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Southern Spars

Race Management Training Day at Long Beach YC

by Rick Roberts on 13 Feb 2014
PRO Randy Smith (under orange and white flags) runs the trainees through a typical match race start sequence during LBYC’’s Race Management Training Day. Rick Roberts ©
On Saturday, February 8, a Race Management Training Day was held at Long Beach Yacht Club with 18 volunteers showing up for a day of classroom instruction and on-the-water practice in the fine art of sailboat race management.

Participating in this event for the first time were LBYC members Mark and Maria Livingston, Judy-Rae Karlsen, Don Wylie, Frank Cauchon, Mike Gehring, Elliot Dixon and guest Rochelle Harma. Member Kelly Dale has worked with our race committee in the past and took advantage of this session to help us out and brush up on her mark set skills at the same time.

US Sailing Judge and Congressional Cup Principal Race Officer Randy Smith handled the morning classroom presentation with the assistance of big-boat PRO John Busch.

Mr. Smith and Mr. Busch presented the basics of race course setup and maintenance drawing on their vast experience with both inshore and offshore competitive sailing and regatta race management.

Real-world experiences and lessons learned were shared and then everyone put on their game-faces for the on-the-water part of their training.

Class adjourned to the club’s race committee boat, Loynes, and mark set boats Grif and Volunteer. Everyone broke up into groups, dividing themselves among the three boats.

With the assistance of veteran race committee members Don and Janet Warner, Camille Daniels, Robert Curley, Kelly Johnson, John Koenig, Anton Hochschild and Rick Roberts, John Busch began a series of ‘mock’ fleet race starts and races followed by Randy running several match race starts and races.

Because there were no real sailboats involved in the event the PROs drew on their experience and---using their imagination---created situations of boats over early, changes of wind direction necessitating mark and line set changes including regular 'weather reports' from the weather mark set boat.

There were also a couple of challenges with setting and adjusting the marks which helped demonstrate to everyone that, when working on the race committee team, you should always expect the unexpected and then know what to do next.



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