You can enjoy one of the great adventure sports in the world’s best sailing waters at Fremantle Sailing Club.
Scene of the America’s Cup, and destination for many world-class competitions and long-range cruising boats, Fremantle Sailing Club enjoys unobstructed semi-sheltered waters, good breeze, and professional standards of race organization. Fremantle Sailing Club provides competitions organised to a high standard, the West Coast’s best venue and facilities, and a warm welcome to men and women who want to come and participate.
It’s a sport that only requires a sense of adventure and competitiveness. From entry level to Olympic skills, this is a game that is open to everyone.
On the water there are keelboats from 20 feet to 50 feet plus – from vintage wooden classics to space-age techno sailing machines, and a range of sailors to match. It’s an adult sport, for men and women, that junior sailors can move up to from dinghies, or that complete novices can join to pick up the skills to race a yacht.
Crew positions are highly contested amongst the state’s best sailors at the top class of racing yachts, some of which also race the long-distance endurance events in Coastal and Offshore events. But many boats welcome novice sailors, and are willing to train and mentor new crew and skippers that are reliable and keen. If you have been sailing dinghies, sailboards, hobie cats and other fun boats, you’ll find that the bigger keelboats are just as rewarding, and generally you don’t get so wet.
Many Inshore sailors also sail Offshore for the challenge and tedium of passage-making, but more are happy to enjoy the close competition and excitement of short courses, and the intense demands of skill and technique required for quick maneuvering. It’s said that a good crew can make up for a poor skipper, but not the opposite – but it is true that teamwork can make the difference between a win and a place.
This kind of racing is a unique sport – on race day there can be up to 40+ boats contesting the start in a melee of skills and thrills. This means about 40 teams all playing on the same playing field at the same time.
If you are a new boat owner, like any other sport, there and rules and requirements before you can go and join the game, and the Sailing Administrator, and Inshore Committee members are available to advise, guide, mentor and assist you to get your boat out there. Experienced crew are sometimes available to get you started, or you can join another boat to gain experience before you take on the keen competition. For a sport with inherent danger, injury and damage is very rare, and this is due to the competence and skill of skippers and crew. Competitive sailors respect the sea, and love their yachts. The sport is safety conscious, despite the heroic escapades on deck in a stiff sea breeze and a kite hoist, with the fleet jostling for position up at the top mark.
Yacht racing rules can be complicated, but they are based on the International Regulations for prevention of collision at Sea, (the Col Regs, as they are affectionately called). For all competitors, common sense and the first rule – Make every effort to avoid collision, is principle on the water. Keep your ship and crew safe and learn the basic rules before you join the fleet, to avoid being advised very loudly of your ignorance, or even worse, putting other sailors or boats in danger.
There is an Internationally accredited Yachting Association Sail Training Establishment attached to FSC, which regularly runs courses from Competent Crew, to Skipper standards, and frequent Rules and Information presentations take place throughout the year. (See appendix. For a guide to the rules and requirements.)
Camaraderie both on the boats and ashore after the races is legendary, when rivalry is set aside and each moment of gain and loss is relived at the hospitality of the clubhouse. This is a sport where the average age on a boat with eight to ten crew may be sixty – with men and women well past their use-by date, and keen teen-age youngsters all working together as a team.
There’s heart stopping moments, and still time to enjoy the beautiful coast, views of the Islands, the constant traffic of a busy port, soaring sea-birds and lively dolphins.
Crew membership is affordable. You can come and try racing for up to three events before being required to join. Guests are always welcome on the Wednesday twilight social racing in summer.
You won’t get much more fun from an afternoon than Inshore Yacht Racing. Driving about ten or so ton of sleek, powered-up sailing machines around with a bunch of mates, in the close competition of Inshore Racing, must be a lot more exciting than driving a little ball around a lawn.
It’s not too relaxing, Inshore racing, but it’s never boring, and there’s no better way to spend an afternoon on the water.