Shields Class Sailing Association


Section VI

Rules Governing the National Championship Regatta

Section Table of Contents

I - By-Laws Governing the National Regatta

II - Rules for the National Championship Regatta

III - Selection of Venue for the National Championship Regatta

IV - Outline for Request for Proposal

V - Championship Awards

VI - Log of Winners of Perpetual Trophies - National Championship Regatta

VII - Sample Sailing Instructions - National Championship Regatta

VIII - Calculation for the Cornelius Shields Memorial Trophy

IX - Past Shields Class National Champions

  1. By-Laws Governing the National Regatta
    1. Governance

      The Regatta shall be managed by a National Championship Committee appointed by the Governing Board, including the President, the Measurer and one or more members of the host fleet. Eligibility of an entrant for the Regatta is to be ruled on by the Committee prior to the first race of the Regatta; thereafter, violations of these By-Laws are subject to protest.

    2. Entrants
      1. The term "Entrant" refers to the combination of entered boat, sails and skippers(s). All Entrants shall satisfy the entry requirements, including payment of the entry fee, established by the Committee. Any request for a waiver of any qualification requirement shall be made to the Governing Board at least seven days before the commencement of the Regatta.
      2. Qualification requirements for each entered boat:
        1. Must be a Registered Yacht as defined by By-Law Section II 2.0
        2. Must be certified by a Fleet as conforming to the class specifications
        3. Must have antifouling bottom paint and be wet-sailed
        4. Must have competed in ten or more sanctioned races in the calendar year of the Regatta, as certified by a Fleet or Fleets (this can be waived for chartered boats)
        5. Must carry only qualified sails
        6. May be inspected as deemed appropriate by the Committee.
      3. Qualification requirements for each entered skipper or co-skipper:
        1. Must be an Active Member as defined in the Constitution Article IV(A).
        2. Must have competed in ten or more sanctioned races in the calendar year of the Regatta, as certified by a Fleet or Fleets.
        3. Must be a Person in Charge per United States Sailing Association's The Racing Rules of Sailing.
        4. Any helsman must meet the requirements of c-1 and c-2 above.
        5. Any Group 3 competitor (as defined by World Sailing Regulation 22 Sailor Classification Code) in any position must meet the requirements of c-1 and c-2 above. If the Group 3 competitor is the helmsman then the ten races must be on the entered boat. The objective of this provision, in conformity with the spirit of Article II of the Constitution, is to prevent the participation of "professionals" who participate in Shields sailing only for the Regatta.
      4. Qualification requirements for entered sails:
        1. Sails must have been acquired by the entrant in compliance with Section V Rule 1.0 - Basic Rules Governing Acquisition, measured by a Fleet Measurer and marked as prescribed. Each entrant must produce a Sail Inventory Card [or web site substitute if adopted by the Governing Board].
        2. All entered sails must have been used in at least ten sanctioned Shields races in the calendar year of the Regatta on the entered boat or (in the case of a chartered boat) on the boat in which at least one skipper qualified for the Regatta. The words "in a calendar year of the Regatta" do not apply to the backup spinnaker.
        3. An Entrant may use only one mainsail, one jib, and one spinnaker ("primary spinnaker"), except as provided in this section (d-4) or as otherwise permitted by the Committee for good cause.
        4. An Entrant may carry aboard while racing a second ("backup") spinnaker which may be used only if there is such serious damage to the primary spinnaker that further use might render it useless in the Regatta. On any day when the backup spinnaker is first used the Entrant must have damage to the primary spinnaker verified by the Committee on completion of the day's racing.
      5. Chartered boats:
        1. The Committee and the host fleet shall make one boat per active fleet available to be chartered (without fee) and entered by a qualifying skipper designated by his active Fleet. Such boats will be assigned to skippers at random by means of a drawing. The entered skipper may use only the qualifying sails with which he qualified.
        2. Subject to prior review and approval of the arrangement by the Class Executive Committee, a qualified skipper may borrow, charter or co-skipper a boat other that the boat on which he qualified for the Regatta. The Application to the Executive Committee shall specify the names and qualification data of the entered boat and each designated skipper, and specify what qualifying eligible sails they propose to use. Approval by the Executive Committee may be subject to whatever conditions it deems appropriate to preserve the Corinthian spirit of the event and avoid prejudice to other competitors.
        3. The Governing Board may set guidelines for the National Championship Committee as to chartered boats. These guidelines may include the following: (See Guidelines)
          1. Optional Equipment (Section IV-10.0) that is recommended
          2. Additional control line specifications (Section IV-8.0) and minimum mechanical advantages,
          3. Waived specifications of low performance impact. Waivers may be granted by majority vote of the Technical Committee as requested by the Championship Committee and apply only to a particular chartered boat for the current year’s National Regatta.
  2. Rules for the National Championship Regatta
    1. Sailing Rules

      Except as otherwise specified in this Section VI or in the Sailing Instructions, the rules of the United States Sailing Association shall govern.

    2. Crew Numbers
      Interpretation (NOR Language)
      Details of enforcement of this rule is left to the National Championship Committee. Suggested language for the NOR follows:

      Crew weight shall be certified as part of the signed Certificate of Compliance at registration by the skipper and shall not be subject to protest by a competitor but may be protested by the Race Committee. Crew substitutions may occur but must be certified by the skipper to be in conformance.


      Weigh-in shall occur during registration on ___________ from ________ to __________ at location __________. Weigh-in shall be in light clothing. Conforming weigh-ins shall not be subject to protest. Crew substitutions shall be weighed from ________ to __________ at location __________ each day of racing.

      The number of persons aboard a boat shall be not less than three. For crews of five or more a limit of 1000 lbs shall apply. There is no weight limit on crews of three or four persons. Each boat shall be required to carry, throughout all races, the same number of persons on board as at the start of the first race of the regatta. The Notice of Race and/or Sailing Instructions shall address the methods for enforcement of this rule.

    3. Scoring

      The United States Sailing Association's Appendix A, Low Point System, shall be used.

    4. Courses
      1. The courses shall be Windward-Leeward or Windward-Leeward Triangle courses of the type shown in the United States Sailing Association's Appendix L, Addendum A, or courses substantially similar thereto, and shall be published and illustrated in the Sailing Instructions.
      2. The minimum length of the course sailed shall be six nautical miles. However, in the event that the completion of a race is threatened by the approach of the time limit, the Race Committee may, at its discretion, shorten the race, provided that the course sailed is judged a "fair" test and will be at least 4 nautical miles in length.
      3. The time limit for each race shall be three hours, subject to such further limitation as may be established by the Committee.
    5. Number of Races

      There shall be not more than eight nor fewer than three races. Three races completed will constitute a Regatta. No more than three races per day can be scheduled.

    6. Sailing Restrictions - Hiking

      Extraordinary means of hiking are prohibited in the National Championship Regatta. (See Section III - Basic Rules, 5.3 Sailing Restrictions - Hiking)

    7. Regatta Guidelines

      The following guidelines for the Regatta are to be followed where practicable:

      1. It should not be held in the territory of the same Fleet in two consecutive years.
      2. It should be held on open water as free as possible from headlands, shoals and obstructions.
      3. It should be held where an active Fleet can assist with arrangements.
      4. It should be held either during the month of August or September.
      5. It should be scheduled over three or four days. The number of races per day shall be determined by the National Championship Committee in coordination with the Race Committee.
  3. Selection of Venue for the National Championship Regatta
    1. The site of future National Championship Regatta shall be determined by a vote of the Governing Board based on proposals of those Fleets that wish to hold the event.

    2. The responsibility for arranging the Regatta including providing suitable facilities, prizes and entertainment rests with the Fleet holding the event with input from the National Championship Committee (see Section VI-1.1). The Regatta shall be self-funded (fees, sponsorship and merchandise sales) with profit or loss being borne by the local Fleet except that expenses related to perpetual awards (shipping, engraving, maintenance, insurance, etc.) shall be the responsibility of the National Association.

    3. Fleets wishing to host the National Championship Regatta shall submit a "Request for Proposal" (RFP) to the National Governing Board as soon as practicable.

    4. The National Governing Board shall accept one proposal from those submitted each year, until February 1st. Proposals not accepted shall be given time to re-submit for subsequent years. Every effort shall be made for Regatta sites to be determined at least two years ahead. Discussion of these proposals shall be given no more than 90 days consideration, at which time the Governing Board shall vote on the proposals.

    5. The National Governing Board may reopen the RFP process even after an award has been made if, in its opinion, there is sufficient reason to do so.

  4. Outline for Request for Proposal

    The Organizing Committee of any local Fleet wishing to host a National Championship Regatta should provide a submission covering the following subjects:

    Venue - The waters on which the series is to be held

    Inclusion of the date proposed for the Regatta complying with class rules.

    Sailing Conditions - A brief description of the usual sailing conditions found during the month proposed for the National Championship Regatta

    Shore Facilities - A brief description of the following facilities:

    1. Suitable boat launch and hauling-out facilities/equipment.
    2. Suitable mast stepping and hauling-out facilities/equipment.
    3. Sufficient and convenient docking and/or mooring facilities.
    4. Launch boat transportation, if appropriate.
    5. Trailer park and storage.
    6. Yacht and sail measurement area.
    7. Registration area
    8. Signal mast.
    9. Skippers' meeting area.
    10. Jury and protest rooms.
    11. Official notice board.

    Sponsoring Yacht Club - If appropriate, including information about the sponsoring Yacht Club, its interest, its involvement, its facilities and its support staff.

    Race Committee and Race Committee Boat(s) - A description of the availability of a Race Committee boat and chase/marker boat(s). In addition, include a description of the Race Committee and its qualifications.

    Loaner Boats - A roster of loaner boats, their numbers and owners, including a commentary of the condition of each. The insurance coverage of these boats should be carefully described.

    Housing Accommodations - A brief description of available personal as well as commercial accommodations.

    Provisioning Accommodations - A brief description of chandlers, sail lofts, riggers, boat yards, etc.

    Financial Impact - A description of estimated participant entry fees and other costs (including fees for launching mooring and storing etc.), and any participant traveling incentives, if appropriate. In addition, local Fleet budgets for programs, activities and events such as meals, parties and other lis like trophies.

    Entertainment - A broad description of planned entertainment. In addition, any potential activities for non-racing companions is useful.

    History - A record of the dates of prior National Championship Regattas held in this venue.

  5. Championship Awards
    1. Procedures
      1. Log of Winners of Perpetual Trophies. The Regatta Committee shall prepare a form (See Section 6.0 Log of Winners of Perpetual Trophies) listing the recipients of all permanent trophies and forward it to the Shields Class Secretary. The Secretary shall provide that information to the Regatta Committee for the following year to assist them in retrieving the trophies for the National Regatta.
      2. Documentation of Winners. The Class Secretary shall be responsible for the maintenance of the records of winners. These records may be kept on the Class web site.
      3. Insurance. At the discretion of the Governing Board insurance may be purchased for any of the perpetual trophies.
      4. Inscription of Winners. The inscription of the winner's name on a trophy, where applicable, shall be paid for by the Association and managed by the National Championship Committee.
      5. Shipment. The shipment of the perpetual trophies shall be paid by the Class Association and coordinated by the National Championship Committee.
      6. Creation of New Awards. Any Fleet may propose the creation of a new award. Details of the award shall include the purpose and determination formula; description of the trophy; declaration to be read when the trophy is awarded; storage location of the trophy; and whether there shall be perpetual and/or keeper trophies. The Governing Board shall act on this proposal at least 90 days prior to the event and the trophy awarded only if approved according to the rules governing By-Laws.
      7. Elimination of Existing Awards. The elimination or repurposing of an award shall be determined by the Governing Board.
    2. Awards

      Multiple skippers are allowed per yacht and each skipper should be considered individually for the Cornelius Shields Memorial Prize, Senior Skipper Award and Junior Skipper Award. There is no requirement that a skipper be a helmsman.

      To be presented annually at the Shields National Championship Regatta:

      Shields National Championship Trophy

      Sterling Silver Chippendale tray donated by Cornelius Shields and awarded each year to the winner of the Shields National Championship Regatta.

      Cornelius Shields Memorial Prize

      Shields half-model donated by the Western Long Island Sound Fleet No. 1 and the Larchmont Yacht Club in 1982 in memory of Cornelius Shields and awarded at the Shields National Championship Regatta to that skipper who achieves the greatest improvement in his standing from the previous Shields National Championship Regatta.

      Shields Class National Championship Institutional Trophy

      ELIMINATED (1/8/2012). Pewter Revere bowl donated in 1984 by Christopher Withers, Captain, USN, ret., of the Narragansett Bay Fleet No. 9, and awarded annually for the best performance by an institutional crew in the Shields National Championship Regatta.

      Senior Skipper Award (Moore Trophy)

      Pewter tray donated in 1981 by James B. Moore, Jr., of the Manhasset Bay Fleet No. 2 and awarded for the best performance among the five oldest skippers in the Shields National Championship Regatta (excluding the winner of the Shields National Championship Regatta).

      Junior Skipper Award

      Pewter Chippendale tray donated in 1981 by James B. Moore, Jr., of the Manhasset Bay Fleet No. 2 and awarded for the best performance among the five youngest skippers in the Shields National Championship Regatta (excluding the winner of the Shields National Championship Regatta).

      Take A Bow Trophy

      Fully rigged bow section of a Shields Yacht mounted on a teak door. It was donate in 1985 by the Commodore and membership of Monterey Peninsula Yacht Club, and later refurbished by Brian Ladouceur, Graham Quinn and the crew of Shields No. 46, of the Buzzards Bay Fleet No. 10. It is awarded each year to an individual or individuals selected by a special committee to reward and celebrate dubious achievement during the Shields National Championship Regatta.

      James B. Moore, Jr. Memorial Prize

      In recognition of James B. Moore, Jr.'s invaluable service to the Association as President, as Founder of Fleet No. 2 and in numerous other capacities, the Long Island Sound District, consisting of Fleets Nos. 1 (Western Long Island Sound), 2 (Manhasset Bay) and 5 (Seawanhaka Corinthian Yacht Club), instituted in 1991 a prize to be awarded each year to the crew of the winning yacht to recognize their efforts in attaining that goal.

      Golden Stern Award

      ELIMINATED (2/9/2016). Donated in 2006 by the Goodwin's and Cape Cod Shipbuilding Co., is awarded to the last place finisher of the Shields Nationals Regatta (who actually competes). The award recognizes the effort it takes to race in a National Regatta and that last place is far superior to not participating at all. It is expected that in the year to come both the trophy and its recipients will be improved for the next Nationals. This stern section was a casualty of contact that came from a boat repaired by Cape Cod Shipbuilding Co. and is ably sailing again.

      Gordon L. Benjamin Memorial Newcomer Award

      It is to be awarded to the top finishing skipper sailing in his/her first Nationals. Gordon was a long time member of Fleet #9 and the 1976 Shields National Champion.

      Kap-Dun Trophy

      Kap-Dun Trophy - donated in 2008 by Fleet #21, Tred Avon Yacht Club, awarded to the winning fleet calculated by the fleet's top three finishers with a minimum of three boats racing in order to qualify. The three boat requirement may be changed by the Sailing Instructions. The Kap-Dun Trophy is named after the historic first name of the Tred Avon Yacht Club. On June 17, 1931, a group of men met in Oxford, MD., and voted to establish the Kap-Dun Racing Association. By July 15, they voted to change the name to the Kap-Dun Yacht Club. According to a written history by Jerry Valliant, elected as president of the club in 1931, the name Kap-Dun was first used as the name of a club established in a small building just east of the ferry dock as a swimming and canoeing club. When the sea nettles (jellyfish) arrived, they quickly changed the focus to a club which would promote sailboat racing. Thus the Kap-Dun Yacht Club was born. The club later changed to Tred Avon Yacht Club, after the name of the river the club sits upon. The name Kap-Dun comes from an old English spelling of the word Cape (point) and Dun meaning Town. The club being located on a point, near the town of Oxford.

    3. Keeper and Perpetual Trophies

      The winners championship awards shall have their names engraved on the permanent trophies and shall receive an appropriate keeper trophy provided at the expense of the Regatta Committee. The storage location of the permanent trophies are as indicated in the table. The Governing Board may allow any of the trophies to be stored with the year's winner, other temporary locations or at the venue for the National Championship Regatta.

      TrophyStorage LocationKeeper TrophyInscription on Permanent Trophy
      Shields National Championship Trophy???YesSkipper name(s) and date
      Cornelius Shields Memorial Prize???YesSkipper name(s) and date
      Senior Skipper Award (Moore Trophy)???YesSkipper name(s) and date
      Junior Skipper Award???YesSkipper name(s) and date
      Take A Bow TrophyAward winner or his YCOptionalOptional
      James B. Moore, Jr. Memorial PrizeNo permanent trophyYes-
      Gordon L. Benjamin Memorial Newcomer Award???Yes???
      Kap-Dun TrophyDetermined by winning FleetNoFleet and Date
  6. Log of Winners of Perpetual Trophies - National Championship Regatta



    1. Shields National Championship Trophy





    2. Cornelius Shields Memorial Prize





    3. Shields Class National Championship Institutional Trophy





    4. Senior Skipper Award (Moore Trophy)





    5. Junior Skipper Award





    6. Take A Bow Trophy





    7. Golden Stern Award





    8. Gordon L. Benjamin Memorial Newcomer Award





    9. James B. Moore, Jr. Memorial Prize

    Historically, this prize has consisted of keepers for each crew member. There is no need to record the recipients here except for informational purposes.

    10. Kap-Dun Trophy





  7. Sample Sailing Instructions - National Championship Regatta

    See United States Association "The Racing Rules of Sailing" Appendix L - Sailing Instruction Guide.

  8. Calculation for the Cornelius Shields Memorial Trophy

    This Trophy is to be awarded to the skipper that shows the most improvement from one National Championship Regatta to the next.

    The suggested method of calculating the score for awarding this trophy is as follows:

    Step I

    Identify the skippers that sailed in both regattas.

    Step II

    Convert the official low-point scores to high-point scores for each skipper for both years.
    High-point_Score = (Entries + 1) x (Total_Races - Discards) - (Low-point_Score.)

    Example: 1983 32 
      x (6-1) 
    Withers' Low-Point Score-13 
    Withers' High-Point Score152 
    Step III

    Determine the perfect score for both years. That is: what a boat's score would have been if it had won all of the races.
    Perfect_Score = (Entries) x (Total_Races - Discards)

    Example: 1983 32
      x (6-1)
    Perfect Score160
    Step IV

    Calculate for each skipper and both years a percentage of the perfect score.
    Percentage_of_Perfect = (High-point_Score) / (Perfect_Score)

    Example: 1983152/160Withers' High-Point Score divided by Perfect Score
    Step V

    Determine the improvement in percentage of perfect for each skipper prior year to current year.
    Improvement = (Current_Percentage_of_Perfect) - (Prior_Percentage_of_Perfect)

    Example: 198395.0%Withers' 1983
     -71.7%Withers' 1982
    Withers' Improvement23.3% 
    Step VI

    Rank competitors by percentage of perfect improvement. Greatest improvement wins.

    Note: Some judgement is required in determining the winner of this trophy. The WLIS Fleet believes that the percent-of-perfect score for the base-year should be determined by races finished. The trophy should not be awarded to a skipper whose low prior year's score was because of DSQs, DNFs or DNSs.

    If a skipper has four finishes and a DNF, calculate his percent-of-perfect base score on the four races finished.

    Example: 1982 Scores 
    21 - Hadley11-16-9-37-20 (38 was Drop Race)
    To calculate adjusted base-year:
    1) Drop 37-DNF, therefore adjusted low-point score = 56
    2) Convert to high-point:4 x (36 + 1)148
     - Low Point-56
     High Point Score92
    3) Perfect Score 36
     racesx 4
    4) Adjusted percent-of-perfect: 92 divided by 144 = 63.9%

    If an entrant completes less than three races in the base-year series, he should not be considered eligible for the trophy.

    All races including DSQ'S, DNF'S, and DNS'S should be included in calculating the current year's percent-of-perfect scores.

    This trophy does not have to be awarded each year if, in the opinion of the National Regatta Committee, a scoring quirk exists that makes the award illogical and inappropriate.

    Calculations of the 1982 and 1983 National Regatta scores are attached.

    An Excel spreadsheet that can be used for trophy calculations is available.

  9. Past Shields Class National Champions