A different format for sailboat racing

by Chris Kameen on May 28, 2014

During my recent trip to the United States, I had a great opportunity to do some One Design fleet racing in Vanguard 15s at Cedar Point Yacht Club. One design dinghy fleet racing sailing with my wife is the thing that I crave the most and miss the most from the UK and for whatever reason has not really had any traction in Sydney other than in lasers. (I’m sure a number of Tasar sailors will be saying what about the Tasar… but honestly any class that requires sailors to get on scales is clearly not looking to grow participation, especially amongst women.. – save that one for another time!)

Harry-anderson-courseThe format was simple. An hour and a half of racing in which time we got in 6 short 12 minute races in using a combination of the Harry Anderson Course and normal windward leewards. Using only 4 marks and a committee boat, this was low stress fun racing, that could be run with little organisation and resource. I was sailing with a really great buddy of mine and we did a winner stays on programme, where we would alternate who helmed in each race. If you won the race you could helm the next one as everyone likes to crew when you’re winning! It was the best fun club fleet racing I have done in nearly 10 years, and what really added to it, is that I am fit enough to race for 10 minutes. Everyone finished within 2 minutes of each other and we could start the next race, we weren’t beaten by the super fit keen youngsters who can grind you down.. we just had fun!

It was nearly 20 years since I first sailed this course at Yale College Yacht Club and it was a fitting way to end my weekend as I’d had the pleasure of meeting the man who first used this course, he’s still a legend.

If you are wondering  how we got on… Our scores were 2, 3, 2, 5, 2, (6) and third overall for the day.. Quite simply a great day sailing.

If you’d like to do this sort of fleet racing yourself then let me know by emailing me at info@sydneysailingschool.com.au or commenting below. We’ve got 6 matched boats and we want to get this going on Sunday mornings throughout the winter at St George SC.

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