Racing - Heres where the fun starts!
Like almost all sailing clubs, racing forms a large part of our programme. Racing a dinghy successfully requires very many skills including, preparation of the boat and the crew, boat handling skills, on water tactics, knowledge of rules, physical fitness. Wanting to do well in races motivates us in all these areas and racing against other boats helps us to gauge our progress.
At Sutton we organise a varied programme of racing, usually over a short series, but also some single day events and with different race formats such as class racing, handicap racing, conventional start and pursuit races. The races are run by the 'Duty Team' of the day and an experienced sailor is designated the Officer of the Day or 'OOD'. The OOD and their team set the day's courses according to the wind direction, run the races and record the race results, as well as providing the all important refreshments between races. Races normally last around 50 minutes for the first boat to finish.
How does this affect you? Most small sailing clubs rely on their members to undertake the role of OOD and also to form part of the duty team who support the OOD for the day. There is a rota where all members are allocated to a team. The team information and dates can be found in the Club Diary. Don't worry, you won't be asked to undertake anything beyond your capability and it is a great way to get to know people, be on the water in the safety boat and to learn some useful skills.
Racing isn't all hard work though - it's actually the basis of the main social activity of the club. The normal race day is when you are most likely so meet the other members of the club, to get on the water and have a friendly race, then come back into the clubhouse for a drink and a cake before the start of the next race. The bar is usually open once racing has finished.
Club Racing Classes
At Sutton our recognised racing classes are
Laser Solo Topper Enterprise Mirror and Xenon
Though dinghy racing is often best done in class racing format, members are not required to bring boats within the recognised classes - they are free to buy a dinghy that bet suits their needs. All boats at the club that are outside the recognised classes are included in the Menagerie Fleet. Boats in the fleet include
Laser 2000 Laser Bahia GP14 Wayfarer and Pico