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Navigators Pursuit Race Series

New in 2024, MSSA will have a Navigator's Pursuit Race Series

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Attention Sailors! Have you ever wanted to experience the thrill of sailing in a yacht race?

Did the start sequence, close quarters sailing and overly-competitive nature of a conventional racing put you off?

The Navigators Pursuit Race may be for you. We have prepared a new race series to mitigate your concerns. This is intended to make racing your yacht and easy, rewarding experience. Utilizing your sailing skills to get around a set course with other boats in ‘pursuit’ can make for an exciting evening aboard your boat.

The Pursuit Race format provides a starting time for each competitor based on their handicap rating. For example, if the nominal start time is 19:00, a boat with a PHRF handicap of 132 would self-start at 19:20:05 and a boat with a handicap of 27 would start at 19:32:18 according to the tables in the yearbook. Thus, the starting line is not crowded with boats trying to cross the line ahead of, or in an advantageous position to their competitors. This results in a more relaxed starting line, where some boats are given a ‘head start’, and the other boats ‘pursue’ the one ahead. During the race, boats will converge, presumably near the finish line. Since the handicap was applied at the race start, the finish order is the final result. In a pursuit race, slower boats have a chance to lead the race. They will know how well they are doing by the rate in which the faster boats close on their lead.  This provides a better sense of their performance and provides encouragement to keep their lead position. The Navigator's Course will be established to provide a combination of broad reaching and upwind legs around a series of marks that will put on emphasis on navigation skills to sail the course.

The Navigators Pursuit Race is open to ALL sailors regardless of club or sailing association affiliation. The Mount Sinai Sailing Association is organizing this no-cost, open event. Racing will be conducted on Monday nights, the 3rd , 10th , 17th and 24th of June, on the waters between Mount Sinai and Port Jefferson Harbor. Anyone with a suitable mono-hull sailboat can come out and sail the course.

You might ask; Why are they doing this? Well, the obvious answer is that we are enthusiastic sailors that believe anyone can sail their boats well if they are given a little encouragement. But we do have an ulterior motive: we want more racers to compete in local sailboat races. Don’t worry, if you don’t like sailing our Monday night races, there is no obligation. You can just chalk it up as another experience on your sailboat.

All designated “Amateurs[*]” are eligible for the MSSA Pro-Am Trophy, but all sailboats are welcome to participate. This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. can provide more in info on participation and trophy eligibility.

In order to better manage the race, we would like boats to pre-register.

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*Amateurs are considered skippers who have not sailed in the MSSA High Point Series. They may however, have skippers and crew on-board who are experienced racing sailors. Amateurs must at a minimum spend 50% of the race at the helm of their yacht.