Brighton Sailing CLub Penenant

Instructions for OOD

  • TIP: - You can always help on someone's duty to gain experience.

    Prior Preparation

  • A week before your duty contact the other officers, Rescue Helm and Crew and the Timekeeper
  • Contact the current Class captain and inform them, that you and your team are all set. The class captain should be able to tell you the state of fuel, radios etc. Feel free to ask them questions.
  • Read the Sailing Instructions so that you know what to expect.
  • If you can get a copy of the Weather Forecast, at worst you should have at least heard an up to date weather forecast.
  • General Responsibilities

  • As OOD you have the discretion not to accept a race entry from any member not felt to be suitably qualified/equipped or experienced to sail in the prevailing conditions.
  • You have the discretion to curtail or abandon any race in the light of adverse weather conditions or rescue cover seeming inadequate either because of the conditions, or mechanical or other problems during the course of the race. However ultimately the decision to race lies with the competitor.

    TIP:- Consult with the Sailing Committee or experienced helms if you're unsure.

  • Try and make sure that newcomers to sailing at Brighton are briefed as far as possible as to local conditions and that other sailors are aware of any beginners.
  • oversee the other officers, delegate.

    Preparation on the Day

  • Get there early - a minimum of one and a half hours before the first race of the day. If the first race is due to start at 11.00 it really is a good idea to be at the club by about 9:15 in order to get everything ready in time.
  • Select the course(s) as early as possible. Decide whether to start from the hut or the rescue boat and where to finish. A good course should have dead windward and leeward legs, an if possible a reach. Try and make at least one decent length leg deep enough for the spinnaker boats to use them. Courses need to be bigger than you think. Some course suggestions are available on the web site.

    TIP:- If you choose a triangle and sausage course lay a separate sausage mark out from the start finish mark so only triangle boats cross the start/finish line to make timing easier.

  • You can set different courses for Cats and Mono if you want, or add extended/extra marks for the cat fleet.
  • The start line should be laid to give as far as practicable, an equal advantage to each end of the line. The start and finish lines do not necessarily have to be the same. However it is necessary to make them same buoy or or you will not be able to use the average lap time when calculating results.

    TIP:- Use an extra buoy as a Straightener to make boats cross the finish line in a way that's easy for you to see.

  • Set the course(s) length to enable all competitors to complete a reasonable number of laps in 45 minutes. Aim for a maximum of 3 laps. In the widely spaced mono fleet, assume the topper will only make one lap.
  • TIP:- Now the fleets are split it is not necessary to do "Average Laps" so you can just say all boats will do 3 laps, if you think its practical and save your self and others work.

  • Do a radio check with the rescue boat helm. Your call sign is "SUNRIDER", the rescue boat is "SEARIDER". Set both radios to channel 77 and low power, use int not usa. Adjust the squelch.
  • Instruct the Rescue Boat helm on the course you want.
  • Draw the course, wind tide, tips etc on the White Board on the door of the Rescue Hut as soon as you can.
  • Organize a party to launch the boat it needs to be afloat at least 45 minutes before the first race. i.e. 10:15!
  • Put out the Declaration Forms (signing on sheets) 1 for each race.
  • Prepare the flags, locate the X, Z, P, Hobie, AP and maybe 1st Substitute test the flag halyards for jams etc and tie on the X, Z, P and Hobie flags ready for the start (see Website and posters in the hut for flag identification).
  • Get the Time keeper to copy out the competitors to the time sheets.
  • Use the Orange Triangle to set the start line transit.
  • TIP:- Delegate some jobs from above to the Time Keeper

  • Postponements

  • If you are not going to start on time, or think you might not. Then make a hoot, and hoist the AP flag.
  • When you are ready to start the race make a hoot and lower the AP flag exactly one minute before the first signal of the start sequence.
  • Briefing

  • Hold a briefing at 10:30 (be flexible), make multiple hoots to attract attention.
  • List the expected weather forecast. The current state of the tide. Explain the course. Point out which buoys are where on both the drawing and the water, if the rescue boat has laid them, if not point and describe where they will be. Inform them that you will be starting on time. Do a speaking clock style count down to allow them to get an idea of your watch time. Remind them of the silly rules that always get bent, including such favorites as "any boat not on the water by her preparatory signal will be disqualified" No going in the swimming area". Appraise them of any events such as power boat races, alien invasions Pier to Pier swims that may be happening. Point out the transit. Remind them to "sign on". Add any notes like "if the wind does pick up I may move the marks for race 2" or other bright ideas. Field any questions and allow others to announce babies/social events etc. as necessary.
  • TIP:- Write a list of the things to say on some scrap paper.
  • Starting a race

  • The Cats start first, followed 5 minutes later by the mono's.
  • The sequence goes:
Start Sequence
Sequence Time Cat Time Cat Event Cat Signal Mono Time Mono Event Mono Signal
Warning, Z flag up one hoot
Preparatory Up P flag up one hoot
Preparatory Down P flag down one hoot
GO! Start Z flag down one hoot
Warning Z flag up one hoot
Preparatory Up P flag up one hoot
Preparatory Down P flag down one hoot
GO! Start Z flag down one hoot


  • Individual Recall, if one or more boats are over the start line and you can identify them at the their class's start signal then hoist the Individual recall flag (X) with one sound signal as soon as possible. Keep X displayed until the offending boat(s) have started correctly.
  • General Recall, if unidentified boats are over the start line at their class's start signal then hoist the General Recall Flag(1st Substitute), with 2 sound signals as soon as possible. Abort any following classes starts. Get sorted and set up for a restart, when you are ready and boats have returned to the starting area (if its safe to do so send the rescue boat out after them). Lower the General Recall Flag (1st Substitute) 1 MINUTE before you re-run the start sequence.
  • Penalizing Competitors

  • Penalties at the start.
  • & Any who leaves the beach or attempts to do so but does not cross the start line correctly within 10 minutes of her class start time is scored did not start (DNS). Boats who do not leave the beach or do not attempt to start should not be scored at all Did Not Come to the starting area (DNC)
  • Any boat over the start line at the start (individual recall) that does not return completely to the correct side of the line should be disqualified On Course Side (OCS).

    Penalties During the Race

  • Inter boat incidents, propulsion (pumping/paddling) or hit marks are not the direct responsibility of the OOD, and should be dealt with by protests by a competitor. This does not prevent you from reporting it to the sailing committee, giving the offender an ear full or giving evidence in a protest.

    TIP:- Wonders can be archived by confronting the offender and asking them to retire honorably for their misdemeanor.

  • Boats entering the swimming area shall be disqualified (DSQ) as should boats who do not sail the course (providing they do not unwind and rectify their mistake).
  • During the Race

  • Keep a constant lookout over the race area and signal the Rescue Boat if a craft capsizes or appears in difficulties. If for any reason the radio is not working, use Flag Q to signal to the rescue boat, keeping the flag hoisted either until the craft is out of trouble or the rescue boat arrives.
  • Time each of the boats every time they complete a lap. You should include DNS, DSQ and lost boats -just in case.
  • Check for boats entering the swimming area or sailing an incorrect course, you may disqualify them without protesting them.
  • Races should finish after approximately 45 minutes. However it may be necessary to amend this if a slow boat is approaching the finish line and unlikely to do do again before the time limit. You should also arrange it so all boats of the same class do the same number of laps. If one has been lapped it is expected they carry on around again till they catch up.
  • TIP:- Don't finish on a tail-end charlie. Where possible finish on the lead boat to try and prevent the laps confusion.

  • If no boat has finished a lap after 45 minutes, or is not likely too do so, you should abandon the race. Or if the majority are not likely to do so. (that would discriminate against the slow designs).

    TIP:- You can abandon only one fleet by putting up the abandon flag N below the Class Flag

  • Finishing the Race

  • Decide which boat you are going to finish on, taking into account how long each boat takes to complete a circuit of the course. As that boat is on the final leg approaching the finish line hoist the shortened course flag code and make 2 sound signals.
  • There after when each boat crosses the line on a completed circuit, record its time and make one hoot, regardless of any disqualifications etc.

    TIP:- Watch out for boats that are crossing the line as part of their circuit but who may still have a segment to complete.

  • Stop finishing boats 20 minutes after the first boat in a class finishes. Any boat that has not finished in that time should be scored did not finish (DNF).
  • When the last boat finishes lower the flag. with one hoot.
  • Starting the next Race

  • Exactly 1 minute after you lower the flag, begin the start sequence again. If you need more time use the postpone procedure above You do not have to wait for boats that have not finished within the time limit. If however you wish to please use the postpone flag so they know htat they can't finish.
  • At the end of racing signal to the rescue boat that they may collect the marks first check that there is no race later in the day which may need them.
  • Complete all the details on the race forms, especially fill names dates, race number etc. on the time sheet.
  • TIP;- The clearer and better completed the race forms are the less time will you will have spend explaining them to disgruntled parties.
  • Calculate the Results, use the "Simple Results" software on the laptop in the kitchen cupboard. Each competitor has his time corrected by taking his finish time dividing it by his classes handicap and multiplying by 1000. remembering to use average lap times instead of finish times if the competitors in a fleet have not done the same number of laps.
  • Leave the Hut, flags, computer and radios as you would want to find them. Neat tidy, charged, where they belong.
  • Report any missing or broken equipment, shortages of petrol or oil to the Class Captain.
  • More Information.
    The ISAF Racing Rules of Sailing see also the Race Management Presentation in the Publications section.
    Table of flags are available in the hut. As are some crib sheets. See the race officer section of the Website.