Cruiser & Dinghy Racing at NUSC
Cruiser and Dinghy racing is held throughout the sailing season at NUSC. We have three race series during the year and two open events. As a club member all closed club races are free to enter and a small charge may be levied for open events including the Rally in May and the Regatta in September.
Knickertwisters (KT) – series. Short races, typically start an hour and a half before high tide, lasting two hours or less. All classes race the same course at the same time including dinghies. The handicap system used is NHC that penalises the winners to give the less experienced a better chance of winning. Knickertwisters run either on weekday evenings or late Saturday afternoons. Courses are short – usually around the buoys marking the entrance into the river. Spinnakers cannot be used. The final Handicap Time Correction Factor (TCF) is used to create the starting handicap for the second Summer Knickertwister series.
Tide Races – series. Slightly longer races than the Knickertwisters, taking place around high tide on the weekends, usually on Neap tides. Individual courses will be set for Div1, Div2 and Dinghies and these may include different start positions and different times. Div 1 and Div 2 will be split between single keel and multi keel boats although catamarans and trimarans will be in Div 1. The RYA NHC system will be used for Cruiser scoring but the TCF will be maintained separately from the KT series since Spinnakers can be used and tidal conditions will be significantly different. The TCF of each competitor at the end of the first Tide Race series will be used to calculate the starting TCF for the Summer Series (refer to the NHC guidance notes downloadable from the ‘Racing’ page of the club web site.
Dinghies will operate on PY handicap using the RYA published PY number for the current year.
Day Races –starting at about high tide on a Sunday, sailing further down channel, returning to the club on the evening tide.
The Cruiser Rally (May) and The Regatta (September) – tide races for fast and slow fleets on Saturday and Sunday as well as separate back to back Dinghy races on both days. Both the Rally and Regatta are open events allowing all visitors to take part. A small charge will be levied. The scoring system for cruisers will use Byron Handicap operating in regatta mode which has a more aggressive adjustment between races to club mode. The NHC base number will be used for the 1st race of each series.
Summer Series This can have any type of race included but generally this will follow the same format as the Tide Race Series. For cruisers Byron Handicap will be applied.
General Racing Guidance
Races usually start at the clubhouse race box transit line however under certain conditions of wind and tide the start may be from the slipway at the river mouth end of the moorings and finish back at the club house line.
For Cruiser racing, courses will be set around fixed navigation buoy markers in the channel and at the entrance to the River Usk. Occasionally an additional mark may be laid by the safety boat which can be included as part of the course.
The course will be set approximately 1 hour prior to a race and will be displayed in the start hut on the blackboard.
All competitors must sign-on prior to each race on the prepared sheet in the start hut.
Never Raced Before?
New sailors are often reluctant to start racing because they are worried about the racing rules or simply about coming last. Most sailors who have raced however, will argue that racing is by far the best way to improve your sailing skills, get to know other club members and have more fun in your boat.
NUSC is an ideal place to start racing. The races are short, the fleets are small and friendly, and the bar is open at the end to facilitate discussions on tactics, ratings, boat problems or life in general.
To enter just turn up and sign-on. Please read the Notice of Race for the event you are doing. It sets out the terms and conditions under which we race. You agree to abide by these and the sailing instructions when you, owner or skipper sign on to enter the race.
Looking for a chance to crew or some help on your own boat?
If you haven’t raced your own boat before, need crew or would like to crew for somebody else, come to the club on a race night. We will always try to ensure that everybody who wants a race can get out, either on their own boat, or with somebody else. Please do not be shy, make it known you would like to crew. There are often people standing around waiting for their skipper to turn up and you maybe confused with one of these if you keep quiet.