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Herrington Harbour Sailing Association
Promoting sailing in Herring Bay, MD

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HomeNew Racer Frequently Asked Questions

New Racer Frequently Asked Questions

HHSA Racing welcomes racers with little to no experience in racing.  The simplest way to get started is to bring your boat out for a Wednesday Night Race any week from late April to Labor Day.  There are many weekend races that you were you can race with us, as well.  Here are the answers to common questions that new racers have--

How much does it cost to race?

When becoming a member HHSA, you select Racing as an option with the membership.  Its a $60 add on.  If you decide to race after you complete the membership registration, you can write a check. Contact HHSA Treasurer on where to send your check.

Can I do just one race?

HHSA allows guest racers in all races.  There is a $10 fee and the disclaimer form must be signed and submitted to the Rear Commodore of Racing or the Race Committee.  To email the Rear Commodore of Racing, go to
HHSA has one free race for regular members on our calendar---
  • Women's Regatta (women only skippers and crew)

What type of boats race?

The 2020 HHSA Racing Fleet consists of three groups of sailboats--
  • Spinnaker Class (all PHRF ratings)
  • Non-Spinnaker Racing (PHRF-N, SA/D > 18)
  • Non-Spinnaker Cruising (PHRF-N, SA/D <18)

HHSA racers are primarily production sailboats from 26-40 feet in length.  To see a list of our  current fleet, click on the 2020 Scratch Sheet (coming soon).

What is PHRF?

PHRF (Performance Handicapping Racing Fleet) is a handicapping system  used for yacht racing in North America. It allows dissimilar classes of sailboats to be raced against each other. The aim is to cancel out the inherent advantages and disadvantages of each class of boats, so that results reflect crew skill rather than equipment superiority.  For more information on PHRF, go to PHRF of the Chesapeake.

Where does HHSA race?

HHSA races in and near Herring Bay on the Chesapeake in Maryland.  We use a Course Book to select pre-defined race courses based on the wind direction and strength prior to the race.  Click here to see the current 2020 HHSA Course Book.

Isn't it really expensive to race?

It can be, but it doesn't have to be! A boat that is generally maintained and sailed well ("sailing your rating" as racers like to say) has a good chance of doing well in races. 

How do I learn the rules?

The Racing Rules of Sailing are the basis of rules we follow.  For an overview, take a look at this link.  Basic Rules.  There are also a few that are HHSA specific.  Take a look at this link:  2020 HHSA Racing Rules

Do I need special insurance?

Probably not.  Insurance companies sometime differentiate racing boats and cruising boats.  Casual racing does not usually constitute a racing boat designation.  Contact your insurance company to confirm your status.

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