Why should I Race:

  • As an excuse to go sailing.
  • To meet other sailors.
  • To improve your sailing skills.
  • To obtain various pewter dishes and glass drinking vessels at an exorbitant price.

What do I need to Race with CMA?

  • A Multihull, with appropriate safety equipment, food, and beverage.
  • Crew, appropriate for the boat and conditions.
  • Other boats to race against.  Check out this year’s schedule.
  • A rating.

How do I get a rating?

  • The Ratings Chair assigns ratings for all Multihulls racing in CBYRA races. Contact the CMA Rating Chair to begin the process
  • If your boat model has previously been measured, you may be assigned a rating based on the standard model. If you have a design that CMA has not previously measured, the Ratings Chair will work from designer’s drawings, or you may have to schedule a time to meet with the club measurer and have the boat measured.  Weights are often estimated based on manufactures data.  If available, actual weights from a track station or load-cell are preferable, and generally advantageous.
  • Don’t let the rating be an obstacle to getting to the starting line. The club has the option of assigning a provisional rating and this can often be done quickly to get you ready for the first race.

Should I join Chesapeake Multihull Association?

If you plan to do only one race during the season, a courtesy rating can be arranged from the Ratings Chair.  Otherwise, a Racing Membership to CMA is required.  See our About page for details.

How can I get advice and “real time” information from a club member?

Try joining the CMA Yahoo! Discussion Group https://groups.io/g/Chesapeakemultihull , and ask a question.  

How do I enter a race?

  • The CBYRA website and/or the sponsoring yacht club will have up to date racing information, the current racing schedule, Notice of Race [NOR], Sailing Instructions [SI’s] and any last-minute changes. The announcement for the race will include instructions for entering and the entry fee.  The CBYRA Greenbook is available to CBYRA members and is an excellent summary of the NOR’s and has other information in it.
  • For most races on-line entry is available and encouraged or required.  The links for this year’s races are embedded in the racing schedule
  • Most races are about $30 to enter.  Note that US Sailing Members generally get a discount with each race entry.  As discussed below, a combined CBYRA/US Sailing membership is generally a good investment.  You cannot qualify for the CBYRA Trophies [High Point, etc.] without being a CBYRA member.

Where do we dock at the end of the race?

The hosting club will usually make provisions for overnight dockage and this may included in the race entry fee.  Since there are many participants, boats usually raft-up at the host club. There are plenty of other sailors on the docks to catch your line and help you come alongside. If you are not sure where to dock, call the club on VHF or cell phone and they will give you directions.

Some races include an overnight stay. What facilities are available?

This varies by event.  In general, your options for an overnight bunk are:

  1. stay on the boat;
  2. get a hotel nearby;
  3. put up a tent on the club lawn (at some clubs); or
  4. for the Governor’s Cup, rent an inexpensive, air-conditioned dorm room or townhouse at Saint Mary’s College.

The host club will usually have shower and bathroom facilities.

Are meals included in the race fee?

No. The host club will generally have a pay-as-you-go dinner, bar and party (usually with a band) on the day of the race and usually provides a pay-as-you-go breakfast the following day. The party is not just for racers, and you can have friends meet you at the end of the race. Some races will include a banquet dinner (Governor’s Cup) or have an all-inclusive party (Race to Baltimore).

Some clubs are within easy walk or cab to tourist areas such as Fells Point or St. Michaels if you would rather dine out.

Should I join the

The sanctioning body for sailboat races in the Chesapeake Bay is the Chesapeake Bay Yacht Racing Association (CBYRA). They publish the “Greenbook” annually that includes the Notice of Races and the regional maps with the permanent racing marks that are used to define the race courses (usually a government buoy or lighthouse). If you intend to race, you are strongly encouraged to join the CBYRA and get a copy of the Greenbook.  

Should I join the
US Sailing?

It is not required to join the US Sailing in order to race in CBYRA. However, there are some reasons to join. Strictly from a racing point of view.

·    Discounted race registration fee for many of the races, and discounted fee for getting your sail number. This pretty much pays for the annual registration fee if you race a significant amount.

·     A copy of the Racing Rules of Sailing is included in your membership

·     Other benefits are listed on the US Sailing website.

Who do I contact to get my Sail Number?

US Sailing delegates authority for issuing sail numbers by region. Detailed information is at http://offshore.ussailing.org/Sail_Numbers.htm. If your boat needs sail numbers, or came with sail numbers, contact CBYRA, and they will give you instructions how to obtain new numbers or transfer the existing ones to your name.

Karin (Drexel) Masci


612 Third Street, Suite 4A

Annapolis, Maryland 21403

Office Phone: 410-990-9393

Office Fax: 425-871-0554
Cell Phone: 484-686-1401

Office Email: office@cbyra.org

  Detailed instructions on size and location of sail numbers is at the above website.

What are the Racing Rules of Sailing?

If you are going to race, you need to know at least the basic rules.  They can be downloaded at http://www.sailing.org/tools/documents/RRS2009-2012-[5950].pdf .  There are many good books that give the basic rules.  Examples and other information are available at http://store.ussailing.org/.


Do I need Signal Flags?

You must have the appropriate multihull class flag placed fore and aft during races.

“W” > 1.0 boat rating

“F” < 1.0 boat rating

 You will need a Protest Flag [Red, “B”] and an Acknowledgement Flag [Yellow, “Q”].

We love it when you show the CMA burgee, but it’s not required.

How about Safety?

Ultimately, it is the Skipper’s responsibility for the ship and crew’s safety.  The skipper must make a decision about the safety of a race based upon the boat, the crew, and the conditions.

Besides knowing how to handle your boat in all conditions, there are important skills that you need to have to deal with tough situations,

Man overboard recovery

Reefing sails

Dowsing sails


Recovering a man overboard is very situation specific.  US Sailing has a good reference

Our boats are incredibly responsive to wind gusts and reefing is a critical skill that needs to be practiced before you *need* it and utilized often.  When the wind starts building it’s generally safer and faster.  Your boat will have slab or roller reefing.  Make sure you know how to use it and can get sails shortened quickly.  UK has a good reference here.  Generally if you’re thinking about reefing, you’re already late. 

Certain multihulls can flip in certain situations.  It is very rare and generally occurs when racing and we’re pushing the boats.  Flipping can ruin your day, but if you know the manufacturer’s recommended procedures for righting, it does not have to ruin your sailing season.  Corsair has an excellent sailing manual that outlines the process for their boats and has a ton of advice that applies to all multihulls.

We generally race under ISAF Offshore Category IV.  The intimate details of this are available at http://www.sailing.org/tools/documents/OSR2010Complete101209Web-[7979].pdf.

In general, you need to meet all of the standard US Coast Guard and State of Maryland Safety Regulations.  A good start is http://www.uscgboating.org/default.aspx.

The rules for racing can be pretty convoluted but are straight-forward for 90% of times boats meet.  A good reference is here.