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Home / Membership / Sailing Duty Descriptions
Home / Membership / Sailing Duty Descriptions

Sailing Duty Descriptions

The following are descriptions of the requirements of the various Sailing Duty roles - for more comprehensive information on how to run the racing please see the Race Officer and Duty Committee Member Guide which can be found in the Member's section, under 'Racing Guides and Policies'.

Race Officer (RO)

Race Officers (RO) should do their best to ensure there is fair racing. They must check the weather forecast and decide whether conditions are suitable to start a race or not and be prepared to go on the water if required. This involves pre-race preparation, setting the course(s), running and recording the result of the race(s) and making sure the club burgee and ensign are raised and lowered for the day.

The RO works in collaboration with the Duty Committee Member (DCM) and is assisted by the Assistant Race Officer (ARO) and the RIB crew. It is the RO and ARO responsibility to ensure that adequate patrol boat cover is available, and to help ensure safety by keeping track of boats on the water (both racing and social sailors) and looking out for boats in distress. Radio checks must be carried out prior to going on the water and during the event.

In the event of an incident the RO coordinates the response and determines whether additional support should be deployed (such as an additional RIB, or perhaps an external agency). The race officer should not leave the bridge until all signed-on boats and RIB(s) are ashore or any remaining craft afloat have signalled their intention to stay afloat via the RIB or radio.

In an effort to lay good courses, and in particular an unbiased beat, it is possible that some of the more experience racers may take a radio with them and advise the Race Officer if they think a mark has been laid in the wrong position. It is easier to judge this when on the water than from the Race Officer's position on land (the wind changes direction as it crosses the shore) and/or it maybe that the RIB crew have not dropped the mark exactly where instructed. Please take such advice as it is intended (to make for fairer racing) and, if time allows, make the appropriate adjustment by instructing the RIB crew. Note that where there is a tidal flow, such as we have at Lee, the windward mark should be laid a few degrees down tide of true windward, to negate the effect of the tide on the beat.

Assistant Race Officer (ARO)

  1. The ARO to arrive at least an hour before the race starts.
  2. Please bring gear in case of needing to go on the water if an additional RIB has to be launched.
  3. Support the Race officer with setting up and putting away flags and boards
  4. Record results

Check for incidents on the water and advise safety boat if they are not aware.

RIB Helm and Crew

The RIB helm and crew (there must be two people in each RIB, one PB2 qualified) are responsible for preparing the RIB(s) for the water and putting them away at the end of the event.

The RIB is to cover club events and should look out for any boat which has been signed on whether racing or social sailing (if they remain within the sailing area). The RIB crew should communicate with the bridge to ensure all signed-on boats are ashore, or that the sailor has been informed that the RIB is going ashore, prior to lifting the race marks. They should maintain safety above all else, including collection of buoys.

The RIB crew must be dressed to be sable to enter th4e water should the need arise to provide assistance or recovery.

The main functions of the patrol boat crew are:

  • Prepare the rib for duty.
  • Prepare the race marks according to the Race Officer's requirements.
  • Launch the RIB in time to lay the race marks prior to the scheduled start of the race.
  • Maintain radio contact with the Race Officer and maintain a listening watch on the radio at ALL TIMES, as the Race Officer may want you to investigate a capsized craft that you cannot see from your position.
  • Lay the race marks as per the race officer's instructions.
  • Provide cover for the duration of the race; monitoring all club boats and providing assistance as required.
  • Lift the race marks on completion of racing.
  • Recover the RIB, flush engine, wash out and stow all equipment and RIB securely.
  • Fuel must be removed from the RIB and stored in the Fuel Store shed.
  • Keys should be removed from the ignition (but can be left ion the boat

  • Note: You should not come ashore until the last sailing craft has come ashore.

    Duty Committee Member (DCM)

    The Duty Committee Member has the final say in whether racing goes ahead and whether club boats can be used on that day (and facilitate their use). They must arrive early to open the signal station. They should assist the RO to set the course (if required) and ensure the RIBs are ready. At the end of the event, he/she must ensure the signal station is locked, with all lights off, windows closed, RIB sheds locked, and keys put away, radios are washed and dried, turned off and on charge, flags are all taken down and put away, hoses tidied, compounds left clear and tidy, and gates shut.

    The DCM is responsible for the security and running of the site and event; they should ideally be first to arrive and last to leave. They cannot delegate this responsibility except to another Sailing Committee Member who acknowledges acceptance of this responsibility. Discuss with Race Officer and Assistant Race Officer if going afloat to race. Officer of day to make final decision to race.

    Last updated 19:56 on 21 March 2024

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