Race & Protest Committees

  • Race Committee
    • The Annapolis Yacht Club Race Committee is responsible for running both One Design and PHRF Regattas.

      On average, there are a minimum of 14 regattas on the regular racing schedule including the Annapolis NOOD, Annual Regatta, CBYRA Race Week, Lippincott/Stars, Fall Series, and Spring and Summer One Design Regattas. The Race Committee is on the water a minimum of 35 days for the annually scheduled events with at least another 10-15 depending on the number of championship regattas hosted by the Club. The majority of the regattas are multiday events with starts for both one design and handicap classes.

      The social aspect of Race Committee is great fun as you’ll get to know fellow members of the Club who give up their time to ensure that the sailors get not only a large quantity of races BUT most importantly, quality races. Post racing for most events there is a social function at the Club and Race Committee members are welcome. 

      A reputation for excellence in race management

      With a stellar reputation for Race Management both on and off the water, many National and International Regatta Committees request the opportunity to hold their events at the Club. Most major visiting regattas are on the calendar 2-3 years in advance so that both Race Committee and Clubhouse/Banquet services can be scheduled accordingly. Some of the visiting regattas over the past few years have been the Rolex International Women’s Keelboat Championship (3 times), the Star Worlds, the J/22 and J/24 Worlds, major Farr 40 International Regattas and in 2012, the Junior Olympics with over 150 boats participating on 5 race circles. In 2007, AYC ran what is still on the books as the largest J/105 event with 69 entries for their North Americans. Other events include the J/70 North Americans, the 4th running of the J/105 North Americans at AYC, and in 2014 the J/22 and J/80 North American Championships. During the year, no less than 3 Junior Fleet regattas are run with participation from the RC as well as parent volunteers.

      How to get involved

      Regattas begin in April and run through mid-November. In February, the committee members are sent a sign-up sheet for the year’s schedule. Members indicate which events they want to work and if they have a boat they wish to volunteer for course duty. We rely entirely on member-volunteered boats to run all regattas. Based on the sign-ups, the Race Chairman assigns Principal Race Officers, Mark Boat Operators, and Race Committee to each event. Various skill sets for the mark boats and signal boats are necessary so committee members are assigned based on their individual preferences and background. 

      In April a, a full day of training is available for those existing and prospective Race Committee members who want to hone their GPS skills so they can act as Mark Boat Officers during regattas. You will need to supply your own GPS but we’ll work with you on how to set marks per the instructions given by the Signal Boat, how to adjust marks due to wind shifts, etc. Additional training in scoring and sound and signal management is also offered. For those wishing to be the gunner, a mandatory firearms safety course is given annually so that we ensure safe operation of the equipment.


      If you have questions about joining Race Committee, please contact Race Committee Chair Sandy Grosvenor or Linda Ambrose, Regatta Manager, 410-858-4964

  • Protest Committee


      A Long Standing Tradition

      Annapolis Yacht Club has a long and distinguished history of excellent race management which includes the AYC Protest Committee. AYC is proud to have a long list of internationally recognized judges who have served on this committee over the years, including Sandy Grosvenor, Joe Krolak, Jack Lynch, Gaither Scott and Ron Ward, who was a member of the first US Sailing Judges Committee which created the judge certification program that became the model for the International Judges program.

      Under the Racing Rules of Sailing, a protest committee is appointed for every regatta, either by the organizing authority, which is usually the Annapolis Yacht Club, or by the race committee. The number of judges or umpires serving the event is determined by the type and size of the event, and the AYC Protest Committee is the primary source for those race officials. Our jobs extend beyond hearing protests or umpiring races. We also provide support for the race committee and help sailors apply the rules.

      All Annapolis Yacht Club Protest Committee members are experienced racing sailors. Most are trained and certified by US Sailing, while others have a good knowledge of the racing rules and are working toward US Sailing certification. AYC judges and umpires have served in the America's Cup, the Volvo Ocean Race, the Olympic Games and many world championships.

      If you have racing experience and would like to know more about joining the AYC Protest Committee, contact the Race Office or send a note to protestcommittee@annapolisyc.org.

      Why a Silver Oar?

      The silver oar in the AYC Protest Committee logo has roots in admiralty courts throughout history. Admiralty law is a civil legal system consisting of rules and principles derived from long-standing customs of the sea and a host of medieval maritime codes. Admiralty law, also known as maritime law, has existed since at least 900 B.C. when it was used on the island of Rhodes in the eastern Mediterranean. Admiralty law was introduced into England under the reign of King Richard the Lionheart and English maritime matters were heard by the High Court of Admiralty as early as 1360.

      The U.S. admiralty law heritage is linked to the English admiralty courts through colonization by England. The first admiralty court in the western hemisphere was established in Jamaica in 1662, with the same jurisdiction, structure and procedures as the admiralty courts in England, including the use of the silver oar mace as a symbol of legitimacy and an indication of the Crown authority for whomever carried it.

      Our admiralty courts have continued to display the silver oar mace as a symbol of the authority of the court. A silver oar has been displayed in the District Court for the Southern District of New York since 1941 and is displayed in the Warren B. Rudman U.S. Federal District Courthouse in New Hampshire. Likewise, US Sailing and AYC have adopted the symbol for their judges and protest committees.

      You can find an excellent article on the history of the Admiralty Court silver oar here: http://goo.gl/e1ZyNF

      Jim Capron, Chairman

      January 2016