Has your Sailability group or centre thought about getting involved with racing, but you are not sure how?
Racing can mean many things from simple, fun races with friends, all the way to the Paralympics and world championships. You don’t have to be an expert to race or to help others race. Racing is a great way to encourage regular sailing at you group or centre.
What do we need to know?
Races can be as simple or as complicated as you want, however it’s best to start with something simple. It’s always worth asking your sailors or volunteers/staff if anybody has ever raced before, if somebody knows the basics, they can explain it to others.
A simple fun race is basically a race between a group of boats over a set course (usually some fixed points like buoys or marks) and whoever comes first has won. Normally the standard sailing “rules of the road” apply, things like port gives way to starboard, windward boats keeping clear and avoiding crashes. However once you get into it there are lots of rules you can use to make it more interesting and fun.
Many Sailability groups not only run regular races for their sailors, but even have their own race coaches, who deliver race training. Once you get into it, there are lots of races for boats like the Hansa and Challenger, with many Sailability groups hosting events or sailors traveling to other groups to race.
If your Sailability group is attached to a sailing club, there is usually the opportunity to compete in club races. There is a handicap system for boats that means everybody competes on an even playing field, no matter how fast their boat is. Your local club will be able to help and they are always keen to have new racers.
If this all sounds like something you want to do, but a not sure how to make it happen, contact the Sailability office. They will put you in touch with your local Disability Development Officer, who will be able to help with everything from simple race formats to training your own race coaches and the Paralympic pathway. RYA Affiliated clubs can use the link above for more information on the complete racing pathway, including courses and training race coaches.
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