I was Vice Chairman of the Race Committee for the Laser Atlantic Coast Championship out of Severn Sailing Association this weekend. For someone who has spent three weekends this spring on RC duty (two with the Naval Academy) you would think I've traded in my dinghy boots for the handbearing compass and wind stick. Not on your life. Let me assure you, I am not that polished on the procedural crap. I'm always desperately thumbing through the rule book to make sure I've got the right flags flying for the job and don't expect me to quote you RRS number xxx verbatim, because I can't. And don't blind side me in the dinghy park with a question on the correct way to shorten a course because you'll get me stuttering and stammering (just get me a rule book!).
I've accumulated a fair bit of experience doing Race Commitee over the years because the clubs I belong require you to volunteer for it. One thing that I've learned is that experience in RC work as well as being a dinghy sailor goes a long way in generally keeping the racers happy. Racers want to race, they want as fair a race as possible and they don't want to sit around if they think they could be racing. Unless you're running the TP52 Worlds, the Finn Gold Cup, the Olympic Trials or equivalent, racers are generally tolerant of teensy-weensy procedural errors (there are vocal exceptions).