So, you want to race sailboats!

By Rutter


Racing sailboats is fun.  It’s physically and mentally challenging and has a strong social element.  On any given race day there are boats needing crew, but if you’re new you may not know where to start. The purpose of this article is to help newbies get started and stop being newbies. The more you know the more you can contribute.  Developing skills can often lead to a permanent position on a boat.

How do you find a boat?  Clubs organize events to introduce sailors and skippers, typically at the beginning of the season.  Throughout the season a sign-up sheet may be kept at clubs’ front desks.   Walking the docks before a race (I’ve done this in a marina where I didn’t know anyone) and attending after-race events to introduce yourself are also productive ways of getting aboard. Talk to the club’s race organizers, let them know you want to crew.

What should an enthusiastic crewperson bring?  You can get aboard in street clothes not knowing a thing about a sailing.  A better way is to be prepared with gear and knowledge.

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Basics of Sailboat Racing

South Bay Yacht Racing Club in partnership with Del Rey Yacht Club

Present: Duncan Cameron’s

Basics of Sailboat Racing

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The best way to learn is to get out and do it, preferably for 20 years or so.  However, we need some sort of shortcut, so it may help to try writing a description.  Most books and articles describing what is done, and by whom, are too jargon filled or otherwise incomprehensible to be useful. So, here goes another try.  The goal is to have each person understand at least their job, anticipate when and why things happen, and be able to usefully prioritize tasks.  Then you can tell me to shut up, because you already know what you are doing.

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Introduction to Yacht Racing is Back!

Introduction to Yacht Racing 2013Introduction to Yacht Racing 2013 (IYR ’13) is an event to bring new crew (and new skippers) into sailboat racing.  The program will be held on March 23 at Del Rey Yacht Club (DRYC) from 9 AM to 5 PM. Introduction to Yacht Racing is sponsored by South Bay Yacht Racing Club in partnership with DRYC.

IYR ’13 provides new sailors with the basics of sailboat racing.  It is an opportunity for people interested in racing to experience the sport and meet other sailors.  The event also assists experienced crew to find openings on racing boats around the marina.

The morning session will cover the basics of how sailboats operate and their equipment.  New crew will be assigned to boats for on-water practice, and mentors will be available to assist training. The day will end with a practice race inside the marina.

In a wrap up session new crew will be given the chance to debrief with IYR staff and to talk about racing on a regular basis. Event organizers will help connect them with skippers looking for crew.

Registrants will receive by email attendance confirmation and instructional information to go over prior to the event.  Last year’s event was completely filled; those interested in participating should register as soon as possible.

For more information and registration visit


Greg Rutter

P.O. Box 10967, Marina del Rey, CA 90295

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