Have you ever wondered what goes through the minds of PROs? In our new series, Pro PROs, we’re sitting down with some of the best PROs in the business and asking them the tough questions: like what their favorite course type is and finding out once and for all whether they are pro or anti flags. We’ll share their best course setting advice and tips for you to take back to your race courses.
Today’s PRO spotlight is Chip Till!
Hailing from Atlanta, and now residing in Charleston, Chip is a southerner through and through.
Don’t let his southern manners fool you, he’s no nonsense when it comes to setting up a perfect race course.
Learn his advice for new race committee members, and what special flag you can always find on his signal boat.
Tell us a little about where you are from, your sailing background and when you first became a PRO.
I’m originally from Atlanta, GA and I now live in Charleston, SC. I began sailing in the late 1990’s when I lived in Hoboken, NJ, racing on my J/24. I’ve always been interested in Race Management, which peaked in 2017, when I took my first certification class.
What is your best of advise for someone new to race committee?
The best advice I can offer is to work with experienced people, maintain an open mind, be extremely patient and make notes of what you learned each day.
What is the one thing you can’t live without while running an event?
One of my favorite items is my iStart. I love its versatility and broad range of starting sequence options. It’s extremely helpful when running Team Racing events given the sheer magnitude of races that are run daily.
What is the most egregious rule violation you have ever seen?
During a 60-boat fleet U-flag start, boat A tacked to port just before the start and fouled boat B and caused both boats to be over early and UFD. While finishing, boat A’s boom made contact with the backstay on the RC signal vessel and they did not attempt to exonerate themselves and re-finish.
Where is your favorite venue?
Key West is always a great place to run races and I have also enjoyed working all up and down the East Coast and on the Great Lakes.
Hardest course to set up correctly?
I think that the trapezoid course is one of the more difficult courses to set up and manage, especially as the breeze changes. It’s great that we now have several tools to help us out, such as Buoy Zone and MarkSetBots.
Are you pro or anti flags?
I like flags, however only the flags that are necessary for a given situation. The only “extra” flag that I sometimes display is my small yellow lab burgee for guy Mr. Jed.
Do you see a difference between running a race with Bots versus without?
Using MarkSetBots can certainly help in keeping the course geometry square and accurate. I also really like having the weather data option up at the weather mark.