Welcome to CSC!

The Cal Sailing Club is a non-profit, volunteer-run sailing club in Berkeley

Membership costs just $99 for 3 months ($89 for students and seniors) plus 2 hours volunteer work and there are no charges for lessons, equipment use, cruises, or other club activities.  Choose About CSC for more information, to join, See plans and pricing.

Once you've signed up, you'll need your Membership #  from your invoice or confirmation email.  If you forget that, check with the dayleader (they have the list of current members) or better yet, login again with your username and password and go to Account Info .  

Welcome aboard! Welcome to CSC!

Junior Skipper Fast Track Dates for 2018

We will be offering five Junior Skipper Fast Tracks this year. These are 5 day (Monday through Friday) intensive dinghy lessons, 1 on 2, from around 5pm to sunset. They are designed to move you closer to your Junior Skipper rating (which you may even get that week, but even if you don't, you'll be a much better sailor at the end of the week). Details will be announced within a few weeks of the start of each. Participants should have all Junior requirements completed except for the on-the-water test.

These are the dates:

  • April 30 - May 4
  • June 4 - 8
  • June 25 - 29
  • July 30 - August 3
  • August 20 - 24

Advanced Dinghy Classes for 2018

Advanced Dinghy will start of Monday,  May 7, and will be held on every Monday evening from then until the end of August, except for US holidays and Fast Track weeks. These classes are intended for Junior Skippers working on their Senior rating. They will cover the required skills and much more. Details will be announced a few weeks before the classes start.

Open House Dates for 2018

During Open Houses we offer FREE introductory sails to the general public aboard our fleet of keelboats and dinghies. Children must be at least 5 years of age and accompanied by an adult. Each Open House runs from 1-4pm on the dates listed above. More detailed information is here.

Please try to arrive promptly at 1 pm when the signups start.  Depending on the conditions and the amount of people, the sign-up/rides may end before 4pm.Come on down and get out on the bay! Already a member? Come on down and help out! The 2018 Open House Schedule is below:

  • Sunday, February 4
  • Sunday, March 11
  • Saturday, April 14 - Coincides with the Berkeley Bay Festival! 
  • Sunday, May 13
  • Sunday, June 17
  • Sunday, July 15
  • Sunday, August 12
  • Sunday, September 16
  • Sunday, October 14
  • Sunday, November 11

Junior Dinghy Skipper/Windsurfer Tests Now Online

Until now, you had to take your Junior Dinghy Skipper and Junior Windsurfer Written at the Clubhouse. No longer. It's now available on-line. You can take it on the Clubhouse computer or at home. You can also go through the test to prepare yourself before taking it.

You need to be logged in to look at or take the test.

To look at the Junior Skipper Test (you must be logged in):
Go to Ratings->Written Test->Junior Skipper Sailboat->Read Test
To take the test:
Go to Ratings->Written Test->Junior Skipper Sailboat->Take Test

To look at the Junior Wiindsurfer Test (you must be logged in):
Go to Ratings->Written Test->Junior Windsufert->Read Test
To take the test:
Go to Ratings->Written Test->Junior Windsufer->Take Test

Both are closed book, so please honor that and don't look up the answers while you're taking the
test, but feel free to go through the exam ahead of time.

If you pass, that will be recorded automatically, and you will get an email of the results.
If you don't pass, you won't be told what you missed, and you'll have to wait a day to take the test again.

Note that you must take the test online, at the Clubhouse or elsewhere. You can no longer take
it on paper. This gives the Day Leader more time to monitor the South Sailing Basin.

The Novice Windwurfer and Racing Skipper tests have been available online for some time.

Windsurf Lessons Now on "Fall/Winter" Schedule

We no longer offer windsurf lessons on Sundays, only Saturdays from 10:30 am to 1 pm. Sunday windsurf lessons will begin again in late Spring. Watch this space.

 

 

Water Starting and Footstraps

Water starting is an indispensable trick if you want to sail in higher winds or move to a "short board." Short boards do not have enough floatation to easily stand on uphaul the sail. Water starting is kind of magically. You are swimming around, and the hand of God picks you up, and she places you on your board. No more back breaking uphauling, doesn't that sound good?

For learning water starting I highly recommend the DVD "ABC's of Waterstarting" by Dasher. You can buy it at many shops or on line at many places (here is one). (While you are at it you might get Dasher's "The 12 Step Jibe with Dasher"). Because this DVD is so complete, I will not go through waterstarting in detail (get the DVD!) but just add a few points. (But get the DVD.)

Some places are make it easier to learn to waterstart than others. The wind needs to be pretty strong (~15 to 17 MPH is ideal), and chest high water is ideal. With water that deep, you have to try to waterstart (not beach start) but you can rest between attempts. Since you need it to be windy, you should have mastered the harness before trying.

It's easier to lean if you are wearing a PFD (life jacket). You will float higher out of the water and that will help you get up. The PFD should be a snug fit so that it does not ride up. Kayak PFDs work pretty well and they are high waisted and will not interfere with a seat harness.

I think that knowing how to beach start help waterstarting. Waterstarting is beach starting, but in deeper water. You need a beach. The wind should be approximately 90° to the board (beam reach) and you are standing on the upwind side of the board, behind the mast. You will have to have the centerboard partway up, because the water is shallow. Your hands should be on the boom in the normal sailing position and you should feel the power in the wind in the sail. You are sailing in place. Your hands are around the balance point of the sail.

Put your rear foot on the centerline of the board. The gently step on the board. Do not let the wind out of the sail. You want it to propel you forward and give you something to lean against. After getting shallow water beach starts, try is slightly deeper water.

Finally, I find that it is helpful if you have your booms a bit on the low side while working on waterstarting. Now, get the ABC's of Waterstarting and get wet.

 

Footstraps

Before getting into the footstraps, review the advanced safety page. It is important that you adjust your footstraps to be safe.

Getting into the footstraps is not about getting into the footstraps, it's about achieving a good high wind stance (such as the one shown here from an ABK advertisement). This is the end product: The sailor is well out from the board, with nothing under him but water. His body is straight (red line). Most of his weight is hanging from the boom (MBP: black arrow). The sail is sheeted in (almost over the board) and his hips are facing the board, not forward. His hands are only lightly on the boom, and he is in the footstraps. But how do you get there?

You have to go through the gears! First gear, you just waterstarted (or uphauled) and you are standing near the mast. Pick up a little speed and hook in (second gear). As you gain speed, slowly start to move toward the back of the board, sheet in (bring the sail in) and start getting your body over the water (as in the picture). To sheet in, you move your hip so they are facing the sail, not forward. In other words, you bring the sail in with your hips, not your arms. Now you are in the total stance (right) and you have moved back so that your rear foot in just in the middle of the board in front of the rear strap, and your front foot is just beside the front footstrap. You are hanging your weight from the harness so there is little weight on your feet. You are going fast. You look like the sailor on the right (fourth gear).

You put your front foot in the front footstrap. Since you are hanging from the harness (black arrow), you have little weight on your feet. Do not look at your foot as you put it in the footstrap. Instead, glance at your foot, look where you are going, regain speed and then put your foot in the front strap.

Get more speed before putting you back foot in the rear strap. You are going to have to learn forward hanging from your harness lines to get the weight off your rear foot. Put that in, sail away.

Check your stance: body straight, hanging from the harness, arms straight, hips facing the sail, light grip on the boom (no white knuckles), arms only shoulder width apart, relaxed, and are you smiling? Ain't life grand?