The #1 strategic initiative for the club this year is to improve the quality of our race management. We have been very fortunate in the last few years to have had expert “permanent” PROs to manage much of our racing — a big thank you to Jonathan Stone, Clare Alexander and Christine Patton for their enormous contributions.
While this has given us reliable and consistent race management, it has resulted in a skills gap among our broader membership, which has been evident on days when our permanent PROs are not present. Furthermore, we cannot assume we will always have willing permanent PROs.
For this reason, and noting it is consistent with our club culture and ethos that everything at the club is shared among our volunteer members, we are changing our approach to race management this year, and putting it back in the hands of our broader membership. We want everyone in the club to become competent race officers — capable in all aspects of race management to the highest standards of safety and quality.
To this end, Matt Knight has offered to redesign our race management system, including leading a team to re-work the Sailing Instructions, Incident Management Plan, PRO Guide and COTD Guide, producing a series of consistent and easy-to-use practical documents.
We have used elements of this new system to trial a Learn To Run A Race program during the Winter Championships, which we have now refined based on the learnings from the trial. We will be running the Learn To Run A Race Program on an ongoing basis until all members are competent in race management.
We will also be running further mandatory competency training on two alternative days in the first half of the season — please save the date in your diaries for either 26 Oct or 23 Nov. All members are required to attend one session.
Our commitment to safety and quality requires a minimum of four people to be rostered on-water each week (except for sprints). Given our new approach and the full racing calendar we offer, there are more race management slots to fill than there are active members.
As a consequence, we are calling for volunteers who are willing to be rostered twice during the season. We need about 20 volunteers. Could you please email Mark Crowhurst HERE if you are willing to do this?
While we are implementing the Learn To Run A Race program, there will be errors in race management. This is a natural part of the learning process. We ask all members to understand this is a necessary investment and to be supportive rather than critical of those involved as we make this investment in our future.
Separately, following the retirement of Andrea Bergman, whose smiling face and cheeky sense of humour will be greatly missed in the canteen, we will be rostering two people in canteen each week to assist our tireless permanent team of Paul Adam and Shirley Roach. Thank you again to Paul and Shirley for their enormous commitment to this critical element of the soul of the club! We appreciate everyone’s support in providing assistance when rostered.