Home Club Documents Fleet Captain Responsibilities
Fleet Captain Responsibilities Print E-mail
Written by Gary Reinheimer   

Obtain and fill out the Racing Permit for all planned PYC races

Permit for Regatta from DNR (Livonia)
Apply in February
Submit list of Dates and Activities

  • Monday Nite Races
    Wednesday Nite Races
    Sunday Morning Races
    Bug-Out Race
    Memorial Day Regatta
    July 4 Regatta
    Fleet Championship Regatta
    Whitecap Regatta
    Junior Sailing Opti Regatta (check with Charlie Hess)
    Other anticipated races


Organize Fleet Recall


Often the Fleet Recall is an opportunity to get an outside speaker (or tap into talent within the Club) to discuss the upcoming season.  This meeting is often organized prior to the sailing season startup (March – April) has been held at West Marine on Big Beaver in the past (they are often happy to provide the space and may also provide cookies or some kind of shopping discount to skippers after the meeting.  For 2009, a presentation of the high points of the new Racing Rules may be a good topic).


Organize Wednesday Nite Sailing Seminar / Back of Fleet Help Night


Contact Ernie or Skip Dieball (Quantum Sails) or Greg Fisher (North Sails) [Bob Mathers may be able to help get Greg in] and set up an evening for them to speak to the fleet or Critique the Fleet on a Wednesday Night Race evening that coincides with Pizza and Beer evening.  Get this event on their calendars early on – by March if possible.


A tradition of the club is to hold a Back of Fleet Help Night about 6-8 weeks into the sailing season where several of the hottest skippers will sail aboard other fleet member boats to provide go-fast tips in order to help bring up the caliber of the racing.  


Monday Night (Small Boat) Racing


Contact Glen Gardner to see if he is interested in organizing the Monday night racing again.  Invite Junior Racing to participate (Optis and Lasers).  Contact Charlie Hess to invite the Juniors.


Arrange for Chief Scorekeeper

Contact Jim Bowers early in the year and ask if he will be willing to serve as the Chief Scorekeeper.  He has served in this capacity for a great many years and does a fantastic job, but it is a courtesy to request his assistance. 

Help train the Race Committee to enter the scores into the PYC website so that Jim’s job is easier at the end of the year, and perhaps make it possible to provide standings prior to the end of the Series, so that people will know who their competition is for the top slots.  If the results are not entered by the RC officers of the day, there will be a greater opportunity for confusion about who was skippering on a given day, and also a greater chance for the race results to be lost altogether.


Race Committee Training

Check with Hank Borchardt to see if he is willing to host Race Committee training courses in April/May, as he has done in years past.

Encourage early sign-up for PYC Race Committee Duty on Old Blue and the Whaler  / Assign RC duty after a pre-determined cutoff date.  RC duty is a responsibility for all racers.  Each Skipper is expected to provide a crew of at least two to man Old Blue for Race Committee or to man the Whaler for mark setting and safety patrol.  Based on previous years’ experience, and given the usual number of races and skippers, each skipper is responsible for two races.  Based on previous experience also, it is very difficult to get people to sign up for duty for either vessel or either day.  A new approach was developed last year in which after skippers had been provided an opportunity to sign up, the remaining slots were assigned and it was then the responsibility of the skipper to serve the time slot he had been assigned or coordinate a substitute.

This year, the approach may be modified to require skippers to 1.) pay membership dues and docking or storage fees; 2.) provide MC numbers to the Fleet Captain and ; 3.) affix their PYC registration stickers to their boats and/or trailers; 4.) participate in the required work parties or commit to a scheduled alternative work activity  BEFORE qualifying to sign up for their slots as RC.  Furthermore, no one will be allowed to be scored until he has met these tests. This is a coordinated attempt to get members to pay their dues promptly and fulfill their work obligations.


Conduct protest meetings as needed

From the list of members interested in Race Committee activity, put together a group of people who can serve in Protest Committees and provide guidance on how to conduct protest hearings.

Check out and repair / replace racing equipment
Prior to the start of the season (perhaps preferable would be at the end of the season), check on the number and condition of the equipment needed to run the races:

  •  Buoys
     Anchor Line
     Anchors / Reels
     Signal Flags
     Depth Sounders
     Timing Devices
     Training DVD’s to be made available to the fleet (Tuning, Spinnaker Handling, Crewing, etc.)

Submit items needed (for repair or as improvement) for the PYC budget at the end of the year.  PYC has a discount card at West Marine for purchasing needed equipment.  Periodically check the condition of the equipment throughout the sailing season and repair / replace as needed.  Check with RC officers to verify if all equipment is in working order after Wednesday / Sunday racing.


Submit Racing Articles to the PYC Telltales


Submit or find delegates to submit periodic articles to the Editor of the Telltales (usually the Rear Commodore)  concerning the progress of various racing programs, the results of Regattas, incidental updates of the Racing Rules.


Select Trophies for the Annual Award Banquet / Order and Engrave


At the end of the year, there is the Awards Banquet, generally held the second Saturday of November.  This date is established because it falls between the Frigid Digit Regatta in Nashville, Tennessee (first weekend in November) and the start of Deer Hunting Season in Michigan (November 15).  The Rear Commodore has the responsibility of setting the date and coordinating the party, but it is the Race Committee Chair’s responsibility to select the trophies and coordinate engraving and awarding of the individual and Perpetual Trophies.  In order to plan ahead and maintain costs within budget, it would be preferable to select the style of  trophy early in the season, and provide the estimated cost of the trophies to the Treasurer.


Collection and cleaning of the Perpetual Trophies from the Awardees at the start of the Sailing Season is the responsibility of the Fleet Captain.  Silver Perpetual trophies should be polished before the Awards Banquet.


Prepare the Fleet 54 Report for the ILCA Annual Yearbook


At the end of the year, an article about the year’s sailing activity at PYC is submitted to the ILCA for the Annual Yearbook.  Often this report is a compilation of the PYC Chief Scorekeeper’s summary report presented at the Annual Awards Banquet and a write-up of the PYC Annual Whitecap Regatta (often written by the winner of the Regatta).  Additional words and images submitted to the ILCA yearbook are welcome, and are at the discretion of the Commodore or the Fleet Captain.


“Paid Professionals” Program

Some members have expressed a desire to be able to pay for substitutes to perform their assigned Race Committee duty, based on either a lack of proficiency with serving as RC or limitations to their time schedules.  Last year, a number of Charlie Hess’ Junior Sailing Program Instructors were interested in picking up additional money by serving in the capacity of Crash Boat crew or Race Committee during the Adult Sailing Classes.  They may also want to put themselves out for hire as stand-ins for the skippers who prefer (for whatever reason) not to serve as RC or Crash Boat crew.  If the concept appeals to the Board, the Junior Sailing Coordinator should be approached early on to discuss this “extra income” idea with the instructors.  It would still be the responsibility of the Skipper to hire the substitutes and pay their salary.


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