Children in dinghies racing against old-timers in keelboats, slow boats besting fast boats and, above all, no protests ... it's the Alamitos Bay Yacht Club's 13th annual Boxing Day Race coming this Saturday, December 29th.
The event, open to any sailboat from anywhere on the planet---'especially those that float,' the rules say---is a nod to the UK's informal post-Christmas holiday, traditionally raced on the Saturday between Christmas and New Year's Day.
Competitors may register online.
It's a pursuit race with an inverted start schedule, meaning that the faster you rate the farther back in the pack you start. Naples Sabots will lead off at about 1 p.m. and Formula 18 catamarans will go off last about an hour later, with everybody else at various times in between.
All will race the same course inside Alamitos Bay and finish wherever they are at a pre-determined time a couple of hours after the first start.
Theoretically, everyone will finish at the same time (right).
There are a few basic rules, as stated in the Notice of Race and the Sailing Instructions, based on everyone having fun and not taking the racing seriously:
'The Principal Race Officer will impose on-the-spot fines on any boat displaying any sailing skill at all.'
'All competitors should continue racing until they finish or get bored.'
As for protests ... 'The Race Committee is neither interested nor amused by being bothered with this sort of stuff.'
The PRO, incidentally, is Mark Townsend, an ABYC member formally confirmed by the International Sailing Federation (ISAF) as an International Race Officer at their 2012 ISAF annual meeting. He was the only IRO named in the United States this year and is one of only 14 IROs in the USA.
Best advice: Don't mess around with him.
Registration and entry list
Complete 2011 results
by Rich Roberts
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9:07 PM Mon 24 Dec 2012GMT
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