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    Posted: 14 May 19 at 9:27pm
So, which are the best clubs around by reputation of club racing standard (rather than as a championship venue)?

Hayling, Grafham, Draycote, Stokes Bay...




Edited by A2Z - 14 May 19 at 9:28pm
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Oinks Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 14 May 19 at 10:30pm
Well, there's a few pretty good guys & gals sailing at Burghfield when they're not doing opens. The rest of us are pretty keen!
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Sam.Spoons Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 14 May 19 at 10:37pm
I suppose you could look at club series results and see if there are any names you recognise from championship results. A couple of national champions regularly turning up for the club series bodes well (especially if they are not winning every race).
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Oinks Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 14 May 19 at 10:54pm
...sorry, forgot to mention...Burghfield SC...winners of the Sailjuice top club trophy.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote A2Z Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 15 May 19 at 4:52am
Yes, Iíll accept Burghfield.  Whistable maybe? brightlingsea? Salcombe?
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Paramedic Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 15 May 19 at 6:58am
My experience of the "obvious" candidates is that their membership list contains many good sailors but they rarely - if ever - use the club. Rutland's club racing for example always looked to be very poor, though iu have not been for a number of years and these things do change.

Burghfield are an obvious example. South Staffs have a strong GP presence with current and former world champions and also Lark and OK national and former world champions. The Solo fleet at Salcombe sounds legendary. Draycote get good numbers out these days, not sure about the quality of the fleet but quantity suggests you'll have someone to race against if you pick the right class - Laser these days I think.  

These are clubs I know of - I'm sure that there are others!
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Post Options Post Options   Quote mozzy Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 15 May 19 at 8:00am
Do you mean the quality of the racing or the quality of racers?

There was an RS200 club event a year or so ago where I worked out I was the only boat who hadn't won a nationals. It's a huge club though so obviously contains some very good sailors, many of whom do actually turn out for club racing. It seems that every years there are 4-5 national /euro /world champions. But I wouldn't say the average standard is particularly high and lot of members have little interest in racing so it balances out.

Burghfield seem to have some very good sailors of recent years. I'm not sure how long that goes back. 

What about Frensham pond? Aren't both Roger Gilbert and Nick Craig members? I reckon they have a pretty high championship win per km2 ratio!

Itchenor, although it pains me deeply to say this, does pretty well for itself, especially if you include team and match racing. 

Stokes Bay seems to have a very high standard. Great laser fleet, now musto, and seems to turn out top skiff sailors pretty regularly despite being probably the toughest place to sail a skiff!

Leigh and lowton used to be very good growing up, especially the winter membership... but weirdly no GP14s... so you could make an argument for the midlands clubs near the top lofts like chase, south staffs, and now blithfield. 
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Post Options Post Options   Quote H2 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 15 May 19 at 8:19am
This is a great question! I was recently considering a location change and started looking at clubs visited their websites and went straight to the results section to see how many singlehanders (in my case) sailed in regular club races. I looked at places like Hayling, Itchenor and Warsash as I was looking for a Solent location and I was shocked that many of these clubs that I thought would have decent fleets have a tiny handful of boats showing up for club racing. Itchenor had four boats over the whole series turn out.

I currently sail on a little pond in the Cotswolds - an unremarkable place - but we regularly have 10 to 20 boats show up for club races. The FB feed for Chew Valley near Bristol suggests that they have large fleets show up for club races (did I dream that they said they get near 100 boats out sometimes??) and Bowmoor has a very active racing scene.

My point is that I suspect based on some very limited desk research that many of the "Championship" clubs that are set up for big events are actually pretty dead if you just want to show up each week and race. The somewhat less sexy clubs like Burghfield, Frensham, Bowmoor, Chew, Chase, South Cerney etc might be better places to use if you want bigger club racing fleets.


Edited by H2 - 15 May 19 at 8:21am
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Sam.Spoons Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 15 May 19 at 8:41am
Originally posted by Paramedic

My experience of the "obvious" candidates is that their membership list contains many good sailors but they rarely - if ever - use the club. Rutland's club racing for example always looked to be very poor, though iu have not been for a number of years and these things do change.

Yeah, you'd need to look at the results not the membership list.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote H2 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 15 May 19 at 8:47am
Another way to look at this is to consider how many local boats race in the large events that visit these Premier Clubs. Draycote Dash, Grafham GP, Bloody Mary, Steve Nicks, probably others...always surprises me how few local boats enter and race which makes me wonder if they can't be arsed to show up for a 100+ boat event then do they show up for a club race?!?
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