A different slant on club sailing

by Chris Kameen on September 28, 2015

Short course fleet racingThis weekend I was incredibly jealous! At West Kirby Sailing Club we held a selection trials for an upcoming Team Racing Regatta and to assess the skills we used short course fleet racing.

6 boats sailing around an 8 minute starboard box course in glorious sunshine… it was amazing!

This type of racing has immense value in making sailing more accessible, the boats were provided, they are matched and whilst we ran the sailing over a whole day you could fit it in to a couple of hours  or less.

So many efforts are made of trying to get people racing at clubs doing the same races as were done 30 or 40 years ago, but the reality is the world has changed whether we like it or not. The type of racing that we enjoyed when we were younger doesn’t attract people to the same level as it did.

Short course fleet race starting click for video link of starting.

Short course fleet races reward good starting, boat handling and boat speed and because the legs are short  you are always going to have contests at marks.  A starboard hand course also makes the windward mark interesting.

Whilst I am clearly a strong advocate of team racing, I believe that the skills that people learn and practice in this form of racing are highly transferable to the team format, but it doesn’t require the infrastructure of multiple umpires who know what they are doing for it to run.

Imagine if you could do something like this every Saturday morning at 9am, you’d have your sailing fix done by 10:30am – completed 5 races and you are free to hang out for the rest of the weekend and do family stuff or go mountain biking or whatever..

I think this has a future!

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