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Volunteering is a great way for new sailors to make friends and learn more about sailing, and a great way for experienced sailors to make friends and give back to the sport. Our races are our biggest need for volunteers, but we also welcome people interested in planning or leading cruises, and helping with our land based parties and events. If you have any questions, please email us at

Race Volunteers

Event coordinators (ECs) for races are typically STYC board members with experience finding volunteers and resources for races. ECs identify and coordinate with the Principal Race Officer, committee boat, race volunteers, food/drink, and equipment. They also coordinate with our trophy czar, and depending on the race, they also arrange the venue, moorage, catering, sponsors, shirts, and more.

·         Principle Race Officers run the race. If you have some experience with racing and are interested in becoming a volunteer PRO, email us. We will train you. To find out more about what a PRO does, click here.

·         Committee boat owners just need a boat big enough to hold the race committee and the ability to anchor in 50 feet of water (or more, depending on the event.) If you race your boat in Ballard Cup, you get the average of your series score for that race you are committee boat. But you don't need to be a racer to volunteer your boat. You can be a part of the race committee or just enjoy the show. To find out more about committee boat opportunities and responsibilities, click here.

·         Committee boat crew do not need race or sailing experience, but it's a great way to learn about racing. We will help you get started, and you will have the best seats to the show.  To find out what you may do on a committee boat, click here

Google Doc of Races that need Volunteers

Cruising Volunteers

Interested in leading a cruising/flotilla event? Sign up to be an Event Coordinator for a cruise. ECs pick a destination, date and theme. They might arrange moorage and schedule, and market the cruise. For club-sanctioned cruising events, STYC often provides drinks and/or food. 









Shore-based Event Volunteers

For shore events like our membership parties, charity work, and shore-based race support....We still need volunteers!  This is a great opportunity for those with an without boats to meet other club members and make connections within the club. Contact for more information. They will connect you with an Event Coordinator.

We're also looking for Event Coordinators themselves! You get to plan the event and make it everything you want it to be!. The club provides planning resources, event funding, and a drink or two to commiserate if  necessary. You may be asked help determine the venue, catering, sponsors, door prizes, programming and marketing, as well as volunteers for setup and cleanup.










We are always looking for new Principal Race Officers (PROs). PROs run the technical side of races, including the following roles:

·         Communicate with Event Coordinator, volunteers and committee boat for that event

·         Help conduct skipper's meeting 

·         Assign roles to volunteers and train (check in, flags, timer, over early, radio, etc)

·         Set start line

·         Choose course

·         Oversee starting sequence, finishing and scoring boats, and ensure all participants are accounted for

·         Ensure a safe and fair race

·         Help present awards (optional)

·         Coordinate with Event Coordinator about equipment return and feedback

Interested? We will train you on all aspects of being a PRO at STYC. Depending on your existing race and PRO experience, this generally involves some on and off the water mentoring and being a committee boat volunteer at least a few times, trying different crew positions and watching experienced PROs. In return, we ask that you be PRO for at least one race per year. Email us at for more information.

Resources for PRO's:


Join us on the water. Learn more about racing and make friends. Volunteer to be on a race committee! The Principal Race Officer and/or event coordinator will make the best of your transferable skills and any race experience. Your focus is on the start and finish and then you get to relax and socialize.

Here are the types of jobs on race committee:

·         Boat check-in and finishing (good for people who like holding clipboards and tablets, being quick and thorough, and communicating.)

·         Class and prep flaggers (easy job, but critical since the flags are the key signal to racers, so it's like dancing to the beat.)

·         Over early flagger (easiest job, and you might not even do anything. But when you're on, you're on until you're off, so you have to listen.)

·         Flag organizer (handing the right flags to the flaggers, and for this, it helps to know the flag sequence.)

·         Horn tooter (and very occasionally shotgun shooter. Easy job, but you need a steady finger and you need to listen to the timer. )

·         Timer (holds stopwatch, calls out steps - best for someone experienced, and who has a great attention span and a loud voice.)

Email us at if you would like to be in our race committee volunteer pool. We are happy to answer questions. You will be emailed periodically for your interest in various races.


We run over 40 races a year, which means we need over 40 boat owners to volunteer their boats and themselves as skippers. There are these benefits:

·         Being on the committee boat is a great way to learn how to race better.

·         If you are racing in the Ballard Cup series and you volunteer your boat as committee boat, you receive a score for that race that is the average of your scores for the rest of your series.

·         You get your own table at the Sloop Tavern for the awards ceremony.

·         You can bring your crew or friends to volunteer on the race committee or let STYC assemble the race committee.

·         You can also be Principal Race Officer if you're on our list of PROs.

·         You don't have to be a racer to volunteer. You can simply skipper your boat and enjoy the show, while race volunteers make the rest happen.

Here are the general opportunities to be committee boat:

Monday nights 

Ballard Cup is probably the easiest and most fun race to volunteer for on Monday nights from mid-April through September. The anchoring and the evening off of Shilshole Marina are predictable. You need to be able to leave the dock at 5:30 pm to be ready for the first start at 6:15 PM. The start sequence take 40-50 minutes, and then everyone can relax until the boats come back.  You'll probably watch the sunset, and be back soon after dark if not before. Be ready to anchor in 40-50 feet of water and host 8-10 volunteers.

Weekend days

If you are available on the weekend, there are several regattas to choose from including  the Iceberg Regatta, Blakely Rock Benefit Race, Single-Handed Race, Fall Regatta, and J&J Race. These all start in mid-morning. The requirements are similar to that of Ballard Cup, except for Blakely Rock there can be up to 150 boats starting and for the Fall Regatta, there are up to three starts. Both of these races tend to take most of the day and require a lot of volunteers.

If you want a low key and fun weekend at Shilshole with not too many volunteers, consider being the home committee boat for Race to the Straits or Down the Sound. Both races are reverse start with assigned start times for each boat. So after an initial start sequence, the only thing to do is call boats over early. And both races are mid-distance, so finishing boats is usually relatively easy because they are spread out. It is great fun being the welcome home committee at the end of a long day. Here is one account of being committee boat for Race to the Straits at Off the Coast of Ballard.

If you're interested in a trip, consider being the destination committee boat for Race To the Straits in Port Townsend or for Down the Sound (DTS) in Gig Harbor. You get free assigned VIP moorage at the destination. For DTS, you must be prepared to anchor in 80 or more feet of water, in up to 3 kt of current. These assignments take fewer volunteers as well.

© Sloop Tavern Yacht Club
Sloop Tavern Yacht Club is a 501(c)7 non-profit organization.

2442 NW Market St #94 | Seattle, WA 98107

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