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Home / Sailing / Racing / Racing Overview

Racing Overview

This webpage covers the following topics:

Racing in 2024

We have built on last year's experience in planning the programme for 2024. In particular we have once again timed the popular Sprints races on the same days as Oppie & Topper Club to enable juniors who want to experience Club races to do so when their peers are also at the Creek. Last year this resulted in a group of competent junior Topper sailors turning out regularly in Sprints and other Club racing events. As the Table at the end shows we have crammed in a record number of sailing days despite the tidal challenges of our Creek. You can see all the events on the Calendar page and select the type of event youi're interested in using the buttons at the top of the page.

Sign on arrangements for Club races

Club races are governed by our Sailing Instructions which lay down the requirement to sign on and sign off after races. The sign on sheet is used by the Race Team to check all competitors are accounted for. It is therefore very important and failure to sign on and off will likely mean you will be disqualified from the race. Here are the key points to remember:

  • Every boat taking part must sign in on the Race Entry sheet before setting sail. The sheet will normally be found by the steps down onto the Hard.
  • If the crew of the boat are juniors (i.e. under 16) their parent, or another adult specifically authorised by their parent, must sign them in. Juniors cannot sign themselves into Club races.
  • The person who signs is confirming the boat is in a seaworthy state to set sail AND they are satisfied the crew are safe to take part in the race in the prevailing weather conditions. They are also confirming the boat has Third Party insurance.
  • The boat's crew (or in the case of juniors the adult who signs them in) takes responsibility for their safety and must not rely on the Race Team to look after them although clearly they will provide assistance so far as possible
  • When the boat returns to Snowhill the crew must sign off using the Declaration Sheet (normally to be found near the steps to the Hard). This confirms they are safely back AND have complied with the rules governing the race. Junior crews can sign themselves in on return.
  • All boats must display a sail number by which they can be identified. The sign in sheet must include this number (not a different one!)

Last year Juniors wishing to join in the Club racing being held in parallel with Oppie & Topper Club were registered via the ticket their parent booked for the O&TC event. This meant they did not need to sign on as above. To simplify things, this year juniors wanting to race will simply need to follow the normal Club racing arrangement above. It will not be necessary or possible to register for Club races via Oppie & Topper Club bookings.

Types of Races

We provide a variety of races over the season:

  • Points races: these comprise a series of races with the overall result determined by how well a boat sailed over the series. Normally there will be one race per tide lasting 60-90 minutes and normally there will be 2 classes - fast and slow with separate starts and courses. We try to make courses interesting but if the wind is strong and/or there is only 1 safety boat we may need to keep the fleet in a more confined area. We're running 4 points series in 2024. In the "Early Points Series" and "Late Points Series" there will be an additional fleet called "Begin to Race" for those new to racing. The course will be shorter, and there may be on-the-water coaching available.
  • Trophy races: these are one-off events where the Trophy result depends on just one race. Again we plan races to last 60-90 minutes with as interesting a course as possible
  • Sprints races: as the name suggests these are short, sharp races which should last less than 30 minutes. Sprints races are run in one class (i.e. all boats sail together). This allows the Race Team to run 3 consecutive races in quick succession over a single tide using the same, short Sausage/Triangle/Sausage course each time. They are excellent for sailors that want to improve their starting, mark-rounding, and boat-on-boat skills. They also appeal to those who don't enjoy long legs beating up the harbour! You can read more about Sprints here.
  • Pursuit races: Most sailing races at WWSC are run with boats starting together at the same time. A boat's elapsed time (i.e. how long it took to complete the course) is used along with its handicap to work out a corrected time that determines its result. This means it takes a while to work out who has won. A pursuit race is different. Here the slowest boats start first according to their handicaps and the result is determined by the first boat home. In theory everyone should arrive at the finish together so they are a lot of fun. The Higgs, the Armada Challenge, and the Last of the Summer Wine races will all be run as pursuit races. Unfortunately the handicap for Oppies means they can't take part in these races
  • Average lap races: we use this type of race to enable the maximum number of boats to sail together however fast or slow they may be. Even Oppies can race against the fastest boats in the Club! The approach is very simple and involves boats sailing as many laps as they can around a simple course set off East Head until the Race Officer decides its time to finish. We will use this for our Charity Race and possibly other events.

Volunteering for race duties

The Club is entirely reliant on volunteers to run our races and other on-the-water-events. Our expectation is that every member who is fit and able will volunteer to help the Club at least once in the season and we expect racers (or parents of young racers) to do this by volunteering for race duties.

You can read more about the different types of race duties here and there's guidance on using our online Duty Roster here. The key messages are:

  • You don't need any special skills to do most duties AND
  • It's fun! You get to enjoy a day on the water and see all the action and meet other members.

Summary of the 2024 programme

Below is a Table summarising how we've set up this year's programme. We've tried to strike the right balance between the types of events and have taken advantage of every tide over the sailing season.

Event Type Days Notes
ADULT DAYS (68) Number of "points race" days (inc. Regatta Week) 23 For keen racers. Unless programme indicates otherwise, run as 2 Classes (Fast & Slow) with different courses and avoiding T-S where poss. Normally 1 race per tide (unless programme indicates otherwise).
No. "sprints race" days 8 3 very short (15min) T-S races run in quick succession around specially laid marks for those who want to perfect tactics. Normally 1 fleet. We may provide a coach boat to encourage junior/novice racers.
No. of Trophy days (inc. Family Regatta) 9 Courses and number of fleets will vary according to event.
No. of adult learning/experience building days 15 Comprise both formal RYA adult training for complete beginners AND supported sailing sessions (Rusty Sailors)
No. adult social sailing days 11 Sail in company with at least 1 RIB in support (inc. WOTW)
No. powerboat training days 2 1 RYA PBL2 course.
JUNIOR DAYS (43) No. of days Junior Sailing 16 Supported sailing sessions for non-beginner juniors. These may be fun, coaching, or racing (inc. Junior Week and Oppie & Topper Club)
No. days RYA Junior Training 9 (+7) 3 RYA training sessions for Juniors (plus Stage 1 training run over the 7 Oppie & Topper Club sessions)
No. days Junior Race Training 5 Junior Race Training
No. days Junior Racing 4 Junior Racing
No. After School event days 9 3 After school supported sailing for children from WW School (each one 3 afternoons)
CRUISES (14) One Tide Cruises 14 Member organised cruises (dates from David Swayne)
SOCIAL DAYS (19) No. of Socials 19 Onshore social events


Last updated 16:27 on 6 April 2024

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