RO and ARO shortage
We are facing a shortage of Race Officers and Assistant Race Officers due to various members moving on. You can help by:
- Volunteering for more duties. Remember 4 duties in the April to March year gets you £100 discount on membership plus a further £25 for each further duty.
- Identify and encourage other members to volunteer to help on the committee boat and become AROs or ROs.
Race turn around
During the winter and frostbite series we will once again use a 3 minute race start sequence aimed at reducing the time competitors wait for races to start and helping competitors, safety boats and you to keep warm. Our aim should be to start the second race for each fleet as soon as possible. The race team should consider the following points during the first race to assist with achieving this aim:
- Has wind direction or strength changed sufficiently to warrant a course change? If so, explain your requirements to the safety boat and ask them to start moving the course as soon as the last boat has rounded the mark in question. This includes the start line.
- Do you need to change the number of laps to achieve a finish time of 40 minutes for the leaders?
- Where on the course are the tail enders? Is it possible to start the sequence while they are still finishing?
Shortening the course is often a difficult judgement call but once the decision has been made to shorten the race team must:
- Raise the S flag (or S over the class flag) and make two sound signals. Don’t forget the blue flag as well. This should be done when you judge the first affected boat is near enough to you to see and hear the signal but in time to allow that boat to adjust its approach strategy (for example if sailing in a group).
- In most cases shortening will be done from the committee boat and the SI state “If the Race Committee signals a shortened course (displays flag ‘S’ with two sounds), boats will pass the leeward mark to port and continue to the finish line. This changes rule 32.2.” A boat coming downwind will have difficulty in spotting the finish flag so there is a large shorten course board (see photo) that can be displayed from the roof of the committee boat. However you must still display the applicable flags
- In some circumstance you may wish to finish at another mark of the course. In this instance ensure that you have the correct equipment, flags, sound signal, recording materials and time to get to the mark.
Committee Boat Problems
How many times have you got on the committee boat and then found something was broken, missing or inadequate? If you find such a situation, please remember to report it back to the office, either on the day or later by email. The office may already be aware of the issue, but if they are not then the next Race Management Team using the committee boat will encounter the same problem.
Also all Race Management Teams are requested to leave the race flag box as they would wish to find it. The box plan on the side of the box shows the location of each flag and, as a courtesy to the next user, it is requested that the flags are replaced in their correct slots.
Pre start postponement and abandoning
You arrive and there is no wind and the forecast does not provide much hope, what do you do? This is one of the trickiest RO situations but here are some guidelines and tips. Firstly find out how many racers there are and how keen they are to race. Put up AP (with 2 hoots) on the club flagstaff or on the committee boat on the pontoon. Do this half an hour or so before the schedule race time so that racers are not rushing to launch. The club flagstaff option means that after AP down you must wait 30mins before starting a race sequence, while the committee boat option gives you the option of starting sooner if the competitors are ready. If the wind does not arrive then you must eventually abandon all racing for the day (N over A + 3 hoots). Do not abandon prior to 11:45 and do not abandon without discussing the options with the Sailing Secretary.
Last, but not at all least, a reminder about recording race results. We all know that this is not always as simple as it might appear to be but please, please, take time to look through your results sheet before handing them to the office to check their clarity and:
- Each finishing boat, number of laps and place or time is recorded
- Other boats that appear on the results sheet get a DNF, DNS, OCS etc.
- Race number and start time are recorded.
Finally show them to Julie in the office and give them the opportunity to ask any questions.
Thank you all for volunteering at QM, without you we would not have the club and the racing that we love.