Re: "I'm going to watch a race" protocol
find the NOR (notice of race), go to the skippers meeting (thursday?) and ask if anyone needs crew.
If you follow the fleet, do it with the engine so you don't take the wind from someone downwind. staying out of the way is only good if you are down wind, upwind you are blocking someone's clean air. -a sure way to be unloved.
and always bring gloves, good boat shoes, and ask if you should bring drinks or food. sometimes the owner provides all that, and extra weight is not appreciated.