Shanklin Sailing Club, Hope Road, Shanklin, Isle of Wight, PO37 6EA   •   contactus@shanklinsailingclub.com   •   01983 721264

How to set a course

Wind speed graph on weather page
Wind speed graph on weather page

The most important things you should look for in setting a course are a beat to windward and a run. Without these the race will be a game of "follow my leader".

Ideally there would be a beat in the first leg but failing that a reach to the first mark is entirely acceptable. A running start is fine if there is no choice. A first leg which involves a tight fetch to the mark is not going to give a fair start to all so avoid this if possible.

A port rounding - particularly of the windward marks - is always preferable to a starboard rounding. Otherwise the rights of way get complicated, it increases the chances of collisions and can favour the sailors in the back of a queue of boats.

To get the angle of the wind you should use every clue you can. Look at the weather station base unit: if the number in the top left is wind strength, press "wind" until it shows wind angle. You can also look at the weather page which shows the wind angle over the past hour and 24 hours. There is also a graph of the wind angle at the pier when it is working. Look at all the forecasts and the wind at the Chichester Bar - www.chimet.co.uk . You can also go to the end of the break water and try and work out where the wind is coming from.

On the board by the weather station is a table of bearings between all the buoys. Go down the vertical axis first. So if there is a south westerly (225 degrees) look for an angle that is closest to that - this will probably give you a start outside the outer mark to 1 (bearing 210) and a beat back from 5 (bearing 228).

Finally, take note of the tide, particularly in light winds. If you have a choice of beating to two buoys, choose the one that is downtide of the wind angle. If you have a choice of two buoys to beat from, choose the one that is uptide.

Wind speed graph on weather page
Bearings of SSC buoys
Wind speed graph on weather page
Chart of buoys


Shanklin Sailing Club
Hope Road
Shanklin
Isle of Wight
PO37 6EA

contactus@shanklinsailingclub.com

01983 721264
Shanklin Sailing Club burgee

Shanklin Sailing Club burgee
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