Tips for the Race Officer
- You will need to tow the committee boat out onto the middle of the lake so start early as this will avoid a panic just before racing starts.
- Please take a radio and the committee boat safety bag with you. In it you will find a knife, a whistle and a space blanket. It is kept in the store cupboard and should be returned to the cupboard at the end of racing.
- Set up a signing on sheet with the date and race details in the boxes provided.
Setting the course: -
- Get out on the water early (at least an hour before the start of racing) and get an idea of wind direction, trends and calm areas to avoid.
- Decide where you would like the start line and windward mark to be. The start line should be perpendicular to and directly downwind from the windward mark (which can be either a numbered buoy or the moveable big black buoy). The start line should be as long as possible. Anchor the Committee Boat fore and aft to stop it swinging and drop in the inner distance marker a few metres to port. Make sure the hooter works, and all the required flags are on board.
- Decide on the rest of the course - ideally the first windward mark should be rounded to port and be followed by a reach. The rest is up to you (apart from the Olympic Series- see separate race file for details) but try to include a mixture of all points of sailing including a dead run, a reach and another beat. The handicap system only works fairly if this is achieved. One lap should ideally take about 15 minutes.
- Chalk the course on the board about half an hour before the start of the race and don't change it again after this. Set the number of laps - you can guess or just set it to 10 and shorten on the water. Remember, you can always shorten course on the water but never lengthen it! Include the start-finish line as a mark of the course, otherwise the average lap system can't be used and all boats will have to complete the same number of laps.
Starting the race: -
- Get out on the water again 15 minutes before the start of the race and make last minute adjustments to the start line if the wind direction has shifted. Make sure you take with you the list of signed on boats and 2 working stop-watches (one should have a count-down sequence).
- Go through the start sequence using the appropriate flags. Use the stop-watch with count-down facility as the main timer and start the back-up watch when the race starts. The race time is from the GO not the 5 minute.
- N.B. It's the flags that count and need to go up and down on time, not the sound signals!
- Look out for premature starters (and boats over after the one minute warning if the 'I' flag has been used and they are required to round the ends - if they don't, they must be disqualified!) The start line is between the mast of the Committee Boat and the Pin End buoy - the inner distance marker has no significance, other than keeping boats away from the Committee Boat. If any boats are over, note their numbers, raise the individual recall flag ('X' flag) and make a single sound signal. You may call them back, but you don't have to - if anyone is over, they must come back and restart properly, other wise they will be disqualified. If there are too many boats over to identify, signal a general recall.
Finishing the race: -
- Tick off the boats through each lap and work out how many laps will be required, INCLUDING THE LAST LAP. You're aiming for a race duration of about one hour for the majority - the leaders will probably do less, the slow boats may do fewer laps.
- If required, shorten course with the appropriate flag and sound signals as the lead boat approaches the last mark of the course. After this, all boats finish when they cross the line. If a slow boat is just ahead (but a lap behind), and you don't want them to do another lap, it is possible to shorten course on that boat instead. We can make it even more complicated, but we'll leave that for the advanced course!
- Note the time as each boat finishes - it's when the front of the bow crosses the line. With double starts (Fast/Slow fleets) make sure to take into account the delay of the second fleet.
- In the case of asymmetric boats the front of the bow is the tip of the bowsprit (pole). Unless the spinnaker is up (pole extended) on an inappropriate course (upwind), in which case it is the front of the bow.
End of the day: -
- When all boats have finished tuck the flags inside the cabin door before locking it, the safety bag and radio put back in the store cupboard and the kill cord should be back in the key safe. There are simple instructions at the bottom of the signing on sheet to help you calculate the corrected times and finishing positions. Check that they make sense before pinning them on the board! Before these results become final they are checked and recalculated by computer.
- Protests are unusual at CSC - try to get the sailors concerned to resolve them amicably without resort to a protest committee. Note that the Race Officer can't disqualify boats for other than start line incidents - if a boat has sailed the wrong course, they should be encouraged to retire but they can't be forced to without a protest from another boat!