The instructors started the morning by asking us what our favorite position was on the race committee. I raised my hand and stated, “driving the powerboat.” I’ve never determined a sequence, raised flags, honked horns, started a timer, or served in various other roles available to the RC team. But I was willing to see what I could learn. One of the most valuable lessons of the day was that we have folks who really enjoy serving on the race committee. And all I can say is you are appreciated!
Registrants were sent prework to prepare for this “Basics” course, and being a diligent student, I dug into the RRS 2021-2024, took the pretests, and reviewed the other material. But basic is not what came to my mind while searching for answers to the pretests. There are quite a few cross-references to other rules. For example:
29.1 Individual Recall
When at a boat’s starting signal any part of her hull … If rule 29.2, 30.3 or 30.4 applies this rule does not.
We have lots of rules. 92 of them, but not included in this number are the .1 .2 .3 and the (a) (b) (c) and then more (1) (2) (3) ‘s in parenthesis. And because we want to be fair we need Appendixes – 17 to be exact. For example:
Appendix A – Scoring
A5.1 A boat that did not start, did not sail the course or finish, or comply with rule 30.2, 30.3, 30.4 or 78.2, or that retires … or takes a penalty under rule 44.3 (a) …
By the end of the prework, I felt a little underwater and needed resuscitation via a cocktail.
We gathered on Saturday, March 25, at the Tempe Public Library. Over 20 AYC sailors registered, and two students came from the Pacific Corinthian Yacht Club in Oxnard, California. The classroom was well-equipped and comfortable. The coffee was hot, and the $10 lunches were simple but good.
Our instructors, Becky Ashburn and Jeff Johnson, were well-versed in the Racing Rules of Sailing. Of course, one would expect that from those certified as National and International Race Officers. Quite impressive! The day’s lessons included potential situations for setting marks, making changes to the course, start/finish lines, NOR’s and SI’s, flags, safety, and much more. Plus, they were skilled at taking what may appear complex and simplifying it with ongoing examples and discussions.
I was impressed by the variety of questions asked by our participants – they stayed engaged and interactive throughout the day. However, I got a tad glassy-eyed and drifted into thinking about new rules for AYC. Here is a draft of what I captured from the discussions and my own internal rumblings:
New AYC Rules
- L 1.0 Sailors shall be lifelong learners.
- F 2.0 Have fun.
- F 2.1 When near TTL, rule F 2.0 applies, and we shall gather at 100 Mile Brewery to socialize and talk about sailing or race committee stuff.
- F 2.2 When sailing at LP, rule F 2.0 applies, and we shall gather at Spinnaker point for some socializing and food.
- RC 3.0 LP RC shall not wear the same shirt or jacket color as any LP Class boards and then stand behind the board of the same color.
- RC 3.1 Clothing matters. Do not wear an orange shirt. You may be confused with the start line.
- S 4.0 AYC will not own a black flag because it is all about rule F 2.0.
At the end of the course, AYC F 2.0 was put in play, and a few of us complied with rule AYC F 2.1 as a fine way to wrap up another day in the quest for Rule L 1.0.
I know the RRS are necessary and help keep our sport fair, but when our fleet is up for RC duties, I’ll happily wave at you from the powerboat. Let’s all be safe out there and remember to show our utmost appreciation for those serving on race committee duties.