Sail Racing Abbreviations

This is a list of over 230 abbreviations and acronyms that you may find in sail racing documentation including; Sail Race Results, Notices of Race and Sailing Instructions.

Acronym/
Abbre-
vation

Refer
Also


What does it Mean
#
(Hash)
"No Data":- Data is missing (or questionable) from the results system.
[x] [x.y]
[ ] { } ( )
e.g. [2] [2.5]
(Brackets)
"Discarded":- The race score inside the brackets is not included in series results. e.g. race dropped as per SIs.
2H"Two Handed":- Racing in a division limited to only 2 crew members.
2IC"Second In Charge".
A
ARB
MED
"Mediated or Arbitrated Protest Result":- Result of protest determined by mediation or arbitration between the parties without going to full protest hearing.
ABDn
ABN
"Race Abandoned":- The race has been abandoned and will not be re-run.
ABP"Associated British Ports".
AHC"Allocated Handicap":- The handicap allocated before the start of the next scored race.
AIS"Automated Identification System":- A system that transmits a boat's position to all boats' in VHF range so that those boats are aware of the transmitter's position.
AMS"Australian Measurement System":- A handicap based on physical measurements.
AP"Code Flag Answering Pennant":- This signal flag is used to indicate a postponement or delay to (generally) the race start.
AP"All Purpose":- Generally in conjunction with a handicap system e.g. ORC AP.
ARBA
MED
"Arbitrated Protest Result":- Result of protest determined by arbitration between the parties without going to full protest hearing.
ASBA"Australian Sports Boat Association".
AVE
AVG
V"Average Points Given":- Average points awarded as apposed to actual scored points, e.g. a boat that failed to finish due to them providing assistance to another. May also exist where a boat's division is changed during a series.
B"Bettered":- Tie broken by one boat bettering another.
(No I don't understand this either). Maybe the same as Tie (see below).
BBFD"Disqualification Under Black Flag Start":- Disqualification for starting a race that was started under black flag conditions. RRS 30.3.
BDSGNSS"BeiDou":- Globall Navigation Satellite System (GNSS) - China.
BCE"Back Calculated Elapsed Time":- The difference between a boat's actual elapsed time and the theoretical elapsed time needed to achieve the same corrected time as the winning boat.
BCH"Back Calculated Handicap":- A calculated handicap that would have resulted in all boats having the same corrected time for the race.
BCR"Back Calculated Rating":-The handicap a boat would have needed to achieve the same corrected time as the winning boat.
BCT"Base Corrected Time":- The elapsed time used to determine the BCH.
BFDB"Disqualification Under Black Flag Start":- Disqualification for starting a race that was started under black flag conditions. RRS 30.3.
BID"Boat Identification":- Used in event entry systems to give a boat a unique identification.
BOM"Bureau of Meteorology":- An Australian Government Agency for producing (Amongst other things) weather forecasts.
BOW"Bow Number":- A number fixed to the bow of a boat.
BSF"Time on Distance":-Handicap process. (e.g. anticipated seconds a boat takes to travel one Nautical Mile).
CDNC"Did Not Compete":- Entered for the race but did not show up to the start area.
C"Casual Entry":- Boat not entered into the entire series. Possibly does not collect series points or affect other competitors' points.
CBCH"Clamped Back Handicap":- Same as BCH but with preset limits on the amount of adjustment from the AHC.
CBH"Class based Handicap":- A Handicap developed to allow boats from various classes to compete against other.
CHC"Calculated Handicap":-The handicap that will be applicable to the next race.
CL"Class":- Class or Division the boat is competing in.
COG"Course Over Ground":- The actual direction of a boat relative to the Earth's surface which may be different to its heading.
COLREGS"International Regulations for Preventing Collisions at Sea".
Cor'dT"Corrected Time":- Elapsed time after application of handicap.
CV"Committee Vessel".
DDNE"Disqualification":- (other than DGM). Not Excludable under rule 90.3.
DFLSML"Dead (Expletive deleted) Last":- Self explanatory. Not an official acronym but heard around the bar of Sailing Clubs.
DGMM"Disqualified":- Disqualified under RRS 69.1. (Gross Misconduct).
DH"Double Handed":- Racing in a division limited to only 2 crew members.
DidNot"Did Not Receive a logical Score":- Reason for a boat receiving a score greater than the number of finishers e.g. DNF, DSQ, etc.
Div"Division":- Description of or the number of the Division the boat is competing in.
Div No"Division":- Description of or the number of the Division the boat is competing in.
DNCC"Did Not Compete":- Entered for the race but did not present to the start area.
DNED"Disqualification Not Excluded":- The Disqualification race points score cannot be excluded (dropped) from the series score.
DNFF"Did Not Finish":- Not too sure of the difference to RET however in motor sport a competitor is scored RET while the event is still in progress and DNF after the event is finished.
DNSS"Did Not Start":- Was at the starting area but did not start.
DP
[DP]
"Discretionary Penalty":- A penalty for the breach of a specific rule so notated may be at the discretion of the protest committee (or other Authority).
DPII"Discretionary Penalty":- A discretionary penalty applied by the Race Committee, could be positive or negative.
DQ"Disqualified":- Will mostly be heard being used by Sail GP broadcast commentators.
DSC"Digital selective calling":- A standard for transmitting digital messages via
Marine radio. It is a core part of the Global Maritime Distress Safety System.
DSQQ"Disqualified":- Reason for the disqualification should be noted somewhere in documentation.
DTFDistance To Finish":- Distance for the subject boat to go to the finish, measured along the shortest possible course.
DTG"Distance To Go":- Distance for the subject boat to go to the finish, measured along the shortest possible course.
DTL"Distance to Leader.":- Distance to the Leader, the difference between the leader's Distance to go (DTG) and the subject boat's DGT.
DUTW"Duty Crew":- Points awarded to a boat that was unable to compete due to their duty crew responsibilities.
EESPEvent Specific Penalty":- As defined in the event documentation.
ECS"Electronic Chart System":- An electronic charting system.
EHC"Event Handicap":- Based on the performance of a particular boat. The initial EHC handicap reflects previous/known performance for the boat or the type of boat.
Elapsd"Elapsed time":- Boats time from start to finish.
ENPÑ"Event Nominated Penalty":- As defined in the event documentation.
EPIRB"Emergency Position Indicating Radio Beacon"
ERS"Equipment Rules Of Sailing".
ESPE"Event Specific Penalty":- As defined in the event documentation.
EST
Est
"Estimated".
ET"Elapsed time":- Boats time from start to finish.time
ETA"Estimated Time of Arrival".
ETO"Elapsed Time Order":- The order of finishing based on elapsed time.
ETord"Elapsed Time Order":- The order of finishing based on elapsed time.
EXCX"Race Results Excluded":- The results of a particular race are exclude for all boats.
FDNF"Did Not Finish":- Not too sure of the difference to RET however in motor sport a competitor is scored RET while the event is still in progress and DNF after the event is finished.
Fin Tim"Finish Time":- Finish time at time of day. as opposed to elapsed time.
Fleet"Fleet":- Subject boat's situation overall (in the Fleet), irrespective of Class/Division.
GRDG"Redress Given":- Points awarded to a boat that due to exceptional circumstances achieved a result worse than the points given. E.G. provided assistance to another boat in difficulty.
GSCGNSS"Galileo":- a Global Navigation System (GNSS) - EU.
GLONASSGNSS"Global Navigation Satellite System":- a Global Navigation System (GNSS) -Russia.
GMDSS"Global Maritime Distress and Safety System":- System for Automated Emergency Signal Communication.
GPSGNSS"Global Positioning System":- A Global Navigation System (GNSS) - USA.
GNSS"Global Navigation Satellite System":- E.g. GPS, GLONASS. etc.
HNSC"Did not sail course":- Boat finished the race but did not sail the correct course.
H1"One Hull":- Foiling catamaran sailing with one hull in and one hull out of the water. Will mostly be heard being used by Sail GP broadcast commentators describing a boat that is not foiling.
H2Two Hulls":- Foiling catamaran sailing with both hulls in the water. Will mostly be heard being used by Sail GP broadcast commentators describing a boat that is not foiling.
HC
HCAP
"Handicap".
HF"High Frequency Radio".
HPS"Handicap Points Score":- Points awarded based on handicap performance.
IDPI"Discretionary Penalty":- A discretionary penalty applied by the Race Committee, could be positive or negative.
IDM"Inner Distance Mark":- A Mark associated with the start line, it could be a mark to protect the committee vessel (Sometimes called a Barging Buoy) or (especially) where the start line is defined by transits. It is not part of the start line but must be passed on the specified side.
IJ"International Juror".
ILCA"International Laser Class Association".
ILM"Inner Limit Mark":- A Mark associated with the start line, it could be a mark to protect the committee vessel (Sometimes called a Barging Buoy) or (especially) where the start line is defined by transits. It is not part of the start line but must be passed on the specified side.
IMA"International Maxi Association".
IMO"International Maritime Organisation".
IMOCA"International Monohull Open Class Association".
IMS"International Measurement System":- A handicap based on physical measurements..
IMSAR"International Aeronautical and Maritime Search and Rescue":- IMSAR Manual is a manual for the operation of Maritime and Aviation Search and Rescue.
IOR"International Offshore Rule":- A handicap based on physical measurements.
IPH"Initial Provisional handicap".
IRC"International Racing Conference":- A handicap based on physical measurements.
IRC TPR"International Racing Conference - TP52 Rating":- Unique to TP52 One design boats, calculate using the boat's IRC handicap and adjusted for boat age, crew age and number and crew professional status.
IRNSSGNSS"Indian Regional Navigation Satellite System":- a Global Navigation System (GNSS) -India.
IRO"International Race Officer".
IRPCAS"International Regulations for Preventing Collisions at Sea".
ISAF"International Sailing Federation":- (Now known as "World Sailing").
ISO"International Organization for Standardization".
L"Late Entrant":- Boat joined series after first race.
LB"Laid Buoy":- A temporary buoy laid by the Race Committee as a mark of the Course.
LBCHD"Limited Back Handicap Discard":- Same as BCH but discarded when the variation to AHC is greater than preset limits.
LBCHL"Limited Back Handicap Lower":- Same as BCH but with preset limits on the amount of Lower adjustment.
LBCHU"Limited Back Handicap Upper":- Same as BCH but with preset limits on the amount of Upper adjustment.
LH"Hull Length":- Used in some handicap measurement system documentation.
L.H"Line Honours".
LM"Laid mark":- A mark laid out by (generally) the race committee to act as a mark of the course.
LM"Leeward Mark".
LOA"Length Overall".
LTP"Long Term Performance":- Performance based handicap system for sports boats.
LWL"Length at Water Line"
MDGM"Disqualified":- Disqualified under RRS 69.1. (Gross Misconduct).
M1"Mark One":- A mark of the Course.
M2"Mark Two":- A mark of the Course.
M(n)"Mark (Insert number here)":- A mark of the Course.
MEDA
ARB
"Mediated Protest Result":- Result of protest determined by mediation between the parties without going to full protest hearing.
MOB"Man Over Board".
MOCRA"Multihull Offshore Cruising and Racing Association".
MMSI"Maritime Mobile Service Identity".
MPZ"Moving Prohibited Zone":- A moving zone that entry into is prohibited. E.g the exclusion zone surrounding a moving ship or Passenger Ferry>
MSA"Maritime Safety Act".
NENP"Event Specific Penalty":- As defined in the event documentation.
NHC"National Handicap for Cruisers":- Based on the boat's previous performances.
NJ"National Juror".
NM (nm)"Nautical mile".
1 Nautical mile approximates 1,852 meters.
NOR"Notice of Race".
NP"Not Protest":- A boat may not protest another boat that is in breach of a rule that is notated with (NP).
NP"Non Point score":- A race that is part of a series but does not contribute to the score of that series.
NS"Non Spinnaker":- Boats racing in a division where spinnakers are not permitted.
NSCH"Did not sail course":- Boat finished the race but did not sail the correct course.
OOCS"On Course Side" or "On Course at Start":- Over the line at the start.
OA"Organising Authority".
OCSO"On Course Side" or "On Course at Start":- Over the line at the start.
OD"One Design".
ODM"Outer Distance Mark":- A Mark associated with the start line, it could be "Pin End" and part of the start line or (especially) where the start line is defined by transits it is not part of the start line but must be passed on the specified side.
OLM"Outer Limit Mark":- A Mark associated with the start line, it could be "Pin End" and part of the start line or (especially) where the start line is defined by transits it is not part of the start line but must be passed on the specified side.
OMR"Offshore Multihull Rating".
"Offshore Multihull Rule":- A measurement based handicap system for multihulls. Same Acronym interpreted differently by various organisations.
OOD"Officer Of the Day".
ORC"Off Shore Racing Conference".
ORCc"Off Shore Racing Conference - Club":- A measurement based handicap rating system. Based on honesty self measurement.
ORCi"Off Shore Racing Conference - International":- A measurement based handicap rating system.
ORC AP"Off Shore Racing Conference - All Purpose":- A measurement based handicap rating system. For handicapping boats in all except Winward Leeward races.
ORC DH"Off Shore Racing Conference - Double Handed":- A measurement based handicap rating system. For handicapping boats competing in Double Handed divisions.
ORC WL"Off Shore Racing Conference - Windward Leeward":- A measurement based handicap rating system. For handicapping boats in Windward Leeward races.
OSR"Offshore Special Reulation(s)".
OTB"Off The Beach":- Normally associated with dinghy classes where the boats are launched off the beach".
OV"Overall":- Subject boat's situation overall, irrespective of Class/Division.
P"Protest pending".
P
(p)
"Port":- Normally associated with a course mark - leave to port.
PBH"Performance Based Handicap":- Based on the boat's previous performances.
PD"Percentage Difference":- The percentage difference between AHC and BCH.
PFD"Personal Flotation Device":- Life Jacket.
PHRF"Performance Handicap Racing Fleet":- Handicap system based on the previous performances of all boats of a particular class, design or Model.
PHS"Performance Handicap System":- Based on the boat's previous performances.
PiC"Person in Charge"
PLB"Personal Locator Beacon".
POB"People On Board".
"Persons On Board".
"Pax On Board".
"Personnes à Bord".
"Persone a bordo".
(Take your pick - Sorry got carried away).
PP"Protest Panel".
PRO"Principal Race Officer".
PTL"Protest Time Limit":- The time window available for lodging of a protest.
PY"Portsmouth Yardstick":- A empirical handicap system first developed in (believe it or not) Portsmouth.
QDSQDisqualified":- Reason for the disqualification should be noted somewhere in documentation.
QZNSGNSS"Quasi-Zenith Satellite System":- A Global Navigation System (GNSS) -Japan.
RRET"Retired":- Not too sure of the difference to DNF however in Motor racing a competitor is scored RET while the race is still in progress and DNF after the event is finished.
R"Race".
R
Rn
e.g. R3
Indicates the race number in which this boat broke a series score tie.
RAF"Retired After Finishing".
RC"Race Committee".
RD"Race Director".
RDGG"Redress Given":- Points awarded to a boat that due to exceptional circumstances achieved a result worse than the points given. E.G. provided assistance to another boat in difficulty.
RETR"Retired":- Not too sure of the difference to DNF however in Motor racing a competitor is scored RET while the race is still in progress and DNF after the event is finished.
RIB"Rigid Inflatable Boat".
RO"Race Officer".
RORC"Royal Offshore Racing Club".
RR"Racing Rule".
RRS"Racing Rules of Sailing":- Or to those that like to remember before electronic publishing; The Blue Book (In Australia).
SDNS"Did not start":- Was at the starting area but did not start.
S
nS (n.nS)
e.g. 1S 1.5S
Indicates the score value that this boat received as a tie breaker. Boats with equal series scores but whose hierarchy is determined by a count back system indicated in SIs. E.g the boat with the most 1st paces etc.
May also be used to indicate the individual race score that determined the result of the count back.
S
(s)
"Starboard":- Normally associated with a course mark - leave to starboard,
SAR"Search and Rescue".
SC"Scoring penalty Applied".
SCD"Safety Compliance Declaration".
SCPY"Scoring Penalty Taken":- Rule 44.3.
SER"Safety Equipment Requirements".
Sers"Series".
SI "Sailing Instructions".
SIS"Sailing Instructions".
SIN"Sailing Australia Number".
SKED"Schedule":- E.g time(s) of scheduled reporting of position.
SMLDFL"Stone Motherless Last":- Not an official acronym but often heard around the bar at Sailing Clubs. Maybe a declaration that victory has many parents but defeat has none.
SMS"Sport Boat Measurement System".
SOG"Speed Over the Ground":- The speed the boat is moving relative to the surface of the earth.
SOLAS"International Convention for the Safety of Life at Sea":- A International maritime treaty that sets minimum safety standard.
SORC"Southern Ocean Racing Conference".
SP"Scoring Penalty".
SR"Special Regulations":- The regulations dictating the equipment required on a boat to be legal to race, generally published with the RRS.
SSS"Safety and Stability Screening" numeral.
STIX"Stability Index".
STP"Standard Penalty":- Penalty applied (normally not an on-water incident) due to an infringement that was specified the NoR or SIS, could include not reporting to officers pre/post race or not returning equipment e.g. a tracker.
TTLETime Limit Exceeded":- Finished outside of the time limit applicable to that race.
T Tie broken by one boat having more of a particular score. E.g firsts.
TD"Time Difference":- difference in time between fastest corrected time and subject boat's corrected time.
TCC"Time on Time Handicap".
TCF"Time Correction Factor":- Handicap value to determine corrected time.
TES"TopYacht Entry System":- Entry system that is part of the TopYacht race scoring system.
TES-BID"TopYacht Entry System - Boat Id".
TH"Two Handed":- Racing in a division limited to only 2 crew members.
Tie(s)Indicates boats with equal series scores but whose hierarchy is determined by a count back system indicated in SIs. E.g the boat with the most 1st paces etc.
May also be used to indicate the individual race score that determined the result of the count back.
TLET"Time Limit Exceeded":- Finished outside of the time limit applicable to that race.
TLP"Time Limit Penalty":- Penalty applied to boats that failed to finish within a specified tile after the first boat to finish.
TOD"Time on Distance":-Handicap process. (e.g. anticipated seconds a boat takes to travel one Nautical Mile).
TOT"Time on Time Handicap".
TPR"TP52 Rating":- Unique to TP52 One design boats, calculate using the boat's IRC handicap and adjusted for boat age, crew age and number and crew professional status.
UUFD"Scoring penalty":- RRS 30.3 (U flag).
UFDU"Scoring penalty":- RRS 30.3 (U flag).
UFP"Scoring penalty":- RRS 30.1 (I flag).
USSER"US Safety Equipment Regulations".
UTC"Universal Time Coordinated":-
UTC (A time Standard) is the time at the time zone known as Greenwich Mean Time.
VAVE
AVG
Average Points Given":- Average points awarded as apposed to actual scored points, e.g. a boat that failed to finish due to them providing assistance to another. May also exist where a boat's division is changed during a series.
VHF"Very High Frequency Radio":- Often expressed as VHF channel 77, VHF Ch 77 or VHF 77.
Vis"Visitor":- Possibly does not collect series points or affect other competitors' points.
Vs"Visitor":- Possibly does not collect series points or affect other competitors' points.
VTS"Vessel Traffic Service".
WDUT"Duty Crew":- Points awarded to a boat that was unable to compete due to their duty crew responsibilities.
WL
W/L
"Windward/Leeward".
WM"Windward Mark".
WS"World Sailing".
XEXC"Race Results Excluded":- The results of a particular race are excluded for all boats.
YSCP"Scoring Penalty Taken":- Rule 44.3.
YB"YB Tracker":- A propriety global tracking system. Originally known as "Yellow Brick".
YTC"Yacht Time Correction":- A simple measurement based handicap system.
Z"Penalty Given":- Penalty subject to Z flag start. Rule 30.2.

This list came about from those occasions when we looked at the results of a yacht race or a regatta and have seen an abbreviation or an acronym and wondered what these Sailing abbreviations meant, we would google “what does ??? mean in sailing”, the results of which were sometimes a bit obscure others easier, a list started from there, we hope it is of some value to you.

Many of these Racing Abbreviations are self explanatory, however on some occasions they can be somewhat (actually quite) obscure, leading us to wonder just what does ??? mean in sailing, It almost appears that at times the PRO (Look it up) puts in abbreviations or anagrams in an attempt to show their audience that they know more about the subject than the reader. At other times and quite sensibly these abbreviations and anagrams are just a way of saving space in a results table and/or publication time.

This list may be a little “AussieCentric” as that is where we live and take most interest in race results, also one of the resources used was the Top Yacht Scoring system that is popular with clubs in Australia. There are a few different acronyms in sailing and different abbreviations in sailing that appear to have the same meaning this is probably due to differing scoring regimes in different jurisdictions, they may have subtly different meanings.

Please feel free to contact us with any comments or suggestions regarding  this list.