Help the Regatta Directors and their Staff

The average attendance at regattas is now approaching 25 boats. You might ask, "How can I make the RDís job easier?" There are a few simple things that can be done to facilitate the planning and execution of the event.

Get your entry form in early. The regatta schedule is published on the EC-12 Meter Class web page, the AMYA web page and in "Model Yachting". There is no excuse for not knowing when and where events are being held. There is a great deal of planning that must be done prior to the event and the last thing the staff needs is a bunch of last minute entries. List all the frequencies that you have on the entry form, even if they only request three or four. This is not the problem that it once was but conflicts can still cause problems.

List your full AMYA yacht registration number on the entry form. This will let the RD decide how to arrange the scoreboard and which numbers they will use for scoring. Currently you should have the last two digits on your jib and you have the option of putting your entire number on the main or just 2 digits. In a twenty-boat regatta there is an 85% chance that two boats will show up the same number on their jib. In a thirty-boat event, the percentage rises to 99%. In order to aid the RDís and the other skippers to identify your boat, it would be great if everyone displayed their full number on the main sail. Also, the numbers should be dark enough to be easily read at the maximum distance experienced at the regatta. Black is a good choice of color. There is nothing more irritating than trying to score a boat with pale pastel translucent numbers as they cross the line in a pack of other boats.

There are currently two scoring systems used at large regattas. The promotion/relegation and the matrix system. The P/R can accommodate no shows but skippers that fail to show up can cause havoc with a matrix. If you need to cancel your entry, please inform the regatta staff ASAP. Most regattas will return your entry fee, if you withdraw with sufficient notice. After they have arranged for your breakfast, drinks, lunch and supper and you unexpectedly fail to show up, you really donít have any reason to expect a refund of your entry fee.

Get to the pond early enough to have your boat rigged and ready to race prior to the captains meeting. The rest of the captains will not appreciate your late arrival. Racing time is limited and everyone should do what he or she can, to use it wisely. Read the Sailing Instructions, noting any questions you may have. The end of the meeting is the time to ask them. If you interrupt the meeting with questions you may break the train of thought of the RD. You donít know what the RD had planned to say and your questions could well be answered during the meeting. Pay attention to whatís going on. If you are repeatedly the last boat in the water or require special notification that you are scheduled to race in the heat, youíre just running everyoneís batteries down and wasting precious time. Treat the Regatta Staff and the other Captains with the courtesy and respect that youíd like to be extended to you. If you need to protest another boat, use the proscribed method and remember, a protest is a difference of opinion or viewpoint and not an insult to your lineage.

To put one of the RDís problems in perspective, try this. Inform your First Mate that youíll be bringing some friends home for supper, in an hour, and you have no idea how many are coming and what they like to eat. I recommend that this be done by phone, in case you receive some feedback.

So letís all get together and make the RDís job as easy as we can.

                                                                                                  Respectfully submitted,

                                                                                                             Frank Angel