Race Officer Guide
Do not start sequence until safety boat is on station, if it is windy put on a second safety boat.
You must arrive at the Club by 9.00am Latest (6.00pm Wednesdays). Make contact with the Duty Officer and your assistant OOD. Collect a radio and the silver case from the committee room, this contains a windvane, clock and starting instructions. For a Committee boat start, hoist the Wembley flag and the Yellow flag on the Starters Box. Make out the race sheets and place them in the signing on hut, collect radio, do a radio check. You should leave the pontoon 10/15 minutes to the hour in order to lay the starting line and get the sequence under way, particularly so, if you are starting by no 5 buoy. Give two hoots on the horn as you leave the pontoon to indicate that the committee boat is leaving. The Starting Times For Sunday Morning Races. 1st race 10.00am, 2nd race 12.00 noon It is important that you start the Races on time, do not wait for boats to arrive.
Setting the Course
When laying the starting line, consider the direction of the wind, a slight port bias can be useful. Endeavour to give a true windward leg - if you are not sure of the wind for a beat, then get an early arrival to sail on a beat past the committee boat. The committee boat should be at the starboard end of the line Lay the white distance marker buoy. Consider how many boats are starting, and adjust the length of the starting line to accommodate them (usually one and half boat lengths x the number of boats in largest class). If the winds are light consider only going to 5 & 6 buoys, it is easier to manage the race if you need to shorten course. We use 6, 3, 0 minutes timing sequence e.g. 6 minutes class flag, 3 minutes Prep flag (under starters order) 3 minutes later class flag down. At the appointed hour e.g. 10am, give 3 hoots and on the third hoot hoist Merlin Flag, 3 minutes later hoist Laser flag, 3 minutes later hoist RS200 flag, 3 minutes later Firefly & GP flags. The Fireflies and GP’s will be starting together. This starting sequence is explained graphically in more detail in the instructions in the silver box. It is recommended that you count the position of each boat on each lap, as it passes the committee boat this makes it easier to establish who is leading and manage the race.
Finishing the First Race
You should endeavour to finish on the windward leg. You should finish the first boat in each class by 11.15am. at 11.30 all boats should be finished. There can be the length of the Harp between the first boat and last boat in a class, so some skill is required to judge when to stop the race. E.g. if in light winds the leading boat is approaching and it is 5 minutes past the hour but it is taking 40 minutes to lap then you should finish the leading boat at 11.05am. You should time each lap for each class, in order to decide when you want to shorten course (if necessary).
Finishing the Second Race
You should finish the first boats in each class by 1.15pm and all boats in by 1.30pm. It is not good race management to have boats finishing after 2pm. Many of the club racers are involved in running club activities in the afternoon so it is important to adhere to the finishing times, also the catering staff are expecting members in the clubhouse by 1.45pm as they finish serving at 2.30pm.
You can shorten course at any Mark of the course you have set, position the committee boat adjacent to the mark. When the leading boats come into view give two hoots and hoist the shorten course flag, the finish is between the committee boat and the mark. If you want to shorten course and there is no convenient mark of the course to shorten on, the drop the white buoy and position the committe boat adjacent (about 30 yards) the finish is between the committee boat and the white mark. The committee boat should be positioned so as to be in the path of the approaching boats and be obvious to them. If finishing at number 1 buoy and the leading boats are heading for no 2 buoy, wait until first boat has rounded no 2 and then give signal. The committee boat should fly the Blue flag. This denotes a committee boat finish. Boats Over The Starting Line If one or more boats that can be identified then give one hoot and leave the class flag on the dip If too many boats are over for them all to be identified then give two hoots and hoist the General Recall flag, this class then goes to the end of the starting sequence.
The sequence starts at 7.00pm, aim to finish before it gets dark i.e. all boats ashore. Remember the wind tends to drop later in the evening. Consider also only going to 5 & 6 buoy if the winds are light.
On Completion of Racing for The Day
Put all flags away. Close hatches. Put key back in clubhouse. Give radio to Duty Officer. Fill in engine Log on committee boat (if there). Take down flags on Starters Box.