From Sunday start line woes the problems seem to jump straight to the other end of racing. How hard can it be? Race officers and club members take note.
Here are a couple of extracts from Club Racing Guidelines and Race Officer Guidelines (freely viewable and downloadable from the Club’s website) :
Club Racing Guidelines
9.2 In handicap racing and the handicap fleet, each boat as it crosses the line, irrespective of the position on the water or number of laps completed, will receive the finishing gun and a time.
9.3 In fleet racing excepting the handicap fleet, the lead boat will receive the finishing gun first, followed by the remainder in race order. Each boat will complete the same number of laps as the leader before receiving the finishing gun.
Race Officer Guidelines
Approximately one hour after the start display I.C. Flag “S” accompanied by two sound signals which indicates that the race is about to finish. As each boat crosses the finishing line, irrespective of the number of laps completed, they should be given a sound signal, to indicate that they have finished the race, and their time recorded on the signing on sheet. The first boat to be finished does not have to be the leader on the water.
When fleet racing is taking place, i.e. the Handicap fleet along side Toppers and Mirrors etc, the flag also indicates that as the leader of every other fleet on the water crosses the line they should be given a finishing gun. Please remember that fleet boats must complete the same number of laps as the leader, even if they have been lapped.
So we’re all happy to hear that horn sound us across the finish line after thrashing it out against shifty and uncompromising conditions for nearly an hour. That’s perfectly in order – if you are in a handicap race.
Why then on Sunday 16th July racing did fleet boats accept that horn as their finish signal? Your fleet’s lead boats had commenced another lap before the Race Officer sounded your finish horn. So you completed less laps than your lead boat and in fact you retired from the race.
It’s unlikely that the results will show that but since fleet races are not average lap races, it cannot be appropriate that your lead boat’s result becomes that of last boat simply because they completed another lap. Probably in the end a Race Officer’s lapse of attention but for those boats which accepted the horn you’d better rig up again and go out to finish the same number of laps as your fleet leader.