After attending the informative marshals seminar last week in the Abbey Hotel in Roscommon I thought I would pass on a few tips you might find useful. I’m not giving the “how to marshal” here I’m just giving tips I have picked up over the years and feel free to add anything positive you have learned in the comments below.
When you sign on in the morning and receive your pack you’ll normally be asked by the stage commander for your phone number. It would be no harm to just write down on your pack the number of the location before you as they may be needed to give your location an advanced warning, display SOS or stop the stage for you in an accident.
When driving the stage in the morning pay attention on approach to your location and read the road by visualising how the cars could act; (hidden bump, gravel etc.) This will give you a better indication of where is safe for you and spectators to stand. Don’t be afraid to make a prohibited area bigger if you are unhappy with it.
Never stand where you wouldn’t let a spectator stand. The bib or the the magic tape does not make anyone indestructible. We all know to keep boxes and escape roads clear and that is for everyone, media spectators and marshals.
If media or spectators are standing where you deem unsafe politely ask them to move. If they refuse to move, contact your stage commander explaining the matter. If competing cars are still approaching with the matter not resolved, issue the yellow flag from a safe distance back. You are there for the safety of the event and everyone in it.
In an incident please don’t attend the car first. You attend your flag first. An oncoming car could hit you and the stationary car, and possibly spectators too. Be as visible as you can while running back the road about 100 metres, stand in a viable spot & use the flag accordingly. Hold out if it’s a small incident to caution a driver of a change of racing line. Wave the flag in the case of major obstruction, blockage, assistance required. If drivers do not take appropriate action to the flag you can report them to COC and penalties will be issued.
Never use a camera. The only time your phone is to be used when the stage goes live is if you need the emergency services or stage commander. These are your main need for a phone and I would suggest keeping the pack close to you as their numbers are on it. There are people out there for photo and filming duties. When you look at the small picture you’ll miss the big one.
Most of all YOU be safe out there. Without you we are without rallies. So be safe, seen, awake and aware of your duty. It will make a difference to the sport.