Largs Bay Sailing Club
Your decision to Start or Continue in a Race
Basis for policy
The management committee of the Largs Bay SC has established this policy to guide race officials and sailors in making the decision as to whether they should start or continue a boat race.
To Start or not to start - Factors affecting the safe conduct of boat racing
It is the joint responsibility of the race officer and the boat skipper and crew to ensure that they use all the available information and resources to decide whether conditions are suitable for boat racing.
Part of the enjoyment and satisfaction of sailing is exercising the skills necessary to handle a boat in ever more demanding conditions, however, when conditions are such that the safety of persons and boats are at risk and the conditions are beyond being an enjoyable learning experience, the LBSC should not conduct boat racing.
Skipper and Crew Responsibility
The skipper and crew must first consider Rule 4, which states:
“The responsibility for a boat's decision to participate in a race or to continue racing is hers alone”.
When the skipper and crew believe that they do not have the skills, fitness or strength to sail safely in the prevailing and/or forecast weather conditions, they should not participate or continue in a race. However, the crew should also recognise that they need to sail in a range of conditions in order to gain experience and improve their skills to handle the boat in more demanding conditions.
Club Race Officer's Responsibility
It is the sole responsibility of the race officer to start a race or to continue racing.
A race officer must ensure that he/she uses all the available information and resources to decide whether conditions are suitable for racing. A race officer must remember that he/she has been appointed by the club to make decisions on behalf of the club management. The race officer must consider the risk management policy of the club is implemented to ensure that boat racing is always conducted in a safe environment.
Information & resources to be used as a guide should include:
- The sailing club safety policy
- Weather reports from recognised sources should be accessed (eg: Bureau of Meteorology)
- The recommended class wind speed limits
- Their own experience and knowledge of race management
- Advice from other experienced club and class officials and sailors
- Links to a useful safety information available at the end of this page.
Factors to consider when deciding whether conditions are suitable for racing:
- All participants, including the sailors, umpires, officials and volunteers must be considered.
- Sailing club safety policy guidelines
- Recommended class wind speed limits for participating classes
- Age, experience and skills of participating sailors
- Suitability and seaworthiness of participating classes to handle the prevailing and forecast conditions
- Experience and skills of safety boat crews and number of safety boats available
- Wind speed, gusts and direction currently prevailing and forecast, including any warnings
- Whether there is sufficient wind for manoeuvrability
- Sea conditions and tidal movements currently prevailing and forecast
- Air and water temperature currently prevailing and forecast
- Consider the health of participants including the potential for hypothermia and or heat stroke
- Proximity of hazards such as shallow water, lee shores, jetties and breakwaters, reefs and other shipping.
- Visibility on the course and the distance of race course from the nearest shore
- Provide an opportunity for sailors and safety boat crews to gain experience
Links to useful safety information:
Bureau of Meterology - Weather Information available on the LBSC website.
Yachting SA - Recommended Class Wind Limits available on the YSA website.
Largs Bay SC - Hot Weather Policy available on the LBSC website.
Largs Bay SC - Shark Sightings Policy available on the LBSC website.
Last Modified on 04/10/2016 18:39