The Course

Despite what is considered the ‘norm’, there are no ‘hard and fast’ rules for setting a course. These notes are based on what makes a ‘good’ course, for an enjoyable sail for the competitors.
1. Try and set a course with all the points of sailing (beats, reaches and runs – one or more of each).
2. Try and make the beat as true as possible.
3. This may seem obvious, but always ensure that the finishing line is on the natural route of the course. (It will normally be between the last buoy and the first, but does not need to be.
4. It is normal to have the start/finish on one of the ‘beat’ legs of the course.
5. Set the number of laps to ensure a race of about 1 hour (20 – 30 mins for the 10:30 race) always go on the long side – you can shorten a race, but you cannot lengthen it! Please display the number of laps on the board visible from the water OR ensure that you use the shorten course flag.

That is basically it. People do not expect the course to be perfect – none of us are professionals.
If someone recommends a change, ask them ‘Why?’ and if they respond with one of the above then, perhaps you missed something when you set the course – consider changing, at least in the subsequent races.

Start Sequence flags

Countdown
Flag
Direction
Description
 
 
5 Minutes
MKSC
Raise ‘H’, One sound signal.
4 Minutes
MKSC
Raise ‘P’, One sound signal.
1 Minutes
MKSC
Drop ‘P’, One sound signal.
0 Minutes
MKSC
Drop ‘H’, One sound signal.
Pursuit Start
   
0 Minutes
MKSC
↑↓
Drop ‘H’, One sound signal & Raise 'H' again for each fleet participating
For each class
MKSC
↑↓
Drop ‘H’, One sound signal & Raise 'H' again for each fleet participating
Recalls
Individual
MKSC
One sound signal.
General Recall
MKSC
Two sound signals - one or more boats

 

During the Race

The race officer/assistant needs to keep an eye on the fleet: to ensure that the boats follow the correct course, and to keep track of each boat’s progress. It is a good idea to mark the boat’s position after each lap as well as indicating that they have completed a lap. For the normal Handicap races, please ALWAYS mark a boat as completing their last lap – as well as noting their time, as the number of laps is needed for calculating average lap times, when appropriate, for the slower boats.

Finishing the Race

The finish of the Handicap races is either after the set number of laps, or after raising the Shorten Course flag. If the end time of the race is approaching, and the lead boat will not complete the set number of laps then use the shorten course flag as the lead boat approaches the buoy before the finish line.

Shorten Course
MKSC
Raise ‘S’, and make two sound signals, as lead boat reaches buoy before finish.