General Race Information

Races are sailed under the Racing Rules for Sailing 2021-2024, including US Sailing Prescriptions, with the following deviations:

1. The “equal worst scores” provision of Appendix A, paragraph A2 is superseded by the scoring provisions published on the website.

2. The provisions of the LMSC web site take precedence in the case of any differences or inconsistency between the LMSC Rules and the RSS.

Each boat is subject to the rules of its class regarding weight, scantlings, measurements and equipment, unless waived by the LMSC Fleet and the LMSC Board of Directors.  LMSC recommends that Coast Guard approved PFDs (life jackets) be worn while on the water.  Coast Guard approved PFDs must be worn while Code Flag “Y” (red and yellow diagonal stripes) is displayed on the Race Committee Boat.

Junior Members are required to wear Coast Guard approved PFDs (life jackets) at all times while on the water, regardless of weather conditions.

LMSC attempts to provide a chase boat for Saturday and Holiday races but cannot guarantee a chase boat.  The final decision to race or continue racing always rests with each skipper.

Eligibility to Participate / Eligibility for Scoring

1.   Member boats registered with LMSC are always welcome to participate in club races and may be sailed by anyone of the owner’s choosing. To be scored in a race, the LMSC registered owner (or an immediate family member) must be aboard as skipper or crew. When an LMSC-registered boat participates in a race and the registered owner or family member is not aboard (e.g. it is being sailed by guest sailors), the boat is subject to the check-in requirement below and will not be scored. For the purposes of this rule, LMSC registered owners’ or a bonafide co-owner , of the boat ( each co-owner must be named on the boat’s title0, who has registered the boat with the LMSC and purchased a club membership. If a boat is legally co-owned, the owners have two options: 1) They may chose to designate on the  co-owners as the sole LMSC registrant owner for the season, and register the boat by purchasing one full membership ; OR 2) The owners may jointly register the boat by purchasing one full membership for each of the co-owners. When a boat is jointly registered, she will be scores in the race so long as one of the LMSC registered owners (or an immediate family member) is aboard.  A person who has chartered a boat for an LMSC season or series (subject to applicable membership fees and approval by the club), is deemed to be the sole LMSC registered owner for that season or series, and their name will appear on the respective LMSC score sheets.

2. Guest Sailors: Non-members may participate as skipper or crew in up to two races per season. In order to fund racing, guest sailors are asked to become members (Crew, Regular or Social) after two races. The responsibility for compliance with this requirement is on the honor system and lies with the owner of the registered boat.

3. Guest Boats: Boats not registered with the LMSC may occasionally race (maximum of two races per season) by invitation of a member and with prior approval of the commodore or his/her delegate. Guest boats will not be scored in any race, and are subject to the check-in requirement below.

Check-In requirement for guest boats and guest sailors: Guest boats and LMSC registered boats sailed by guest sailors (i.e. the registered owner is not aboard), are required to check-in with the judge at least 20 minutes prior to the start of each race and must declare their intention to sail without being scored for that race. The Judge’s boat shall display the sail number of any boat sailing “not scored” so that all competitors are aware of their presence on the race course. The judge shall note their sail number on the score sheet and mark them as SNS (Sailing Not Scored). Boats sailing without being scored shall nevertheless have full rights and responsibilities under the rules.

Sail Numbers:All boats racing must have sail numbers registered with the LMSC Secretary or must check in with the chief judge as provided below.  All ILYA class boats must have the letters MS and the LMSC number displayed on the sails and the boat.  A boat without sail numbers is not eligible to race. A boat intending to race with improper or incorrect sail numbers must obtain permission to race from the Judge (preferably, before the Committee Boat leaves the dock) and shall place an “X” (wide tape) over the improper or incorrect sail numbers.  Any boat on the course with an “X” over the sail numbers shall be presumed to be sailing with full rights.

Racing Schedule Changes

The schedule of races, including the time at which the starting sequence will begin, is given in the calendar section on this website, subject to change by notification on this website.


A postponed race is one that does not start at the scheduled time and that can be sailed at any time the Commodore or the Judge may decide, up to one hour after the scheduled starting time.  Postponement is signaled by the “Answering Pennant” (red and white stripes) and two sound signals.   In light air conditions, the Judge may delay the start up to 30 minutes, and thereafter shall either begin the starting sequence or abandon the race.


An abandoned race is one that is declared void at any time and that may be resailed or canceled (see “Makeup Races”).  Abandonment is signaled by Code Flag “N” (blue and white checks) and three sound signals.

The Commodore may abandon a race before the start based on factors such as water temperature, storm proximity, lightning, etc., and shall abandon a race if wind velocity consistently exceeds 22 miles per hour or if gusts exceed 30 miles per hour.  The final decision to race or continue racing always rests with each skipper.

Fleet captains will attempt to notify members of races abandoned before the start.  If in doubt, call your fleet captain.

The Judge may abandon a race before the start if observed wind velocity does not consistently exceed 3 mph.  The Judge may abandon a race after the start when light or heavy air conditions develop such that a race in progress would not have been started.  The Judge shall abandon a race in progress when the Judge observes thunder or lightning.  (See also, Time Limits.)

LMSC Rules

I Flag Rule or “Around the Ends”

Rule 30.1 (pertaining to boats on the course side of the starting line during the minute before the starting signal for their class) is modified to the extent that the Rule is in effect irrespective of whether the Committee Boat displays Code Flag “I” (black circle on yellow background).  Rule 29.1 (regarding individual recalls) does not apply (see the Recall section of this Directory).

General Recall

Rule 29.2 is modified to the extent that the restart procedure shall be as provided in the “Recall” section of this Directory.

Z Flag Rule

Rule 30.2 (applying a 20% penalty to boats in the triangle formed by the ends of the starting line and the first mark during the minute before the starting signal) shall not be in effect.  (The Z flag consists of yellow, blue, red and black triangles pointing to the center and together forming a rectangle.)

Black Flag Rule

Rule 30.3 (disqualifying a premature starter) is modified to the extent that the Rule is not in effect unless it has been announced in a newsletter or in the sailing instructions for a specific race or series of races, and in that case, is in effect irrespective of whether a black flag is displayed on the Committee Boat.  Note: the Black Flag is sometimes invoked for the restart after a General Recall, particularly in ILYA classes.

Gold Cup Rule

When the starting and finishing lines are the same line and a leg of the course to be sailed is transverse to the start/finish line, as in the case of a Gold Cup course, a boat may cross the start/finish line only to start or to finish.  A boat which crosses the start/finish line, other than to start or to finish, shall be scored DNF.

Notices to Competitors and Changes in the Sailing Instructions

Notices to competitors and changes in the sailing instructions require approval of the Board of Directors and will be published in the Newsletter or circulated by special mailing and are effective when published or as otherwise indicated.

Makeup Races

Saturday Series and holiday races which were abandoned will be made up the following Saturday. The first race on any Saturday will be the race scheduled for that day.  The second race will be a make-up of an abandoned race (if needed).   No more than two races will be held on a given day.  If two races are to be made up--for example: a Saturday Race and a Holiday Race originally scheduled for the following Monday--the races to be made up will be sailed in the order they were abandoned.  Following the example above, the Holiday race would be made up the second Saturday following the abandonment.  Makeup races will not extend beyond the end of the season. Wednesday and Champagne Series will not be made up, nor will make-up races that are abandoned.

Course to be Sailed

The course and distance to be sailed is at the discretion of the Judge and is indicated by a sign on the Committee Boat.  Typical courses and the associated signs are illustrated in this directory.  (Note:  the Judge may indicate one extra windward and leeward leg for C Scows and Multihulls.  This course modification shall be indicated by a “C+” sign shown together with the usual course indicator.) 

The starting line is sighted between the start/finish flag (blue and white Race Committee) displayed on the Committee Boat and the starting mark.  Rounding marks are left to port, except that (1) in the Around the Lake Race specifically designated marks are left to starboard, and (2) the Judge may set up a “gate” (two separated buoys) for the leeward mark on a windward/leeward course in which case a boat shall go through the “gate” and may round either buoy so the buoy to port will be left to port and the buoy to starboard will be left to starboard. The finishing line is sighted between the start/finish flag and the finishing mark, and is crossed in the direction from the previous mark.  The Committee Boat displays a blue rectangle when it is on station at the Finish line.


Races are started in accordance with Rule 26 of the Racing Rules of Sailing, with the addition of an “Attention!” signal (yellow flag, one sound) sounded approximately one minute before the Warning Signal for the first class to start.  Succeeding classes start at 5 minute intervals after the preceding class. The Warning Signal for a class is made with the Starting Signal for the preceding class.

For Saturday, Wednesday, Champagne and Warm-up races the fleets start, at 5 minute intervals, in this order: C Scow, Flying Scot, Multihull/One Design. Class flags are white for C Scows and Multihulls/One Design, and red for the Flying Scots.  For Holiday, Sunset, and Specialty (i.e., Crew, Around the Lake) races, it will be a “single start” (all classes start together).

Class Flag Starting Signals:

1st Start             C Scow                                      White

2nd Start            Flying Scot                                 Red

3rd Start            Multi-Hull/One Design               White

Starting Sequence:

            Signal            Time (minutes)             Flag                      Sound

         Attention                  T-6                        No flag                     1

         Warning                   T-5                        Class up                  1

    Preparatory                   T-4                       “P” up                       1

                                          T-1                       “P” down                   1 long

               Start                    T                          Class down              1


The warning Signal (class flag up) for each succeeding class is made with the Starting Signal (class flag down) of the preceding class. Class flags are white or red (alternating).

Boats which have not received the Warning Signal for their class shall keep well clear of the starting line and boats preparing to start.


Individual recalls are signaled by Code Flag “X” (blue cross on white background) and boats are hailed by sail number.  General Recall is signaled by the First Substitute flag (yellow triangle on blue) and two sound signals.  In the event of a General Recall, the start of the fleet recalled shall rotate to the end of the starting order, and the starting sequence for other fleets shall continue as if the recall had not occurred.

A Change of Course After the Start

After the start and before the leading boat has begun the leg to a relocated mark, the Judge may signal an alteration of the course by two sound signals.  A race committee boat which displays Code Flag “C” (blue, white, red, white, blue horizontal stripes) shall be stationed near the mark preceding the relocated mark and shall hail the approximate course to the relocated mark.

Shortened Course

A shortened course is signaled by Code Flag “S” (blue square on white background) and two sound signals.  The finish line lies between the Committee Boat and the mark nearest to it.

Time Limits

Time limits for each class are measured from the start of that class. The time limits are 2-1/2 hours for Saturday and Holiday races, and 1-1/2 hours for Wednesday races.

If the leading boat of a class does not finish within the time limit, the race for that class shall be abandoned.

Boats which do not finish within one-half hour (one hour in the case of holiday races) of the first boat of the same fleet, or within the time limit, whichever is greater, shall be scored “DNF.”

Copyright 2022 Lake Monona Sailing Club | All Rights Reserved


Feel free to stop by Stonebridge Park or Olin Park before or after a race to meet a few club sailors and ask questions. Races are generally held on Wednesday evenings and Saturday afternoons as well as holidays. Please see the calendar tab for more details.


Powered by Wild Apricot Membership Software