Vancouver Lake Sailing Club
promoting sailing and racing of one-design centerboard boats since 1967

VLSC Race Committee Instructions
[print version]   [ Race Committee flags ]

  • The purpose of the Race Committee (RC) is to conduct sailing races in accordance with the "Vancouver Lake Sailing Club Racing Guidelines" and "The Racing Rules of Sailing".

  • To manage the RC, VLSC uses a Primary Race Officer (PRO) who is responsible for:
    • Coordinating the actions of the RC during the race day.
    • Notifying racers of any changes to race instructions.
    • Ensuring that all race equipment is used properly and stored after the races.
    • Documenting the race result data on the race information forms.

  • The Race Committee is responsible for:
    • Setting up and taking down the race-course.
    • Conducting the race using defined race signals and rules.
    • Scoring the race for all eligible competitors.
    • Ensuring safety for the race and responding to boaters in distress.

  • On the day of the race, the members of the RC should arrive at the club at least one hour prior to the start and prepare the course and display the "AP" flag at the predetermined start time.
  • In preparing the course, the RC sets the race buoy's to provide a fair race in the existing conditions, using the recommended race course variations, and sets a starting line of at least 100 feet long which is perpendicular to the first windward mark, using the orange flag to represent the boat end of line. The race-course sequence shall be posted on the course board of the committee boat, facing away from the starting line, prior to the race warning signal.
  • The committee boat shall be anchored at the starboard end of the start and finish line and act as a mark of the course.
  • Unless otherwise notified, the flag sequence will be controlled using the orange timer control box. The timer control box has two switches:
        The white switch activates a single horn blast
        The red switch initiates the automated 4-minute starting sequence.

    When the red switch is activated, the 20-second pre-sequence audio alerts will begin immediately, as follows:


    10 quiet beeps

    5 LOUD horn blasts

    5 quiet beeps

    1 LOUD horn blast
    raise class flag with this "Warning" signal!

    Pre-race time sequence:

    • 5 minutes before start - If it's currently flying on the RC boat, drop the red and white "AP" flag, accompanied by a single horn blast, using the white button on the control box
    • 4 minutes, 20 seconds before start - activate the red start-sequence switch on the orange timer box (see above)
    • 4 minutes before start - With the last single horn blast at the end of the automated audio alerts, hoist the class flag for the fleet that will start next (their "Warning" signal)
    • 3 minutes before start - hoist blue and white "P" flag (with the automated horn blast)
    • 1 minute before start - drop blue and white"P" flag (with the automated horn blast)
    • At the start - drop class flag (with the automated horn blast)

  • The RC shall make note of any boats on the course side (OCS) "over early" at the start, between the orange flag and the start mark.

    If there are OCS boats, the RC shall immediately hoist the blue and white "X" flag for individual OCS boat(s), accompanied by a single horn, using the white horn switch on the timer control box. The RC may hail all OCS sail numbers, but is not required to do so.

    In the event the OCS boats are too numerous or the committee cannot individually identify all the OCS boats, or for any reason the RC feels the start is unfair or should be re-sailed, then the RC shall immediately hoist the blue and yellow "general recall" flag, accompanied by 2 horn blasts using the white horn switch on the timer control box.

    The RC may initially hoist the "X" flag for individual OCS boats, and subsequently follow with the "general recall" flag in the event they feel a general recall is necessary.

    In the event of a general recall, the "general recall" flag should be lowered one minute before the next warning signal.

  • As boats finish the race, the RC records the finish position of each boat in the Race Results Notebook. For Portsmouth or other mixed fleets (white fleet), the elapsed time from their start to finish should also be recorded for each boat. As boats finish, any protest flags should be acknowledged and recorded.
  • If the RC leaves the start/finish line during a race, a mark shall be left on the boat anchor line to be a mark of the course in place of the committee boat. In this event, each boat finishing shall note their finish position, and then notify the RC at their next opportunity, or back on shore.
  • If the RC has need to communicate with the racers, such as making changes to the course or sailing instructions, the RC will hoist the black and yellow "Come within Hail" flag and activate a single horn blast using the timer control box switch.

  • The normal steps to running a race:
    1. Launch the RC boat with race equipment on board - including flags, timer control box, and Race Results Notebook.
    2. Set up the race-course and start/finish line, using the solid orange flag in the RC boat to represent the starboard end of the line, and ensuring the start line is perpendicular to the first windward mark.
    3. Post the mark and fleet sequence for the races on the race course board, with the board facing away from the start line.
    4. Write down sail numbers and types of boats competing on the Race Log Form.
    5. Hoist "AP" flag prior to starting procedures, and drop 5 minutes before the first start. (1 short horn blast).
    6. Run through the flag sequence to start each race. (see above).
    7. For each start, record the start time on the Race Log Form, and record all uncleared OCS boats.
    8. Record finish position of each boat crossing the finish line, and record each boat's finish time for mixed fleets (Portsmouth, etc.).
    9. Take down the race-course after the last race
    10. Put the RC boat away and store the race equipment.
    11. Record a day of Race Committee assignment in the Race Results Notebook for all members of the RC who are present.
[ Race Committee flags ]
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