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Sail Nauticus: Cofer Cup Regatta

Cofer Cup

Date: September 21, 2024
Time: 10 AM – 12 PM
Where: Nauticus Pier, One Waterside Drive, Norfolk, VA 23510

Team Registration Fee: $425
After Sept. 1, 2024: $475

ON THE WATER: Teams will compete along the Elizabeth River in heats aboard our fleet of Harbor 20 sailboats. Each team must have one member acting as skipper who has passed a Sail Nauticus skipper’s test. The Cofer Cup is followed by an awards ceremony + social.

OFF THE WATER – $15,000 Fundraising GOAL: Teams registered for the Cofer Cup are encouraged to compete to raise the most funds off the water. As if fundraising for a great cause isn’t enough incentive, to sweeten the deal, Cofer Cup teams will get to select their preferred Harbor 20 sailboat in order of most-to-least funds raised from July 20 to September 20 at 12 PM.

Exclusive Access to Design. Build. Sail. Exhibit Gallery

Date: September 20 – 22, 2024
Time: During museum operating hours

NEW THIS YEAR: All teams will receive tickets for their team + up to 4 guests per team member to visit Nauticus’ newest exhibit gallery dedicated the art and science of sailing titled; Design. Build. Sail. Teams will be among the first to enjoy this gallery before it opens to the public.

Cofer Cup Pricing

$425 per team

Fee includes registration for up to 4 people, 2-week trial membership to Sail Nauticus, vessel insurance, Skills Clinic (date to be announed), awards ceremony + social and tickets to visit Nauticus’ newest exhibit gallery, Design Build Sail.

RULES

The Cofer Cup will be governed by the rules as defined by the 2021-2024 Racing Rules of Sailing as modified by these Sailing Instructions. The following points are emphasized: 

  1. The races are FUN! 
  2. On opposite tacks, STARBOARD tack boat has Right of Way. 
  3. On the same tack, when overlapped, LEEWARD boat has Right of Way. 
  4. Don’t crowd marks during rounding. 
  5. Don’t force another boat into an obstruction.  
  6. Do not interfere with the safe navigation of commercial traffic on the river. Yield to tugs, tows, merchant ships, sightseeing vessels, etc.  
  7. Have fun! 
  8. If required for safety, a boat’s motor may be used, and the boat may maneuver perpendicular to the racecourse or backwards on the course. Motors shall not be used to advance the boat’s position on the racecourse. **Please notify Race Committee boat if this is necessary.** 
  9. Violation of these rules make the boat subject to disqualification.  
  10. Life jackets must be worn at all times while in Harbor 20s. 

Eligibility and Entry

  1. Each vessel must have one person acting as skipper who has passed a Sail Nauticus Skipper’s Test. Interested participants should plan to attend the Cofer Cup Skills Clinic on (Date TBD). Skipper’s tests should be scheduled by (Date TBD) and must be completed by September 19, 2024.
  2. Form a Team: Each vessel must have at least 2 and not more than 4 people during the Cofer Cup event. We will request names of participants by September 19, 2024, and require that all individuals sign the Sail Nauticus Waiver Form prior to the event.   
  3. Team Name: Teams will submit a Team Name for their vessel. All team names must be approved by the Sail Nauticus Manager.
  4. Team Fundraising: Teams will have the opportunity to create an online fundraiser to raise funds for the Sail Nauticus Academy from July 20, 2024 – September 20th at 12 PM (noon). Teams will select their desired boat based on their fundraising ranking. The team that fundraises the most will receive the first choice in boat selection and the rest will follow in order of their overall ranking. Boat selections will be made on the morning of the race. Fundraising instructions will be listed on the website and sent to all teams upon registration.

fees

  1. $425 for Early Registration, Through September 1, 2024
  2. $475 for registration from September 1, 2024, to September 19, 2024

Legal

  1. Sail Nauticus is a program of the tax exempt Nauticus Foundation a 501(c)3 which exists to benefit our community through education, impactful experience, and access to maritime resources. All contributions made directly to the organization are tax-deductible.
  2. By attending the Cofer Cup, you authorize the use and reproduction by Nauticus of any and all photography and/or videography that has been taken of you in association with this event. All digital images and/or video files are wholly owned by the Nauticus Foundation.
  3. Sail Nauticus reserves the right to cancel or change the date or location at its sole discretion.
  4. Skippers are responsible for damage incurred to Sail Nauticus vessels up to $1,000.

VENUE

  1. Racing will be held in the Western Branch of the Elizabeth River. The Race Committee (RC) will make announcements on Saturday morning over VHF Channel 71 about the approximate location of the starting area.
  2. Course will be defined using government marks and/or anchored marks. Course will be determined by wind direction and announced at the Skipper’s Meeting.

Starting

  1. There will be at least three races in a series. At the beginning of each race, the normal start sequence will be as follows:
    A. 10 minutes to the Start: Boats must check in by sailing past the RC boat. RC boat will announce the specific racecourse.
    B. 5 minutes to the Start: One short horn blast. A Yellow flag will be raised.
    C. 4 minutes to the Start: One short horn blast. A Blue flag will be raised.
    D. 1 minute to the Start: One short horn blast. Blue flag will be lowered.
  2. Start: One prolonged horn blast will be sounded.  Yellow flag will be lowered. In the event a competitor is over the start line early (“OCS”), a second prolonged horn blast will sound. The RC will attempt to hail that competitor and make an announcement on VHF channel 71. Any boat that is OCS must go back to the start and restart the race or they will be disqualified.

Finishing

  1. As boats finish, the RC will sound one short horn and call out the boat’s name (sail color). If a boat is unable to finish before the time limit, they are requested to hail the RC on VHF 71.
  2. Protests are strongly discouraged. This racing is for fun and fundraising for our Academy program. However, if a boat desires to file a protest, it must be announced at the finish line of the race. Once the vessels have returned to the dock, the skipper of the protesting boat and the skipper of the protested boat will meet with the Race Committee. The RC will be the sole judge of the merits of the case. The decision of the RC is final.

Scoring

  1. “Low Point” scoring shall be used. Boats starting but not finishing an event, and boats that show up for a race and check-in but do not start, will be awarded a score of the total number of boats that started the race PLUS ONE. Boats not showing up or checking in for a race will be awarded a score of the total number of registered boats PLUS ONE. Disqualified boats will be awarded a score of the total number of registered boats in the class PLUS TWO.
  2. Three completed races shall constitute a Series. If four races in a series are completed, there will be one “throw out” score per boat, per Series.

RADIO COMMUNICATION

The organizing authority and the Race Committee may make courtesy information broadcasts regarding the race, starting times, the weather, etc. Broadcasts will be on VHF Channel 71.

Capt. J. William (Bill) Cofer is the former chairman of the Nauticus Board of Directors and devoted supporter of Nauticus’ Sailing program. Capt. Cofer is a well respected member of the maritime community and the former president of the Virginia Pilot Association.

We are honored to name the Cofer Cup regatta after an incredible leader in our community.


Regular Registration Deadline: September 1, 2024, at 11:59 PM

Optional Cofer Cup Skills Clinic: Date TBD

Skippers’ Meeting will take place on Friday, September 20, 2024, at Nauticus. Skippers may ask a crew member to attend in lieu of themselves. We’ll hand out race packets and be on hand to answer any questions you have about the event.

What Do Cofer Cup Funds Support

All proceeds from the Cofer Cup regatta directly support Sail Nauticus’ mission to provide affordable access to sailing, STEM and leadership programs for the youth of our community.

Since its inception in 2014, Sail Nauticus has provided a life-changing experience for youth in our community through a three-year program for middle school students. Through a partnership with Norfolk Public Schools, students are given the opportunity to participate in weekly programming that promotes science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) comprehension career exploration opportunities, and builds leadership and confidence all while learning how to sail.

Video below demonstrates students showing off their sailing skills at the 2021 graduation ceremony:

Terms and Conditions

Cofer Cup Rules

Each vessel must have one person acting as skipper who has passed a Sail Nauticus Skipper’s Test. Interested participants should plan to attend the Cofer Cup Skills Clinic, date to be announced.

Inclement Weather

In the event of inclement weather, the Cofer Cup will be rescheduled for another date.

Parking

Parking is available across the street in the Plume Street Garage or the Town Point Garage. Parking onsite is not permitted. On event day, please head to the Nauticus cruise pier (behind Nauticus) for event check-in.

Can I Race in My Boat?

Sail Nauticus’ Harbor 20 sailboats are the only vessels permitted to be used in the race.  

The Harbor 20’s torpedo like bulb keel keeps the weight low in the water. The keel design gives the boat plenty of stability without slowing the boat down in light air with excessive weight. Its excellence performance makes it a natural club racer.

Fundraising Challenge

Teams will have the opportunity to create an online fundraiser to raise funds for the Sail Nauticus Academy from July 20, 2024 – September 20, 2024 at 12 PM (noon). Teams will select their desired boat based on their fundraising ranking. The team that fundraises the most will receive the first choice in boat selection and the rest will follow in order of their overall ranking. Boat selections will be made on the morning of the race. Fundraising instructions will be listed on the website and sent to all teams upon registration.

Fundraising teams are open to all individuals, and you are not required to participate in the Cofer Cup or Corporate Challenge. See details.

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For team regatta or general inquiries, please contact info@sailnauticus.org or (757) 823-4242.

For fundraising/sponsorship inquiries, please contact Nauticus Development Director, Rehn West at (757) 664-1011.

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