Race Officer Duty

Race Officer

Has overall responsibility for sailing

Week before racing
• Contact other Committee and Safety boat members to confirm availability.
• Check safety boat usage; it may be in use for Sunday morning Training before racing.
• Consult Race Program for race format.
On race day
• Check weather forecast
• Meet ARO and Safety crew at Royal Quays
• Call Harbour Master (VHF channel 12 or ‘phone) to check shipping movements
• Make contact with TSC using VHF/telephone
• Set course
• Record results including lap times for handicap fleets and helm’s name. All results should be recorded on the race sheets and a copy given to SSSC for joint races.
• Responsible for convening Protest Committee if necessary.
Start times


Two ‘back to back’ races will be held each Sunday afternoon as detailed in the programme. The start time for Sunday racing is 2.00 pm prompt unless otherwise noted in the programme. All races will be handicap races and the number of laps sailed by each boat as well as the start and finish times must be recorded. (The Race Officer should ensure that the race finishes at the same place as it starts so that only whole numbers of laps are sailed.)

As you know, we have one start for all competitors in each race on Sundays – so set a long start line please!. Please use Code Flag No 8 (white pennant with red cross) for the warning signal – usual 5min, 4 min, 1 min, sequence. [RRS 26]. The signal flags for both the start and shortened course can be displayed using the black poles, but all other signal flags, including orange (start-line), blue (finish-line), yellow (change of course); and ‘AP’ (postponement) should be displayed on the flagstaff.


Race Officer Duties are shared with SSSC. TSC provides a race officer team of two people every other week. A TSC safety team of two people is provided every week.

Wednesday has 1 race, 2 starts

Assistant Race Officer

• Meet RO at TSC/Royal Quays on race day
• Provide support in committee boat

VHF Radio / other equipment / suggested courses

Buoy Racer has a static VHF radio so there’s no need to collect one of the TSC hand-held VHF radios from Marina reception. Please use Channel 80 for Royal Quays Marina; Channel 12 for Port of Tyne VTS; and Channel 37a as our operating channel for all ribs, beach, clubhouse etc.

The Raymarine digital wind direction and strength display is activated by holding down the larger button (furthest left) for 5 seconds. Likewise to turn it off.

Stored in the metal ‘file tidy’ attached to the side of the steering consul there is a telescopic “wind stick” together with a hand bearing compass (to assist in setting the course and start line), and yellow ‘flute’ mouth horn for use at the finish. The list of courses is by no means comprehensive but it does help race officers to decide where to lay the start line and give some ‘inspiration’ as to where to lay the course.

Anchoring BUOY racer

‘Buoy Racer’ has a ‘Bruce’ Anchor with a long 10m chain. Prior to setting the start line we have found it best to anchor the boat securely and then get the safety boat to stream the start mark into position. Once “Buoy Racer’s” anchor and chain are on the seabed it pays to cleat off the anchor warp and stretch out the chain by reversing the boat down wind/tide (as appropriate) until you feel the anchor ‘dig in’. You can then adjust your position on the anchor warp & transfer the start mark to the safety rib with instructions for streaming it into position. If the anchor becomes lodged on the seabed it may free itself once the plastic ‘cable tie’ which holds the anchor chain to the eye on the shank of the anchor breaks. The anchor is then lifted by its ‘crown’ which usually frees it from any obstruction. If this occurs the chain must be re-attached before the anchor is redeployed. Leave the end of the chain shackled to the crown of the anchor but re-attach at least two links of the chain to the eye on the shank using two new cable ties. There are some large thick black cable ties in the front locker to be used for this – don’t use the thin ones – they’re not strong enough.

recording race results

All the results sheets, user manuals and list of courses are stored in a tupperware box in the cuddy

This is ‘average lap’ handicap racing so it is essential that the race finishes at the same position on the course as the start; either by using a start/finish gate or preferably setting a finish line off the start mark (usually the leeward mark) – but be ready to re-position the Committee Boat after the start to avoid a ‘hook’ finish!.

To enable accurate handicapping please record lap times for all boats. The accuracy of such timings becomes more critical on later laps. Fleet congestion on a short course may necessitate a ‘tick’ to record boats at the end of the first lap; but from lap 2 onwards the lap time can be essential to resolve ‘corrected time’ for boats that complete a different number of laps

Race Officers should note the names of TSC helms whenever possible to ensure results are credited to the correct person, as boats and sails are often lent to others.

A plea from the Sailing Sec: please make sure the result sheets are legible and include helm names as well as sail numbers.