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 Post subject: Chase Boats
PostPosted: Thu Nov 16, 2006 4:21 pm 
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Joined: Wed Jul 21, 2004 7:46 pm
Posts: 1468
Location: Santa Cruz
Ever since the H Tiger Worlds in Santa Barbara, I've been thinking about writing up some guidelines for chaseboats on the race course. Now that
Winter is aproaching, I'll have more time to think about it, but will be asking for suggestions. My crew Johnny O and I helped right over 20 boats one day in SB and sailed 3 boats to shore! Needless to say, there are a few things I learned about offering assistance to boats/crew in heavy conditions.
Most of the time we get pretty green chase boat crew (We all want to race, right?), so I figured setting down some suggestions on paper would be a good idea.
I do a lot of chaseboat work here at our local regattas and a few international regattas as well. When the conditions get heavy, there are a lot of things to be aware of--safety wise--especially with the spin boats. And there are things that the racers need to be aware of as well when chase boats are assisting sailors.
I'm curious to see how other fleets/divisions get chase boats and crew. Are they all volunteer? How do you find them? What experience level do you usually get? Do you use a yacht club's resources? Who pays for maintenance of the boats? etc, etc.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Nov 16, 2006 8:44 pm 
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Location: West Maui
Unless you're associated with a bucks up YC it usually falls on volunteers to supply the boats. Every regatta I ever ran or was associated with paid for the owners gas and made sure they got fed for free at the Saturday night dinner. They also got a trophy in recognition of their support.

The boat crews should be in good physical condition and have a basic knowledge of the boats competing. That includes all the different types of righting systems they might be called on to use and how to get the sails down if required.

First aid and CPR training are nice to haves but when you are hustling for volunteers you can't be too picky. Hopefully the boat owner will have some training.

Some basic first aid supplies should be carried for temporary patchs including splints.

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 Post subject: requirements
PostPosted: Thu Nov 16, 2006 9:31 pm 
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Location: Santa Cruz
Yes! Your points are the major ones I'm talking about. Familiar with righting, condition, CPR etc! Keep em coming.
Trophys are nice, but I think it's kind of a bummer that the owners have to pay for the boat maintenance etc to make sure we can all safely race?
I'd like to see the cost disbursed amongst the sailors--maybe a $5 voluntary donation at race sign up!?
I'm coning to Maui in Jan. Want to take me sailing on your 20?

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Nov 16, 2006 9:43 pm 
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Joined: Tue Jul 05, 2005 8:45 am
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Location: Clinton Lake Lawrence, KS
The one YC handicap race we attended this year was chased by the USCG auxilary. They rolled in with a whole squadron of big PWC's on trailers. Very impressive. First Aid certainly was covered. We did capsize in that event, nothing major, they immediately made contact, only asked if we wanted assistance (no chit-chat or suggestions), they hovered around until we righted and then took off. Very professional.

Worth a call to any ones local USCG.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Nov 17, 2006 10:54 am 
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Joined: Thu Nov 13, 2003 10:00 am
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Location: Long Beach, CA
My Yacht Club may be on of the "Big Bucks" Yacht Clubs you are talking about. We really are a rather modest club, though. We do have our our fleet of mark boats. We are proud to have them and use them for all regattas. They require lots of maintainence and it is a large expense to keep it all together. These are not called rescue boats they are race management boats. They can help out in an emergency but it is the responsibility of each sailor to make sure the conditions are comfortable for them.

The rules of the sailing classes are such that a minimum amount of safety equipment is required. You can almost always carry more.

I am sorry if you feel it is wholey your responsibility to make sure that all the sailors are safe, it is not. It is their own responsibility. You, Jeremy and crew, have done a commendable job of being there when needed...thank you.

I help out many times a year with regattas. Recently I was involved with the I-14 Worlds. That is a boat that likes to be upside-down. Most of the sailors were able to take care of themselves splendedly. Some had to be towed in, due to breakage. I do not remember one race management boat personnel having to sail in a competitors boat.

Most of the volunteers of a regatta are doing it for one of two very good reasons. They are giving back what they owe to the sport or they love to be out on the water helping out and watching the action.

Later,
Dan


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Nov 17, 2006 12:46 pm 
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Location: 315 N. Hwy 79 Panama City Beach, FL 32413 850-235-2281
I've help run many races, the 2 that come to mind are youth champs on H16's. I've sailed many boats back to the beach when conditions get overwhelming for skippers, I think I average going in the water about 5 times a day 15 boat fleet. Remember these are youth races so they need a bit more help than adults. chase boats always dropped my off just downwind, I swam to them, the chase boat positioned there self just off the stern so when the boat was righted and took off they would not be in the way. I think having a "manual" of chase boats is a great idea. I think there gas should be paid for and all meal provided, however I feel it is the person responsibility to keep there personal boat operational, unless all they do it help with races. the only thing I could see if there boat was messed up by helping someone and not just for some usually reason, like and shroud bending a prop or something.

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 Post subject: chase boat crew
PostPosted: Fri Nov 17, 2006 1:01 pm 
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Joined: Wed Jun 30, 2004 6:39 am
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Location: Finger Lakes, NY
Hey SCC - Our club awards a first place in the standings for anyone who will be on the committee or chase boats. Even if you have a powerboater who is not a sailor, you can at least have a sailor onboard the boat. We post a notice for something like $10 in gas for powerboaters willing to help - it comes out of the registration fees.

BTW you can't be on committee or chase boats all season and get the trophy at year end - I tried that :roll:

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 Post subject: chase
PostPosted: Fri Nov 17, 2006 3:13 pm 
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Joined: Wed Jul 21, 2004 7:46 pm
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Location: Santa Cruz
Great guys! The reason that I'm bringing all of this up now is that 1) I have time to think. 2) Last season, a few of our guys that graciously donate their boats to almost every regatta committee got kind of--let's say--left with a mess of after starting out with pretty nice boats. Bent bow rails, scratches, dents etc. I figure that I donate my sailboat (Newport 33) and Hobie Skiff as an advertising/ sailing promo thing. So I just write damage off. I'm more concerned with the guys who generously bought power boats, so that we wouldn't have to scramble to pull regattas off. I don't want the "manual" to be a "you need this and this and this to run a regatta". I want it to be, "this is what I've found works the best".

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Nov 17, 2006 6:52 pm 
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Location: West Maui
Maybe break the manual into You Will Have/You Need To and This Stuff Is Desirable To Have sections. There has to be a minimum of knowledge and equipment to be effective.

Where are you staying on Maui? It might be kinda light air in January but we can always go watch whales.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Nov 17, 2006 8:40 pm 
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Posts: 276
Jeremy, I was at Santa Barbara too...what a rescue fest it turned into. I was okay with taking water over the bow, but when it started coming over the sides that's when I radioed PU and told him he owes me a new impellor for my bilge pump. It's a great idea to set some guidelines for support boats. The first thing that I go over with anyone on my boat is there is no alcohol allowed, period. As a support (mark/rescue/pin/offset) boat at a sanctioned event we have a legal and moral obligation to provide the best support we can. At the end of the day when all the work is done I'll meet you at the clubhouse. Regarding finances, this is a big issue with me, just ask any regatta chairman I've worked with. It's a sore subject with a small regatta who wants to have the support, but dosen't realize the costs of having a power boat. I bought it, maintain it, drive it (could take my boys fishing instead), insure it, and get it to and from the venue. The last axle I replaced (w/brakes) cost about $1000. As for taking care of a support boat driver, reimbursing fuel costs should be a given. I ask for a daily "wear and tear" amount too. This would be different for every boat. I don't ask for this at a charity regatta...there are lots of tax write offs there. My personal feeling on how to take care of support boat owners is to do the same (or more) than you do for the PRO, I.E. hotel room, meals, campsites, etc. A support boat driver is every much as important to a regatta as the PRO. If anyone thinks differently just let them try to run a regatta w/out any support boats. It takes a PRO and the support boats (team if you will) to run a class event. On another note, the support boats must meet the USCG carriage requirements (safety equipment). Along with this, at least one support boat at the event should have a set of race flags for any situation. Having an extra mark on board is great if your budget allows for it. Leaks in a tetrahedron can appear at the worst time. As for how to effect a rescue, this could keep me typing thru the night. I'd be happy to add this to another mailing if you want. Rick


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Nov 18, 2006 1:56 am 
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Location: Santa Cruz
Hey Rick, How's Oside harbor? I had a great time at that SB event. It's one of those memorable times where I'll look back when I'm old and tell stories about it to my grandkids. Having the Coast Guard stand down so that we could get in there and get some work done was a pretty cool feeling. Thanks for the input, as you are well qualified. I'll post a rough draft of what I'm thinking on my web site soon and ask for more input.

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