Officer of the Day

These instructions and related documents are specifically for SLYCMS club racing, details may be changed for one-design or inter-club regattas.



  • Sign up for at least two Officer of the Day (OOD) duties for the season
  • Please arrive at least 1 hour before the scheduled start to allow time to set the marks.
  • The OOD should arrange for at least one helper to make up the race committee to assist with timing, flags and marks, also to be available to operate the rescue boat in an emergency.
  • Person driving a club boat must have a Victorian Marine License.
  • If you are unavailable to perform the OOD duties on your nominated date please swap with another member to ensure that club races can be held.


  • A minimum of three boats starting is required to constitute a race. If only one finishes, then that boat is the winner.
  • The ultimate decision to race or not rests with the individual skipper. An OOD is under no obligation to organise a race if he/she thinks that conditions are UNSAFE, even if three or more skippers are willing to race. However, wet or cold conditions aren’t normally sufficient reason for an OOD to cancel racing if three or more skippers want to race.
  • If conditions become unsafe during a race the OOD should abandon the race by waving the white flag and making three long sound signals.


  • Ensure flags, power horn and Race Committee (RC) equipment box are in the Committee boat from the shed – see Appendix 1 List of RC Equipment. Familiarise yourself with the operation of the power horn and stop watches.
  • Launch the committee boat with 5 marks, ropes and concrete anchors aboard. When both club boats are available, use the aluminum boat for setting the marks. The inflatable rescue boat should be kept ready to launch with the garage door open. Check both boats for fuel and re-fill if necessary.
  • Annotate the course specifics, Wind direction and strength, tidal effect, at the top of the White Board. If you change the course for back to back races, make the announcement from the Committee boat using the power horn.
  • Make sure that all boats competing have registered on the race sheet (Appendix 2). It is acceptable for a boat to register by hailing the RC however a boat that has made no attempt to register is not racing should not be added to the race sheet.
  • Record the date and OOD name on the race sheet.
  • Record the wind direction in degrees and strength in km/h using the hand held anemometer. This is may be needed for calculation of handicaps.


  • The start and finish should be approximately 1/4 of the way up the first beat, if start and finishing on the water. If tower is manned for the race start at leeward mark and finish from a mark set at the end of the landing.
  • The course length will depend on the wind conditions and time available. Consult an experienced SLYCMS sailing member if in doubt. Aim for at least two races on a Sunday. If conditions are right, don’t be afraid to set a long course for the first race.
  • Ideally, for Monohulls, courses should be ABCAC (triangle and sausage) although it may be necessary to set an AC course if time is short or conditions are poor.
  • Ideally, for Multihulls, courses should be DCDCDC (sausage x 3) although it may be necessary to set a DC course if time is short.
  • The most important part of a good course is a starting line that is long enough at 90 deg to the wind, and a true beat to the A (windward) mark.
  • Don’t set a mark unless the concrete anchor hits bottom – either move the mark to shallower water or add extra line. Always clip the anchor line to the lead weight below the mark, not to the mark itself.


  • Start the race using the two-start procedure as per the Flag Sequence in Appendix 4.
  • Remember to use the Warning Signal, Postponement Flag, Abandonment Flag, and Early Start Signal as per the Flag Sequence in Appendix 3.
  • Use one stopwatch to time the start and start a second stopwatch when the flag goes down for the first start. Leave both stopwatches running as a backup. Shade them from the sun else the display will fade.
  • If the wind dies, SHORTEN the COURSE rather than abandoning the race. The race must still finish on the normal finish line. You can shorten course as long as the leading boat hasn’t reached the last mark before the new finish, either by announcing by power horn from the committee boat or going out onto the course in another club boat. If no boat crosses the finish line, even after shortening, then the race is abandoned.
  • Write down the individual finishing times for each boat on the race sheet (Appendix 3 –Race Sheet) – please time accurately, it can make a difference when handicaps are close. 
  1. a.     Write time for ALL boats.
  2. b.     See the bottom of the race sheet for how to record DNS, DNC and DNF.


  • Retrieve the marks and wrap the anchor lines round the concrete anchors.
  • Put the boat(s) back in the garage and leave the engines vertical
  • Put all RC equipment back in the shed
  • Give to the race sheet to the Vice Commodore OR give to the designated person who will get it to the Vice Commodore. NOTE: do not give the sheet to anyone else and do not remove it from the club premises.




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