This strange race is much misunderstood. Unattractive, with a tentacled face, gleaming red eyes and requiring an interpreter they do however speak with one voice, based around their low-level telepathic field, which also allows them to project through time and space.
This is what I did at the weekend. No really – ood stands for Officer of the day. So on this day, once a year I have to be calm, consistent, organised, encyclopaedic about RYA rules and beyond reproach.
(OK, OK, the club changed the duty last year from ood – splitting it into to ROD and COD (race officer of the day and committee on duty) – but to me we’ll always be ood’s – there’s nothing like pushing through a lunch que declaring ‘ood coming through’ while waggling your hand in front of your face.)
It’s normally a disaster. Last year I got shouted at for running all the timings wrong in the Stern Chase (I wasn’t – they were right – no consolation), had to check who won with the two lead boats as I wasn’t sure from the angle they finished at and didn’t manage to log finishes at all in the Ramblers series. Fortunately the competitors were all pretty forgiving – especially when one of them twigged I had gone to hide in the race office and cry.
But it’s a really stressful day, allot to cope with on your own, and as our duties tend to be on the same day each year I always get the same challenging mix of races – two short back to backs ran on the water in the morning, followed by a one hour shore start Stern Chase (often with half a dozen and more different classes all with a different time start) with an on the water finish followed by one long race usually started and finished from the shore.
Phew. We run handicap racing at the club too – so following all of these you then need to be able to work the race program on the club abacus computer to get a result.
After last year I swore never again.
I’ll tell you what happened tomorrow.