Cruiser Racing at HISC
Hayling Island Sailing club, although best known for its dinghy racing activities, does promote racing in cruisers. The unrestricted waters of Hayling bay and the Eastern approaches to the Solent provide ideal racing waters for yachts. HISC runs several open cruiser handicap events through the year and all members and visitors are invited to join in for some competitive racing and friendly socialising. There are plenty of crewing opportunities for those without their own yacht.
Club events cater for all levels of racing, using two alternative handicapping systems. The club will provide a Club Number for any yacht racing under the Portsmouth Yardstick system, no matter how racy or not the boat is. If your racing experience is limited try to recruit a couple of good dinghy sailors as crew to help you with tactics and sail setting - they will probably enjoy the experience. It is not necessary to strip the boat bare in order to race, as handicaps will assume a reasonable amount of cruising paraphernalia. Inevitably, however, having a clear out of the unnecessary heavy clutter that accumulates over the years and keeping the bottom free of weed can only help make your boat more rewarding to sail at any time.
If you live locally, the Thursday evening Sundowner Series - PY handicap only - makes for a relaxing interlude in the working week and is an ideal opportunity to take friends and colleagues out for a short race followed by supper and drink in the clubhouse. Hayling Regatta is not just for dinghies, so get a crew together for the cruiser race in Hayling Bay and to add to the spectacle when back on your mooring dress your yacht overall.
Click this link for a bigger version of the Hayling Bay Racing Marks
The Nab Cups and Sparkes Trophies weekend at the end of the season is another opportunity to hone your racing skills. Other than the Sundowner Series the other events are split into IRC and PY fleets and any yacht can enter the latter. Published PY nos may be adjusted and will be given to yachts at HISC discretion with the aim of achieving fair, close and enjoyable racing for the competitors. Handicap nos may be changed through out a series.
Swinging moorings are usually available for visiting yachts, with a launch service to and from the Club pontoon. Alternatively the adjacent Sparkes Marina is a short walk.
The relevant NoR will be available at least one month prior to the event.
Sundowner Series - Thursday evenings 21 April to 28 July
This season the Sundowner six race, PY Handicap, series for cruisers will run on Thursday evenings from 21 April until 28 July, with each race starting from the Club East line at 19:00 hrs
All yachts whatever their size and however racy or not, are welcome to enter. The Portsmouth Yardstick handicapping system will be used, and handicaps maybe adjusted through the series to allow all boats a fair chance of success.
The ferry will be available before and after the race, but crews will need to allow plenty of time. Yachts will be able to come alongside the pontoon, briefly to pick up any late crew, assuming that there is sufficient water. The Clubhouse, including the Dining room, will be open to all be they spectators or competitors.
In order for a Portsmouth number to be determined, an entry form (available on line) should be completed and the NofR and the SIs need to be studied carefully.
It is possible that some yachts will be looking for extra crew, so it could well be worth coming down on Thursday evenings and hanging around expectantly around 18:00hrs on the off chance.