RACE COMMITTEE MANAGEMENT TIPS
Contributed by Dan Goldberg
(view PDF version)
the current MSC Sailing Instructions
(on the MSC Web Site under “Racing”)
the MSC Committee Manual (on the MSC Web Site under “Racing”)
the rule book – “Racing Rules of Sailing” (Free to US Sailing members;
or order from www.ussailing.org).See:
Rules on USSailing Web site.
- Another good pamphlet to read: "Join the Race Committee Team." Order
on-line from US Sailing (www.ussailing.org).
Setting the course
Setting the starting line
MOST IMPORTANT THING!
it perpendicular to the wind.
it long. Rule of thumb: 150% of the combined length of all boats
if the wind shifts OR all the boats gather at one end
Signals and Flags
The flags used by MSC.
the inside back cover of the Racing Rules of Sailing for the sound
signals to be used when each flag is raised AND LOWERED. (General
recall, Individual recall, Postpone, etc.).
- Have Postpone, General recall, and Individual recall flags ready
to hoist. The Warning Signal should be raised one minute after the
Postpone flag is lowered.
- Hit five or more short blasts within 15 seconds (no later!) of the
- Eliminate "flag clutter." Do NOT fly the MSC burgee, the RC flag,
etc. during the staring sequence. You can put them up before and after,
but not during .
steward = Principal Race Officer (PRO):
The PRO’s word is law.
- Timer – DEDICATED PERSON WITH NO OTHER JOB. Keep 2 watches running.
- Signaller (flags and horn). ONLY
THE VISUAL SYMBOLS ARE OFFICIAL.
- Line sighter
- Mark setters and rescue boat personnel
not start in a drifter (less than 3 mph).
wind may not fill in until 11:00 or 11:30.
course if the wind dies. You do NOT need to give advance warning (before
the boats round the last mark before the finish).
light and fluky, don’t wait for steadier wind – just go with what
During the race
you intend to sail races back-to-back, have everything ready for Start
#2 right after Finish #1.
stragglers their current postion or estimated time.
tows to the starting line or back to the dock if no wind.
What can go wrong?
in the starting sequence: Postpone and restart the sequence (for visuals
only, not the horn).
persistent wind shifts: For most club races, let it go. For major
dies: Shorten course.
Communication with racers
rule: No talking! Exception:
new people who really need help.
official information is visual only.
reply: “Thank you!”