Most races and regattas are organized by a yacht club or combination of yacht clubs and sailing associations. An announcement called a Notice of Race (NOR) sets out the details of the regatta (series of races over a number of days which are scored together as a whole). The NOR provides the name of the organizing authority, the dates of racing, the venue, what classes of boats can enter, then entry fee, date of registration and other important information.
Once you register, you may receive a copy of the Sailing Instructions (SI). Sometimes the SI are provided online; other times your sailor will not receive the SI until signing in at the event. The SI will include the schedule of races, a chart of the race area and diagrams of different race courses.
When you arrive at the regatta site, you need to check in at the Registration desk. Before the sailors are sent out to the race course, the Race Committee (the people who run the races) will hold a Competitors’ Meeting where details of the regatta will be reviewed, including any pertinent local information, safety issues, etc. It is imperative that your sailor attend this meeting. He/she should already have read the SI and should ask questions about the SI at this time.
Prior to the Competitors’ Meeting, all sailors should have rigged their boats and be dressed for sailing. Typically, boats leave the docks to head for race course immediately following the Competitors’ Meeting. Coaches will have a Coach/Team meeting either just before or immediately following the Competitors’ Meeting. Be sure that your sailor attends. The coaches will discuss wind, factors specific to the venue, and weather forecast. The coaches will also collect any lunches or extra gear that need to be in the coach boat.
At the conclusion of the regatta, there will be an Awards Ceremony. Even if you’re not receiving an award, everyone is encouraged to stay and cheer for their teammates.