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Home / Membership / Tell me about Duties...
Home / Membership / Tell me about Duties...

Tell me about Duties...

We are a volunteer-run club, so each adult Active annual sailing member in a membership needs to carry out four half-day duties. ("Active" means going on the water).

Whilst duties do sound a bit onerous, they are actually an enjoyable way of meeting people, understanding sailing tactics and having fun watching the race (if you volunteer for race management or safety boat roles). Yes, you will have a couple of days tied up each year with duty commitments, but we are a volunteer-run club, so that's how it has to work! With that in mind, here is a brief summary of what the roles involve:

1st Race Officer: setting a course for the race, knowing how to start the committee boat, motor to a suitable starting point, anchoring, setting out the course board, running the flag and hooter start sequence and tracking boats as they complete each lap. Setting flags for finishing, hooting on the finish and recording finish times. It sounds complicated, but there is good documentation and the best way to learn is as 2nd Race Officer (below).

2nd Race Officer: a good training role. Carry out tasks assigned by the 1st Race Officer. Help the 1st Race Officer with the above tasks. No previous experience required and, even better, if you have raced you will already have a good idea of what needs to be done.

Safety Boat Driver: you need to have a safety boat or power boat qualification, or have experience of using a power boat. You will need to know how to safely manoeuvre a RIB near a capsized dinghy and how to offer help if requested.

Safety Boat Crew: a good training role. You need to be prepared to go in the water, although this is extremely rare. Generally, you will help the Safety Boat Driver by observing the dinghies and drawing the attention to dinghies that appear to be in difficulty (typically, capsized). You will also help the driver to move course marks if requested by the Race Officer.

Galley 1: you need to have been on the training session first so that you understand about food allergy recording and how the galley equipment works. You will buy, prepare and sell food to club members and guests during the day's racing. Please note that this duty counts as two duties.

Galley 2: a good training role. You will help with preparing, serving and washing up. Food is usually simple and the galley is well equipped with commercial grade electric ovens, induction hobs, fridge/freezer and dishwasher.

Cadet parents will volunteer to help run the Cadet section instead. The duties are similar.

It's worth noting that the Chilli Dogs series (winter Sunday mornings) runs outside this duty system, so if you take part in these you need to volunteer for duties to the race organiser. The system is under review, but currently Chilli Dog duties do not count towards the four-duty requirement.

Members with winter membership will need to volunteer one half-day duty, plus duties for Chilli Dogs races if they take part.


See the menu to the right hand side of this page: https://www.southcerneysailingclub.org.uk/library/training-resouces for useful information on the duties


Last updated 08:48 on 13 May 2024

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