Boxing Day Pursuit Race to end 2017 calendar for Alamitos Bay Yacht Club

Tongue-in-cheek Notice of Race and Sailing Instructions and should draw lighthearted laughter from participants.

LONG BEACH — Alamitos Day Yacht Club certainly hopes to finish 2017 with a few good laughs, as evidenced by the Notice of Race and Sailing Instructions for its upcoming Boxing Day Pursuit Race.

The regatta itself falls on Dec. 30, but this might be The Log’s first-ever sailing event preview where the race really isn’t the primary focus.

Race organizers certainly had a field day drafting – and publishing – the regatta’s Notice of Race and Sailing Instructions. Such documents would never be listed on anyone’s required reading list – until now.

There is a dash of cynicism as to whether anyone would actually read notices about the race.

“A notice board will be placed in the usual place between the Galley and the Quarter Deck, but nothing of any significance will be posted as the majority of sailors will walk straight past it as usual,” the Sailing Instruction’s second paragraph stated.

Class flags would be eliminated due to today’s politically correct climate, according to organizers.

“In these politically correct times, classes have been abolished so as not to appear discriminatory. The Race Officer will grab the nearest rag and throw it up,” the Sailing Instructions continued.

Sailors who encounter obstructions shouldn’t expect any empathy from the racing committee. A paragraph titled “Areas That Are Obstructions” listed the areas or object participants might want to avoid: “Christmas trees, mud, sand, rocks, bridges, vessels that are bigger than you, regardless of whether they are moving.”

“All competitors should continue racing until they finish or get bored,” the Sailing Instructions continued. “Those that have gone cruising may take their own finish times at any convenient point, and brag about them at the bar afterwards.”

The Notice of Race advised competitors to engage in “shameless self-promotion” ahead of the regatta.

Vessels eligible to participate in the Boxing Day Pursuit Race weren’t spared, either.

“All boats, especially those that float, with or without a Portsmouth yardstick,” were considered eligible for the regatta,” according to the Notice of Race.

“For boats not having a Portsmouth yardstick one will be invented,” the Notice of Race continued.

The Notice of Race also addressed scoring, protests, trophies, flotation devices and overall liability with tongue-in-cheek hilarity.

– Scoring:

“The Race Officer will award or deduct points based on the degree of cooperation shown, number of silly questions directed at him, general congeniality of the skipper and number of crew persuaded to participate, and gifts received. Boats which get this combination wrong will not win any prizes.”

            – Prizes:

“The availability of prizes is entirely dependent upon the generosity of club members. If you win you will be famous, and if that is not enough a very large insignificant well used trophy will be presented to the winner.”

            – Protests:

“The Race Officer will impose on-the-spot fines on any boat displaying any sailing skill at all. These will be paid at the bar upon return to the club. All protests involving rules … will first be subjected to arbitration. The arbitration procedure will NOT be a positive experience. We advise against protests.”

– Flotation Devices:

“ABYC recommends that all competitors wear personal flotation devices, previously known as lifejackets until some attorney had them renamed.”

– Liability

“The Race Officer shall not be blamed for anything. We encourage personal responsibility. If you break it you fix it! If you drink out of the hose in the yard and get sick, it’s not our fault.”

Visit Alamitos Bay YC at for more information about its Boxing Day Pursuit Race, which takes place Dec. 30 and costs $15 to enter prior to Dec. 25 (and $16 after).

Photo credit: CSULB Sailing Association

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