Race Officers' duties
Please bring with you 4 pints/2 litres of milk for the teas, and put it in the fridge. Reimburse yourself from the cash box kept underneath the kitchen counter
open the club (boat shed, clubhouse, toilets)
open the starting box, and hoist the club burgee
(kept flying until the end of the day)
nb: put the catch on the starting box door in the up position: it is easy to lock oneself out !
organise the sweeping clean of the slipway from algae and mud, using the wire-bristled broom (with red tape on the handle), which should be found in the service launch.
organise the operation of each race sequence (details below)
Setting a course:
Points to be aware of:
the predominant winds are south-westerly.
since the river above Medley is oriented west of north, with one short bend to the west, it is difficult to set a racing course incorporating a decent beat to windward.
westerly winds are slowed and confused by the trees on the west bank
there are muddy shallows on the east bank.
There are six marks (numbered buoys) in the boatshed. You don't have to use all of them. Decide how many you want to use, and place them upstream in ascending numerical order.
The bottom buoy (the one marked no. 1) should be placed below the start line, roughly in line with the upstream end of the jetty
The finish is usually upstream, after boats have rounded the bottom [no. 1] buoy
The course for the slow fleet can be shorter (e.g., not as far as the top buoy, or maybe one lap less)
If uncertain how the wind will hold during the race, make provision for shortening course on the course board
Shortening the course:
Having decided to shorten course, as the leading boat in the class approaches the start/finish line from upstream, give 2 Hoots, and raise Flag S. Repeat for each class - i.e., Keep the flag up, and give 2 Hoots for the lead boat in each class.
This gives the OD the option of finishing the lap with an upstream finish after Mark No. 1 [if the race is taking too long], or carrying on with the full short course [as indicated on the racing instructions board], i.e., continue up to 2 with a downstream finish.
Boats over the line at the start:
If you can identify the boat(s), give individual recall - 1 Hoot, hoist Flag X, inform offending boat(s) via megaphone.
If the offending boat(s) return and recross the line correctly, lower the flag.
If not, note the boat(s) number(s), leave the flag up, and do not give boat(s) the finishing signal at the end of the race. The boat(s) are then disqualified from the race.
If there are too many boats to identify, then give general recall - 2 Hoots, and hoist Flag First Substitute.
If a whole class has been recalled, then continue with start sequence for other boats as normal, and after they have been started, restart the offending class.
To restart after general recall: Give 1 Hoot, lower First Substitute flag. 1 minute later, Hoot, and raise the class flag. After 3 minutes, raise Flag P, give a Hoot, and lower both flags.
'The Medley Course'
Setting the race instructions - an example
Race: 2g date: 9.8.15
Wind: 3 sw start: 1415
Fleet: moth and fast
Course: 2s, 3p, 4s, 3p, 4s, 5p, 1s
Shorten course: 2s dsf [=down stream finish, i.e., boats pass mark 2
and then turn downstream to the finish line]
Course: 2s, 3p, 4s, 3p, 1s
[In this example of a Sunday race in summer, the fleets sail upstream, leaving Mark 2 to their starboard side, Mark 3 to their port side, and so on. There is a doubling back between Marks 3 and 4 for the Moth and Fast fleets, to take up some time. The slow fleet does not do this, and has only one lap to sail. The finish is normal (=upstream), the fleets having passed Mark 1 in an upstream direction. If a shortened course should become necessary (e.g., if the wind dies down), it will be after the boats pass Mark 2 on their way upstream; they will then turn downstream, and get a finish as they pass the starting box on their way downstream. There is no provision for shortening the course for the slow fleet.]
'How the racing instructions appear
on the board'
organise necessary cleaning of the clubhouse, compound and toilets
turn off all gas/electric heaters before leaving the club
be responsible for closing the club at the end of the day. If the OOD can't be the last person out of the compound, then he/she should be satisfied that the task of locking up has been delegated to a responsible club member.
OOD and the rest of the team together:
think about a suitable course for each race
get the launch on the water, and lay the marks
(it is recommended to get the launch on the water
by 45 minutes before the first bell)
put the course markers and race information up on the
aim to have this information on the board by 15 minutes
before the first bell, to enable boats to be on the
water in good time
put out the signing-on sheet
ensure that each helm signs off after the race
OOD and AOD:
by the time the "first bell" (in reality we use the electric hooter in the starting box) is to be sounded [1400 for the spring and autumn series: 1415 for the summer series], be in the starting box, with the signing-on sheet, taking with you one of the two-way radios and the little blue atomic clock (kept in the cash drawer in the kitchen area). All races are run on that clock's time
bring a pen or two, and some spare sheets of a4 for rough notes. Use them to note the sail numbers of all of the competitor boats, and to record the progress of the race, and note the times of finishing
for pursuit races, there are lap charts in the results folder. This helps to keep track of race positions
it is useful to have a calculator with you, or use the calculator function on your mobile phone, for doing yardstick calculations
after the start of a race, replace the signing-on sheet in the clubhouse, so that helms can sign off as they come off the water
run the race(s) according to the laminated chart in the race box.
During the race:
record each boat's place at the end of each lap
record each boat's time of finishing the race
for class and handicap races, calculate the
Corrected positions, using the yardsticks of each class [details below]
the OOD has the option to time out any boat finishing much, much later than the first one in its class - traditionally 20 minutes - but this option should be used with discretion
After the race:
enter the results on the official race results form, and place it in the race results folder
if you have not time to do yardstick calculations, never mind - just enter the results on the official race results form. But it is essential to have the following information for each boat:
name of helm (necessary because some boats
share the same sail number)
time of starting
time of finishing
type of race (class, pursuit, handicap)
place the completed form in the 'race results' folder in the clubhouse, for the racing secretary to process the results later
check that all helms have signed off
after racing is over, clear up and lock the race hut
if you feel you need instruction on the operation and/or handling of the service launch, contact a member of the committee some days before your duty day
for those who merely wish to be reminded of how to start and stop the launch engine, there is a handy set of operating instructions on the driver's console. They are reproduced below, at the end of this guide ['operation of launch outboard motor']
there are detailed instructions on the operation and handling of the launch at the end of this guide ['service launch handling notes']
get the two-way radios charged
[these are on top of the microwave oven in the
kitchen. Plug in the charger at the wall, and switch on]
take one of the radios with you to the launch
sweep the slipway clear of algae and mud, above and below the waterline, using the wire-bristled broom [red tape on the handle], which should be in the launch
launch the launch. Since it is a heavy boat, you will need to ask others to help. It normally requires at least three strong bods. Four or five is better.
please be aware that the concrete launching slipway can be very slippery, especially below the waterline. Do not attempt to enter the water whilst launching or retrieving unless you are confident of keeping your footing. Bare feet are not advisable.
put the course marks aboard
start the engine
it is advisable to get the launch on the water, ready to cast off for the mark laying, by 45 minutes before the first bell.
get the OOD on board, drive along the proposed course and lay the marks, following the guidance of the OOD (and perhaps the AOD and/or another experienced member also).
During the race:
it is always advisable to have another person on board during the race to assist you. Ask around. There is usually a volunteer to be found
stand by to assist boats which may require help.
keep in touch with the OOD by radio. The OOD/AOD will find it useful to be kept informed of the progress of the race, and of the particular problems of any boat
After the race(s):
retrieve the marks, motor the launch back to the jetty, and organise putting it away in the boatshed [requires another batch of strong bods]
replace the slipway broom in the launch
the OOD should have provided 4 pints/2 litres of milk.
check that this has been done - should be in the fridge
prior to racing, members may brew their own tea/coffee
for heating the water, there are a couple of electric kettles, a larger kettle for the gas stove, and a tea urn, for use on large occasions such as open days
have tea and biscuits ready for the interval between first and second race (normally c. 1500-1545)
take the money for the teas and biscuits, and put it in the cash box. The cash will be collected by the treasurer later.
clear up in the kitchen and tables area, and dispose of the rubbish, after the second race commences (c. 1545)