Educational, technical, and administrative resources for sailors and race organizers

Led by the dedicated volunteers of the US Sailing Offshore Committee, the staff at US Sailing Offshore strives to provide guidance and services to the large-boat racing community to facilitate safe, fair, and accessible racing.

To effectively manage a global sport, a number of specialized groups must work together. US Sailing serves as the interface between these various sporting agencies and the sailors they serve.

Our primary responsibilities include:
  • Facilitating various big boat Rating and Handicapping Services
  • Assisting race organizers and fleet officials
  • Issuing certified sail numbers per the Racing Rules of Sailing
  • Contributing to the World Sailing’s Offshore Special Regulations (OSRs) and Equipment Rules of Sailing (ERS)
  • Developing US Sailing’s Safety Equipment Requirements (SER)
  • Please find a description of the groups we work with below.

Services We Offer

Need help getting ready for the race? Looking to organize a fleet?

US Sailing is here to help! Find support in the US Sailing community.

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Rating Rules & Handicapping Systems

Find the Rating Requirements for your race

US Sailing administers a number of different rating and handicapping systems that allow equitable racing for diverse fleets. We fairly administer all rules and want you to find the one that works best for your fleet.

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Who We Work With

The technical advisory groups and racing interest groups we interface with:

Graphic showing how US Sailing works with Technical Advisory Groups and Racing Interest Groups

World Sailing

World Sailing logoThe global governing body for the sport, World Sailing chiefly represents the sport in the Olympic and Paralympic forums, sanctions International One-Design Classes and World Championships, certifies International Rating Rules, defines the Offshore Special Regulations (OSR), and develops the Racing Rules of Sailing and the Equipment Rules of Sailing. US Sailing is a Member National Authority (MNA) of World Sailing.

Race Organizers

Serving as the creators and managers of sailing events, race organizers are charged with overseeing the registration process and constructing the Notice of Race (NOR) per the Racing Rules of Sailing. This Notice includes valuable information for all competitors including registration guidelines, safety training requirements, applicable class rules, eligibility requirements, governing rules, a description of the course, rating/handicap certification, and scoring. In all of these areas, the organizers endeavor to serve the interests of their entrants and promote participation. Race Organizers are the primary resource for local sailors.

Rating and Handicap Rules

Developed out of a need to isolate the skill of the crew from the performance of the boat, rating and handicap rules endeavor to assign allowances to “correct” fleet finishing times. To ensure these allowances are assessed fairly, the rating rule developer prescribes a set of rules beyond the Racing Rules of Sailing that specifies the configurations to which these allowances apply. Generally, ratings are either derived directly from empirical analysis of race data and observed performance or generated by sophisticated software packages. Deciding which rule is right for their fleet is a chief consideration of race organizers.

Safety Standards

With safety a paramount concern in offshore racing, a number of different authorities have brought recommendations to the sport. The US Sailing Safety at Sea Committee developed Safety at Sea training programs and Safety Equipment Requirements (SER) to consolidate these opinions. Ultimately, it is up to race organizers to stipulate which guidelines to follow and training standards to mandate.