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Royal Temple Yacht Club - 2020 Season Plans

by Piers Hodges 8 Apr 2020 21:46 BST
Royal Temple Yacht Club © RTYC

As I write this article indoors with my sailing gear still very much packed away, we should be approaching the finish line in the 'Frostbite Cup', the traditional season opener for the Royal Temple Yacht Club. However, this year's event may have required more sunscreen than thermal clothing as I look out on bright skies over Ramsgate, in the South East corner of England.

RTYC racing takes place in the sheltered waters of the Downs in the lee of the South Foreland, where the annual racing programme uses the natural features of the local coastline to provide a mixture of short course, offshore and coastal racing for several cruiser and racing classes. Strong tides and sands make things challenging for tacticians, navigators and course planners alike.

Investing for Now and the Future

A major challenge being addressed by the club this year is the propensity for the Club's racing marker buoys to wander off-station during strong tide and weather events. For this season, and in accordance with advice from Trinity House, a significant investment has been undertaken which will see new race marks anchored to a spread of two used train wheels by 'a lot' of heavy gauge chain. The new marks, which will be emblazoned with fresh sponsor graphics, will be positioned to enable windward-leeward type courses to be set for the prevailing wind directions.

On-shore the club has invested in the HalSail race results system to enable simplified race timing and speedier results publication.

Growing Participation

The club has adopted a multi-pronged strategy to attract and maintain competitors and participants. For several seasons a local Cruising handicap system has been in place to encourage participation in races and a step up to IRC classes. This year will see the SJ35 'Magnum' owned by Garry Furneaux and Andrew Ketteringham's extensively revamped Robber 'Daylight Robbery' joining IRC2.

The club runs a successful 'academy' for budding sailors drawing on local schools and colleges. A nominal joining fee sees pupils attend a series of shore-based classes to teach safety and crew craft. Graduates join the racing crews out on the water with the club offering life jackets on loan to reduce the initial costs of participation. This year it has not been possible to run things as usual, but plans are in place to ensure the academy returns for next season with an enhanced focus on developing racing crew members.

An online crew register to connect skippers with potential new crew members is available for anyone to access through the Club website in the 'On the Water' section.

Racing Plans

Unfortunately, the club has been forced to cancel the seven race Spring Series. At this time, it is hoped that the main event in the RTYC calendar, Euromarine Ramsgate Week, will be able to go ahead. The Rear Commodore Sail, and his team, will be working on a revised racing calendar in the coming weeks to make the most of what season remains this year.

To finish on a lighter note, if, like me, you have already reached the boredom threshold required to fold your carrier bags into triangles, you can always keep the 'rules of the road' fresh in your mind.

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