Dinghy Racing at Hedgecourt Lake
Thanks to its relatively sheltered inland location and its shallow depth throughout, our home base at Hedgecourt Lake is an excellent venue at which to develop your sailing skills as you move on from the beginner stage. The trees that fringe most sides of the lake mean that the winds we experience here are often variable in direction and strength. Although this can be trying at times, sailing in variable conditions helps you to develop a keen awareness of wind strength and direction that will help you no matter what path your sailing interests follow in the future. And if you become one of those who regularly take part in club races at Hedgecourt, you will soon find that learning to deal with the vagaries of the sailing conditions is part of the challenge!
Something for Everyone
Racing takes place at the lake from late March through to mid December, usually with at least one event each weekend and often more. You can find out more details of the different events in the Club Handbook or by looking at our programme. With a few exceptions each series has awards for the following: Double Hander, Single Hander (excluding standard Comet and Comet Xtra), Under 16 (but over 12, age taken at the start of the season), Under 13 (age taken at the start of the season), Lady, Novice, Comet, Comet Lady, Comet Novice
The events fall into a few main categories:
Racing for beginners
The Wakefield series is also aimed at encouraging beginners and improvers to race, our most successful race helms are not allowed to compete as helms. The Wakefield races occur once per month following Adult Saturday Club. The race starts at 13:30 and lasts 30 minutes. Adult Saturday Club participants and instructors are encouraged to buddy up for this race, the instructor crewing. Coaching from a powerboat is also permissible. It is intended that there will be an extended briefing and a debrief.
There is an autumn series for Wakefield eligible helms (see above) comprising the first race on each day of the Autumn Leaf Series
Those beginning to race are welcome at all our races, do not be put off by the more experienced racers, they will be pleased to give advice before and after the races - most of all they will be pleased that you are joining in. We were all beginners once. The Benefits of Racing gives more information on racing.
There are four Sunday Series, typically each series will run for two months and races will take place on three Sundays each Month. There are two back to back races in the morning of each day of the Sunday Series. All Sunday series have separate starts for Comets and Handicap.
There is a series for Wakefield eligible helms (see above) comprising the first race on each day of the Autumn Leaf Series
On afternoons following Adult Saturday Club there are two races: Wakefield and the once per month series. Wakefield has a single start and is not open to series winning helms. The once per month series has separate starts for Comets and Handicap and is open to all comers. There is sufficient time between the two races to come ashore.
Autumn Saturdays have a single race with separate starts for Comets and Handicap.
Between May and August a single short race is held on most Wednesday evenings. Wednesday evening series have separate starts for Comets and Handicap.
Each year we hold Open meetings for Comet and Topper classes, to which boats from other clubs are invited. These are great days where the whole lake is given over racing a single class of boat. Although there will be some really competitive helms don't let that put you off, an Open meeting is a great way to improve your racing with four races in one day.
We also usually hold three or four 'one day' events over the course of the year and a pursuit race following New Year.