Many members take part in the regular Sunday Racing series. A small number of these will travel to open event on regular events to race against more competitive sailors of their chosen class of dinghies. Many members start racing out of curiosity and become hooked, probably because it points out one of the fundamental truths about sailing dinghies, that is; learning to sail a boat around the lake can be picked up within a day once a few basic techniques are understood, but learning why the hotshots are capable of lapping you can take a lifetime!
Racing at CSC is generally a light hearted affair with many of the racers being overly polite about enforcing the rules in order to gain every possible advantage. If you watch closely the antics of the hot-shots, or watch an open meeting, you will see that there are some very complicated manoeuvres which need detailed explaining before they make sense.
It is very noticeable if you go racing at Bowmoor that the entire club membership has a much more proactive attitude to using the racing rules. The use of the word “aggressive” is avoided because there is no less feeling of friendship between the racers once they are all back in the clubhouse drinking tea!
The racing rules exist to diffuse possible arguments and turn racing into controlled aggression. Generally, if you use the rules to gain a place going down wind, you will become a victim of revenge a lap later. Similarly, if you use the starboard, or water rule to gain a place going up wind, you will have the position taken back on the next downwind leg. It all balances out in the end.
An alternative reason for why somebody should try racing is that it will make you very aware of differences between you techniques and others. If for example you keep up with others until a certain type of leg, then maybe you’re not quite as knowledgeable as you might of thought