Highlander Class Rules Governing Racing

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July 22, 2001


These rules shall apply to all sanctioned Highlander regattas as defined in Article IV of these rules, and as specified in other races where Highlanders race as a class


1. The Boat

A. A boat must be measured, certified and registered as specified in Article VIII, DEFINITION OF A HIGHLANDER, of the By Laws, to participate in any race where Highlanders race as a class.

B. The Class's Certification shall be binding upon the organization conducting races for the Highlander class. Except for the Nationals, a boat holding such certificate shall not be subject to re-measurement or protest of measurements unless there is reasonable evidence of alterations, erroneous measurements, or falsified measurements. The responsibility for measurement fee in such cases shall be according to the Racing Rules of Sailing.

2. The Sails

A. The purchase or use of new sails by Highlander owners shall be limited to one jib, main, and spinnaker in any calendar year, except that one additional suit of sails may be purchased or used for any Highlander during its first sailing season.

B. In case of accident to sails, the owner may petition the Chief Measurer to permit purchase of an additional sail replacing the one so damaged.

3. The Helmsman

The helmsman of a boat in a sanctioned regatta must be an Active Member, a Junior Member, Associate Member, the immediate family of an Active Member, or a Co- Owner, as defined in ARTICLE II - MEMBERS of the By Laws. Associate members are eligible to compete in two regattas and the National Championship during a calendar year. Neither helmsman nor any crewmember may be a Group 3 competitor as defined in International Sailing Federation Classification Code.


The International Sailing Federation"s Racing Rules of Sailing, Prescriptions by the United States Sailing Association (RRS) and Highlander Class International Association rules shall govern sanctioned regattas. CLASS rules have precedence where permitted by RRS. The local authority may add racing rules as long as they do not conflict with, or change RRS 86 or CLASS Rules Governing Highlander Racing Articles I, II, III, IV and V (except Article V paragraph.7) 2


The Board may sanction a regatta provided that it meets the following conditions:

It is open to all Highlanders
It will be conducted according to these rules.
The event is organized by, or in conjunction with a fleet chartered in accordance with ARTICLE VII of the By Laws or approved by a vote of the Board.
The event organizers have requested and received permission to announce the event as sanctioned.
The Board may waive any of the foregoing or withdraw sanction from any event for cause, even if the event has already been conducted.


1. A Highlander must carry the following when racing.

a. One anchor with the holding power of a fluke type anchor with 4-pound minimum weight and with a minimum of 100 feet of _ inch nylon or equivalent strength line.
b. One USCG approved personal flotation device for each person aboard. Type III is preferred.
c. One USCG approved Type 1V PFD throwable flotation device (ring or cushion) with an attached sound device
d. At least two bailing devices with a combined minimum capacity of two gallons. At least one of them must be a bucket of one-gallon minimum capacity.
e. One international orange distress flag of a minimum of one square foot area in those waters where it is required by the law.
f. A minimum of two useable paddles.

The National Race Committee or the Chief Measurer or, in their absence, the local race committee shall make the final decision on the equivalency of any safety equipment.

2. No dead weight can be carried as stationary or shifting ballast except weight installed as prescribed in paragraph

3 of the Highlander Class Specifications to bring the boat to the minimum weight. 3. All sails must meet Highlander specifications and have royalty tags. Only one spinnaker may be carried on board during a race.

4. There must be a minimum of the helmsman and one crewmember on board the boat in all races. There is no limit on the maximum number of people on board beyond your own judgment of the number that is safe.

5. The same person shall handle the helm of a given boat throughout a race except during temporary adjustment of the rigging or equipment or when flying the spinnaker.

6. Different persons may be helmsman of a boat during a regatta provided the rotation of helmsman is submitted to the Race Committee (RC) at the skippers meeting. Out of order helmsman will be disqualified. This rule does not apply for the Nationals.

7. A boat must carry the same number of crew for all races of the regatta. There shall be no planned crew substitution during a regatta unless the proposed substitution is approved by a majority of the Highlander skippers registered for the event at the skippers meeting. Any later emergency substitutions may be protested, and be decided by a protest committee. The Protest committee will disqualify a boat, which improved its weight for the conditions. Crew substitutions in the National Championship are covered by the rules for the National Championship.

8. Regatta organizers shall provide essentially equal in-water mooring or dry sailing facilities for all participants at a regatta.

9. All sanctioned regattas, including the National Championship, shall be scored using the Low Point Scoring System in RRS Appendix A. The National Championship has special conditions described later.

10. Changes to sailing instructions must be posted no later than two hours prior to the warning signal of the first race of the day that they will take effect and may not be changed until the final race of the day has been completed. Changes to the race schedule must be posted no later than 1900 hours on the day before they will take effect.


1. Purpose - The National Championship is to be conducted annually to determine the National Champion of the Highlander Class.

2. Selection of Location - The selection of the site for the National Championship shall be made according to the following:

a. The same fleet should not host the National Championship in two consecutive years.
b. The National Championship should not be held for more than two consecutive years in the same type of sailing conditions (i.e. small inland lake, sheltered portion of a large body of water, or open water of a large lake such as a Great Lake). Every effort should be made to annually move the site to a variety of locations in various parts of the country.
c. The Championship must be held where an active fleet can assume responsibility for all local arrangements.
d. Proposals to sponsor the following year's Championship should be made by an active fleet at the annual business meeting. Selection of site shall be made by 4 the Board or, at the discretion of the President by vote of the Active Members present at the annual meeting. The selection of the site shall be made as soon as possible following the presentation of proposals for sponsorship.
e. The responsibility for selecting the site and hosting future Highlander National Championship Regattas shall be assigned on a rotating basis. Active Highlander fleets are divided into regional quadrants with each region assuming full responsibility for hosting the Nationals once every four years. The obligation of each region is to select an appropriate site and function as host fleet(s) in all capacities, in accordance with Article VI of the rules Governing Highlander Racing. The region is not necessarily obligated to host the Nationals at an active fleet's own sailing site. The Board shall divide active fleets into regional quadrants and review assignments annually. The regional fleet structure shall be announced at the Annual meeting held during the National Championship.

3. Race Committee -- The National Race Committee shall be in charge of the National Championship series, working in association with a local race committee of the host fleet or club sponsoring the regatta. The local race committee shall have sole responsibility for the management of all the on-the-water aspects of the regatta. The host fleet or club shall be responsible for arranging and providing for racing conditions, proper facilities, entertainment, prizes, etc. The National Race Committee shall oversee the overall management of the regatta and shall provide guidance and direction to the local race committee to ensure that the rules and best interests of the Highlander class are followed.

4. Nationals Schedule - The National Championship Regatta should be sailed during the months of July or August. Following is a suggested schedule for the regatta, however the Board may modify this schedule and sponsoring fleets may propose alternate schedules to the Board for approval.

Saturday Registration and Measurement
Sunday Registration, Measurement, and Practice Race
Monday Up to Three Races
Tuesday Up to Three Races
Wednesday Up to Three Races
Thursday Makeup Race, Juniors, Masters, and Women's

The desired National Championship Series is one of at least seven races. However, if conditions preclude the completion of seven races prescribed in the Sailing Instructions, then a minimum of three races must be completed to constitute a National Championship. The warning signal for any race shall not be sounded after 4:30 PM.

If circumstances do not permit the sailing of the minimum number of races, The National Championship will be rescheduled at a site and time decided by the Executive committee. The rescheduled regatta shall be sailed as a new regatta with all previous scores eliminated and shall be scheduled to have a minimum of three races.

5. Courses -- The preferred courses will be one of the following. If the local conditions preclude these courses, the local race committee may set an alternate course adaptable to local conditions.

a. An Olympic type course consisting of an isosceles triangle consisting of a beat, reach, reach, beat, run, and beat. The number of legs may be increased to fit the conditions. The amount of time required to sail the course should be approximately an hour and fifteen minutes.
b. A Windward Leeward course with an offset mark, and possibly a leeward gate. The number of legs may be increased to fit the conditions. The amount of time required to sail the course should be approximately an hour and fifteen minutes. The course may be shortened due to only weather or other conditions which would preclude safety or meeting the time limit. The shortening must be done by reducing the number of legs. The shortened course must consist of at least two thirds of the number of legs of the original course. It is not necessary for the Championship and President"s Division to have the same number of races or identical courses. The Race Committee is encouraged to strongly consider abandoning races, which become total drifters.

6. Crew - The skipper and crew must be registered with the National Race Committee prior to the first race. The number of persons allowed in a boat shall not be less than two and not more than four. The same crew must be carried throughout all races of the regatta. If emergency substitutions are made the following conditions must be met.

a. The boat with a substitute crew must not significantly improve its skill or weight because of the crew switch.
b. The substitution is requested in writing and approved by the National Race Committee prior to the start of the first race. This request must indicate which crew member will be replaced and by whom, the weights and a summary of the sailing ability of the persons involved in the substitution, and the dates and times for which the change shall apply and the reason for the substitution.
c. In the case of illness or injury or anything else which make it impossible for a boat to race with the same crew members, and if subparagraph 6.b. above cannot be met, the boat may conditionally sail with substitute crew, provided the Local Race Committee is informed of the situation prior to the warning gun. Upon being informed of such a situation, the Local Race Committee shall protest the yacht. The Protest Committee shall make the decision, as to whether the substitution was made in accordance with subparagraph 6a above and therefore shall be allowed. If the substitution is approved, the boat shall be awarded its finish, if not, it shall be disqualified. This approval for emergency replacement must be obtained for each race.

In all circumstances the original crew must be reinstated in the first possible race

7. Measurement - All boats registered in the National Championship shall be subject to measurement and approval by the Chief Measurer. The Chief Measurer shall select items or specifications to be measured or checked at the National Championship.

The Chief measurer shall give preference to measuring some of the following:

a) All up hull weight
b) Centerboard weight
c) Centerboard thickness
d) Trailing edge diameter of centerboard
f) Rudder thickness
g) Rudder profile outline
h) J measurement
i) Z measurement

All sails shall be measured at the first National Championship during which the sail is employed and on alternating years thereafter, unless repaired, adjusted or modified.

If any boat or equipment does not meet the specifications, it shall be prohibited from use unless the National Race Committee and Board members present, acting in concert, give special temporary permission.

In the case of irreparable damage to a measured boat or other equipment, which is sufficient to prohibit continued participation, substitution of any necessary part, including the hull, may be made provided that the Chief Measurer and the National Race committee, in concert, grant temporary approval

8. Sails --

a. Two complete suits of sails may be registered for the Nationals, however; only one spinnaker may be used. The second spinnaker may be used only in the event of irreparable damage to or loss of the first.
b. If any sails are borrowed and new in the current year then they count as new sails and are subject to the limitation on new sails for a skipper. The borrowed sail number may be different than the boat"s number, but the sail number must be different from any other boat registered to avoid confusion. The boat will be recorded by its sail number. A skipper may register another boat"s sail as his second sail.

9. Time Limit - The time limit for each race shall be three hours for the first boat to finish and 45 minutes for the first boat to round the first mark. Failure to meet these limits shall result in abandonment of the race. Boats not finishing within 40 minutes of the first boat will be scored DNF. After the Championship and President's Divisions have been determined, each division's races shall stand on its own, therefore failure to meet the time limit by one division does not affect the other. (This modifies Highlander rule Article VI paragraph 11,section a) 7

10. Split Fleet System - The series shall be sailed as a two-division or split fleet series. The employment of this split fleet system may, however, be ruled against by a majority vote of the National Race Committee and Board acting in concert. The twodivision system to be used is the following. The entire fleet will be split after the first three races on the basis of the best two finishes of the three races. The top half of the registered entries (plus one if there is an odd number of entrants) will be placed in the Championship Division. The remaining boats will be placed in the President's Division. Each of the fleets will sail separate races, usually over the same course with the President's Division starting about ten minutes after the Championship Division, except when a small number of entries warrants a single start. Should the wind shift after the Championship Division, the starting line will be reset to give the best possible start to the President's Division, but this change shall not affect the Championship Division race. Each division's racing will stand on its own without factors influencing the other, even if there is a single start. Races abandoned in one division will not affect racing in the other division. The Board may modify these procedures prior to issuance of the Notice of Race

11. Scoring -

a. Scoring is low point system of RRS appendix A with one throw out if 7 or more races are sailed and completed. This rule is modified by Class rule Art VI paragraph 9. (Note: All National Sailing Instructions must make note of this change to RRS Appendix A)
b. Prior to the splitting of the fleet the scoring shall be in accordance with Article VI, Paragraph 11.a above. In races following the split, boats in each Division shall be scored as a separate division. The boats in the President"s and Championship Division shall have their scores from the first three races, when they raced against all boats, amended to reflect their finishes relative to only the other boats in their Division. Races sailed prior to the split as well as those sailed within the division shall count in the final scoring.

12. Penalties - The penalty for breaking a rule in RRS Part 2 is 720 degree turns.

13. Awards - The following perpetual rotating trophies shall be awarded following the completion of the series:

Championship Division:

First Place
Second Place
Third Place
Fourth Place
Fifth Place

President's Division:

First Place
Second Place
Third Place

Sail-A-Gair Trophy:

Awarded to the highest finishing skipper who is skippering in his or her first National Championship.

McLeod Trophy:

Awarded to the highest finishing all family boat. An all-family boat is defined as a boat where the skipper and crew are all members of the same family. Family members shall include only members of the immediate family (parents, spouses, siblings, children).

Piglet Trophy:

Awarded to the highest finishing all family boat, as defined above, In the President's Division.

Chapin Trophy:

Awarded to the highest finishing all family boat, as defined above, whose skipper is sailing in his or her first Nationals.

Bahama Mama Trophy:

Awarded to the highest finishing skipper who is under nineteen (19) years of age at the start of the regatta.

Corpus Christi Trophy:

Awarded to the highest finishing fleet, other than the host fleet with three or more boats participating. If no fleet has three boats, then the award shall be given to the highest finishing fleet. In order to determine the highest finishing fleet, each boat shall be awarded points according to the following:

Place Points
First  Number of registered boats
Second Number of registered boats minus one
Third Number of registered boats minus two
Last One

The fleet with the most points wins the trophy.

In the event that there is no skipper or boat qualified to win one of the above awards, the award shall not be given and the National Race Committee Chairman shall hold the trophy until the following year's regatta.

Permanent trophies should also be awarded to the following:

a. All Rotating Trophy Winners.
b. All Crew on First Five Boats in the Championship Division
c. Skippers Finishing in Sixth through Tenth Place in the Championship Division
d. All Crew on First Three Boats in the President's Division
e. Skippers Finishing in Fourth and Fifth Place in the President's Division
f. Skippers Winning Races Prior to the Split Fleet, in the Championship Division and in the President's Division

The host fleet may, with the approval of the National Race Committee, alter which permanent trophies will be awarded.

14. Junior National Championship - Any Active or Junior Member of the Highlander Class International Association or sibling of an Active Member who has not obtained the age of 22 years at the start of the regatta date shall be eligible to compete as the skipper of a Highlander Class sloop in the Junior National Championship. (change made at 2008 AGM) The Junior National Championship shall consist of a series of races as shall be scheduled by the National Championship Committee. The Rules Governing Highlander Racing shall govern the Junior National Championship with the above eligibility.

15. Master National - Any Active Member of the Association who has obtained the age of 55 years at the start of the regatta date shall be eligible to compete as the skipper of a Highlander sloop in the Master National Championship. The Master National Championship shall consist of a series of races as shall be scheduled by the National Championship Committee. The Rules Governing Highlander Racing shall govern the Master Nationals Championship with the above eligibility.

16. Women"s National Championship - Any female who is an Active Member, Family Member, Junior Member, or Associate Member shall be eligible to compete as the skipper of a Highlander Class sloop in the Women"s National Championship. The Women"s National Championship shall consist of a series of races scheduled by the National Championship Committee. The Rules Governing Highlander Racing regatta shall govern the Woman"s Nationals Championship with the above eligibility.


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