What Are You Responsible For?
Fleet 413 Race Committee Guide:
Safety first! Dress appropriately, wear a life jacket, and keep your hands and feet dry. RC should be capable and ready to help sailors who have breakdowns or need assistance getting back to the beach. Keep count of how many sailors are on the water at all times, take note of any sailors who go in, and keep an eye out for any sailors who are having trouble, getting cold, or have a breakdown.
Second to safety, your goal is to host good quality races – 6 if possible – and use the time efficiently to avoid sailors sitting around waiting and getting cold.
Before racing check in with fleet captains on the following checklist:
- RC boat is launched and has gas (usually the Whaler)
- Mark boat is launched and has gas (usually the Red Rocket or Moose RIB)
- VHF radios are charged and one for each boat
- Score sheets and pens or pencils in the score box
- Course boards
- Ollie box (check that it is charged and working)
- Air horn and watch in case Ollie box fails
- Orange Flag
- String on a stick for sighting wind direction
- Start pin
- Finish buoy (smaller orange ball)
- 4 yellow buoys (note the different length anchor lines for different depths)
Tips on how to be successful:
It is a good idea to know the forecast to anticipate what courses you may set and where.
Get to Sail Newport early and get the course set in time to start the first race at 1pm.
Set your course in a thoughtful location – how will you have to move the course if the wind shifts? Consider the length of the windward leg, laylines and possible obstacles, what mooring ball you will tie the RC boat to, and space for the gates and a long enough last beat.
A West wind is the hardest direction for fitting in a good course because Ida Lewis cramps your style. Moving the entire course North as much as possible might get you enough space to have a longer course. Keep this in mind if the wind is NW and you think it might shift to W when you pick an initial start line location.
Consider the size of the fleet when choosing the length of the windward leg and the length of the starting line – when the fleet is over 30 boats, making the 1st windward leg long helps reduce congestion at the windward mark.
Start the first race at 1
Try to keep the starting line and course square. Be perfectionist, but be efficient and don’t make the fleet wait around a lot.
The Mark boat should make changes to the course while the sailors are racing to avoid waiting between races. The RC boat and Mark boat can communicate about this on VHF or cell phone. It is often a good idea for the Mark boat to watch a start or mark rounding from nearby, and move the mark as needed immediately after the last boat rounds.
One method is to divide and conquer between the RC boat and Mark boat. The Mark boat can be in charge of keeping the course square on their own, which allows the RC boat to focus on recording scores and starting the next race.
Shorten up anchor lines that are too long if you can.
Start the timer for the next race as soon as the last sailor finishes the last race.
Call the start line fairly – transmit the ollie box horns over the VHF so that the Mark boat has accurate time so that they can help call the line from the pin.
Record the last 4 digits of each sail number as they cross the line. If there are less than 4 digits, just write down those digits. Take note of OCS’s and of OCS’s who have cleared themselves. It is helpful to have one person read numbers out loud and one write. Take note of any new sailors names and numbers if possible. Note who was sailing a radial. If you can record sound or video of finishes that is sometimes useful later on. Take note of what courses were sailed, the wind direction and strength, and names of RC members.