Newcomers Guide

If you’ve never sailed in an Open Meeting before, the prospect can, albeit needlessly, be a little daunting. Hopefully the following points will dispel some of those natural concerns and answer some of the questions anybody new to the charms, challenges and rewards of such events might have.

  • Don’t worry about your sailing expertise. Open Meetings are very similar to club sailing. The main requirement is that you enjoy your sailing.
  • Check the Fixtures List. If possible, find an event that isn’t too far away, one that you’ll be able to find easily.
  • Ask any questions or concerns on the Forum. People will be eager to welcome you and talk you through anything you’re unsure about.
  • Make sure that you pack up your boat ready for trailing before the day of the Open Meeting. This will lessen the things to worry about on the day.
  • Make sure that you allow plenty of time for travelling. Try to arrive at the Meeting about 90 minutes before the first race to give yourself plenty of time to settle in, get changed and rig your boat.
  • Most clubs will be open early, so if you think you need more than 90 minutes, turn up earlier. If in any doubt, ask on the Forum.
  • Make sure that you boat insurance is up to date and that you have signed your buoyancy endorsement. You don’t need to bring your insurance certificate, but you do have to sign to say that you’re insured.
  • Most open meetings are not expensive. Entry fees do vary but are usually about £5 to £15 per day and always notified in advance.
  • Clubs normally provide lunch for a small charge. Drinks will be available, but if you wish to bring your own food, that’s fine.
  • Whatever you do, don’t be intimidated! Without exception, the fleet is very friendly, always eager to welcome new blood and quick to offer any advice needed.
  • If you’re still unsure about competing in an Open Meeting, come along to one as a spectator first. A little familiarity with what to expect will make things much easier.