Racing at Saratoga is fun and inclusive. Most people bring their own boats, but please contact us if you are interested but don't have one, as there may be crewing opportunities or a spare Laser. Feel free to just come along, meet the team and watch a race if you are not ready to get in the water yet.
Saratoga races a fleet of Hartley 16 Trailer Sailers but we also have a mixed fleet and a handicap system so you can bring any boat, with a lifting keel, that can be trailed or towed (note that at very low tides boats can be launched from a slipway in Saratoga instead of being dragged over the mud. We do have a project underway to develop new launching facilities).
People usually start to gather at 11:30 on a Sunday morning to rig up their boats and have lunch before heading towards the start line at about 1:30. Races usually start at 2pm, although at the tail ends of the season we may start earlier to maximise daylight. Races can last up to 2 hours depending on the wind, and may be called off if the wind strength is too high.
Our course usually follows a 'triangle sausage triangle' configuration (diagram below), aligned so the initial leg is upwind (image adapted from Jervis Bay Sailing Club). We may go port or starboard as indicated by green (leave marks to starboard) or red (leave marks to port) flags on the start boat, depending on conditions.
On occasion we may sail two back-to-back races. In these races all boats wait clear of the finish/start line once they've finished the first race until the last boat is clear, before the next race prepares to start.
After the race we pack our boats and head into the club house for refreshments. The day usually wraps up around 5-6 pm.
What to bring
Sailing is a water sport, so bring clothes that can get wet, a towel, and a dry change of clothes. SSC has male/female changing rooms, toilet facilities and showers. Wetsuits are needed for smaller boats. You'll also need suitably enclosed footwear and a personal floatation device (PFD) or buoyancy aid. If you forget or don't have one then we may have spares, but you can also check out this advice on selecting the right PFD here: http://www.mysailing.com.au/news/choosing-the-right-pfd).
It is usually sunny and 2 hours of sun reflecting from all angles brings high levels of UV exposure, so bring a high factor sunscreen and suitable headwear.
Oh - and bring some gold coins for the social afterwards. We have various cold drink options, tea coffee and snacks.
Our boats are required to follow World Yachting (Previously ISAF) rules. The Racing Rules of Sailing (RRS) govern the sport of sailing on the water. They are revised and published every four years by World Sailing and the current edition is ‘The Racing Rules of Sailing 2017 – 2020’.
Saratoga Sailing Club operates the following additional rules to the 2017-2020 Racing Rules of Sailing:
Skipper and any crew must read the Briefing Notice before racing
The Sign-on Sheet must be signed by skipper and any sailing crew
Signals made ashore will be displayed on the flagpole located on the north eastern corner of the clubhouse deck. When flag AP is displayed ashore, ‘1 minute’ is replaced with ‘not less than 30 minutes’ in the Race Signals
AP flag and signals on raising and lowering
Newbies can find numerous articles and videos on line, and may also find the following helpful:
Brisbane Water can get busy with leisure craft and other club races, and whilst we set our courses to avoid others as far as possible, we remind sailors that bigger sailing boats are often less maneuverable and sometimes cannot see smaller boats easily behind big headsails, especially in difficult wind conditions. Safety and enjoyment our number one concern and all sailors should follow the rules and avoid collisions on the water.
Further information relevant to racing can be found here: