Brighton Sailing CLub Penenant

Race Management

Rescue boat pictureWelcome to the Race Management Section of BSC website. Below ares some "FAQ's". Alright they've not actually been asked, but neither have any other FAQ's.

How Do I Start a Race?

Tie on the Z, hobie, P, X and First sub flags (in that order if there aren't enough halyards)

When you ready. Get a watch stopwatch out, or preferably a count down timer (set this for 10 minutes).

  • Make a sound, simultaniously start the watch, and hoist the cat class flag ("Hobie"). - Cat five minute
  • after 1 minute hosit the Preparatory Signal with a sound (Code P) - Cat four Minute
  • after a further three Minutes Lower the Preparatory Signal with a sound (Code P) - Cat one minute
  • after a further 1 minute. Simultaniously, check the line for boats over, make a sound Lower the Cat Class Flag ("Hobie") and hoist the Mono Class Flag (Code Z) - This is the Cat start and the Mono five minutes.

If a cat is over Imediatly hoist the individual recall flag with an aditional signal. and continue with the bullets bellow.

  • 1 minute after the cat start hosit the Preparatory Signal with a sound (Code P) - Mono four Minute
  • after a further three Minutes Lower the Preparatory Signal with a sound (Code P) - Mono one minute
  • after a further 1 minute. Check the line for boats over, make a sound Lower the Mono Class Flag ("Code Z ") - This is the Mono Start.

I've left out general recalls, also you'd better make sure that if the cats had an individual recall that you've sorted it as per instuctions bellow before it comes arround again for the mono's...

How Do I Choose a Course?

Size: Aim for a maximum of three laps for fast boats in 45 minutes. Err on the large size. Most races all the mono fleet will do the same number of laps (except when toppers are entered) and with separate fleets the cats will usually do the same. A course needs to be bigger than you think. Do set differnet course for cats and mono's if you want. Esspeccially if toppers are entered. Shared start marks but longer windward and leward marks are a good way of doing it. A normal Dinghy Sea Race beat will be aprox 1 mile. The cat fleets I've raced in use courses with 2 mile + beats. We can't fit courses that size beteen the Piers and in sight - however it ilustrates how small our courses have become.

Layout: There are many choises for course layouts, see here for some. However the most important thing to build into a course is a proper beat, and a propper run. Reaches, broad or narrow have little or no effect on the out come, of a race. The handicap systems don't work if the Spinnaker boats can't set, and since the up wind leg is the slowest, it has most efect on the handicap system.

The "olympic" course most oftern used at BSC has gone out of fassion, I have never raced triangle/sausage anywhere but BSC. Windward Leward (just upwind and downwind are the most common these days. The Oylimpic course has some major drawbacks at BSC.

  1. It forces the OOD and timkeeper to keep track of trangle/Sausage times - very confusing.
  2. It means a lap is 5 short legs, making for either a very long lap for a slow boat, which they hate or very short legs wich fast boats hate.
  3. Its confusing for beginners to rember which part of the lap they're on.

Sugested Courses:

  • Northerly: A "P" course, or Windward / Leward with the windward mark as the start Mark. This course minimises the time boats spend inshore in flukey wind. Watch out out to sea for truble on the Gybe mark.
  • Easterly / Westerly: A windward/Leward with the West Pier bouy and a mark by the end of Palace Pier works well, a gate can be put in the middle oposite the Hut for start/finish. PLEASE do not set a trangle with the start mark close in shore in this weather as it is impossible to do a proper beat with that layout. If you do use a trangle have the wing mark on the seward size of the beat. A "P" with the loop in the p pointing in between the West pier and the Swimming area.
  • South Westerly. Difficult. to fit the beat in either it goes on beind the wreck of the West Pier or its too short. If you set it short the the downwind leg will be slewed or will hit the swimming area. Setting the start mark as near the Swiming area as practacal (helps get a good start line).

Pleasesing all of the People all of the time: Impossible. Here's the short version. Toppers dosn't care so long as its small. Spinnaker boats like it large and lots of Spinaker work (max 45-60 off a dead run, depending on class/wind strength) - provinding the spinnaker legs are long enough. Hobie cats Don't go upwind, or downwind, so want a beam reach. These are not reconsilable. Try and achive some sort of interest for all.

What do the Flags Mean?

Posponed Flag

Answering Pennant.
Race Posponed

Code S Flag Code S
Shortened Course
Z Flag

Code Z
Monohull Fleet Flag

Code N Flag Code N
Race Abandoned
Hobie Cat Flag Hobie Flag
Catamaran Fleet Flag
Code x Flag

Code X
Individual Recall

Blue peter Code P
Preparatory Flag
1st Substitute Flag Ist Substitute
General Recall

How do I do a recall?

There are 2 sorts of recall. Individual, when one or more boats are over the start line, and you know who they are. Or General, when boats are over the line and NOT identified/identifiable.

Individual Recall Flag Individual: If a boat or boats are over the start line, hoist the code x flag (looks like the Greek Flag). Make a hoot on the horn (an additional hoot, one for the start gun one for the recall). This Flag should remain flying untill the offending boat or boats have returned completly to the corect side of the line.

General Recall Flag General: If lots of boats are over the start line or you cannot idetify the offender(s) then you do a general recal. First hoist the first subsitute flag (Yellow and blue pennant), and make 2 hoots on the horn (thats 2 hoots + the one for the race start). Next you have to run the start sequence for that fleet again. Ieave the general recall flag up till you ready, and everyones noticed. Take down the general recall Flag, make one hoot on the horn and exactly 1 minute later begin the start sequence over again.

How do I Finish a race?

First decide when to finish a race. Factors to concider are:

  • How long before this boat comes arround again?
  • Have I already let through boats of this class? - Its not good to finsh the same type on differnent laps.
  • Is the wind dying? - If you running out of breeze finish before it dies completely.
  • Time limit - try to arrange it so you don't finish a fast boat after you've just sent a slow boat round again.

Code S FlagWhen you've decided to finish a race you need to make 2 sound signals and Hoist the Code S flag as the boat your intening to finish on aproaches the line. (in practice any time on the last leg will do, provifing nobody you don't want to finish comes accross first.

Every time a boat crosses the line make a sound signal to tell them they've finished. When they've all finished or 20 Minutes have elapsed lower the S flag with 2 sound signals. Any boats not finished after 20 minutes are marked DNF (did not finish) - try and avoid this.

How do I get Petrol?

From a petrol station! Keep the recept (full recept not just the credit card slip). At a pinch stick a gerry can in a rucksack and cycle to the nearest petrol station (King Alfred).

"Hey the only petrol left is in a locked Gerry can" Thats the last can, the key is available ask one of the Sailing Committee. But make sure to arrange for fuel for next week.

What Gear Should I load onto the Rescue boat?

You need an anchor for the Rescue Boat, one for each bouy. and one spare for anchring dinghies if you need it.

You will also need 2 concrete weights for each of the large cylindical bouys.

Saftey Gear: 2 paddles, a knife, a tow line, the first aid kit, flares, water, chocolate, heaving line.

How do I summon Help

The coast guard can be reach by radio on VHF channel 16, however you'll need high power and the hand held probably still won't make it.

Dial 999 and ask for coast guard.

If you are trying to attract the rescueboats attention dispaly a yellow flag or board on the hut.

If you are indistress on the water, extend you arms straight out to the side and wave themupa nad down.

How do the radios work ?

In Short set them both to the folowing settings:

  • Channel 77 (IMPORTANT)
  • low power (high power may over power the other radio at short ranges)
  • INT (not usa as the channels are differnet)

Set the volume, then turn the squelch down till a harsh white noise is heard, then up till the noise just dissapears.

When you want to talk press the ptt button (push to talk), remember the radio cannot recive when the button is pusshed, so when you finish your sentence say "over", so the other person knows its clear to reply. Say over when you've finished chatting, so the other person doesn't.

Note these are relativly powerefull, LICENCED radios and Solent Coastguard monitors bad behaviour.

What can/should I disqualify people for.

ALWAYS disqualify people for not sailing the correct course, being over the line and not returning (scored OCS), provided you do the recals properly, bad behaviour (consult sailing committee for backing). Be careful about "unwinding" on course devaitons.

ALMOST ALWAYS disqualify people for entering the swimming area (DSQ), not leaving the beach in time (scored DNC), not signing on (keep their times anyway). Only beginers, or people in dificuties should be given the benefit of the doubt - consult the sailing committee members.

SOMETIMES disqualify people for not signing off - never let them off without a lecture.

NEVER DISQUALIFY people for hitting marks or interboat incedents. However encouraging volatrary retirement after the finsih is acceptable. In the case of delibarate fouls, conuslt a member of the sailing committee.

How do I set the Start Line

A start line should be at 90 to the wind. So a boat starting at one end will not have and advantage over on starting at hte other. This is not always possible, if not you can always start the fleet from the Rescue boat.

The line from the beach is made by the flag pole and a triange on the beach. NOT the buoy. The bouy is an "Outer Distance Mark". Boats must pass inside it.

Use the annimation below (note this flagpole is transparent the real one isn't you'll have to peer down the side.

Abandoning before the start.

Conde N flagTry and avoid this, if there's no wind try postponing. If there's too much wind or waves you may have too. Untimatly it should be concensus opinion. If people are happy to sail and the rescue crew are happy and competant don't abandon. If you do have to abandon hoist the N flag and cry it from the roof tops.

Abandoning after the start.

Conde N flagHoist the code N flag and accompany with sound signals. Try to contact the rescue boat and send them arround to shephered people home. There will be no results for an abandoned race. Even if some have finished.