Shearwater Sailing Club

For Shearwater Sailing Club's Website please click on this link: 

To see what the weather is doing in Warminster at Shearwater and at Poole

I recommend this club to anyone; it's friendly, helpful and fun, and has a great competitive series of races open to all club members. Check out the club website or carry on reading this for a taste of what we do!

I've never been fit or sporty and yet I'm proud to get out and blow the trumpet for this sports club because dinghy sailing is such fun. Try it if you haven't already done so - and if you're lucky enough to live within reach of Warminster, Wiltshire, England, try sailing at Shearwater Sailing Club. We are here to help you.

A rich person's hobby?  My first boat - ready to sail with a road-worthy trailer - cost £100. Current prices are: Insurance £35, Lake licence £54. Family membership £75. Joining fee (1st year only) £38, Clubhouse Key £20, a space in the dinghy park £35. This gives me 275 days of dawn to dusk sailing for the whole family and a great programme of races and social events from March 1st to November 31st. 

Look at the website now Membership forms are on the site to download and send off.

Easter Sunday 2012 in Photos, kindly taken by Lottie Dean. Quite a big westerly this afternoon only five of the 10 boats finished. I hung in there with my pink and blue radial rig and an old brown laser hull which I found in the bushes, (my own hull having split two weeks ago). Thanks Lottie - you gave me plenty of photos to choose from!

Founders Trophy 2012 in Pictures, kindly taken by Tony Taylor. 

Shearwater Sailing Club has taken over my life - it's a great little club. Very friendly and encouraging. 

On the right is a scan of the 2011 Fixture List. All the cover photos were taken by our family, and that's our little Mirror in the centre - not that it's a Barnes takeover!

See what the club has to offer:

Mirror 32 is here! It has lots of fittings with brass screws which popped off when I was on the water. I learned to sail holding in main and jib sheet in one hand while leaning back to hold the tiller where the tiller extension had fallen off. Thanks Giles, Jon, Simon, and Co. for all your time and bits and for being the centre of the Mirror Repair Squad! 

Is the club good value? I've sailed there 65 times last year and 51 times already this year (2011). The annual family membership is £65. Sailing (and swimming) for less than £2 a time. You can't beat that!

Here is some bumph I've just written for the Shearwater Log:

Racing at Shearwater for Novices (like me).

At Shearwater we run two kinds of races: Pursuits and Points. The Pursuits race is held on Sunday mornings and the Points on Sunday afternoons and Tuesday evenings.

A Pursuits race (Sunday a.m.) gives every boat a start time calculated so that the slowest boat and the sailors with the highest personal handicap start first. This will give you clear water at the start of the race, with the faster boats catching up. Theoretically, by the end of the race everyone will have arrived at the same spot at the same time. Fortunately, this rarely happens! Do ask for help when signing up in the clubhouse so you get the correct start time for you and your boat.

The Points races (Sunday p.m. and Tuesday evening) start everyone at the same time and calculate an ‘adjusted time’ at the end of the race for each sailor based on boat speed and competence. Again, ask for help so you put down your correct number (from about 1070 to 1670). Once on the water it will do no harm to hold back a bit by staying slightly downwind from the line and following everyone, copying their choice of tack, etc until you are left behind (or maybe not!) and have to fend for yourself…..

Now, down to the nitty gritty: if possible, start racing on Tuesday evenings and get there by about 5pm. If you can only do Sundays, aim to be there by 10am and rig your boat on the hard standing by the clubhouse so that your sails are ready to put up once you are launched. By about 10.25 you’ll be ready to change into your wetsuit, with something warm and windproof over the top. 10.35 sees you asking for help and filling in your name, boat number and start time on the race sheet. This start time will be anything from 10.55 to 11.20, so you may only have 20 minutes to memorise the course displayed on the board outside the clubhouse, launch, get your sails up and sail to the start line! Don’t panic… remember your buoyancy aid…

Once out on the water your aim is not to win, but to communicate with other sailors and learn from what they are doing. If you find that you and another boat are heading for the same bit of water (!) it is always acceptable to shout ‘hold your course’ and avoid them, or ask ‘do I have right of way?’ Generally, the boat on Starboard tack (wind coming from the right of the boat), has right of way. On Port tack you have to avoid everyone.

I hope this gets you racing – why miss all the fun? We’ll have more advice on good starts, rounding buoys, etc, in the next log. But ‘til then, ask for help, get out there, if in doubt keep clear of others, don’t blame me when it all goes wrong, and, most of all, JUST DO IT!

Peter Barnes, Duties Officer (Have you done Your Duty yet?) I'm doing my first OOD on 1st May. Help!

My boys enjoy the Laser and the little one goes to West Wilts Youth Sailing Club in Westbury. It gives a fantastic training to the kids and even offers adult courses. I went on one and got my only sailing qualifications to date: RYA level 2. Check it out on: 


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