Volunteering for Sailing

Not interested in racing, but still want to be involved? Spend your Sunday morning(s) taking in the action during the race season as part of the Race Crew. We are always looking for more volunteers for Race Officials, Race Official assistants, and Crash Boat operators. For race dates, see Races.

Running races is easy to learn and is well documented with a simple instruction sheet. We have a relaxed and fun attitude towards racing (This is not the America’s Cup). Spend one race day with a veteran race volunteer and you will learn what you need to know. It’s that simple. So don’t let not having done it before stop you from volunteering.

To sign up, contact Fleet Captains. Instruction will be provided to all Race Crew volunteers.

Volunteer duties are as follows:

Race Official (Point Duty)

  • Should have previous Point Duty Experience
  • Arrive 1 hour before the races start (5-minute horn for Sunday races is at 10:30 am, so arrive by 9:30 am)
  • Get the race kit box from the Race Locker
  • Read the Official’s duty sheet in the race kit box
  • Set up flags, stopwatches etc. as per instructions in the race kit box
  • Prepare a race sheet on the clipboard in race kit box in including race series, date, and your name
  • Record the skippers’ names, sail numbers, and boat class on the race sheet
  • Notify sailors 15 minutes and 5 minute prior to the 5-minute horn
  • Decide on course to be sailed with sailors before the 5-minute horn
  • Try to start races as close to the scheduled start time as possible
  • Follow the flag and horn sequence on the top of the race sheet
  • Record finishing times for each participant
  • Start the 5-minute horn for the next race two minutes after last boat crosses the finish line. (Note: Racers who do not finish within 30 minutes of the first boat across the line receive a DNF.)
  • Watch out for severe weather (thunder storms, tornadoes, water spouts, etc.)
  • Cancel or abandon race(s) if weather is a serious threat
  • After all races have concluded, put all Race Official gear away in the race kit box
  • Check that all race results are recorded on the race sheet
  • Return the race clipboard with the race sheet to the race kit box. The Fleet Captains will collect results
  • Return the race kit box to the Race Locker
  • If the weather is bad cancel the races
  • If fewer than three boats are ready by the 10:30 horn, cancel the first race and begin the second race at 11:00, then the third race at 11:30. If there are still fewer than 3 boats by 11:30, cancel the races. Indicate that the races cancelled on the score sheet and notify the Club Manager

Race Official Assistant

  • No experience necessary
  • Arrive by 9:30 am to assist the race official with set-up prior to the start of the races
  • Assist the rescue boat driver in setting the course markers
  • Assist the race official with race duties during the races. (e.g. counting down time to start, checking for boats over early, reading out finishing times, etc.)
  • Help the race official stay awake during the races J
  • Assist the rescue boat driver with rescues during races if no rescue boat assistants are available
  • Assist the race official with clean-up after the races
  • Assist the rescue boat driver in retrieving course markers after the end of the races

Rescue Boat Driver

(Assistants are welcome for a nice ride on the river)

  • Must have valid boat operator card and driving experience (for more information, contact the Fleet Captains). Must be over 18
  • Arrive 1 hour before races start (9:30 am for Sunday races)
  • Read the Official’s duty sheet in the race kit box
  • Ensure that two rescue boats have fuel. Get boat keys from the club manager
  • Test-start the two rescue boats (one will be kept as back-up in case of emergency)
  • Set the course markers once the course has been decided at the Skippers’ meeting
  • Be prepared to come to the assistance of racers quickly during races.
  • Do not interfere or disturb the progression of any racers by causing large waves, except in emergency situations
  • Retrieve the course markers after the end of the races
  • Return the boats to moorings, and stow all gear. Return the keys to the club manager