1. ORGANIZING AUTHORITY
1.1 US Sailing is the Organizing Authority (OA) for the U.S. Women’s Match Racing Championship (hereafter referred to as the Championship).
1.2 The U.S. Women’s Match Racing Championship Committee (hereafter referred to as the USWMRCC) is delegated the responsibility and authority to organize the Championship.
1.3 The USWMRCC Chair shall appoint an Invitation Committee to fill any available slots in the Championship. The Invitation Committee will be made up of US Sailing Members with expertise in Match Racing; 20% of the members shall be A- or B-Level Athletes with at least half of those athletes A-level athletes.
2. CHAMPIONSHIP DOCUMENTS
2.1 These Conditions, the Sailing Instructions (SI) and Notice of Race (NOR) for the current year shall apply. The SI’s and NOR shall be created from the ISAF templates found on the web at http://www.sailing.org. Any departure from these Conditions shall be approved by the USWMRCC Chairman after consulting with the USWMRCC.
2.2 The U.S. Women’s Match Racing Championship Notice of Race, Request for Invitation, and Conditions will be posted on the US Sailing web page for this Championship: http://championships.ussailing.org/Adult/USWMRC.htm
3. US SAILING REGULATIONS
US Sailing Regulations 2.02, 2.03, and 10, as amended 11/3/2012, apply to the Championship and provide as follows:
2.02 MEMBERSHIP REQUIREMENTS
Membership in US Sailing is required:
A. for all US citizens who compete in US Sailing championships at the semi-final level and higher.
B. for athletes selected by US Sailing for international events or competing at US Sailing organized events.
2.03 INTERNATIONAL PARTICIPANTS
When US Sailing membership is required at an event, participants from other countries shall either be members of US Sailing or be members of their ISAF recognized national authority for sailing.
10 CHAMPIONSHIPS AND OTHER US SAILING EVENTS
10.01 US SAILING CHAMPIONSHIPS
1. Guidelines for sailing instructions, notices of race and conditions adopted by the Championships Committee shall be used for all US Sailing championships at all levels. Exceptions shall be approved in advance by the relevant championship chair and organizing committee, and the Chair of the Championships Committee.
2. Race officers, judges, and umpires at US Sailing championships shall be appointed in accordance with published guidelines approved by the Championship Committee and the Race Administration Committee.
3. Championship conditions shall be maintained and approved by the sponsoring committee and the Championship Committee. The current version of the championship conditions shall be available on the US Sailing website. As documented below, some conditions may require permission of the Board.
4. Event organizing committees shall communicate, coordinate, and consult with US Sailing committees that support and promote the event’s sailing discipline or constituency.
B. NON-USA RESIDENT PARTICIPATION
1. Unless the notice of race for a particular championship requires US citizenship or resident alien status, participation in US Sailing championships is open to non-US citizens (including resident and non-resident aliens), provided all other requirements of the Championship are met. Specific championships may require US citizenship or resident alien status by stating the requirements in the notice of race and in the championship conditions. Non-resident aliens may request a waiver. Creating a new requirement of US citizenship for a championship requires approval of the Board.
2. When the Championship is a qualifier for international or any other competition the top finisher(s) qualified to represent the US will qualify. The OSC may make exceptions to this regulation for any trials held under the auspices of the Olympic Sailing Committee.
3. The venues for US Sailing championships shall be located in the U.S. unless an exception is approved by the Board. An RSA, club or LSO outside the United States may host qualifiers for US Sailing championships, provided the host club or LSO is a member of US Sailing.
4. Non-US citizens may serve on juries or as race officials for US Sailing championships.
5. Chairs of individual championship committees may establish special rules for trophies won by foreign participants. Perpetual trophies may not be taken outside of the U.S.
C. PROHIBITED SUBSTANCES
1. For adult US Sailing championship events, no competitor shall use, either on or off the water: marijuana or any other controlled substance (as defined in 21 U.S. Code 802) the possession of which is unlawful under 21 U.S. Code 841.
2. For Junior and Youth events or for junior or youth competitors in any US Sailing championship, no participant or competitor shall use, either on or off the water: marijuana or any other controlled substance (as defined in 21 U.S. Code 802) the possession of which is unlawful under 21 U.S. Code 841, or alcoholic beverages (distilled spirits, wine and beer, each as defined in chapter 51 of the U.S. Internal Revenue Code and intended for beverage use).
3. An alleged breach of one of these regulations shall not be grounds for a protest. However, when the protest committee believes that a competitor may have breached one of these regulations, it shall follow the process described in racing rule 69.1, and a competitor found to have breached one of these regulations shall be excluded from the remaining races of the series and, where practicable, removed from the regatta venue and sent home. The competitor’s boat shall be disqualified from all races of the series.
4. Either Regulation 10.01.C.1 or 10.01.C.2, as appropriate, and Regulation 10.01.C.3 shall be included in the Notice of Race and the Sailing Instructions for every US Sailing championship.
D. USE OF PERSONAL FLOTATION
Competitors in US Sailing championships or qualifiers for US Sailing championships shall wear a U.S. Coast Guard (USCG) approved personal floatation device (PFD) while on the water, other than for brief periods while adding or removing clothing. Where the ISAF Offshore Special Regulations (OSR) apply, they replace this requirement. Competitors from outside the U.S. may wear a PFD approved by their nations’ certification authority to the extent permitted by international treaty.
E PERPETUAL CHAMPIONSHIP TROPHIES
1. Perpetual trophies for US Sailing Championships shall be on permanent display in a place approved by the relevant sponsoring committee and the Championship Committee. This may include display at the club of a winner, with the prior approval of those two committees.
2. The perpetual trophy for a US Sailing Championship shall be on display at the venue for that event while it is being held. US Sailing shall arrange for the transport of perpetual trophies to and from the such venue (including appropriate insurance).
3. Winners of a US Sailing perpetual trophy shall receive a framed photograph of the trophy, with a similar framed copy to go to the winner's club.
10.02 POWER LINE HAZARDS
All US Sailing events and championships, at all levels, shall be held at sites free of power line hazards.
4. SELECTION PROCESS
4.1 The selection process shall be by invitation.
4.2 The invitation shall be to the skipper.
4.3 Criteria for selection shall be determined by the USWMRCC Chairman and the USWMRCC, and announced in the Notice of Race.
4.4 The number of entries invited will be determined by the USWMRCC Chairman in consultation with the USWMRCC and will be published in the Notice of Race.
4.5 The USWMRC Invitation Committee will create an ordered list of skippers to fill any open slots in the Championship. Skippers included on that list will be selected, and placed in an order, at the sole discretion of the Invitation Committee, based upon criteria of its choice (including, but not limited to, match racing experience, placement in a feeder event or other event, ranking, or sailing experience). Invitations will be issued to skippers on this list in order as needed to fill open spots in the Championship.
4.6 In the event an invitee declines an invitation, or having accepted later declines, the USWMRCC Chairman in consultation with the Invitation Committee may issue an invitation to the skipper who is highest on the wait list as determined by the Committee.
4.7 In the event the all skippers from the wait list have been issued an invitation and there are still open slots in the Championship, the Invitation Committee may issue invitations at their discretion.
5.1 The skipper and each crew member must be a member of US Sailing (See Regulation 2.02 above), unless Regulation 2.03 applies
5.2 The names and the US Sailing membership numbers of all crew members must be provided to the USWMRCC Chairman by the date specified in the Notice of Race.
6. ALTERNATES AND SUBSTITUTES
6.1 The skipper shall be the helmsman at all times.
6.2 With the permission of the jury, a designated alternate may replace any member of a team aboard before any race of a given match. If a team does not bring a designated alternate to a series, the jury may allow a substitute alternate in the event of an emergency.
7.1 RRS 43 will apply to this Championship. In addition, clothes worn for additional warmth must be worn inside foul weather gear.
7.2 Competitors will be weighed in accordance with the Notice of Race and the Sailing Instructions.
8.1 Boats may not be modified except as stated in the Notice of Race and the Sailing Instructions.
8.2 Unless the USMRCC representative responsible for an event otherwise prescribes, equalization of boats shall be carried out as follows:
A. The host club will take all reasonable steps to equalize the boats to be used in the regatta.
B. Entrants will draw boats for the boats to be sailed in the first race.
8.3 RRS 62 will be modified in the event documents to provide that variations between boats will not be grounds for redress.
8.4 The host club shall familiarize all competitors with the waters in which the races are to be held with emphasis on obstructions, if any, tidal conditions and probable location of marks.
9.1 Mandatory Use of PFDs: see regulation 10.01(D) quoted in section 3 above.
9.2 The use of electronic and/or battery powered devices is prohibited, unless otherwise indicated in the Sailing Instructions.
9.3 The host club shall supply each entrant with a Code Flag "Y", a red protest flag, a breakdown flag, a yellow flag and a blue flag.
10. INSURANCE, LIABILITY AND DAMAGE
10.1 Host clubs shall have insurance coverage for the events hosted to include insurance coverage for the club, for the boats used, and for the race officials participating in the event. Umpires shall be covered in the minimum amount of US $1 million. The USWMRCC recommends the insurance programs available from Gowrie Barden & Brett [see ussailing.org/membership/insurance/ for more information].
10.2 Competitors (and their parents/guardians where minors are involved) are encouraged to consult their insurance advisors regarding personal liability coverage for themselves.
10.3 Damage, no matter how slight, or loss of any equipment must be reported to the host club at the completion of the race in which it occurs. Failure to do so may result in disqualification from the race or the event (at the discretion of the protest committee). Only the Race Committee or Umpires may protest for a failure to report damage or loss of equipment.
10.4 Responsibility for damage to boats or other property will be determined by the protest committee and all entrants will be bound its decision.
10.5 Damage deposits from each entrant shall be required. Usually, an amount equal to the insurance deductible is used. That amount is to be noted in the Notice of Race as is the manner of payment: check, cash, credit card. Each skipper is responsible for the damage or loss to his/her boat unless responsibility is otherwise assigned by the umpires or PC. When damage occurs, the cost will be paid from the deposit of the entrant responsible for the damage. Damage not attributable to a single team will be deducted proportionally from all of the entrants’ damage deposits before returning the balances. A detailed accounting of charges to an entrant’s damage deposit will be supplied to each entrant that did not receive the full amount of its deposit back. Sailing Instructions will also mention damage deposit requirements.
10.6 US Sailing does not require the use of liability waiver forms and prescribes against the use of ‘hold harmless’ and ‘indemnification’ agreements. US Sailing strongly recommends that host clubs seek local legal advice on the question and carry adequate insurance coverage. See RRS 82 and the discussion at ussailing.org/racemgt/documents/IndemnityWaiverClauses0205-v1.pdf.
11. CONDUCT OF SERIES - SYSTEMS, PAIRINGS, SCORING, TIES, CONCESSION
Each event consists of matches between pairs of teams using one or more of the following systems:
11.1 System A: Round-Robin Single or Multiple – Each team races each other team in the event. The number of Round Robins may be determined by the the US Women’s Championship Chairman. In cases where a round-robin cannot be completed, the series will be scored in accordance with Appendix C.
11.2 System B: Knock-out – After a single or double round-robin of matches, the top four finishers are placed into a knock-out ladder. The first place finisher selects their competitor in the semi-finals. The other two competitors meet in the other bracket. Semi-finals should be first to win two races and finals first to win three races where time allows.
11.3 System C: Groups – Especially when there are more competitors than boats, competitors may be divided into groups. Each group will conduct a double or single round-robin, after which competitors will be placed into a knock-out ladder or into championship and consolation groups, which then may hold further round-robin(s) to determine the champion. The chairman for the event, after consulting with the chief umpire, will determine the number of rounds and the system to be used to complete the regatta within the time available for the event.
11.4 Pairings: The USWMRCC Chairman for the event will determine the method of establishing pairings of competitors. The jury may reassign pairings during an event if it is determined that the system chosen cannot be run to its full conclusion within the time available to complete the event.
11.5 Should wind, weather or other conditions make it impossible to complete the normal number of races within the time schedule, the event shall be terminated and the results based on the number of races completed. The jury shall determine such termination and decisions regarding results when not resolved by Appendix C.
12. PRACTICE SAILING
Boats may be available for practice sailing only as described in the Notice of Race.
13. ENTRY FORMS AND FEES
13.1 Skippers receiving invitations to participate in the USWMRC will be asked to complete entry forms online through the US Sailing Regatta web site.
13.2 Fees shall be as listed in the Notice of Race and the Letter of Invitation.
13.3 A non-refundable entry bond shall be required.
14. RACE OFFICIALS
14.1 Umpiring will be used. It is recommended that at least 50% of the umpires hold US Sailing or International Umpire Certification.
14.2 The Chief Umpire shall be appointed by the USWMRCC Chairman in consultation with the Committee.
14.3 The Chief Umpire will select the umpire team in accordance with US Sailing Regulation 10.01(A)2 (quoted in section 3 above), which will then be confirmed by the USWMRCC Chairman.
14.4 The umpires will also constitute a jury that shall determine all matters not covered by these Conditions and the Sailing Instructions.
14.5 The Race Committee will be appointed by the host club. The club shall abide by the US Sailing Regulations and any recommendations applying to Race Committees and Race Committee personnel at U.S. Championships..
Courses will be windward / leeward courses with roundings to starboard. Two laps are preferred, but one or three laps may be used if conditions require. Courses will be diagrammed in the Sailing Instructions.
The USWMRC shall be designated a US Sailing Grade 1, 2 or 3 coached event in the Notice of Race.
17. ATHLETE SELECTION PROCEDURES FOR THE NATIONS CUP
17.1 Selection System
The International Sailing Federation (ISAF) requires that US Sailing select teams of athletes to represent the USA in the Regional Nations Cup eliminations: One team for the Open Series, and one team for the Women’s Series.
The highest placing, eligible [see section 17.2 below] skipper at the US Women’s Match Racing Championship will be the US representative for the Women’s Nation Cup Series. The qualifying skipper shall nominate the members of his or her crew prior to the entry deadline of the Regional Nations Cup eliminations.
The Nations Cup Selection Committee will be required to approve the nominated crew and will be comprised of the following five individuals:
1. US Match Racing Committee Chair
2. USA member of the ISAF Match Racing Committee
3. US Sailing High Performance Director
4. Chair of the US Women’s Match Racing Championship Committee. This person will chair the selection committee.
5. The qualifying skipper.
At least one of the members of the Nations Cup Selection Committee shall be an A-Level Athlete; or A-Level Athletes will be added to make up at least 20% of the committee.)
Subsequent crew modifications may be made by the skipper, but must be approved by the selection committee.
To be eligible to represent the USA in the Nations Cup Regional and Final events, skipper and all crew must be Passport Holders of the USA, must not be currently representing another MNA, and must be members of US Sailing.
If the qualifying skipper is, for any reason, not going to represent the USA at the Regional Nations Cup eliminations, that skipper will be replaced by the next highest placing, eligible [see section 17.2] skipper from the applicable selection event. The replacement skipper shall promptly nominate his or her crew to the Nations Cup Selection Committee for approval.
(a) Perpetual Trophies will be awarded for first and second place: The Allegra Knapp Mertz Trophy, emblematic of the U.S. Women’s Match Racing Championship; and the Mrs. Charles Francis Adams Memorial Trophy, emblematic of the Runner-up position.
(b) US Sailing medals will be awarded to the skippers and crews placing first through third. Only a US citizen or resident alien may be declared US National Champion.