Starting Procedure for Dinghy Racing at CSCC: A Simple Guide Handicap Races
1. For Race Officers:
How to run a simple Club series Handicap race.
2. For dinghy sailors:
How to get off correctly and on time I know that a number of active dinghy sailors at CSCC shy away from getting involved in racing because they are daunted by the starting procedure. We also know from compiling the list of Race Officers that a larger number of otherwise knowledgeable members would like to act as Officer of the Day/ Race Officer but have never been shown how to do it!
This is how to do it.
1. First of all, do be early on the day. You should arrive at the Club promptly one hour before the advertised start time. This is because you may be needed to help others get ready.
2. Decide, with the help of the Sailing Committee Representative, what course to set and ask the safety boat driver to set the appropriate buoys ("marks" of the race). Hang the course buoy boards in sequence outside OD hut e.g 1P, 2S, 3S, 5P,6P ,4P. Always place bouys in numerical orderstarting with ONE upstream to avoid confusion.
3. Attach the flags to the hallyards (ropes) on the outside of the OD hut. You will need the following: the Enterprise class flag (red and blue horizontal stripe). Optionally if sailing more than one fleet the Laser class flag (red star on a white background) and the preparatory flag (white island in a blue sea).
4. Do hurry the dinghy sailors along. There are always those who will try to rig in five minutes!
5. Note down on the race entry sheets the sail numbers of all boats entering the race (try to group in class if possible).
6. The sailors should be launching their boats starting fifteen to twenty minutes before the advertised first start time. You should take the list of entries up with you into the OD hut.
7. You must ring the bell with every flag movement in the following sequence. At FIVE minutes before the start, pull up the class flag and ring the bell At FOUR minutes before the start pull up the preparatory flag (ring bell). At ONE minute pull down the preparatory flag (ring the bell). At the start, pull down the class flag (ring bell).
8. The items above this number are the "meat" of the starting sequence.
9. If it becomes apparent that the majority of dinghies are not going to be ready in time, pull up a postponement flag (red and white horizontal stripes) and ring the bell twice. This postpones the first start by fifteen minutes. You may repeat the postponement after fifteen minutes. To "re-engage" the starting sequence, you must pull down the postponement flag (ring bell) one minute before the new FIVE minutes signal.
Depending on wind conditions each race should be timed to finish within about 1 hour if possible and is usually based on 6 to 7 laps.
1. As the boats are completing the course, you have judged the length of the race perfectly! Just ring the bell as each boat crosses the line between the number 4 buoy and the OD hut mark (usually as the bow passes the line). Write down the finishing time for each boat on the race sheet (the A.O.D. should assist with this if possible).
2. If the course is taking too long and you wish to shorten it, pull up the Shorten Course flag (blue island in a white sea) as the leading boat is at the last mark of the course before number 4 buoy and ring the bell twice. Then finish the boats as usual.
3. If you can, calculate the results with corrected times for the Handicap series (see reverse of race sheet for instructions). If not, get the Sailing Committee Rep to help you. Place the race sheet in the front of the results book.
4. Help the Safety Boat driver to recover the buoys and put back the course boards.