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New batch of racers hatched!

Nov 8, 2010
10,586
Beneteau First 36.7 & 260 Minneapolis MN & Bayfield WI
Every year WYC runs a month-long series of seminars and OTW training for new club members/racers. There are 6 seminars and 3 OTW sessions, ending with a Graduation Cup race. Here the group gets a chalk talk on spinwork.

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BlueJ makes a point to help out, even if we are not needing crew. This year we had 4 new sailors on boat, all doing skill position work. Just regular Brendan on bow adding some adult supervision. The newbies did great and saw it all, from a champagne spin run in 15 knots to almost dead calm behind an island to 25 knots on the nose to get home.


And we take the win, over boats that had half the number of new members on board, or their full regular experienced crew. Happy peeps!
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The club awards hats and etched glassware to the new class. Great way to bring new blood in, and get them in racing form ASAP. Over 20 new members!

g cup.jpg
 
Nov 26, 2012
1,088
Hunter 34 Berkeley
Great idea. I would like to know more about the program. I have been wanting to do something similar at the Berkeley Yacht Club. Do you guys do a similar beginning sailing course?
 
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Likes: Jackdaw
Nov 8, 2010
10,586
Beneteau First 36.7 & 260 Minneapolis MN & Bayfield WI
Great idea. I would like to know more about the program. I have been wanting to do something similar at the Berkeley Yacht Club. Do you guys do a similar beginning sailing course?
It's a pretty well oiled process.

What we have found: The vast majority of successful boat/owner programs at WYC have come up through the ranks starting as crew, most having gone through this program. Get a solid background fast, get in a program to refine skills and knowledge, be happy there or buy a boat. Much less common we have a boat 'move in' from somewhere else (Like I did!). So we tend to focus on getting new people to join the club as crew, know that some will end up owning boats. We're at full marina occupancy, so there is no need to try and jump-start boat ownership.

Another key point. Crew membership at WYC is only $100/year, includes all 70+ races, free beer and and soft drinks after each, full 24x7 use the the clubhouse and grounds. Just don't get to vote. It's a great deal. Intentionally.

We do a lot of media outreach to let people know the spring new-crew sessions are available, leading off with a new-crew social which is basically a party where new people can meet the club and boat owners and crew on a social basis. If they are interested, they can sign up for a Tuesday evenings series that is more technical, and the Saturday AM one that starts with 1.5 hours of practical classroom, then goes out on the water on boats for 3 hours of drills and training. The first day is a rectangle of marks that the boats sail around on all points of sail, crew rotating trim positions. The next is starts. Third is spinnaker work and the Graduation Cup race. After each day on the water we have an included lunch and tap a keg; just like our actual race after-parties.

You can come to any or all. The cost is low, $15 bucks per, which is set to make it an actual commitment but still a very good deal.

You don't have to signup and pay for crew membership until you do 5 actual races, and if you do pay and end up not liking it, we'll give you your $100 back. No risk.

As BlueJ has set crew, its kinda hard to turn every year's class loose. But they all stay part of the bigger program, they are always welcome to sail with us. This year we may have created some monsters. Right now its 42f outside, light rain and 15 knots giving a windchill of 33f. I've had two texts asking if BlueJ is doing to the Sunday 2PM race.
 
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Likes: jwing
Nov 26, 2012
1,088
Hunter 34 Berkeley
Very good. Thanks. Good info. So, members of the club who are skippers cannot have crew who are not Crew Members? Is that correct?
 
Nov 8, 2010
10,586
Beneteau First 36.7 & 260 Minneapolis MN & Bayfield WI
Very good. Thanks. Good info. So, members of the club who are skippers cannot have crew who are not Crew Members? Is that correct?
They cannot have regular crew that are not club members, that is correct. You could have someone crew a few times (or fill in) that was not a member, but you would not able to get through a series with them in that mode. Our goal is to make (crew) membership so fun, easy, inexpensive, and a great deal that joining is a no brainer.
 
Jun 5, 2014
503
ODay Mariner Guntersville
That is awesome! If I could join a yacht club like WYC, I just might change my mind about the value of PHRF racing. What I would really like is a program like Jackdaw described in conjunction with an active one-design fleet. And I would LOVE if the club owned and maintained the fleet so that racing would be more about skill and less about a sail and tackle upgrade war. I'd be willing to spend more than $100/year for that situation.

Does anybody know of a sailing club like that?
 
Last edited:
Nov 8, 2010
10,586
Beneteau First 36.7 & 260 Minneapolis MN & Bayfield WI
That is awesome! If I could join a yacht club like WYC, I just might change my mind about the value of PHRF racing. What I would really like is a program like Jackdaw described in conjunction with an active one-design fleet. And I would LOVE if the club owned and maintained the fleet so that racing would be more about skill and less about a sail and tackle upgrade war. I'd be willing to spend more than $100/year for that situation.

Does anybody know of a sailing club like that?
Great idea. But that becomes much more challenging as the boats get bigger. It’s hard to find an equitable way to split the cost and split the work required to keep them going. Wayzata Sailing, the community sailing Center which is part of Wayzata Yacht Club has over 40 420 racing sloops ready all season. They are used by local high schools and colleges for training and regattas. And also for summertime classes. Those classes are done on an a la cart basis, and not a season-long all you can eat. The crews and people help, but keeping that fleet of simple boats going it’s a full-time job for someone.
 
Jun 5, 2014
503
ODay Mariner Guntersville
Thanks for the info, Clay. Based on my internet research so far, the WYC seems like the sailing club that would have the most benefits for somebody like me. I may have to get up there and try it for a season.
 
Nov 8, 2010
10,586
Beneteau First 36.7 & 260 Minneapolis MN & Bayfield WI
Thanks for the info, Clay. Based on my internet research so far, the WYC seems like the sailing club that would have the most benefits for somebody like me. I may have to get up there and try it for a season.
You're welcome at ANY time! Just let me know.
 
Feb 18, 2018
133
Catalina 22 Firefly Wilmington nc
Awesome that you can build racers. I wish we had a active race scene here in Wilmington. I would love to phrf race.
 
Jun 19, 2013
856
Oday 28 Traverse City
JD, how is it that BlueJ attracts such crew? Good looking freshmen class
 
Nov 8, 2010
10,586
Beneteau First 36.7 & 260 Minneapolis MN & Bayfield WI
JD, how is it that BlueJ attracts such crew? Good looking freshmen class
Connections!

From left, first Brendan, our regular bow guy
Mindy, friends of Jodi and I.. starting sailing last year, but wanted to taking racing seriously this year,
Rachel, friend of ours and GF of our good buddy John. She starting talking to us about her daughter, but did it herself.
Sharon, a friend, used to date a dude at the club. They broke up, now she wants to race full time.
Steph, friend of Mindy, just moved to the USA from France. But never sailed there. Comment est-ce possible?

Jodi drove her 87 yo mom to her aunt's b-day over the weekend, so we had room for extras. So we ended up (again) with all the cuties on the boat. Its not completely accidental, we have a reputation for a fun fast comfortable boat. And we coach well. Who said life is fair?