Race Official Policy Group News
Keeping you up to date on the activities and plans of the Irish Sailing Race Official Policy Group
Race Management Manual Updated
World Sailing updated its Race Management Manual in July. This manual is a great source of all kinds of information relating to the organisation and management of racing. It contains advice and procedures on everything from drafting a Notice of Race to management of results, race course layouts, media, safety, security and just about anything you can imagine relating to running sailing events. It covers all aspects of skills and equipment required. If you are not familiar with this manual it is well worth a look as dipping into it can answer many questions before or after a query arises. It truly has something for every race official. It’s available online to download free at World Sailings’ document store at https://www.sailing.org/tools/documents/RaceManagementManualJuly2019-.pdf
While you’re at it, it’s worth noting the other documents available to download free from World Sailing including the racing Rules of Sailing and Equipment Rules of Sailing - of which more below – and more too.
Flag W has been used for some time in some classes, most notably Optimists, to finish tail-enders quickly so that subsequent races can be started without undue delay. The idea is that Flag W is flown by the committee when almost all competitors have finished and the race officer wants to get on with another race but must wait because a few stragglers are still racing. The tail-enders are approached by a race official informing them that they are being awarded their current position and should proceed directly to the start area. Use of Flag W is not covered by the Racing Rules of Sailing and so must, if it is to be used, be specifically provided for in the sailing instructions.
There has recently been discussion about using the procedure more extensively, perhaps where a significant wind shift has caused a gap in the fleet which will or may result in a large number of competitors being unlikely to finish within the permitted time. The suggestion is that competitors who are in danger of being out of time might be finished in their position at the time W is flown. The ROPG has discussed the use of Flag W, while it supports it to finish tail-enders, it does not generally support it in other circumstances as using it can create more problems than it resolves – as has indeed been experienced in some international events elsewhere. The ROPG is of the view that race officers should use existing Flag S (Rule 32.2) shortening course procedure, or the sometimes-used Flag F procedure (proceed directly to finish), where there is a risk of many competitors being out of time. Also, race officers are reminded that while competitors don’t like being out of time, it does happen and is part of sailing!
The ROPG is working on a draft on the use of Flag W for inclusion in appropriate sailing instructions. We’ll publish it here, hopefully in the next issue.
Approval of Applicants as Race Officials
Tim Forde of Glandore Harbour Yacht Club was approved as a local race officer and John Paul Buckley Foynes Yacht Club as a local mark layer. Congratulations to both.
Again, all applicants are reminded and requested to please ensure they fully complete the appliucation forms for the various positions. This will help ensure that the necessary information is provided first time and the applications can be processed promptly. The forms are available on the Irish Sailing website https://www.sailing.ie/Library/Racing
Recent and upcoming courses
Carrickfergus held an RYA NI judge training course in November which was well attended, as was a local umpire course in the RStGYC also in November. Bear in mind that Irish Sailing members are generally welcome to take part in RYA courses.
A local mark laying course is set for Foynes on 28 March next and more mark laying courses are planned in RCYC and elsewhere with dates yet to be decided. In 2020 there is a local race officer course planned on 11th of January in Poolbeg Yacht & Boat Club, Local Event Safety Course on the 18th of January, Equipment Inspector course in Howth Yacht Club on the 1st of February and a Level 2 Regional/National Judges course also in Howth Yacht Club on the 25th of January. Details of courses and booking are at https://www.sailing.ie/Shop/catid/44/race-management-courses-workshops
Club and Event Safety
As mentioned in the last newsletter the RPOG wants to introduce an event safety coordinator course for people responsible for safety when sailing at club and at events. The pilot of this course is taking place in Arklow on the 18th of January 2020. Further details will be announced at the Race Event Management & Support Conference to be held in Dun Laoghaire on 21 March next. If you or your club has someone that is regularly involved in event safety and would like to attend this course (places are limited), register here: https://www.sailing.ie/Shop/Details/catid/44/eid/6603/local-event-safety-course-7022
Is your Club considering hosting an International Event?
International and other major events are important to Irish Sailing as an organisation, to our sport as well as to the club concerned. They are also important to tourism for our areas and country. It is important they are “done right”. The ROPG is currently updating IS policy and advice on applying for major events to ensure consideration is given to all necessary facets. If the event is international, such as a “Worlds” or “European” championship, World Sailing’s requirements must also be complied with too. It is expected the revised policy document will be available before the Race Officials Conference to be held in Dun Laoghaire on 21 March next.
Class measurers and Equipment Inspectors – what’s the difference?
Class measurers are nominated by recognised classes and notified to IS as being authorised measurers for the relevant class. Irish Sailing maintains a list of class measurers (which is currently being updated) and classes are being asked to confirm their nominations to ensure records are current. A measurer's job is to measure and certify that a boat, its sails and its equipment conform to class rules. Once a measurer has measured and certified his job is done and, on his approval, a formal measurement certificate will be issued by Irish Sailing. There is no formal IS qualification for either a class measurer or, as we see below, an equipment inspector and they are not recognised as IS race officials – like you!
An equipment inspector is appointed by the organisers of an event and the appointment always relates to that particular event. He/she is part of the technical committee for that event. A technical committee is required to exist for all major, and particularly international, events. An equipment inspector’s job is to ensure that the event and class rules, in so far as they relate to equipment, are complied with so that racing is fair. An equipment inspector in carrying out his roll is likely to want to see a measurement certificate and confirm that the boat and its equipment comply with what’s noted on the certificate. IS does provide courses for equipment inspectors, when required.
A note here on sails: While a class measurer can measure sails and certify them as complying with class rules, almost all new sails are certified “in-house” by sailmakers. These in-house measurers are licenced by and strictly monitored by World Sailing. In addition, World Sailing does, through the RYA in these parts, train and qualify independent sail measurers.
If you or your club or class would like to arrange an equipment inspection course contact [email@example.com
Race Officials Clothing
IS and the ROPG have approved the use of the IS logo on clothing for race officials. The gear includes jackets, gilets, polo-shirts, hats and more. These are available from A Stich in Time (Dun Laoghaire). Please get in touch with Sarah firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com
Date for your diary – Race Event Management & Support Conference 2020
The 2020 Race Event Management & Support Conference will be held in Dun Laoghaire on Saturday 21 March. There will be many topics of direct interest to race officials, but this year topics will be expanded to include applying for and running events, including managing entries, launching of fleets, results, and juries – off the water stuff as well as on. There will be a particular emphasis on safety procedures.
We are keen to see people from all corners of organising an event, from registration, launching and recovery, tag boards, catering organisers to the race officer, mark layers, judges, umpires, event safety and measurers. It is important that all people involved in running your events attend this conference.
Race officials are reminded that Irish Sailing qualifications have attendance at this conference as part of your periodic revalidation procedure.