Race Official Hints and Tips

Please see the Spinnaker Race Officer Guides:

Course Setting Guidelines

Standard considerations:
  1. Avoid un-necessary complexity.
  2. Boats must cross the Start / finish line every lap, once only.
  3. There must be at least 1, preferably 2 accurately laid beats, as long as possible for the given wind direction.
  4. Make every effort to lay the start line such that the first leg is a beat, and that no end of the line is overly favoured.
  5. Avoid placing marks in or too close to wind shadows.
  6. Include a variety of legs. At all costs avoid a course of reaches.
  7. Avoid fetches unless absolutely necessary. They serve no purpose.
  8. Bear in mind that the round yellow buoys are to all intents and purposes fixed, so if using as windward or leeward marks, ensure that the other end of the leg is a mark which can be moved in either direction to maintain an accurate beat or run.
  9. Do not assume that the wind you observe on the bank by the Clubhouse or Race Hut is consistent across the lake. Go on the water to make observations before setting the course. Do not put ‘pointless’ marks in the course, which serve little or no purpose.
Spinnaker specific tips:
  1. Maximise use of available water in good wind.
  2. If the wind is not conducive to a decent windward start, use a reaching start, but ensure the line is well offset to make it fair.
  3. Avoid using the Wessex Water plug buoy (W) if it has the water quality attachment to it – it is very dangerous. Keep the course well clear.
  4. Do make use of the islands as separators, but try to avoid specifying them in the course (ie lay marks such that people naturally go the side you want).
  5. In a Northerly wind, the part of the lake beyond the small island usually has excellent wind, so use it.
  6. In a Westerly wind the bays behind buoys B and C have good wind, so use the water behind them and avoid the Clubhouse shore.
  7. In an Easterly wind there is often surprisingly good wind around buoy B giving a beat right across the lake, but at all costs avoid going anywhere near the tall trees (So you need to come out of that area more or less the same way you went in initially).