Fremont Sailing Club

Established in 1968
The finest Small Boat Sailing Club in the San Francisco Bay Area

Race Committee Guidelines


The race committee members should be familiar with the Standing Race Instructions. Copies may be found in the race box.

These guidelines are intended to provide reminders and instructions on how to perform the race committee duties. By following these guidelines you will make the committee duties less stressful on yourselves and make your actions predictable by the racers enabling everyone to enjoy the day.

The following sections are in general order of occurrence on a race day.


Check out a radio from the city staff in the boathouse. The radios are simple to use, and permit you to call the boathouse and get someone to come out if necessary. There is a staff entrance door to the boathouse from the boatyard.

The equipment needed to conduct the races is stored in a locker at the lake. We have locker number 121 in the boat storage area. The combination of the lock is available from the Race Captain or Commodore.


The purpose of the skipper's meeting is to make announcements and to answer questions about the day's racing or the Sailing Instructions. The Skipper's Meeting is held on the grassy area at the end of the launch ramp starting at 11:30am.

All changes to the Sailing Instructions MUST be written on the chalk board prior to the end of the skipper's meeting in order to be valid.

Potential topics for the skipper's meeting include:

If there will be separate people at the start and finish lines, and there is a handicap fleet, synchronize the start and finish timers before leaving the skipper's meeting area.


A rule of thumb for the length of the start line is n+1 hull lengths for n boats starting together. Try to apply this rule for the 'longest' fleet racing today.

Allow enough room for all boats to maneuver on the pre-start side of the line without fear of the downwind shore. The next fleet also needs space close enough to, but clear of, the starting area.

The shore end of the finish line should be set up on the north shore of the lake so that the line formed by mark F and the orange flag is approximately perpendicular to the last leg.


COURSERound marks to port, unless marked 's'
NUMBERStartRounding MarksFinish
1◁ |Start27424Finish
2◁ |Start27525Finish
3Start274  Finish
4Start275  Finish
5| | Start2626 Finish
6| | Start2525 Finish
7◁ /Start26425Finish
8Start214  Finish
9| Start24   Finish
10| Start25   Finish
11▷ |Start2s3s6s2s6sFinish
12Start1s3s5s  Finish
13trap Start2164 Finish
14Start264  Finish
15◁ /Start28425Finish
16Start316  Finish
17◁ \Start31536sFinish
18| | Start3s8s3s8s Finish
19Start315  Finish

Most courses consist of triangle laps (◁) and windward-leeward laps (|). Sometimes the windward-leeward crosses the center of the triangle (/). There is one trapezoid course (trap). The approximate true headings of the first windward leg are indicated, for the unmodified courses.


It is the responsibility of each competitor to ensure that they are prepared to race based on the schedule shown in the Sailing Instructions. The preparedness of some of the racers should not be considered a reason to postpone the race.


Reasons for abandoning a race include:

If one or more boats have already finished, it is usually more fair to complete an imperfect race than to abandon it.

In theory you can abandon a race for one or two classes only by raising the N Flag over their class flag(s). However, beware that sailors in other classes might see the N Flag, not understand the class flag below, and quit their race by mistake.

To abandon the current race, give three sound signals and display the N flag. Once the boats have returned to the starting area, you can restart the sequence. When you are ready to restart, make one sound signal and drop the N flag. One minute later, give the warning signal.

To abandon the current race and have all skippers meet at the skipper's meeting area, give three sound signals and display the N flag over the H flag.

To abandon the current race and cancel all subsequent races for the day, give three sound signals and display the N flag over the A flag.


Go promptly to the aid of a boat in distress. Attach a float to the anchor line, so you can simply untie from the anchor line without losing the anchor.

If you are having problems, (such as multiple capsizes) call on the radio for the city staff to come out. The city might just pick up the sailors, the boat to be recovered later


Reasons to shorten a race include insufficient wind or a missing mark in the remaining portion of the course to be sailed.

The course can only be shortened at a rounding mark. The finish line personnel must move to this mark and form a line before the first racer crosses it.

Determine on which side sailors would round this mark according to the original course description. Plan the new finish line so that a boat sailing the original course will cross the line while still sailing "in the direction of the course from the previous mark" (per the RRS definition of 'finish').

Set the finishing line flag so that it forms a finish line with the rounding mark. Display the S Flag (rectangular with blue square and white border) with two sound signals. Make repeated sound signals as the first boat approaches the new finish line.


A boat finishes a race when any portion of the boat or crew in their normal position cross the finish line from the direction of the last mark. It is not necessary for a boat to completely cross the finish line in order to finish.

If a boat hits the finish mark in the process of crossing the finish line, the boat must complete a 360° turn (including a tack and a gybe), return to the course side of the line, and then cross the finish line. Once the boat has cleared the finish line it is no longer racing, so hitting a mark after clearing the line is of no consequence.

As the boat crosses the finish line, call out the boat's sail number and write it down on the finish-order sheet in the order of finish. If the boat is part of the handicap fleet then also record the finishing time from the handicap fleet timer. If a boat is flying a protest flag, note this fact on the finish-order sheet.


The race committee refers any protests or requests for redress to the protest committee. The race committee should not take any stance or comment on the status of a protest, unless called as witness or party to a protest. Protest forms are available in the race box located in the skipper's meeting area.


At the end of the day, return our gear to the locker. If there is any broken or missing equipment notify the Port Captain or Race Captain so that it may be fixed before the next race day.

Give registration forms and finish-order sheets, including handicap fleet start times and any OCSs noted at the start line, to the Race Captain so that season scores may be tallied.

The race committee boat should be cleaned up and left tied to the dock near the rangers' patrol boat. The park staff will remove the boat from the water and put it away. The boat is on loan to us by the City and therefore we should return it in a better condition than we got it.