Winter hints and tips for members

With conditions becoming more unpredictable as Winter draws in, one of our members has been in touch with a few helpful tips and suggestions for other members planning to continue racing throughout the Winter season:

  • Check the forecast before you leave home, and look outside to check for yourself. Safety should be your first priority, so if you don’t think the conditions are suitable for your level of experience, why not come down, grab a cup of tea and learn from more experienced members.
  • Before you hit the water, you should know what all the controls and fittings are and how they work. This will give you the confidence and knowledge to allow you to head out and return safely.
  • Before you head out on the water, you have to rig your dinghy, and if you have never done this before, it may seem a little overwhelming. Talk to a few people as you rig, have a few goes yourself, and you’ll work out which way works best for you. It’s always good to rig up a few times so that you’re confident that you know what goes where, and can remember how you tie the knots.
  • When you’ve finished sailing, furl up your sail. Furling the sail ensures that dinghies stay in the best possible condition for the longest possible time and no-one gets an unexpected whack in the face, so treat club boats as if they were your own.
  • Think about putting your dinghy away before having a shower. We’re all a little wet and a little cold after the race and keen to get home, so making sure you put your boat away quickly and efficiently means everyone can get home and get warm as quickly as possible.

For more hints and tips, check out lasersailingtips.com.

See you on Sunday!

DO checklist for Winter sailing

Everyone knows that ADOs and DOs are responsible for getting everyone to sign on and off, preparing the hut and pontoon, getting the safety boat ready and making sure the kettle’s boiled for half-time coffee, but with Winter very much upon us, it’s more important than ever that DO/ADO’s ensure everything else is ready to go (including the members) before racing can being, so here’s 5 things you might not have thought of:

  1. Are all members wearing an appropriate wet or dry suit?
    Until 3 March, if anyone isn’t wearing a dry suit or 5mm+ full length wetsuit, they can’t go on the water. There are no exceptions.
  2. Do all members have appropriate experience for the conditions?
    With new, and often less experienced, members joining all the time, don’t be embarrassed to ask members, particularly those you might not recognise, about their experience and use your best judgement to decide whether they should be allowed to take part. If it’s blowing force 7 and they’ve only been sailing for a few weeks, short term disappointment is better than being put off long term by a bad experience.
  3. Are members taking out appropriate club dinghies with appropriate sail settings?
    If you see an inexperienced member rigging a Byte when a reefed Pico would be more appropriate to the conditions, say so. It will prevent club equipment being damaged and save you rescuing them a few minutes later.
  4. Have all club dinghy sails been furled when not in use?
    Strong winds can do real damage to the sails, which cost several hundred pounds to replace, and can really hurt if you get hit by one that’s whipping in the breeze, so if a member’s left a club boat’s sail flapping when it can be furled, like the Pico’s, ask them to furl it.
  5. Have you set an appropriate course?
    You should always ensure that the course starts with everyone sailing into the wind and if there’s a very strong wind, avoid gybes. Just because everyone’s wearing a wet (or dry) suit, it doesn’t mean they want to go for a swim.

Our priority is to ensure a safe and enjoyable experience for everyone involved, and by taking a few extra precautions we can ensure that everything goes off without a hitch.

Happy Winter sailing!

The boatyard looks amazing, thank you!

A big thank you to everyone who helped with the boatyard working party on Saturday: there were about a dozen of us so we had it licked by early afternoon, even with a coffee break with Janice’s excellent cookies!

We also did a much more radical job than ever before, so future growth will be easier to tackle.

82mph gusts? Pah!

With gusts of up to 82mph predicted, it would take a special kind of person to get in a 10-12′ dinghy and take it out racing on South Norwood Lake. CSC members are those people.

After being unable to sail last week, 5 members decided nothing was going to stop them getting on the water today, and I’m proud to say that every single one of them finished and even decided to go for a second race after the coffee break!

Tommy fought mother nature and won to take first place in race A in a Pico, and Neil was able to remain upright long enough to win race B, despite his Laser’s best efforts to throw him out.

Drain stops play

As many of you will know from Geoff’s email (or, like me, from turning up this morning because you hadn’t checked your inbox), sailing was cancelled today due to large drainage tankers and pipes blocking access to the boat park while they deal with a blockage in the drains by the tennis courts, pumping waste all the way across the park to the drain by the main gates,.

The work is scheduled to finish on Monday or Tuesday, so shouldn’t prevent sailing or grass cutting next weekend.

Winter Season 2015-16 Race Calendar

The 2015-16 Winter Series runs from 1 November 2015 until the Easter Egg Trophy at the end of March 2016, with wet or dry suits required from 29/11/2015 until 13/03/2015, inclusive:

Day Date Event
Sun 01/11/2015 Winter Series
Sun 08/11/2015 Winter Series
Sun 15/11/2015 Mini Pursuit Cup
Sun 22/11/2015 Winter Series
Sun 29/11/2015 Winter Series
Sun 06/12/2015 Winter Series
Sun 13/12/2015 Pond Pounders Pot
Sun 20/12/2015 Free Sailing
Sun 27/12/2015 Free Sailing
Sun 03/01/2016 Winter Series
Sun 10/01/2016 Icicle Trophy Race
Sun 17/01/2016 Winter Series
Sun 24/01/2016 Winter Series
Sun 31/01/2016 Winter Series
Sun 07/02/2016 Firebug Pursuit Race
Sun 14/02/2016 Winter Series
Sun 21/02/2016 Winter Series
Sun 28/02/2016 Winter Series
Sun 06/03/2016 Match Racing
Sun 13/03/2016 Winter Series
Sun 20/03/2016 Winter Series
Fri 25/03/2016 Easter Egg Trophy Race