2012 Candlewood Yacht Club Course Chart


Course name                 Mark Rounding Sequence

W1                                 W, L, Finish

W2                                 W, L, W, L, Finish

O1                                  W, S, L, W, L, Finish

O2                                  W, S, L, W, L, Finish



Courses are selected by the race committee on the water, and signaled to racers through a course name and approximate windward directions, selecting from N, NE, E, SE, S, SW, W, or NE.  These will be displayed on the committee boat with the course name on the top and the windward direction on the bottom.  In the example below, there would be 2 marks, with the first mark being north-west of the line.





W1, W2, O1, O2


N, NE, E, SE, S, SW, W, NW



·        All mark roundings are to port.

·        The passage between Skeleton Island (east most island) and Vaughn’s Neck may not be used by yachts while racing.  Doing so is automatic disqualification.

·        Crossing the start / finish line during the race (other than the start / finish) is automatic disqualification.

Guidance for Race Committee


Racing area chart. The central part of Candlewood lack shown above is the area designated in our permit for racing.  Magnetic North (13.3 degree declination) indicated used to gauge approximate windward direction.  This chart and associated landmarks can be used to identify position and direction on the lake.


Setting the course


An appropriate distance from windward to leeward mark is from 0.7 to 1 mile, or the range on this line: |----------------------||==to===|| 


Positioning the course is dependent upon the wind direction.  Note that the goal is to find an area with a good length in the direction of the wind, with minimum obstruction of the wind.  For example, if the wind is from the SW, the stretch between Bootlegger Island and Candlewood Isle would not be good, since it is both short and the wind is blocked by Candlewood Isle.  In that case the course should be moved to the NW, between Turtle Bay and Vaughn’s neck, or to the SE nearer Brookfield Bay.


To set a good course, RC should first motor out and get a sense for the direction of the wind to determine the orientation of the course, then determine where the center should be and anchor in that position.  After settling at anchor, confirm the wind and plan the type of course and mark placement based upon the conditions and the strength of the wind.  If the course location does not have a good place for a side mark (O courses) then a windward-leeward (W) course is completely appropriate.  Note that the side mark is always on the left when facing windward.  Communicate the desired mark positions to the stewards, either by verbal direction or by marking on a chart and handing to them.  This is a good time to raise the RC flag, which will remain up for the duration.  When done with the marks, the stewards will set the pin on the port side of the committee boat, with the line being perpendicular to the wind.


Once the course is set, make one more assessment of the wind speed and decide on the number of times around.  Note that an ideal duration of the race (start to first finish) is around 1 hour.   For a 1 mile windward to leeward this would mean that a 5-10 knot wind indicates once around, while 10-15 can afford twice around.  If in doubt, then select the shorter race for the first one, and if the finish is early (< 40 minutes) and a second start is 3:00PM or earlier, and the wind is not dying, then a longer second race would balance the day.


Starting the race


Once the course is set and posted, racers should come by and be known to committee.  Fill in a sheet for the race, listing committee, stewards, weather, and wind/course.  Log each boat by sail number and skipper if known, with Flying Scots on the bottom and all others in the cruiser class at the top.


When ready to start, plug the automated timer, making sure that the plug is well seated in the dash board, and make sure that you have the stop watch at hand.  When ready to start, simply press the start button, which will issue 4 blasts, followed a minute later by the start of a 5 minute sequence for the Scots, followed immediately by a second 5 minute sequence for the cruisers.   See the flag start sequence for the full timing of the starts.  The timer will issue a number of warning beeps and sounds, but the main ones are long single loud horns at -5,-4,-1,0 in minutes with 0 being the start.  The flag sequence is:

-5      class flag up

-4      prep flag up

-1      prep flag down

0        class flag down => race start

Boats must be downwind of the line (between the RC flag and the pin) leading up to the start horn and their bow must not cross the line before the horn.  Any boats over early should be hailed, and must come back across the line and head windward across it again.


Recording the race


On the horn to start the cruising fleet, start the stopwatch!  You will need to record the elapsed time to finish for each boat in the cruising fleet, and enter that on the race sheet.  As an additional precaution, it is a good idea to record the clock time of the cruiser start on the race sheet as a backup.  These finish times, along with each boat’s handicap, is used to determine the true finish order.  Crossing first does not necessarily mean winning.  For the Scots, simply record the order of finish.


Starting the second race must wait until all boats from the previous race have finished.  Be prepared and decide promptly what, if any, changes you would like to make for the second race.  If repositioning marks is called for, you can have the stewards start that process as soon as all boats have made a final rounding of the particular mark.


Generally we want to be in by 4:30, so starting a race after 3:30 is generally to be avoided.