Entering your first ever race can be a daunting task and somewhat confusing for the newcomer, so here is a guide to make the process as easy and as smooth as possible.
JOG encourages new skippers to come and sail in their fleet and enjoy the welcoming nature of our great club. We cater for a wide spectrum of race experience and are always here for a chat if you need help along the way.
JOG is a Corinthian sailing group and our intention is not to have high budget corporate racing boats in our races so some rules around this exist to protect our ethos. These are simple, we do not permit advertising and we set a limit on the rating of a boat. (IRC Rating covered later in this article)
JOG organise around 12-18 races per year and these are divided into Offshore and Coastal races. You can find the programme of races at https://jog.org.uk/programme/
Note that each race is marked with an ISAF Cat, 3 or 4. The Category 3 races are offshore races and the Category 4 races are coastal races.
Note: whilst we use the term ISAF, ISAF changed their name in 2015 to World Sailing.
For everyone’s safety, your boat must meet a certain level of safety requirements and include a minimum set of safety equipment.
You will need to comply with what we call JOG General Conditions and World Sailing Special Regulations.
You can find the JOG General Conditions in the JOG notice of race. https://jog.org.uk/notice-of-race/ You can find information about the World Sailing Special regulations at https://www.sailing.org/specialregs
The JOG checklist is available to make things easier and can be completed online once you have completed step 4 in this guide. It shows the difference in requirements for Cat 3 & Cat 4 races.
Whilst this needs to be completed online, you can see an example of the checklist here:
Boats in JOG race under IRC classifications and rules. IRC is a system of handicapping sailboats and yachts for the purpose of racing. It is managed by the Royal Ocean Racing Club by their dedicated Rating Office.
Based on measurements of your boat, IRC will determine a rating for your boat, and this will be used as a factor against your race time to determine your position. IRC works well as its intention is to create a level playing field whether you race a 40-foot boat or a 30 foot one.
For every JOG race, we separate boats into classes, each with their own start time and set of results. Prizes are awarded at the end of the season for race wins and cumulative results in each class for each race series. (Offshore or Coastal). JOG also award smaller prizes at the end of each race where possible.
Our current class bands can be found at
The class of your boat also helps to determine how much you pay for race entry. A 28-foot boat will pay less than a 40-foot one.
IRC have some very good information on how to get a certificate at
The certificate can take up to 3 weeks so make sure you plan this well in advance for your first race.
Note: JOG do not require you to have an endorsed certificate but reserve the right to request you get one at their discretion.
Ensure that your boat insurance covers you for racing. “Each participating boat shall be insured with valid third-party liability insurance with a minimum cover of not less than £2,000,000 sterling.”
You should contact your insurance company to make certain that this is in place.
MyJOG is JOG’s platform for race entry and managing all aspects of your racing with JOG. You can find a guide here: https://www.jog.org.uk/welcome-to-myjog/
If you have not already registered, you can register here: https://jog.org.uk/registration/
We encourage you to Join as a JOG member as this entitles you to discounted race fees and the annual cost of membership is normally covered by the discount received to members on just two or three races.
A summary of the steps to take to enter a race is:
We have made life easy for you here with JOG Connect, the place to advertise for crew for JOG races. https://www.jog.org.uk/jogconnect/
If it’s your first race, it’s a good place to find someone with experience that can guide you to a smooth race.
The sailing instructions for each race, detail the start time of each class and the course amongst other details for the race. https://www.jog.org.uk/programme/
It’s a good idea to print these off so you have them on the race day. Also check back to this link in case any amendments have been posted.
Make sure you have a class flag for the class you’re in. You can purchase these at most chandleries or online.
This should be attached to the back of your boat and be visible. The backstay is normally a good place for this.
For your first race, it’s a good idea to get to the start area early. The sailing instructions will include a requirement to pass through an ID gate, sometimes requiring you to hold up a piece of safety equipment.
You should ensure that your VHF radio is tuned into the correct frequency and you have noted your start sequence from the sailing instructions. Listen out for any last-minute amendments to the course or start.
Less formal messages are posted using WhatsApp. You can join this group by clicking here.
You will have received a text message with a link to your personal declaration form prior to the start. Here you can enter your finish time and any observations using your mobile phone.
Results are shown live on the JOG site at https://www.jog.org.uk/live-results/
The sailing instruction will include the post-race social venue, or you can also join the WhatsApp group also noted in the sailing instructions.
We strongly encourage you and your crew to come to the post-race socials and share your race with our great community of friendly JOG sailors.
Were here to help so please feel free to contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org