NORSI Choptank Fleet 2024

Proposed NOR & SI for 2024

Notice of Races & Sailing Instructions

CLICK HERE for a printable copy of the Choptank NORSI for 2024 

CLICK HERE for 2024 Skipper Guide                    


Cambridge Fleet 2024 Wednesday Night Notice of Race & Sailing Instructions

Fleet Captain: George Breig,443-532-9920,  text messages are encouraged.                                


1. Notice of Race

Pre-season fleet meeting: May 1, 2024, 6:00 PM at the CYC

Race Schedule- 2024

May 8- Practice Race

Series 1 – May 15 - June 19 – six scheduled races

Series 2 – June 26 - July 31– six scheduled races

Series 3 – August 2 – September 11– six scheduled races

Special Races (bad weather dates)

Stedman Smith Cup – June 1 (June 8)

Wild Goose Chase – September 14 (Sept 15)

Choptank Cup – October 12 (October 13)

1.2 Racing Rules - Racing will be governed by the 2021-2024 Racing Rules of Sailing (RRS) and by the 2024 ESSA Notice of Race and Sailing Instructions.

1.3 Fleets - There will be two fleets: Spinnaker and Non-Spin.  Entrants in the Spin and Non-Spin fleets must be members of ESSA and must fill out a Racing Application and pay the standard racing fee before participating.  After that, skippers must pay the annual ESSA membership dues and racing dues before they will be scored.  

1.3.1 Fleet Selection - A boat must race in the same Fleet for an entire Series but may change Fleets at the start of the next Series. The Fleet Captain must be notified of this change before the start of that series. Email to

1.4 Fees - Payment of Membership and Racing fees must occur before 5:30 p.m. on the first day the participant intends to race. Boats which have not paid the Membership and Racing fees before racing will not be scored. There will be no retroactive scoring when fees are paid after the season starts.


1.5 Weekly Racing Format - Three six-race series are scheduled. Racing will begin on Wednesday evenings at approximately 6:00 p.m.. The Race Committee will announce the evening’s course on VHF Channel 72. Racers are expected to have a copy of the 2024 Race Courses. The RC land crew will record finish times.

Results will be posted on

1.6 Decision to Race -The responsibility for a boat’s decision to participate in a race or to continue racing is her’s alone.

2.  Sailing Instructions

2.1 Sailing Instructions will be made available at least one week before the start of the first Series. They will be forwarded by e-mail, posted on, and hard copies will be available from the Fleet Captain upon request. Skippers will be notified by e-mail of all approved changes to the 2024 NORSI.

2.2   Ratings - All boats must have an official ESSA PHRF rating or a current rating from PHRF of the Chesapeake, Inc. before racing. Ratings must be sent to the Fleet Captain before the first race. A PHRF of the Chesapeake certificate is preferred.

2.3 Safety Equipment - For all classes, the “Nearshore” category of the US Sailing Safety Equipment Requirements (available at e/safety-information/ser-world-sailing-special regulations ) will apply.

2.5 Penalty Turns - Rule 44.1  (taking a penalty) is modified to allow a boat to take a one turn penalty versus a two-turn penalty when she has broken one or more rules of Para 2. The penalty turn will be completed within the current course leg and promptly as soon as the vessel is well clear.

 2.5 Outside Help - A boat shall neither make nor receive radio, phone or other communication to gain information not available to all other boats participating. The use of cell phones to monitor approaching severe weather is permitted.

2.6 Scoring - The standard low point scoring system will be used. Points will be awarded in order of finish based on corrected time. Boats which are scored DNS, DNF or DSQ will receive a score equal to the number of boats that came to the starting area plus 1. DNC will be scored as the number of boats entered in that Series plus 1. Races will be scored using the Time-on-Time scoring method. Two boats in a Fleet must cross the starting line to make a race. Races with only one boat will not be scored.  A minimum of four races are required to constitute a Series.

In the event of multiple race cancellations, the Fleet Captain may schedule up to two make-up race dates on September 18 and 25 to complete any Series.

2.7 Race Result Discards – For each Series, one race result will be discarded for each competitor.

2.8 Scoring of Substitute Race Committee Boat - If the on the water Race Committee is not available, and an ESSA racer is assigned to substitute, that boat will be scored OOD (Officer-Of-the-Day.) The boat will receive the average points of all scored races less any DNC's for that series. 

2.9 Race Ties – If boats are tied based on their corrected times, the points for the place for which the boats have tied will be awarded to each boat. For example, if two boats are tied for 3rd place based on corrected time, each boat will receive 3 points.

2.10 Series Ties – If there is a series-score tie between two or more boats, each boat’s race scores shall be listed in order of best to worst, and at the first point(s) where there is a difference the tie shall be broken in favor of the boat(s) with the best score(s). No excluded races shall be used. If a tie remains, follow the guidance in Rule A8.2.

2.11 Awards - Awards will be given in both the Spin, Non-Spin and Cruising Fleets for total points in each Series and total points for the season.

The number of Series Awards given is based on the number of boats competing in the Spin,  Non-Spin Fleets as follows:


# Boats/Fleet Competing in a Series

Awards presented to:


1st place


1st place, 2nd place


1st place, 2nd place, 3rd place



To qualify for the Overall Season Award a boat must race in 50% of the races sailed plus one. Overall Season Awards for each Fleet will be based on all races sailed plus points earned as the Race Committee boat, minus three discards over the entire season.

3.0 On the Water Race Committee

3.1 Selection – When the regular Race Committee is not available, a lottery system will be used to select skippers for Race Committee duty for a specific Wednesday evening.  The Fleet Captain will issue the Race Committee assignment schedule and email it to the Fleet and post it on the ESSA Choptank Fleet Blog.

If the skipper assigned to Race Committee cannot be there in person, it is their responsibility to recruit a substitute Officer-of-the-Day who is trained and capable to execute a race per the 2024 NORSI. The OOD must also assure that sufficient RC crew is onboard.  

3.2 Instructions for the Race Committee to Follow - A document listing the “Instructions for the Race Committee” will be distributed by e-mail to all skippers and posted in the Race Committee Binder. Skippers selected for Race Committee duty are expected to review and  understand these instructions and conduct their race accordingly.  Channel 72.

3.3 Communications - The Race Committee will use, and each participant shall monitor, VHF Channel 72 to communicate all information necessary for the race. If questions arise, contact the Fleet Captain before the race, during the pre-race or at any time during the race on VHF Channel 72.

3.4 2024 Course List - The  2024 Course List will be sent to each skipper along with the Race Committee Instructions and the  2024  NORSI. It is strongly recommended that each skipper have a copy of these documents onboard.

3.5 Course Selection - The Race Committee will announce courses for both the Spin and Non-Spin, using the 2024 Course List.  The number of each course and the number of laps will be communicated to all competitors well before the start on VHF Channel 72. Courses will NOT be announced by text message to competitors.

The Race Committee may set a course that is not on the 2024 Course List to better match the conditions at race time. This course will be announced on VHF 72 well before the starting sequence for the fleet affected.  ESSA Marks A- Z will be used. (Alpha – Zulu)

3.6 Setting the Starting Line - The starting line will be set between the Committee boat and a floating marker ball or an established course mark. The length of the starting line will be set to allow adequate room based on the number of boats competing and the current weather conditions. As a rule of thumb, the line should be 1-1.5 times the hull length of all boats competing in that race.  A starting line that is too short can cause congestion that may lead to collisions between boats.  The line will be positioned to facilitate an up-wind start if possible.

3.7 The Finish Line - The finish line will be between ESSA Mark “Z” (Zulu) and a flag on the dock at the Cambridge Yacht Club unless the course is shortened by the Race Committee.  A boat will be scored as finished when any part of that boat’s hull crosses the finish line from the course side and continues to stay clear of the finishing marks and other boats. 

3.8 Responsibility -  If a borrowed boat is used as the Committee Boat, the Officer-of-the-Day (OOD), must be on board to officiate the race. If the skipper of the designated RC boat decides to permit their crew to race his/her boat, that boat will be scored OOD. 

4.0 Protests

ESSAs intent is to run races that are fun and competitive in which formal protests are rare.

4.1 Making a Protest - A boat intending to protest shall inform the protested boat at the first reasonable opportunity. The protesting boat shall also inform the Race Committee at the first reasonable opportunity.  Protests must be filed with the assigned Race Committee no later than one hour after the conclusion of the race. Protest forms are available from the Fleet Captain or his/her designee. Copies are in the Race Committee Maroon Binder. Protests will be heard at a time and place determined by the Fleet Captain or his/her designee.

4.2 Penalties at the Time of an Incident - A boat that has broken one or more rules of Part 2 or rule 31 may take a penalty turn in accordance with rule 44 and Sailing Instruction paragraph 2.5.  The boat shall report to the Race Committee that they have completed the required penalty turn. 

4.3 – Other Protests & Disqualifications - The Race Committee, after witnessing or hearing the report of an incident, may choose to protest the offending boat or disqualify in accordance with Rule 60. The Fleet Captain should be informed of that decision.

5.0 Racing Signals

5.1 Checking In  - Racers will check in with the On the Water Race Committee using VHF 72 prior to the first courtesy warning signal.  Skippers will identify their boat name, sail number and Fleet (Spin, Non-Spin, Cruising). 

5.2 Starts - Races will be started with the following modification to Rule 26.  Specifically, there will be an additional warning signal consisting of five long blasts at 6 minutes. Starting sequences may be changed in the event of a general recall.

Spin Fleet Starting Sequence






Courtesy Warning

6 min


5 Long Blasts


Starting Sequence

5 min


1 Long Blast

Engine off.                 Must be under sail.


4 min


1 Long Blast



1 min


1 Long Blast





1 Long Blast





Non-Spin Starting Sequence






Courtesy Warning

6 min


5 Long Blasts


Starting Sequence

5 min


1 Long Blast

Engine off.                 Must be under sail.


4 min


1 Long Blast



1 min


1 Long Blast





1 Long Blast



5.3 Multiple Laps – Prior to the warning signal, the Race Committee will announce on VHF Channel 72 the number of laps of the course to be sailed if greater than one.

5.4 Time Limit: The first boat in each Fleet must finish the course before or at 90 minutes, zero seconds of the starting signal or the race is abandoned. Subsequent boats in each Fleet must finish within 45 minutes of the first boat in the Fleet to finish. For boats still racing when time expires (and at least one boat has finished within the time limit) they shall be scored DNF and notified by the Race Committee on VHF Channel 72.  No sound signal will be made. Time will be determined by GPS. This modifies RRS Rules 35 and A11.

5.5 Shortened Course - The Race Committee may shorten a course at any mark utilized in the race that evening.  The shortened course will be announced on VHF Channel 72 prior to the lead boat achieving the shortened finish mark. 

5.6 Postponing A Race - Races postponed due to weather, including lack of wind, will be delayed a maximum of 30 minutes. A new start time will be announced by Race Committee on VHF Channel 72.

5.7 Abandoning a Race - The Race Committee may abandon a race at any time if they determine that the weather conditions in the race course area are currently or soon will be too dangerous for the fleet or if winds are very light and it is judged that the lead boat will clearly not cross the finish line within the time limit. An abandoned race will be signaled via VHF Channel 72. This race will not count in that Series.

5.8 Withdrawing from a Race - If a competitor elects to withdraw from a race due to weather in the area or for any other reason, she shall notify the Race Committee of her withdrawal and the reason why.


5.9  Safety - Each competitor, including the crew, is solely responsible for his or her personal safety.

6.0 Racing Area and Marks

6.1 Racing Area - The racing area and marks are shown on a separate PDF file that will be sent to each racer by email.  This information can also be accessed on in the ESSA Yearbook and on .


COURSE MARKS ( locations are reasonably accurate)

Mark A Can 3 (Cambridge Creek)        N 38 34’ 40”                            W 76 03’ 53”

Mark B             ESSA Flag  Buoy            N 38 35’ 27”                            W 76 04’ 30”

Mark C             G23 Dolphin                 N 38 35’ 55”                             W 76 04’ 41”

Mark D             Can 21                            N 38 36’ 04”                             W 76 06’ 14”

Mark E              FL R 20                           N 38 36’ 01”                             W 76 06’ 53”

Mark F              Clam Line                       N38 35’ 23”                             W76 03’ 34”

Mark G             ESSA Flag Buoy             N 38 36’ 36”                             W 76 05’ 43”

Mark H             Clam Line                     N 38 36’ 09”                             W 76 04’ 21”

Mark Z              Finish Red Flag (CYC)  N 38 34’ 44”                              W 76 04’ 13”

 Note:  All marks are visible with .25 NM. 

Important - The Race Committee may set a course for either the Spin Fleet, or Non Spin Fleet, or for all Fleets that is not on the above list of courses. The Race Committee will set this course to better fit with the conditions at race time. This course will be announced well in advance of the starting sequence for the Fleet that is affected.

Monitor Channel 72 for race instructions.


Disclaimer of Liability

Competitors participate in the races entirely at their own risk. See RRS Rule 4 and sections 1.6 and 5.8 of these instructions. The organizing authority will not accept any liability for material damage or personal injury, or death sustained in conjunction with, prior to, during, or after the race. 

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