Of all the things that yachties do on the water, racing is the highest profile and probably the most popular activity.
Racing can be local or global, one-design class to mixed handicap, highly-intensive match-racing to a gentle wallow “round the cans” of an evening. Whatever form it takes, someone other than the racers has to organise and run it.
Cowes Corinthian has achieved an enviable reputation for running racing, both for our Members and for outside organisations. Within the Club, we run the Forts Race and several Members' Regattas each year, while competitive classes like Etchells, Flying Fifteens and X One-Designs rely on our professional race management for their events. Then for sheer joy of sailing, there are Cowes Spring Classics and Old Gaffers.
Running a race can be at least as stressful as racing itself, but in good conditions it is rewarding and (usually) fun. Whether from a committee vessel or shoreline, the Club puts together a team of experienced hands who can handle whatever the fleet, the weather or the Solent throws at them.
A race team would normally comprise the Race Officer (often nationally-qualified), Assistant RO, Signaller (flags and hooters), Radio operator, Time-keeper, Recorder(s) and Spotter(s). If the racing is in open water there will also be a committee vessel Skipper and at least one RIB crew for mark-laying and communication with boats.
The Club employs no sailing staff, so all these roles must be filled by volunteers, ideally drawn from among Club Members who may have been trained on previous Club events. Managing our large pool of volunteers is a busy job, and putting together efficient teams for specific events can be challenging. Anyone interested in assisting in race management is warmly invited to contact the Sailing Secretary (firstname.lastname@example.org).