Notes for the OOD and Race Team

Start - 1 week

During the previous week the O.O.D should phone their team to remind them of the forthcoming duty. They should designate someone to wear full sailing gear with suitable strength to haul someone out of the water and sailing ability to assist with any recoveries necessary (see below). If anybody cannot attend their duty, the responsibility to find a replacement lies with the O.O.D (consult member’s list).

Start – 1 hour

Check all equipment needed is available and in working order (a list is in dinghy box).

Pick up the VHF radios from the charging cabinet (O.O.D.s will know the combination). Swap mobile phone numbers as a secondary precaution. (LSC Bar is 01202 740319, Poole Harbour Master is 01202 440233).

Place the dinghy box on the launch.

Check the launch especially fuel and oil (a list is on the launch)

When setting a course weather conditions and tides need to be taken into consideration. Short legs are advisable in adverse (strong or too light winds) conditions.  Choose the course by looking into the wind and seeing which mark is directly into wind.  If there isn't a mark directly into wind, you will have to set RD as the windward mark.  Look down the course sheet for a race whose first mark is the one you've identified.  Always go for more laps than you think will be needed - a race can be shortened but can't be extended.

Those with a VHF radio licence may contact Poole Harbour Master (VHF channel 14 or otherwise telephone) to advise of dinghy race and request details of predicted commercial shipping movements during the times of the races. This information should be used to influence the choice of dinghy course.

Start – 45 minutes    

Short briefing for any who need it. Asking if anyone wants a tow out ( subject to water depth for the launch ). If the O.O.D. feels the wind is too strong it is his decision to cancel or continue. (If you cancel there will be others agreeing with you). Use the anemometer in the clubhouse. If it is a constant Force 6 or more do not go out. Conversely in extremely light winds it is not sensible to go out. If you feel uncomfortable making the decision yourself seek advice from others who may be more experienced. If you are unsure then you should probably not go anyway.

Start – 40 minutes    

The race. team must fetch Lemonaid, launch her and row the boat to the launch and attach for towing out of lagoon. If the tide is adequate, she can be motored under her own power from the end of the pontoon with the engine on the shallow setting. Great care must be taken to avoid running the engine aground as this could cause serious damage the engine and propeller.

Start – 30 minutes    

Team sets off in the launch and LemonAid to the committee boat. All team members must be wearing life-jackets or buoyancy aids; at least one person wearing gear suitable to enter the water to conduct a rescue, if required to do so i.e. wetsuit and buoyancy aid, NOT life jacket.

If the tide is adequate LemonAid may be driven using shallow drive from the end of the pontoon, otherwise it should be towed past the entrance of the Lagoon to a safe and clear area. She should then be started and detached. If you are unsure how to set shallow drive is you should check before leaving the slipway.

Set the outer distance mark and the leeward / windward mark. The latter should be about 100 yards from the committee boat. It is generally downwind, but sometimes may be the first or last mark of the course.

The start line should have no port / starboard bias to the first mark, if possible.

The length of start line should be about 1.5 times the total length of boats sailing - or 100 feet or less.

Put the course on the board and the number of laps, so all can see it (courses are in the box, but a general guide is a fair course for all boats is a beat should be followed by two spinnaker legs. Handicaps are worked out on the premise that for every two legs with a beat there will be three spinnaker legs). The fastest boat should sail 45 - 60 minutes.

Display the Yellow Club flag to indicate racing is about to begin.

Start – 5 minutes

Sound the hooter for the start of the 5 minute sequence.  The start sequence is listed in the course book.


Observe if anyone is over the start line. If so, sound the hooter and lower the last flag half way until they have re-crossed it successfully.

During the Race

Keep a watch on all the boats racing and be ready to help if necessary. Ideally, two people should man the launch throughout.

Record each boat’s lap time and position.

Keep a count of the active racers. Continually check position and count of all active racers.

The race can be abandoned if the wind is above F6 or if the race team is struggling to maintain a watch due to the number of potential rescues to attend.  The flag/hooter sequence can be found in the course book or on the website.

Finishing the Race

In handicap racing all boats must sail the same distance except when a slow boat threatens to delay a subsequent race start or extend racing to a point where light or tide become insufficient.  The race officer may choose to finish a slow boat after fewer complete laps than the rest of the fleet and scale the recorded time appropriately.  Record the elapsed time for each boat on the sheets provided. Leave these in the box at the end or give them to the dinghy captain. Where there is more than one race on a day the times for each race will be required.

If the course needs shortening because the lead boat is likely to finish a complete the race after approximately 40 minutes or all the boats are unlikely to finish with an hour. As the lead boat rounds the last mark of the course display the S flag and sound the hooter.

The handicap race following a pursuit race must start as soon as possible. Change of course, if necessary, and number of laps need to be displayed. All boats with handicap of Topper, or slower should do one complete lap less than the others. As soon as all the boats are gathered the 5 minute sequence begins.

After the Race

As soon as all the boats have finished, the marks are taken out of the water and left on the committee boat. Other items are tidied away. If anything is wrong with the equipment used this should be recorded in the log book in the committee room.

LemonAid should be towed inside the Lagoon to the jetty unless there is sufficient water to reach the end of the pontoon. Ensure the engine does not run aground by using shallow drive. LemonAid must then be rowed to the dinghy ramp where it must be taken out of the water, rinsed and stowed. The engine should be run in fresh water before stowing.

VHF radios should be handed back to O.O.D. The O.O.D. is responsible for stowing them in their cabinet and ensuring that they are plugged in so as to receive a charge. The charge will be controlled by a timer that will be set and monitored by the Office.