Sailing Information

COLSA and the Southern Illinois Collegiate Sailing Club host a combined thirteen races each season including the weekend COLSA Cup Regatta. (See  Calendar for dates and times). Generally all the races are ran under open class Portsmouth Handicapped rules. Each boat has a published handicap and time is corrected based on the handicap numbers. Most races are held on Sundays and start at 12 Noon.  Visitors from other clubs are also welcome.

This is club racing and the only purpose is to have fun and to develop our sailing skills that normally would not be tested under more leisurely circumstances.. We also need race committee volunteers (two to three per race). to man the pontoon boat and run the races. It is the best seat on the take too. 

Crab Orchard Lake Champion Award

This award is given to the skipper and crew who perform the best race scores over the season. To qualify one must race in 50% of any of the scheduled COLSA races  including two  race committee duty. The winner's names are engraved on the traveling trophy each year. Both skipper and crew have their separate trophies. The presentation is made at the COLSA Annual Meeting .

Crab Orchard Lake Challengers Award

This award is given to a new skipper who is learning the intricate maneuvers of sail boat racing. To qualify one must race in 50% of any of the scheduled  COLSA races including two race committee duty. The winner's name are engraved on the traveling trophy each year. Past award winners are ineligible to compete for this award.





COLSA Sailing Instructions 


1.       Rules

1.1    All races will be conducted in accordance with the International Sailing Federation (ISAF) Racing Rules, except as modified by these sailing instructions.

1.2    Portsmouth Handicap Rules for open fleet racing regarding sails, equipment, modifications will also apply.

1.3    Racing boats encountering non-racing craft shall conform to the rules of the road.


2.       Entry

2.1    Entry forms and fees will be accepted on the day of the race.

2.2    Boats must check in with the race committee prior to the race.


3.    Notices - Changes in sailing instructions - changes in course

3.1    Notices, changes in sailing instructions, or changes in course will be posted and distributed at the pre-race committee meeting and aboard the committee boat.


4.    Starting times, procedures and signal

4.1    Starting times will be described in section 4.3, or as modified by the race committee.

4.2    The starting line will be between the race committee boat and a set starting pin or mark to the left of the race committee boat.

4.3    Time of warning signal and all subsequent signals will be:

4.3A Single Fleet Start:

Before Start Signal                              Sound                             Display


Prior to first warning signal                 short Blasts                    none


5 minutes                                           1 long blast                      Blue flag up


4 minutes                                            none                               White flag up or Class Flag


1 minute                                              none                               White or Class flag down


 00 minutes                                       1 extra-long blast              Blue Flag down


4.3B   multiple fleet start


4.3C A boat starting later than 4 minutes after her starting will be scored Did Not Start (DNS)


5.       Keeping clear

5.1   When a boat or group of boats is within 5 minutes of the start time, all other boats shall stay clear of the starting process. After a boat is finished racing she shall immediately leave the finish area.


6.    Recalls

6.1     Boats over early will be signaled by two blasts of a horn and over early recall flag and required to restart after rounding the starting buoy. Sail numbers, if available, will be called out by the race committee.

6.2     If sufficient boats have crossed the start line early, the race committee shall signal for a general recall and restart the race sequence at the 5 minute mark. The general recall flag will be displayed along with the two horn blasts.

6.3     Failure of a boat to hear her recall notification shall not relieve her of her obligations to start correctly.


7.       Course

7.1        The courses are set up from a starting line between a buoy and a staff on the committee boat, around two or more marks (buoys), and across a finish line at the committee boat. All marks are left to port in rounding.

7.2        S   =   starting line

A =   Windward mark

B =    Gybing (reaching) mark

C =    Leeward (downwind) mark

F =    Finish line

7.3        Courses will be designated on a display board at the committee boat

WL   =   SACF              (windward-leeward)

         =   SABCF           (triangle, once around)

         =   SABCABCF   (triangle, twice around)

OM   =   SABCACF      (Olympic modified)

7.4        A start or finish line is an obstruction and boats crossing it other than to start or finish will be disqualified. Races may be shortened by a signal of two horn blasts and raising the blue flag to finish between a mark yet to be rounded and the committee boat.

7.5        The course(s) shall be distributed at the pre-race meeting on the day of the race. The race committee shall notify the skippers of the chosen course prior to the warning signal of each race. The race committee has the option of changing the course 1minute prior to the 11 minute warning blast if change in wind speed should dictate a change.  Each fleet shall sail the same course.


8.       Course change

8.1   The race committee may change the course prior to the 11 minute warning signal of each race or under the provisions set forth in section 7.4.


9.       Finish

9.1        The finish line shall be an imaginary line between the race committee boat and the pin/mark. This line is visualized by a designated race committee member who sites the line with an orange strap affixed to the port side of the race committee boat.

9.2        The committee boat may or may not set up a new line of the finish. The blue flag will be raised when the race committee boat is on station.

9.3        Boat (sail) numbers will be called out, as feasible, when a boat crosses the finish line. A horn will be sounded when the leading boat of a fleet finishes.



10.    Time limit

10.1     The race committee shall abandon a race if the lead boat has not reached the first mark within 45 minutes of the start signal or the race committee shall abandon a race if the lead boat has not finished the race within 2.5 hours of the start.

10.2     Boats not finishing within 30 minutes of the first boat in a one-design fleet to finish shall be scored in their estimated relative position at that time.


10.3     The race committee will abandon its position a 4:00 p.m. unless otherwise noted. Boats not finished by 4:00 p.m. will be recorded as DNF (did not finish).


11.    Scoring

11.1     The race will be scored using the low point scoring system as described in US Sailing Appendix A2.   First place shall be scored .75, second place scored 2.0, third 3.0 and so on.

11.2     A "DNF" shall receive points equal to the number of entrants registered for that race.

11.3     A "DNS" shall receive points equal to the number of entrants registered for that race, plus one point. A DNS pertains to any boat that has registered or entered any of the races for that particular day of races.

11.4     Points earned from each race will apply to the overall skipper and crew Lake Champion Award series. In order to qualify for the championship series, a skipper and crew shall have raced in 60% of the season races. Skipper and crew are permitted to interchange sailboats, classes or combination of skipper/crews during the season.

11.5     The race committee shall designate certain races as non-points earning races. Such races are usually shorten courses and considered for practice/training.


12.    Alternative penalties

12.1   The 360 degree turn penalty as described in ISAF Rule 44 will apply for infringement of a rule of Part 2 of the Racing Rules.


13.    Protest

13.1     A protesting boat must show a red flag immediately following an infringement of the rules.

13.2     A protesting boat must hail to the protested vessel.

13.3     Boats protesting are required to inform the race committee at the finish line of the boat protested.

13.4     Protests will be heard at the post-race meeting if possible. If not possible, the time and place of the protest hearing will be announced.


14.    Penalties

14.1 A boat hitting a mark shall be disqualified unless it completes a 360 degree turn before continuing. A boat fouling another boat may carry out two 360 degree turns (720 degrees) to exonerate itself before continuing. Such boats may still be protested. Fouling includes: collision, barging, and failure to yield right of way.


15.    Safety

15.1     Retiring boats are required to notify the race committee prior to leaving the course.

15.2     The race committee shall postpone or cancel a race at anytime they judge that the safety of the crews is in jeopardy.

15.3     Each skipper is ultimately responsible for the safety of the crew and themselves and shall exercise sound judgement while on the racecourse.


16.    Awards

15.1 Trophies and Participation awards will be awarded after each series and regatta. COLSA holds one series each year called the Lake Champion Award. COLSA also holds one weekend COLSA Cup Regatta that also is included in the series, but also trophy awards are presented.


17.    Tie Breaking

Ties shall be broken by the following order:

Who beat whom the most times

Who finished best in the last race.



18.    Handicap System

18.1     Boats will be handicapped per current Portsmouth, Handicapped system.

18.2     Boats will assign of a type not given a Portsmouth rating.

18.3     The race committee will attempt to monitor channel 68 and maintain contact with the USCG Auxiliary Safety Boat and the Playport Marina shore station.

18.4     The race committee shall choose to experiment with alternative handicapped rules for non points earning races for the purpose of promoting increased competition and participation.


19.    Fees

19.1     Fees may be charged to each participant or boat to cover costs of food, refreshments and awards.

19.2     Fees may be collected either prior to or after the day's racing.


20.    Pre race meeting

20.1 There will be a meeting of all skippers prior to the beginning of the first race at the marina shelter area.


21.    Post race meeting

21.1 There will be a meeting at the end of the day's racing to post scores and announce the winners. Any protest will also be heard at this meeting.