHF channel 72, if appropriate. Any amendment will be posted one hour before the Race Officer platform leaves the dock. It is the responsibility of the skipper to check for and comply with posted notices.

Appendix A - Starting Sequence

Starting Sequence Information
PHRF (Thursday): Two starts Centerboard (Monday): One start
Non-Spinnaker & PHRF 170 and greater – White Fleet flag All Centerboard – White Fleet Flag
PHRF < 170 – Red Fleet flag
Starting Sequence Actions
Action Displayed Flags
Postponement Flag Flying Red Triangle Flag with White Vertical Stripes
Lower Postponement Flag indicates one minute to starting sequence.
White Start - 5 Hoist pure White flag sound horn. "White" Fleet Warning Signal White Flag
White Start - 4 Hoist "P" Flag sound horn. Preparatory Signal White Flag Blue Flag with White Rectangle Inside
White Start - 1 Lower "P" flag long sound horn. One-Minute Signal White Flag
White Start
Red Start - 5
Lower "White" flag sound horn
"White" Fleet Start Signal
For PHRF second start:
Raise "Red" Flag
"Red" Fleet Warning Signal

Red Square
Red Start - 4 Hoist "P" Flag sound horn
"Red" Prep Signal
Red Square Blue Flag with White Rectangle Inside
Red Start - 1 Lower "P" flag long sound horn
"Red" One-Minute Signal
Red Square
Red Start Lower "Red" flag sound horn. "Red" Fleet Start Signal

Appendix B - Signals

The meanings of visual and sound signals are stated below. When a visual signal is displayed over a Fleet flag the signal applies only to that Fleet.

Signal Legend
Symbol Action Description
↑•• Hoist and sound horn 2 times
↑• Hoist and sound horn 1 time
• ___ • Make repetitive sound on horn
↓bullet; Lower and sound horn 1 time
Triangle with Red and White Vertical Stripes
↑•• ↓•
Races not started are postponed. Warning or other signal will be made 1 minute after removal.
Red Flag
Protest Flag.
White Flag with Blue Stripes Top and Bottom and Red Strip in Center
• ___ •
The position of the next mark has changed.
Orange Flag
Start/Finish Line on RC Platform
White Flag with Blue Checker-board
All races are abandoned.
Blue Flag with White Rectangle Inside
Preparatory Signal
White Flag with Blue Rectangle Inside
Race course shortened.
Blue Triangle Flag with Yellow Triangle Inside
General recall
Green Flag
No. of laps in a multi-lap racecourse are reduced.
White Flag with Blue Cross
Individual recall
Yellow Flag with Red Diagonal Stripes
Wear personal buoyancy

Appendix C - List of Courses for PHRF Race Series

Courses will be indicated on a course board with 2 columns for the course indication followed by one column for non-spinnaker (PHRF C) fleet lap count and 1 column for spinnaker (PHRF B) fleet lap count.

Course Descriptions
Course Name Preferred Start/Finish Pins Alternate Start/Finish Pins Course Marks(*** )
is lap repeat
A JB Light 11 (see note above), BC4, 6 ( BC2, 29, JB )
B JB Light 11 (see note above), BC4, 6 ( BC2, 4, JB )
C JB Light 11 (see note above), BC4 ( BC2, 6, JB )
D JB Light 11 (see note above), 6 ( BC4, 4, JB )
E JB Light 11 (see note above) ( BC4, 6, JB )
F JB Light 11 (see note above) BC4, (6, BC4 ), 6, JB
G JB Light 11 (see note above) BC2, (4, BC2 ), 4, JB
WA JB Light 11 (see note above) ( BC4, JB )
WB JB Light 11 (see note above), BC4 (BC2, JB )
WC JB Light 11 (see note above), BC4 ( S, JB )
WD JB Light 11 (see note above), 6 ( 4, JB )
WE JB Light 11 (see note above), 6 ( 29, JB )
WF JB Light 11 (see note above) ( 32, JB )
WG JB Light 11 (see note above), BC4 ( P, JB )
WH JB Light 11 (see note above), BC4 ( D, JB )
Z See Race Officer
Description of Mark Locations
Mark Name Mark Description
Light 11 Upper Machodoc Creek Light 11
JB Baber Point Junction Daybeacon BP
2 Upper Machodoc Creek Light 2UM
4 Upper Machodoc Creek Daybeacon 4
6 Upper Machodoc Creek Daybeacon 6
29 Potomac River channel Lighted Buoy 29
BC2 Baber Point Daybeacon 2B
BC4 Baber Point Daybeacon 4
S Line of Fire Buoy S
P Line of Fire Buoy P
D Potomac River Midchannel Lighted Whistle Buoy D
32 Potomac River Channel Buoy 32
M Race Officer Placed Mark or Race Committee Platform when flown on the boat
Courses and Mark Distances
Course Name Marks in Course
Leg Length
A JB BC 2 29 JB
  1.08 1.05 1.71
B JB BC 2 4 JB
  1.08 0.63 0.95
C JB BC 2 6 JB
  1.08 0.76 0.49
D JB BC 4 4 JB
  0.58 0.59 0.95
E JB BC 4 6 JB
  0.58 0.37 0.49
F JB BC 4 6 BC 4 6 JB
  0.58 0.37 0.37 0.37 0.49
G JB BC 2 4 BC 2 4 JB
  1.08 0.63 0.63 0.63 0.95
  0.58 0.58
  1.08 1.08
  2.28 2.28
  0.95 0.95
  1.71 1.71
  2.19 2.19
  2.92 2.92
  3.55 3.55
JB BC 2 S D 29 32 JB
  1.08 1.20 1.40 2.15 1.35 2.19
Race Distances (JB Start/Finish)
Course Name Laps - Distance
1 2 3 4 5
A 3.84 7.68 11.52 15.37 19.21
B 2.66 5.32 7.98 10.64 13.30
C 2.33 4.65 6.98 9.31 11.63
D 2.13 4.25 6.38 8.50 10.63
E 1.44 2.87 4.31 5.75 7.18
F 2.17 2.91 3.64 4.38 5.11
G 3.92 5.17 6.43 7.69 8.95
WA 1.16 2.33 3.49 4.65 5.82
WB 2.16 4.32 6.47 8.63 10.79
WC 4.56 9.12 13.69 18.25 22.81
WD 1.91 3.81 5.72 7.63 9.54
WE 3.42 6.83 10.25 13.66 17.08
WF 4.37 8.75 13.12 17.50 21.87
WG 5.84 11.68 17.52 23.36 29.20
WH 7.10 14.21 21.31 28.42 35.52
9.38 N/A N/A N/A N/A
Race Distances (Light 11 Start/Finish)
Course Name Laps - Distance
1 2 3 4 5
A 4.58 8.42 12.26 16.10 19.94
B 3.40 6.06 8.72 11.38 14.04
C 3.06 5.39 7.71 10.04 12.37
D 2.86 4.99 7.11 9.24 11.36
E 2.17 3.61 5.04 6.48 7.92
F 2.91 3.64 4.38 5.11 5.85
G 4.65 5.91 7.17 8.42 9.68
WA 1.90 3.06 4.22 5.39 6.55
WB 2.89 5.05 7.21 9.37 11.52
WC 5.30 9.86 14.42 18.98 23.54
WD 2.64 4.55 6.46 8.36 10.27
WE 4.15 7.57 10.98 14.40 17.81
WF 5.11 9.48 13.86 18.23 22.61
WG 6.58 12.42 18.26 24.10 29.94
WH 7.84 14.94 22.05 29.15 36.26

Appendix D - Example of crossing finish line on each lap if finish line is on last leg of lap.

Example of Crossing Finish Line

Appendix E - Scoring


Series Scoring

  1. The Low Point scoring system, Racing Rules of Sailing (RRS ) Appendix A as modified below, will apply. Awards will be presented at the end of each series. A competitor will be scored DNS for all races in the series in which it did not compete. A DNS score will be the total number of competitors that competed in the series plus 1.
  2. For each race that Race Officer duty is performed, a competitor not competing when providing a Race Officer shall be awarded points equal to the average of that competitor's started races in the series rounded to 1 decimal place.
  3. A competitor that competes in a race in which that competitor is providing a Race Officer shall be scored based on that competitor's finishing position in the race and will not be awarded points based on performing Race Officer duty.
  4. All scores in the series will be re-computed and published after each race since the Race Officer credit score may change after each race.
  5. PHRF Series.
    1. PHRF Competitors finish positions will be ranked by corrected time using a time on time formula. The formula being:
      Equation Corrected time = Elapsed Time * TCF
      TCF being the Time Correction Factor:
      Equation TCF = A / (B + PHRF)
      Where the Race Committee defines the constants as follows:
      Equation A = 7       EQuaion = B = 550
      Corrected time will be rounded to the nearest second.
    2. Each competitor's total score will be the sum of her 5 best scores for all races in each series. The lowest score at the end of each series wins for that series.
  6. Centerboard Series
    1. Portsmouth competitor finish positions will be ranked by corrected time using a time on time formula. The formula being:
      Equation corrected time = Elapsed time * Time Correction Factor
      TCF being the D-PN Time Correction Factor as defined in US Sailing Centerboard Classes
    2. Scoring will be by competitor not boat. Corrected time will be rounded to the nearest second.
    3. If a skipper participates in different fleets during the season, he or she will be scored in each fleet for only the races he or she actually started in the fleet.
    4. The number of throw-outs will be the smaller of 1/2 of the completed races of the series or 4 races.

Annual High Point Championship.

  1. The High Point Championship is awarded annually to all Fleets and is only computed and published at the end of the racing season. The best 67%, rounded up to the next integral value, of the races completed by at least 2 competitors will count toward the High Points Championship. For each race that the competitor starts, the competitor is scored:
    highpoint equation
  2. Scores are rounded to one (1) decimal place. Any competitor that did not start a race is scored 0 points for that race. The highest score at the end of the year wins.
  3. Awards will be presented for all fleets in the PHRF and Centerboard Series.
  4. For each race that Race Officer duty is performed, a competitor not competing when providing a Race Officer shall be awarded points equal to the average of that competitor's started races in the series rounded to one (1) decimal place. Race Officer duties will count toward the minimum eligibility requirement.


RRS Appendix A11 is modified by adding the following abbreviation:

RO      Race Officer Credit

2023 DYC Race Entry Form

Event Selection
Class Selection
Boat Information
Skipper/Owner Information

Waiver Acknowledgement

I agree to abide by the regulations and sailing instructions provided by the Dahlgren Yacht Club for this event. For PHRF entries I certify that this boat conforms in every way to PHRF Rules and Measurements and meets all of DYC Race Instruction paragraph 5. For Portsmouth entries I certify that this boat conforms in every way to Class Rules and Measurements and is provided with the appropriate safety equipment required by the Class Rules. In consideration of being permitted to enter this event being knowledgeable of the risks of competitive sailing and knowing that it is my sole responsibility to decide whether to enter or to continue any race I voluntarily assume the risk of participation in this event and release the Dahlgren Yacht Club sponsors and anyone connected with or conducting this event from all liability in connection with any injury or damage that may occur.

Mail the completed form to: Dahlgren Yacht Club, PO Box 90, Dahlgren, VA 22448

Contact for any information or questions: DYC Race Committee - Email to:racecom email