Once you’ve learnt to sail, you’ll probably be interested in learning to race, however this can sometimes be a bit daunting at first! Racing is the best and quickest way to improve and refine your newly acquired skills and there is usually a fantastic social scene surrounding it. Don’t forget that you’ll learn as much in the bar afterwards as you do on the course (which is a great excuse if you need one!).
Joining a Club
There are sailing clubs all over the UK, with a wide variety of focuses. Most people agree that you will learn racing techniques faster in a dinghy than a keelboat, so look for a strong dinghy club. The size of the club and prices also vary, so look around for a club that suits you. The RYA
website has a local club finder at www.rya.org.uk
There are three main ways that you can start racing:
- Crew for someone – Many clubs have a crew board or forum with helms / boat owners looking for a crew, this is a good way to start as you get the benefit of their experience too.
- Charter a club dinghy – Some clubs have suitable boats that can be chartered for club racing.
- Race your own boat – Nearly all dinghies can be raced in a handicap or one-design fleet, however some clubs have specific classes they support so do some research. Getting used to your own boat early on can have advantages, but make sure you get advice from us if you’re not sure which to go for.