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Demographics of your local Race Committee

Demographics of your local Race Committee  

91 members have voted

  1. 1. What demographics are most of your RC volunteers/officers?

    • Under 40. Non-racers
      2
    • Under 40. Still race when not volunteering.
      0
    • Ages 40-60. Non-racers.
      13
    • Ages 40-60. Still race when not volunteering.
      44
    • Ages 60+. Non-racers.
      19
    • Ages 60+. Still race when not volunteering.
      13


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Running an informal study of RC demographics trying to learn what other clubs and circuits are facing in terms of RC volunteerism and/or turnover.  My eyeballs tell me a lot of places are facing an unpleasant near future as volunteers retire from the RC roles.  

Thanks.

 

EDIT: rejiggered the ages for clarity

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well cannot make more than one choice

RC is all volunteer  , mostly  racers,  age goes from  20+ to 80+  ,  the jr's will do an occasional RC with adult supervision.

  PRO is always a racer  -  age goes from  20+ to 80+    

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Here in college the girls from the rowing team run our races. They are pretty good but for some reason the dean told them what they were wearing when they were running regattas was inappropriate. 

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Our club rules state that if you raced in any race one  year you MUST do an RC assignment the following year...so our YC has 28 +/- active racers and each Skipper has to be a PRO for at least 1 race.  Comm. help is either his/her crew or we add in a few of the 8 full time RC comm members....(FWIW, our RC boat usually runs a single race with 3-4 on the RC Boat)

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Our issue is my fleet we're lucky to get  4 - 5 boats out on a regular sunday, even though we have 46 boats in the fleet... so a lot of non racers and many are old as fuck..  a bunch of them we try and schedule their duty in spring or fall as the 100+* heat in texas isn't good for their health  .. then we have the people who slack off all the time, i had one gal, who must be the saddest person ever , as she had to go to so many relative's funerals..   i just wish i had kept all her emails for the excuses she used, i could have written a decent book..

the biggest complaint is  "i don't race, why should I have to do RC?"     well fuckers, you knew it was a volunteer oriented club when you joined..   I've been PRO about 6 times this year and filled in on the rescue boats a number of times..  the hardest part is trying to get some of the fleet members trained to be PRO,  some just lack the confidence, so you have to put an experienced pro on the boat..

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We rotate it among the racers, generally you do one year within your first 5 years of membership, though we have had recently longer duration, as volunteer and also previously a liveaboard who may have had their fees reduced...

Most of our races are run from a deck on the 2nd floor off the dining room/bar and there's a good cadre of 80 yr old volunteers to assist with NOR, SI and putting the marks out. 

We have a few races out on the bay, where we generally convince one of the larger power boats to host the RC, it seems to work out

 

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We are lucky enough to have someone willing to turn up and start the races every week with assistance from a 'duty' sailor (everyone takes a turn). Well over 60 and not a sailor any more.

But the RC itself is all sailors 40 to 60 

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I also have been seeing less clubs being able to run their own races (mostly annual regattas and such) from their own membership; basically hiring out PROs for their events.  Not sure it happens a lot, but I've heard of a few instances.  And even the other sailing website has made mention of the increasingly difficult steps to getting and maintaining certifications.

As for our area, we get a few racers volunteering throughout the summer, but its mostly non-racers/former racers manning the slots.

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I did a race this summer and there was some AH giving a running commentary of what the RC did wrong, and questioning their intelligence. I can see why there is a problem finding volunteers.

god creating making earth just pinch assholes oops comic ...

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I'd put my money on the vast majority of them being old white guys.

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I have raced small boats for over 55 years in many places. There are so many forces working AGAINST small boat racing ( one-design is my preference ) that I am glad I could enjoy the hobby when I did. I am not optimistic about the future for small boat racing and see no solution. I will race until I cannot.

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12 minutes ago, SloopJonB said:

I'd put my money on the vast majority of them being old white guys.

You forgot fat.

 

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I've been actively volunteering as a Race Officer at my club and others since 2005 and the last time I actually went sailing was 2 years ago. The greater majority are in the same age bracket if not more, 60+. 

Getting newbies is hard, most get seasick especially offshore. It always seems to fall back on the same shoulders week in week out.

 

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2 hours ago, SloopJonB said:

I'd put my money on the vast majority of them being old white guys.

And, you would have us 'old white guys' stop volunteering?  Some of us Old White Guys can still sail circles around most of the fleet. But we are giving back to the sport. And there is a problem with that? Dave Ellis, Old White Guy

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5 hours ago, rmgeis said:

I did a race this summer and there was some AH giving a running commentary of what the RC did wrong, and questioning their intelligence. I can see why there is a problem finding volunteers.

god creating making earth just pinch assholes oops comic ...

Check out this thread . Sum, sum dude that was not even on the water complained about how they ran the event on the water then complained about how they scored the event. 

http://forums.sailinganarchy.com/index.php?/topic/211006-vanguard-15-north-american-regatta/

 

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20 minutes ago, sailwriter said:

And, you would have us 'old white guys' stop volunteering?  Some of us Old White Guys can still sail circles around most of the fleet. But we are giving back to the sport. And there is a problem with that? Dave Ellis, Old White Guy

Did I say there was anything wrong with it?

Most of the important stuff is still run by old white (fat) guys.

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We pay all of our RC, generally 2 PRO for beercan, plus hands. Call it 5-8 people on three boats. Think only one of the regulars is above 40?
I get frustrated that the kids that should be jumping in keelboats are often running RC, but hey. Damn proud too. They run good races and make a buck. Training is running our laser fleet or Saturday distance things - less room to make errors.

Imagine we're an outlier though. It is always a wonder if that "right person" will be there to lead when someone moves on.



 

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9 hours ago, VWAP said:

Check out this thread . Sum, sum dude that was not even on the water complained about how they ran the event on the water then complained about how they scored the event. 

http://forums.sailinganarchy.com/index.php?/topic/211006-vanguard-15-north-american-regatta/

Thanks for the link. That sort of nonsense helps explain why fewer and fewer people are queuing up to volunteer.

An ignorant clown who watched a race from the comfort of a high-rise balcony felt it necessary to publicly and repeatedly castigate the RO’s and RC’s performance.

whatamaroon.jpg?1432396455

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The RC's around Naptown are generally pretty good.  AYC and EYC put in a couple hundred days on the water, collectively, and many of the smaller YC's up and down the bay, on both sides of it, do yeoman work.  They are mostly 40-80, some are still very good racers in their own right,                    probably majority male but a large female presence.  While some of the start decisions (cancellation, delay, etc) can be criticized (though if you can guess the Chesapeake weather better than them, you should open a Wx service) the tactical race management is rarely flawed.  We're blessed with an enormously deep bench on the Cheasapeake with both PROs and more mundane sorts of volunteers, and I am immensely grateful.  Most areas don't have this to draw on - and even here I know some of the volunteer teams are getting real tired. 

Why aren't more stepping up to work RC, and why aren't RC's better? 

Because we - those of us who like to sit around and bitch - aren't volunteering.  I'm busy as shit and haven't been on an RC in several years, but after thinking about this, plan to volunteer to help RC a couple races when my class is idle.  It's okay getting to administer a race, it's a nice day on the water, and sometimes it's possible to even learn some things, like when a grizzled old PRO with a room full of trophies at home is opining on tactics, wind or water state.  For those who haven't done it, you will probably find that after doing RC a few times, particularly after having to help make a hard cancellation or delay decision, that all the RC's in your area will seem a lot better at what they do.  Smarter somehow...

Consider this a challenge. Make your local RC younger, hotter and smarter - volunteer for two races next season. 

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22 hours ago, Grande Mastere Dreade said:

well cannot make more than one choice

RC is all volunteer  , mostly  racers,  age goes from  20+ to 80+  ,  the jr's will do an occasional RC with adult supervision.

  PRO is always a racer  -  age goes from  20+ to 80+    

Similar for us.   we ran 25 races last year with several hundred volunteer hours.  PRO---65% still race,  RC 20% race, Mark set 50% race.   PROs tend to be 50-70 years old.  RC is 35 to 88 yrs old.  Markset is 45-65 years old.   Disabled sailor program races generally with RC team in their 50s-70s.

 

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We had the RC that was the envy of our end of the lake, our RC committee was often invited to run regatta courses at other clubs, as we did it right. They got older, burnt out and some just tired of hearing " did a blind guy set the offset at the windward end?" .  It all changed, and its currently an all volunteer program. Sometimes they just get it really wrong, they wont reset a course even if the shift is 40 degrees and since its an evening event , courses get set too long to finish in daylight. 

But they have to accomodate a mixed bag of PHRF boats from -17 to 229 , and a OD fleet in there, and they show up twice a week. And they get rationed beer after the race, but otherwise they are at least trying, and they shoiw up. Its a thankless job really, and I've done it (not well) . Its lumpy out there sometimes, cold wet and some nights the wind shuts off and that guy in his hunter 29 with a 90% headsail out, a reef in, in 3 kts of wind just wont give up, the 3 ft waves push him back 1 meter for every meter of VMG and hes going to finish if it takes till curfew to change his mind. 

We had one guy take on the roll of RC recruiter, and its worked well, he has a list of suitable candidates and a log book and makes sure there is enough guys to run a race every time, we had a lot of WTF moments, but they are all volunteers , and they showed up

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10 hours ago, Roller Skates said:

We pay all of our RC, generally 2 PRO for beercan, plus hands. Call it 5-8 people on three boats. Think only one of the regulars is above 40?
I get frustrated that the kids that should be jumping in keelboats are often running RC, but hey. Damn proud too. They run good races and make a buck. Training is running our laser fleet or Saturday distance things - less room to make errors.

Imagine we're an outlier though. It is always a wonder if that "right person" will be there to lead when someone moves on.

 

what are the going rates?  PRO?  Rescue / mark boat ?

we schedule races about 50 weeks of the year, with one or two holidays off...    

PRO's are responsible for  filling 3-4 gas tanks prior...  making sure your scheduled crew shows up...   putting up the flags,  running around to the different fleets to see if anyone is going to race ,  getting all the rc boats ready,   having water available if it's a hot day      and if someone has a protest, they expect you to be on the protest committee..  ( i always decline  , I just spent 6 hours on the water , why would you expect more)

i don't mind doing RC,  we do have good sailors, and I like to watch and learn    but I expect everyone else to do their fair share..  it sucks when they don't

 

Lioness:  so you give up a years racing to do RC  ?

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I would say, leave RC duties to major regattas, and do the informal racing the easy way.  (I'm talking Lasers here.)  All you need is a windward and a leeward mark, do rabbit stars, people remember the score and everybody can have a good beery time at the bar.  

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18 hours ago, McGyver said:

I would say, leave RC duties to major regattas, and do the informal racing the easy way.  (I'm talking Lasers here.)  All you need is a windward and a leeward mark, do rabbit stars, people remember the score and everybody can have a good beery time at the bar.  

our laser fleet does it pretty well..   they do their own RC,  two rescue boats and 3-4 people from the fleet..  they set a mid course line and run multiple 20 min races  until the sun sets..

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Everyone in the club has to take a turn at least once each year at either galley or rescue boat helm( if qualified) crew if not. We have no paid staff except a cleaner after each days racing.

The officers of the club run the racing, with non officers assistance, particularly off of the committee.

Anyone can stand for the committee, if on the committee you can volunteer to become rear commodore, after a year of that you become Vice commodore, and after a futher year Commodore. If you've been through that you stay on the committee forever..

Commodore this year Female..  mid 20's, races when she can.

Vice commodore Female late 20s, races when she can.

Rear Commodore Male  (i don't know how old he is..) not sure

Non executive officer roles

Our normal timekeeper Female 40-50? her children and husband race

Hon Secretary  Female  older than me (I'm 62) races when she can

Hon treasurer Male mid 50s don't know

Membership Secretary Female  Just older than me.. races occasionally.

Most of the other roles, bosun, moorings, etc Do meet your old white guy theory, but that's the demographics round here, the second oldest population area of the country. Most of the incomers in the area are latvian/ estonian  / portugese, very few of african descent. none that That I know of have chosen to join the club.. We do have several of asian descent in the club, and one of african, but so far they have not taken up executive roles in recent years at the club..

 

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27 minutes ago, kent_island_sailor said:

This won't work without multiple choice.

I would say trends towards older ex-racers, but not exclusively.

My thought was to get results for "most" of the volunteers.  I'm sure many people could click all the boxes, but statistically, i'm not sure it helps.

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On 11/19/2019 at 11:26 AM, Grande Mastere Dreade said:

what are the going rates?  PRO?  Rescue / mark boat ?

No idea on rates, think its outing based? Kids get excited though, its over $100 per outing before tax. PRO gets housing as part of the deal though. They do fuel, marks, racing. Volunteer PC is separate job. Boats: Main PRO and Start, secondary PRO off same timer with separate course, and then a market.

It is seriously nice to know that the racing doesn't rely on who's turn it is.

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Race Committee duties at my club are performed by the racers themselves. At the begining of the season a roster is set up such that one boat does RC each Wednesday. The boat doing RC is scored for that race with the average of their finishes. For weekend races the setup is different.  Several club members are accredited race officers and they do the ECSA circuit races that the club sponsors with non racing volunteers.

 
The biggest problem on Wednesday night races is that newer racers don't remember the procedures from year to year. There is a volunteer retired racer onboard the RC boat to keep them from going astray.

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23 hours ago, Roller Skates said:

No idea on rates, think its outing based? Kids get excited though, its over $100 per outing before tax. PRO gets housing as part of the deal though. They do fuel, marks, racing. Volunteer PC is separate job. Boats: Main PRO and Start, secondary PRO off same timer with separate course, and then a market.

It is seriously nice to know that the racing doesn't rely on who's turn it is.

housing?  where the hell do you have to go to race?  

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Club ROs are not typically PROs.

PRO stands for “Principal Race Officer”, a World Sailing phrase identifying the RO with overall on-the-water responsibility for the conduct of a regatta with more than one race course and therefore more than one RO present.

On 11/19/2019 at 12:18 PM, crankcall said:

They got older, burnt out and some just tired of hearing " did a blind guy set the offset at the windward end?"

I don’t blame them. People who volunteer their time to make racing possible, and who are doing their best, don’t deserve personal attacks and mean-spirited sniping.

In the absence of repeated and really significant mistakes (which merit a private, constructive conversation with the RO), racers should have the grace to keep their criticisms of RC to themselves.

Screen-shot-2014-09-08-at-2.37.32-PM.png

On 11/19/2019 at 12:18 PM, crankcall said:

Sometimes they just get it really wrong, they wont reset a course even if the shift is 40 degrees and since its an evening event , courses get set too long to finish in daylight. 

But they have to accomodate a mixed bag of PHRF boats from -17 to 229 , and a OD fleet in there, and they show up twice a week. And they get rationed beer after the race, but otherwise they are at least trying, and they shoiw up. Its a thankless job really, and I've done it (not well) . Its lumpy out there sometimes, cold wet and some nights the wind shuts off and that guy in his hunter 29 with a 90% headsail out, a reef in, in 3 kts of wind just wont give up, the 3 ft waves push him back 1 meter for every meter of VMG and hes going to finish if it takes till curfew to change his mind. 

We had one guy take on the roll of RC recruiter, and its worked well, he has a list of suitable candidates and a log book and makes sure there is enough guys to run a race every time, we had a lot of WTF moments, but they are all volunteers , and they showed up

ABYC?

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8 hours ago, Grande Mastere Dreade said:

housing?  where the hell do you have to go to race?  

Lives above the club, assuming it keeps the pay reasonable. 

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At WYC we run say 60 races a year, 130-80 boats each race.

 

RC is all paid, Head PRO is 60ish, former high level racer and college coach. Staff is a mix of former racers and non-racers, who get on-the-job training. The most dedicated/interested work up to PRO and get certified. Most races three RC boats head out, two signal boats and a very busy mark boat. 
 

We work hard to keep it working like this. 

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On 11/19/2019 at 11:18 AM, crankcall said:

  " did a blind guy set the offset at the windward end?" .

you know after so many years , I'm still amazed how this is always the biggest fuck up...    just a couple of weeks ago, it was 50 yards and above the layline for the windward..

(we're 20' boats , I always ask my crews to not make it more than 60' and downwind.. )

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40 minutes ago, Grande Mastere Dreade said:

you know after so many years , I'm still amazed how this is always the biggest fuck up...    just a couple of weeks ago, it was 50 yards and above the layline for the windward..

(we're 20' boats , I always ask my crews to not make it more than 60' and downwind.. )

We only really do the offset because we are hacks and there is always that guy that spins at the mark, puts himself on starboard and then shouts at the boatload of new guys trying to get a chute down because there has been a decent shift, and the skipper wants them to try and haul the chute down on a tight reach, because he was too dumdum to give them any room to bear off , 

that said, if the first fleet to reach windward, find out there is so much current you cant make the next mark, or there has been a shift and now you have to overstand by 50ft at the first mark, or tack between the marks , maybe move that second pin. or just set it down wind 50-60ft. I get sometimes its hard to figure out first time, and if they F it up ( and they do), kicking them after on the dock wont help. 

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On 11/18/2019 at 7:26 PM, SloopJonB said:

Did I say there was anything wrong with it?

Most of the important stuff is still run by old white (fat, balding, and cranky) guys.

FIFY

 

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On 11/19/2019 at 9:26 AM, Grande Mastere Dreade said:

Lioness:  so you give up a years racing to do RC  ?

Our club (Oakland YC)  that was the tradition, essentially the "New guy" would be roped in after their debut season racing, and then you were "done"... More recently we had a member who was a live aboard and did several years with some credit towards his membership/slip fee and another who's been gracious to run the races for a couple of years.  

Wife and I did it for our year, would have preferred to race but we had help from the 80 yr olds who helped with NOR, SI and set the marks, and most of the bigger boats would help picking them up afterwards, only a few evenings in the dark looking for inflatables from the RIB.  We used the "Jibeset.net" website for scoring and it was not that much work all in all. 

Usually had a few random volunteers to help with spotting sail numbers and flipping flags/firing Shotgun etc. 

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2 hours ago, crankcall said:

We only really do the offset because we are hacks and there is always that guy that spins at the mark, puts himself on starboard and then shouts at the boatload of new guys trying to get a chute down

 

y'all do an offset at the leeward mark?    never heard of that ,  maybe a gate ,  but never an offset

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On 12/3/2019 at 2:38 AM, Grande Mastere Dreade said:

 

y'all do an offset at the leeward mark?    never heard of that ,  maybe a gate ,  but never an offset

Maybe it is a gate, but crankcall treated it as an offset and wondered why he got shouted at....

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