1. PURPOSE: The purpose of the annual National Championship Regatta of the Ensign Class Association is to determine the National Champion of the class by competition among the leading skippers who represent the Ensign Class Association fleets.

2. ORGANIZATION: All matters involved in the holding and administration of the Championship Regatta shall be the responsibility of the Championship Committee. The Governing Committee, in consultation with the host fleet, when the location is decided, will appoint a Championship Committee. This committee should consist primarily of Ensign skippers from the host fleet and will have at least three members. The Championship Committee shall be assisted by two sub-committees: Judges and Race Committee. An officer of the Ensign Class Association will be designated each year to be a member of the Championship Committee and will provide liaison with the Governing Committee.

3. TROPHIES:

A. The Pearson Perpetual Ensign Trophy, symbolic of the Class Championship, shall be awarded to the winner of the annual National Championship Regatta.

B. The Most Beautiful Ensign Trophy, to recognize pride and enthusiasm in the upkeep of one's Ensign, shall be awarded at the National Championship Regatta. Any Ensign owner may compete for this trophy, the winner of which will be selected by a panel of judges. The criteria for this award will be based on but not limited to rigging, ingenuity, surface finishes, and overall presentation. No boat may win this award two years in succession.

C. The Sea III Trophy, given in honor of Charles R. Sligh III by the Ensign Class Association, may be awarded annually at the National Championship Regatta to recognize a person who has exemplified outstanding sportsmanship or made exceptional contribution for the benefit of the Ensign Class Association. Any member of the Association is eligible for selection. The selection committee shall be appointed by the Commodore and chaired by the immediate past Commodore of the Association.

D. The Faget Trophy, given in honor of Past National Champion William Faget, by the Faget family and North Sails, shall be awarded annually to the boat winning the last race of the National Championship Regatta

E. The Ray and Ann Torpey Award, presented by the Torpey Family, in honor of their parents who introduced them to sailing, is awarded annually to the winner of the first race of the National Championship Regatta

F. The Doug Wood Mid Fleet Award, offered in honor of Doug Wood by his family, will be presented annually to the skipper who finishes “mid fleet” in the National Championship Regatta. Mid Fleet shall be determined by the number of total contestants divided by two. If there is an uneven number of contestants the award will be presented to the contestant with the higher placement. (i.e. if 41 boats… half is 20.5… award goes to skipper in 21st place.)

G. The Youth Championship Award offered by Ensign Fleet 35, Marquette, Michigan, for the highest finishing youth boat at the National Championship Regatta. A youth boat is one crewed entirely by sailors 24 years of age or younger on January 1st, the year of the Regatta. The Youth Championship award will be presented annually when two or more youth boats compete."

H. The above seven trophies shall remain the property of the Association. Custody will be awarded to the respective winners each year and remain in their possession until awarded to their successors.

I. Other trophies shall be awarded as determined by agreement between the Championship Committee and the Governing Committee.

4. SITE AND TIME:

A. The Championship Regatta shall be conducted between mid-August and mid-October, and the host fleet in consultation with the Governing Committee will determine the exact date. Preferably, the Regatta dates should be determined in time to be announced by February 1st preceding the Regatta.

B. The Championship Regatta will be sailed in the waters of a host fleet, to be selected by the Governing Committee. The championship may not, however, be contested on the same waters in two consecutive years. In choosing a host fleet, the Governing Committee should be guided by the following factors:

1. Facilities adequate to conduct a regatta and to handle at least 35 boats on the starting line.

2. Sufficient potential for borrowed boats to meet the estimated demand.

3. Past contribution to the Ensign Class Association and past participation in Championship Regattas.

4. Past interest of in the Class membership, geographic dispersion of fleets, and overall advancement of the Ensign Class Association.

5.CONTESTANTS:

Any Ensign Class Association fleet in good standing has the right to select or hold a competition for representatives in the Championship.

6. ELIGIBILITY:

A. Under the terms of these National Championship Rules, the helmsman of each competing yacht is considered to be the contestant. The helmsman is defined as the person who must steer the boat at the start and on each windward leg, but who at any time may be relieved for emergency situations.

B. All contestants must be:

1. An Ensign owner, co-owner, charterer or co-charterer, or the son, daughter, brother, sister, spouse or parent thereof, or a person who sails an Ensign in an organized sailing program. Co-ownership must be documented and available for inspection.

2. A paid-up member of the Ensign Class Association.

3. A member of an Ensign fleet in good standing. Ensign owners who reside more than fifty miles from an established fleet may petition for an exemption.

C. A charterer is defined as one who has complete control of the vessel for a period of at least three months. This charter is to be evidenced by an agreement in writing. In order for the charterer to be eligible to compete, the charter must be entered into by July 1st.

D. Contestants may charter or borrow a yacht during the Regatta, but must use their own sails.

E. No contestant may enter or use more than one yacht during the Regatta, except if the entered yacht shall have suffered severe damage. The consent of the Judges must be obtained before another yacht may be substituted.

F. Up to two qualified contestants may register as co-contestants on one yacht. Each must meet the requirements set forth in 6. B. and both must also observe the following requirements:

1. Their intent to be co-contestants must be provided to the host fleet in writing prior to the close of registration for the National Regatta. At that time, the helmsman for each race must be identified on a schedule that alternates them as helmsmen in successive races including any tune-up races. This schedule may not be altered except as provided in F.3. below.

2. In the event a race is postponed, abandoned or canceled, the contestant scheduled as helmsman for that race shall be helmsman for the next race, and the alternating schedule shall be adjusted accordingly.

3. Permission for any co-contestant substitution after the close of registration must be obtained in advance of such substitution from the Championship Committee and such permission shall be denied if the Committee concludes that unfair advantage is gained thereby or that the substitution is not an absolute necessity.

4. Both co-contestants must sail the complete series. Failure of either to be aboard in every race of the series, including any tune-up races, will result in disqualification of the yacht for each such race upon protest.

5. If the yacht of the co-contestant is involved in a protest arising out of an incident during a race, only the helmsman for that race may be the contestant representing the yacht at the protest hearing. If the protest involves a matter other than an incident occurring during a race, the two co-contestants shall decide between themselves which one, and only one, of them will represent the yacht in the hearing.

7. BOATS: All boats and equipment must conform in all respects with the rules and specifications of the Association, and any boat not so conforming shall be disqualified. The Championship Committee may inspect the boats at any time before, during or after the Regatta.

8. SAILS:

A. Sails must comply with the rules and specifications of the Ensign Class Association and shall be measured by a person authorized by the Championship Committee.

B. No restrictions will be placed on choice of headsails.

9. RACES AND RULES:

A. The Race Committee shall schedule a series of at least six races in three days. At least one race must be completed to constitute the Regatta.

B. The Championship will be sailed under the current issue of The Racing Rules of Sailing as amended by the Ensign Class Association Rules.

C. In addition to the contestant, there must be a crew consisting of not less than two nor more than three persons.

D. The total number of crew in each yacht shall remain the same throughout the Regatta.

10. COURSES:

A. Courses shall be as free as possible from headlands, shoals, obstructions, aids to navigation or serious tidal currents.

B. Courses shall be windward-leeward, triangular, Olympic, modified Olympic, Gold Cup, or modified Gold Cup patterns. Courses should be laid out so as to have the marks left to port; Leeward starts should be avoided, if possible.

C. Ordinarily, courses shall not be less than 4 and 1/2 or more than 9 nautical miles in length.

D. The Race Committee may shorten the course at its discretion if the following minimum course has actually been sailed: a windward leg, a leeward leg and a windward leg. This condition refers to legs that have been sailed and not necessarily as originally signaled.

11. COMMITTEES AND RESPONSIBILITIES:

A. Championship Committee: The Championship Committee shall directly or through other committees:

1. Make all arrangements for the proper conduct of the Championship Regatta.

2. Appoint a Committee of Judges and the Race Committee (in cooperation with the host fleet.)

3. Coordinate the work of all committees.

4. Arrange for local publicity and coordinate with the Vice Commodore-Publicity, Ensign Class Association, to provide national publicity.

5. Conduct the Championship Regatta

B. Judges:

1. There shall be three Judges.

2. The Judges will have authority to receive, initiate and to decide protests involving the racing rules or other rules.

3. The Judges shall have the freedom of cruising at will in a powerboat specifically assigned for their use, apart from the Race Committee.

C. Race Committee:

1. The Race Committee shall consist of at least three persons who shall be experienced yachtsmen familiar with the waters in which the Championship is being held.

2. The Race Committee shall run the races, providing circulars, establishing courses, starting the races, recording the order and times of finishing, etc. It will welcome suggestions on these matters from the Judges.

3. No race shall be started unless in the judgment of the Race Committee there is sufficient wind (preferably at least 5 knots), and no race shall be started after 5 PM.

12. SCORING:

A. A contestant starting in any race of the Championship Regatta will be considered a starter in all races:

B. Points will be awarded as using the low point system as described by Appendix A of RRS. A boat not starting, or disqualified, shall be awarded a number of points equal to one more than the total number of starters.

C. Boats failing to finish within 30 minutes after the first boat finishes or within the time limit, whichever is later will be scored as DNF. DNF's will be scored points equal to one-half the number of yachts not finishing, rounded to the next highest number, plus the number of yachts that finished. [I.e. if there are 40 boats in the fleet and only 13 finish; the score for each of the 27 DNF would be (27/2) = 14+13 (the number of finishers) = 27. Each DNF gets 27 points.]

D. With advice and consent of the Governing Committee, the Championship Committee may provide for a throw-out race in the Regatta, but this shall only be permitted where at least five races are completed.

E. The winner of the Championship Regatta will be the contestant with the lowest total point score.

F. In case of a tie, the tie breaking method as published in the current racing rules of sailing as distributed by the Governing Body of sailing for the United States, shall be used to break the tie.

13. TIME LIMIT:

A race in which no contestant shall have finished in 2.5 hours shall be abandoned.

14. GENERAL RULES:

A. Team tactics are barred and shall be grounds for protest or disqualification. An example of team tactics is the act of deliberately and willfully sacrificing one's chances or place in a race for the purpose of injuring or improving the chances or place of another or others.

B. Breakdown points will be awarded an entrant on the basis of average points per race, when the entrant has been forced out of a race or otherwise substantially disadvantaged by:

1. Damage caused by a foul and later upheld by a sustained protest; or,

2. Gear failure attributable to poor condition of a borrowed boat.

C. The Judges will conduct a redress hearing in accordance to Rule 62 of the RRS upon receiving a proper request from the claimant, Race Committee or by themselves as a finding through a protest hearing. In any case it must be properly submitted. They shall have discretion to decide whether the damage or gear failure is sufficient to have forced the entrant out of the race or to have otherwise substantially disadvantaged the entrant.

D Notices when posted by the Race Committee on the host yacht club bulletin board shall be considered to have been delivered to each contestant provided, however, that such instructions may be superseded by oral instructions of the Race Committee on the water duly given by it to each contestant prior to the warning signal.

E. No yacht entered for the Championship Regatta may be hauled out or laid on shore during the period of the races, except in case of accident or for necessary repairs and then only by permission of the Judges.

15. AMENDMENTS TO CHAMPIONSHIP RULES: Rules for the conduct of the Championship Regatta can be amended by five affirmative votes of the Governing Committee.

Revised February 9, 2013, February 8, 2014