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2023 Force 5 Midwinter Championship Registration is now open!

Notice of Race

2023 Force 5 Midwinter Championship Race Week

February 21-25, 2023

Upper Keys Sailing Club-Key Largo, FL


  1. TITLE: The event is titled the Force 5 Midwinter Championship Race Week at the Upper Keys Sailing Club, Key Largo, Florida. The organizing authority shall be the Upper Keys Sailing Club, hereinafter UKSC.
  2. RULES: The entire event will be governed by the rules as defined in The Racing Rules of Sailing, 2021-2024.
  3. The other documents that apply are: the Force 5 class rules, unless amended by the NOR or SI. The class rules can be obtained from the Force 5 class website:
  4. CLASSES: The Classes shall be limited to the Force 5 standard rig and the Force 5 short rig. The Midwinter Championship will be open to Standard Force 5 rigs and the “short rig.” Skippers choosing at registration to sail the short rig must sail with the short rig for the entire championship and will be eligible for separate awards. Skippers registered as sailing with standard rigs during the championship will be scored with the standard rigs even if they choose to use the short rig for some or all races.
  5. The event is open to all competitors with a class legal Force 5.
  6. REGISTRATION AND ENTRY: The regatta is open to all boats of the Force 5 class and all skippers must be a member of the Force 5 class and pay the class membership fee prior to competing. Eligible boats may enter by registering at:  Late registration is available all regatta days but, is closed 1 hour before the first warning each day.

REGISTRATION FEES: Required fees are as follows:

$135.00 -if paid by 1/31/23)

(There is no separate registration fee for the Double Handed Championship or the Nest Key Race)

$150.00 - For all who register and pay on or after 2/1/23.

Registration includes, breakfast 2 days, lunch 3 days, 1 dinner ticket, happy hours, competitor gear and awards.

At, you can register and pay on-line. Registration is available on site as noted above with appropriate fees.                             

               Please register and pay in advance, if possible.

  1. PFD’s: See Force 5 rules which states: Article VIII. PERSONAL SAFETY: Section 8.01 U.S. Coast Guard-approved personal flotation devices must be carried on board at all times while racing (NOTE:  non-Coast Guard-approved “buoyancy aids” do not satisfy this requirement).  While the Fore 5 Class strongly encourages sailors to wear Coast Guard-approved personal flotation devices at all times while sailing, these devices must be worn whenever the sailing instructions or the Race Committee so indicate(s). When flag Y is displayed ashore, rule 40 applies at all times while afloat. This changes the Part 4 preamble.

2/20/23  Monday

Club Open for practice

2/21/23   Tuesday

Nest Key Race and Rum Rendezvous

This is a fun race. Details will be handed out at the Club 09:00

10:00  First Warning for Nest Key Race

2/22/23   Wednesday

Force 5 Double Handed Championship

10:00 – 11:00 Registration Open for Double Handed Championship only

12:00 noon  Skipper’s Meeting at the Clubhouse

13:00   First Warning for first race  (3 races planned)

17:00 – 19:00   Jetty Party

2/23/23 Thursday

Force 5 Midwinter Championship (day 1)

10:00- 1200 noon – Registration for Midwinter Championship

11:00 -12:00 noon – Lunch at Clubhouse

1200 noon – Skipper’s Meeting

1:00 pm  First Warning

4: 30 pm  Happy Hour

5: 30 pm Force 5 Class Meeting

2/24/23 Friday

Force 5 Midwinter Championship (day 2)

08:30 -9:30 Continental Breakfast

10:30  First Warning

4:30 pm Happy Hour

7:00 pm Dinner

2/25/23 Saturday

Force 5 Midwinter Championship (day 3)

8:00 – 9:00 Continental Breakfast

9: 45 am   First Warning

No warning will happen after 11: 45 am

Awards as soon as possible after the last race

Number of races: One race will constitute a championship. There is no maximum number of races.  The number of races will be at the sole discretion of the PRO.

  1. All national (US Sailing) prescriptions will apply.
  2. SAILING INSTRUCTIONS: The sailing instructions will be available after Monday 2/21/22 at noon in the UKSC Clubhouse. We remind all competitors that they should carry the notice of race and sailing instructions, hereinafter SI’s, as we will not repeat what was discussed in this NOR or any amended NOR.
  3. NOTICES TO COMPETITORS: Notices to competitors will be posted on the official notice board(s) located at the UKSC, inside, near the office.
  4. CHANGES TO SAILING INSTRUCTIONS: Any change to the sailing instructions will be posted before 9:00 am on the day it will take effect, except that any change to the schedule or times of future races will be posted by 8:00 pm on the day before it will take effect. 
  5. SIGNALS MADE ASHORE: Signals made ashore will be displayed at the Club’s main flag pole.     Flag D with one sound means ‘The warning signal will be made not less than 40 minutes after flag D is dropped. Boats shall not to leave the harbor until the D flag is dropped.
  6. CLASS FLAGS: Class flags will be a Force 5 class flag for the standard rig. The short rig class flag shall be a solid red flag.
  7. RACING AREAS: The racing area is directly in front of the UKSC.
  8. THE COURSES: The diagrams posted on the official regatta notice board show the courses, including the approximate angles between legs, the order in which marks are to be passed, and the side on which each mark is to be left.
  9. No later than the warning signal, the race committee signal boat will display the approximate compass bearing of the first leg and the course to be sailed.
  10. The start/finish line will be in the center of the course.
  11. Course “T” is a triangle with a finish to windward. If there is a “2” next to the “T”, that means 2 times around the triangle.

                Course “W” is windward-leeward with a windward finish on the other side of the signal boat. If there is a “2”    next to the W, that means windward and leeward 2 times before finishing.

                Course “M” is a triangle, followed by a windward-leeward and a windward finish.

  1. MARKS: Starting and finishing marks will be orange marks. All others will be orange or yellow marks. The other end of the start or finish line may be a boat (separate from the signal boat) displaying an orange flag.   
  2. THE START: Races will be started by using rule 26 with the warning signal made 5 minutes before the starting signal.    
  3. The starting line will be between a staff displaying an orange flag on signal boat and the adjacent starting mark (or boat displaying an orange flag).
  4. Boats whose warning signal has not been made shall avoid the starting area during the starting sequence for other races.
  5. A boat starting later than 10 minutes after her starting signal will be scored Did Not Start without a hearing. This changes rule A4.
  6. If any part of a boat’s hull is on the course side of the starting line before her starting signal and she is identified, the race committee will attempt to announce her sail number. Failure to make an announcement or hear the announcement will not be grounds for a request for redress. This changes rule 62.1(a).    
  7. SCORING: The scoring system is as follows: Appendix A, low point scoring system. Appendix A is modified so that when 6 or more races are completed in a midwinter championship series, a boat’s series score will be the total of the boat’s scores excluding the boat’s worst score.1 race is required to be completed to constitute a championship series.
  8. TIME LIMITS AND TARGET TIMES: The time limit will be 60 minutes for each individual race. If no boat has finished within the time limit, the race shall be abandoned.
  9. Boats failing to finish within 20 minutes after the first boat sails the course and finishes will be scored Did Not Finish without a hearing. This changes rules 35, A4 and A5.
  10. WITHDRAWING: A boat withdrawing from a race or regatta shall inform the race committee as soon as practicable. A boat failing to conform to this rule way be scored DNC for the regatta. This changes RRS A5.
  11. RADIO COMMUNICATION: (DP)(Hereinafter DP means discretionary penalty) While racing, except in an emergency, a boat shall not make voice or data transmissions and shall not receive voice or data communication that is not available to all boats.
  12. PRIZES: Prizes will be given as follows: Trophies will be awarded to the top 5 finishers in the standard rig division and top 3 in short rig division. Additionally, a first place will be awarded in the “challenger” division. The challenger division is any competitor who has never placed and received a trophy in a North American or Midwinter Championship. Trophies for the double handed and Nest Key race will be explained at the skipper’s meeting.
  13. DISCLAIMER OF LIABILITY: Competitors participate in the regatta entirely at their own risk. See rule 4, Decision to Race. The organizing authority will not accept any liability for material damage or personal injury, or death sustained in conjunction with or prior to, during, or after the regatta. In addition to RRS 4, DECISION TO RACE, the safety of a boat and her entire management shall be the responsibility of the owner(s), and the person in charge. Sailing is an activity that has an inherent risk of damage and injury. Competitors in these events participate entirely at their own risk. The race organizers (organizing authority, race committee, protest committee, host club, sponsors, or any other organization or official) will not be responsible for damage to any boat or other property or the injury to any competitor, including disease and death, sustained as a result of participation in these events. By participating in these events, each competitor agrees to release the race organizers from any, and all liability associated with participation in the event to the fullest extent permitted by law.
  14. COVID: Based on any public health consideration, competitors agree to follow all rules from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention including those for boaters, and State of Florida and Monroe County guidelines and policies regarding the COVID 19 and Influenza viruses in effect at the time of each event.
  15. COACHES AND SUPPORT PERSONNEL: Before participation in this event, owner(s), competitors, coaches and/or support personnel shall sign the Waiver of Liability available from the race committee. Compliance with this rule shall be the responsibility of the vessel owner and/or the person in charge and failure to comply will subject the boat to disqualification from the regatta or regattas.
  16. TRASH DISPOSAL: (DP) Trash may be placed aboard support or official boats. Do not throw any trash in the water. Help us keep our bay clean!  The penalty for violating this rule may be less than disqualification, at the discretion of the protest committee.  (DP)

Protest forms may be available at the UKSC. Protests and requests for redress or reopening shall be delivered there or hand delivered to the PRO within the appropriate time limit.

  1. For each class, the protest time limit is 30 minutes after the signal boat docks. The time the signal boat docks shall be posted shortly after they dock and placed on the official notice board.
  2. Notices will be posted no later than 10 minutes after the protest time limit to inform competitors of hearings in which they are parties or named as witnesses. Hearings will be held in the protest room, located at the UKSC in the dining room or may be conducted by Zoom. Notices of protests by the race committee or protest committee will be posted to inform boats under rule 61.1(b) and shall be posted within 30 minutes after the signal boat docks.  This changes Rule 61.1(b).
  3. On the last scheduled day of racing, a request for reopening a hearing shall be delivered

(a)   within the protest time limit if the requesting party was informed of the decision on the previous day;

(b)   no later than 30 minutes after the requesting party was informed of the decision on that day.    

This changes rule 66.

  1. On the last scheduled day of racing a request for redress based on a protest committee decision shall be delivered no later than 30 minutes after the decision was posted. This changes rule 62.2.


For further information please contact:

Tom Trump, Event Chair                                    Mike Austin , PRO

Cell:  305-304-9989                                            Cell   330-351-0340

Home:  305-451-4088                                        This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 

Established in 1973, the Upper Keys Sailing Club (UKSC) has a marvelous feel of old Florida. Docks, boat ramps and beach provide a beautiful view of Buttonwood Bay. This is a perfect spot for Force 5 sailing, watching beautiful sunsets and enjoying the warm and sunny Florida Keys. The UKSC is located at mile marker (MM) 99 or about 99 miles north of Key West and about one-hour drive south from Miami.

For Hotel information:  www.