Whether you're after leisurely racing after work or an adrenaline packed weekend regatta small boat racing is full of action. The social scene's fantastic too!
Get Afloat - Small Boat Racing
#RedBull Foiling Generation 2015
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Is it for me?
If you have a love for being in the fresh air and competition then there's no reason you can't enjoy the thrill and challenge of dinghy racing, whether alone or with a crew. You can sail at events on your doorstep, around the country and even the world - the choice is yours.
Having a go
Your local sailing club is a great place to start, as most clubs offer a range of racing opportunities for people of all ages and will welcome new members. Pop along to your local sailing club and ask to have a go. To get some practise in you might consider doing a bit of crewing with an experienced sailor who can show you the ropes. Each May RYA Push the Boat Out is when sailing clubs across the UK open their doors for you see what they do.
RYA Training is the quickest and easiest way to learn and improve and will give you the skills you need to hit the race course. If you’re new to sailing, try the RYA's National Sailing Scheme and Youth Sailing Scheme. RYA Start Racing will teach you everything you need to get off the start line and onto the race course.
Dinghies come in all shapes and sizes and there are dedicated owners clubs for each type (class associations). If you know what type of boat you would like to race, it's worth contacting the class association for advice as they are always looking for more participants. Try Yachts and Yachting for class associations or visit them in person at the RYA Suzuki Dinghy Show.
If you're a student, check out the British Universities Sailing Association (BUSA) to find out what’s going on near you.
Does it cost a lot?
Dinghy racing does not have to be expensive! Owning your boat is always a bonus, but you don't have to as many clubs will also have boats you can hire for a days racing or practise. Many have affordable membership packages, some are cheaper than the cost of joining a gym!
If you are looking to buy a boat, then a preloved dinghy can be picked up for a few hundred pounds. Sailing clubs often advertise boats for sale from other members. There'll be plenty of advice on hand for which boat is best if you ask the question.
Not quite right for you - how about...
Yacht racing offers an exhilarating team approach to sail racing with every crew member battling the elements to cross the finish line. The events diary for yacht racing is jam packed with opportunities and the social side is pretty good too!
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Windsurfing combines elements of sailing and surfing. Reaching speeds of up to 30mph skimming across the water on a board powered by the wind - the buzz is waiting for you!
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