RC Volunteers Procedure

Note: Due to COVID-19 protocols, our volunteer Race Committee program has been suspended indefinitely.

Volunteer Race Committee (RC) Duties

In 2008, we introduced this very successful procedure for volunteering for RC duties. Simply put, if you register to race, you are required to sign-up for RC duties.

  1. Each keelboat skipper is responsible for providing three (3) volunteers and each dinghy skipper is responsible for providing two (2) volunteers. If your boat is actively racing on more than one evening you have to provide twice as many volunteers.
  2. Go to the RC Volunteers Signup Calendar.
  3. Pick the month in which you’d like to volunteer.
  4. Pick a race night and sign up your crew/volunteers. If a race night you pick is partially filled, either pick another night or spread your volunteers over a couple of nights.
  5. When registering, indicate the boat name, skipper, skipper’s e-mail and fleet of the boat which should be credited for this RC Duty. The skipper will then receive a copy of the confirmation notice. If you are not representing a boat, you do not need to fill in this section.
  6. Show up for RC duty on the night you selected at least 1 hour before the race starts, i.e. at 5:15 p.m. for summer race nights; at 5:00 p.m. after September 1st. Meet at the race committee boat, on the lower dock, behind the club house.
  7. If you race more than one night, go to step 1 and do this again. That’s it.

NOTE: Filling JAM & Frostbite duties, in particular for Markset, is always our biggest challenge. If you don’t race on Thursdays, please consider signing up for JAM. Thank you.

Beginning in 2019, volunteers get 2 RC Duty credits for each day they volunteer for RC/Markset for the Frostbite Series.

For those who don’t sign-up, the RC Volunteer Coordinator will contact skippers, who are actively racing, to fill the empty slots in the schedule. Skippers who fail to sign up at that point will be scored NR (Not Registered) until they fulfill their RC duty obligations, per the Sailing Instructions. So, beat the rush and sign up now!

Questions and Answers

Who can volunteer? Anyone can volunteer; they don’t even need to be racers! They just have to be able to perform the light duties expected of them as RC crew. Although the skipper for each boat that is registered to race is responsible for providing volunteers, the people who show up for RC duty don’t have to be the skipper or crew of that boat.

Do I need any training? No experience is necessary — the race bosun will guide you through your duties.

Can’t make it on your chosen or designated race night? If you can’t attend, we ask that you first try to find an alternate to fill-in for you, especially if you’re cancelling shortly before your duty. Whether you’re successful, or not, in finding a replacement, you should then contact the RC Volunteer Coordinator, as soon as possible. If you cancel within 24 hours of your duty, and do not find a replacement, an automatic scoring penalty of 2 points will be applied to your boat the next time you race (Ref: SI 21.10).  If you do not advise the RC Volunteer Coordinator and fail to show up, an automatic scoring penalty of 3 points will be applied to your boat, and you will put the running of that race in jeopardy.

What happens if the RC volunteers don’t show for RC duty on race night? If RC volunteers fail to show up on time, then the race bosun will attempt to press-gang other racers to fill that RC duty. The bosun will attempt to press-gang a crew that has not yet signed up for RC duty or find other volunteers.  If insufficient volunteers are found, the bosun will have to cancel the race. If you are pressed into duty on a night on which you registered to race, you will be eligible for average points. Each crew that failed to attend their scheduled duty will have an automatic 3 point scoring penalty applied to their boat the next time it races.

Do other volunteer duties count towards RC duty? Volunteering for scoring and protest committee for weeknight series or frostbite racing is recognized as RC duty. Scoring one series of racing is equivalent to 3 RC duties. Hearing protests on one evening counts as one RC duty. Volunteering for other Fleet or NSC activities is very much appreciated, but does not count towards RC duty.

How does RC Duty affect the scoring? Boats will not get average points if they do RC Duty on a night on which they normally race (i.e. the boat will be scored DNC if it doesn’t race), except in the case where they are press-ganged into duty at the last minute. So if you’re concerned about your results, volunteer on a night you don’t race. If you are pressed into duty for an NSC-run race on a night you are registered to race, you will get average points, per the Sailing Instructions. Any boat that has not signed up for RC duty and refuses to provide volunteers when pressed will be scored DNE in that evening’s races, and will also still need to fulfill its volunteer commitment.

I don’t race but I’d like to do RC duty! No problem, just go to the website and signup for as many nights as you wish. Just leave the boat name and fleet (on behalf of which you would be volunteering) blank.

How will I be contacted? When signing up for RC duty, you will be asked to provide your e-mail address(es) and phone number(s). You will receive an immediate confirmation e-mail message when you sign up. Later, you will be sent automatic e-mail reminders 15, 5 and 1 day(s) in advance of your duty. It is unlikely that the RC Volunteer Coordinator will have reason to contact you, but if necessary, they will use the e-mail and/or phone number(s) you provided when you signed up. If these change after you have signed up for RC duty, you may wish to advise the RC Volunteer Coordinator.

What happens if all the race nights are filled? If all the race nights are filled (don’t forget the Frostbite series in October) then those of you who didn’t have the opportunity to volunteer will be put on a press-gang list. If the RC Volunteer Coordinator needs a volunteer due to a cancellation or the bosuns need to press-gang someone because a volunteer didn’t show up, you may be contacted to volunteer. If you manage to get to the end of the season without volunteering while still racing regularly, you will be required to sign-up for RC duty at the beginning of the next season, before you start racing.

Questions/Comments? Send an e-mail to the RC Volunteer Coordinator.

Page updated: 2020-08-06.

Update log
04 Feb: HM: Added this log. Added note about doing JAM duties as a priority. Minor editorial updates.
25 Mar: HM: Added reference to 2 point penalty for cancelling within 24 hours. Minor tweaks to wording to reflect new RC Volunteer sign-up pages.
03 Sep: HM: Noted that Frostbite counts as two duties.
06 Aug: HM: Noted program suspended due to COVID-19.

Page maintained by RC Volunteer.