The Association sponsors a number of races that take place on Caspian Lake each summer. Check back for schedules. Races have been taking place on Wednesdays and Saturdays in August.

The following is a discussion of basic rules and tactics of sailing and sailboat racing. Rules are intended to make sailing safe and racing fair for all.  Rules are learned as sailors gain experience. Experienced sailors can help explain rules as they come up. Caspian Lake Sailing is an independent committee formed to further encourage all sailors to come out and enjoy the lake. The committee sponsors races during the summer. Instruction in basic sailing skills, racing tactics, and rules is available before and after all races. Contact John Jacobs at [email protected] for further information.

Basic Rules of Sailing

  1. Right of Way: The boat with the wind coming from the port(left)side must give way to the boat with the wind coming from the starboard(right)side.
  2. Overtaking: The boat that is overtaking must keep clear of the boat being overtaken.
  3. Windward Leeward: The boat that is windward (upwind) must keep clear of the boat that is leeward (downwind).
  4. Obstruction: When sailing in the vicinity of an obstruction, such as a buoy or a reef, a boat must keep clear of the obstruction.
  5. Tacking: When a boat changes tack, it must keep clear of other boats around it.
  6. Starting: The starting line is an imaginary line between two buoys. Boats must not cross the starting line before the starting whistle is blown.
  7. Mark Rounding: Boats must pass around buoys on a designated course in a certain direction.
  8. Protest: If a boat thinks that other boats have violated the rules, it can protest the other boats. A protest must be made in writing within a certain time limit.
  9. Penalties: A boat that has violated the rules must take a penalty, such as a 720-degree(2 circles) turn or a retirement from the race.

These rules are designed to promote safety and fairness in sailing races, and they must be followed by all competing boats.

Basic Racing Tactics:

  1. Start: The start is crucial in sailboat racing. Strategy and tactics for the start often depend on wind direction and competition. Successful starters are able to position their boat in a favorable spot on the starting line with enough speed to maintain control and maneuver as needed.
  2. Upwind Leg: The upwind leg is where most of the tactical decisions are made. The objective is to sail as close to the wind as possible while maintaining maximum boat speed. Sailing in clear air, unblocked by other boats, is important to maximize boat speed.
  3. Tacking: Tacking is a way to change direction when sailing into the wind. It can be used to gain an advantage if done at the right time.
  4. Wind Shifts: Wind shifts can significantly affect a race. Skilled sailors will capitalize on wind shifts by adjusting their course to take advantage of the new wind direction.
  5. Downwind Leg: The downwind leg is where boats sail with the wind behind the, often deploying spinnakers. The objective is to maintain speed and select the best strategy for the leg.
  6. Mark Rounding: Properly rounding marks is critical in sailboat racing. The goal is to round the mark at the shortest possible distance while maintaining boat speed.
  7. Finish: Crossing the finish line first is the ultimate goal in sailboat racing. Often this involves protecting the lead by positioning the boat to prevent others from passing.