Don’t Yell at the SCIRA Rep!

Thursday, 26 April 2018 07:40
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By Gweneth Crook

What is a SCIRA Rep, who is the SCIRA Rep and what do they do? All major Snipe Championships have a SCIRA Representative who is assigned to that regatta.

The SCIRA Rep is a person who knows the Snipe Class and is there to ensure the regatta is run in accordance with the Deed of Gift, Rules of Conduct and the Sailing Instructions. The SCIRA Rep will also approve the Notice of Race and sailing instructions in conjunction with the organizing committee and Jury chairman, approve and sign any amendments to the NOR or SI's prior to posting, ensure that all competitors are currently registered with SCIRA prior to competition commencing, ensure that the boat and sail number being used by all competitors are currently registered with SCIRA and have passed measurement prior to competition commencing, and approve and sign the results daily prior to posting.

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Here is a list of the Representatives for the Snipe Championships, unless the Commodore and the Chairman of the Rule Committee authorize the change:

  • World Championship - Commodore European Championship - General Secretary for Europe
  • Western Hemisphere & Orient Championship - General Secre- tary for Western Hemisphere & Orient
  • North American Championship - National Secretary of the host country or his/her designee which shall be posted
  • South American Championship - National Secretary of the host country or his/her designee which shall be posted
  • National Championship - Host National Secretary or his desig- nee whose name shall be posted.

Many of our SCIRA Board members are now actively sailing at a high international level so you may see the list above change. For example I am going to be the SCIRA Rep at the Id Crook Memorial Snipe World Masters Championship, in Portugal this June, at the request of the Commodore who is normally the Rep as per the Deed of Gift.

Having been the Rep at several Championships I wanted to discuss the role from my perspective. I view the Rep as being a conduit between the sailors and the Race Committee and I take this responsibility very seriously. I am not a formal member of any Committee and I should be available during the measure- ment, competitor's meeting and on the Race Committee boat during all the races. The Rep is usually involved long before the regatta starts, working on the NOR or in discussions with the PRO. I prepare before I leave home, ensuring I know the Deed of Gift, the Rules of Conduct and the sailing instructions if I have them. It is important that I am ready and organized when I arrive at the venue.
While the SCIRA Rep can have a lot of power to protest against the Race Committee and even withhold the trophy if the rules are not complied with, I see the position as a neutral peace keeper. I must have an open line of communication with the Race Committee, who can view me with suspicion or disdain, and the sailors, who sometimes think I have more power than I believe I do. There is also dialogue with the Organizing Committee and the Measurement team. There are times when I have had an ex- cellent rapport and others when I have been ignored. I have also been yelled at by sailors on the water.

It can be difficult to get in a fair and equitable race and people have to remember that. The conditions or the location can be challenging. Championships may be held in places that have less than ideal sailing conditions. There can be a variety of reasons for holding the regatta in that type of venue. Some Race Committees and Principle Race Officers are better than others but you must work with what you have. No one wants the trophy withheld. I try to speak with sailors on the water and on shore to get their perspective and then pass that information on to the PRO. If you have a complaint or a suggestion to improve things please speak to the SCIRA Rep in a calm and thoughtful manner. Don't Yell at The SCIRA Rep, they are working hard on behalf of the Class and its members. I will admit that on one occasion I was rude when talking to the Rep. As a sailor I understand that things can get heated at a major championship, I also now understand what a difficult job the Rep can have.

It is important to remember that the SCIRA Rep is also a volun- teer! Yes, as the SCIRA Rep, you should receive accommodation and food, you get to travel to amazing places; but that does not cover all the expense, time, or headaches worrying about how things are going. I am the SCIRA Rep because of my love for the Snipe Class and the people in it. Next time you are at a Championship where there is a SCIRA Rep go up and introduce yourself. That Rep is a fellow sailor and Snipe Class member.

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Gweneth Crook

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