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
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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
If you're inspired to sail then take to the water with Discover Sailing. There are events running a venues across the country so take a look for one near you. Or you could pop along to your local sailing club and ask to have a go. Most clubs offer a range of sailing and racing for all ages and welcome new members.
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. Then RYA Start Racing will teach you everything you need to get off the start line and onto the race course. If you're under 18 and want a weekly club to learn and have fun in try RYA OnBoard which combines the Youth Sailing Scheme with other sailing activities.
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 day of racing or to practice your skills. You could consider doing a bit of crewing (sailing in a double-handed boat) with an experienced sailor who can show you the ropes. Many clubs 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. If you know what type of boat you would like to race, it's worth contacting the Class Association (owners' club) for advice. Or perhaps visit them in person at the RYA Dinghy Show where there's plenty of advice on hand for which boat is best for you.
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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Find books for your course at the RYA Shop
Our handy guide shows the books & DVDs that go with your course!