Guide - Race Officer

Being Race Officer for club races does not require god-like qualities, just some confidence and common sense! Sailors are not looking for perfection, just some Sunday afternoon fun.

Before Racing

  • Ensure the Officer of the Day (OOD) knows you are present.
  • Put out an entry sheet and encourage sailors to fill it in – this will make your job easier.
  • Work out which classes are going to be racing.
  • Decide on courses for each class:
    • Try to aim for races 45-60 minutes long.
    • For Enterprises and Mirrors, aim to set courses involving a beat, a reach and a run; RS200s prefer windward-leeward courses.
    • If different fleets are using the same mark, make sure they go the same way round it.
    • Ask the sailors for help – they’ll probably give it anyway.
  • Get all your flags, hooters, watches, crib sheets etc ready … and acquire a tame helper!
  • Think through the start sequence.

The Start

  • Follow the crib sheet carefully.
  • If you make a mistake or lose the place, use the postponement flag.

During the Race

  • Enjoy the view.
  • Think how long the slowest boat is going to take to finish and consider shortening the race.
  • Give each boat a hoot as they finish and record the result.

After the Race

  • Enter the results on the notice board.
  • Tidy up and lock up the starter’s box.

Many thanks for helping to make the racing enjoyable!