OFFSHORE RACING AT FREMANTLE SAILING CLUB
If you want to extend your skills and boost the challenge of sailing, consider taking up offshore sailing this season. Fremantle Sailing Club has a prominent place in Western Australian Offshore Racing, with FSC boats being more than 50% of the fleet.
It may seem a daunting prospect but you don’t have to have a million dollar yacht to compete – this season there will be three divisions, Division 1, Division 2, and the Double Handed Division, usually needing a Category 2 or 3 rating, depending on the race you are participating in.
Offshore racing will develop the skills you have learnt in inshore. For crew, it will be necessary to learn a greater range of skills so that there is more than one person on the boat who can, for example, work fore deck, or navigate, or do the radio scheds. Meals and refreshments will have to be prepared, and you can’t just leave that kite to pack when you get back to the pen!
For skippers, if you have plans to cruise, offshore racing will help you achieve some of the confidence and experience you will need for sailing long distances offshore. You will gain this in the company of other yachts and under close radio supervision. Your crew will relish the step up to offshore and the increased responsibility they are given. Your growth and theirs, in both sailing and personal terms, will be extremely satisfying.
On a long race, watches are scheduled so that all crew get to rest, but stamina and discipline are required. A single leg of a race could last hours, and lazy crew will simply set the kite and stop trimming it, but offshore races are won by crews that maintain their concentration and never stop racing. Winning crews’ minds are alive, thinking about tactics, trimming, currents, wind shifts and sail changes.