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.

 

Step 6: Stance and sail control

The correct sailing stance is everything. With the correct stance you will fly without many strain, aches, or pains.

Here are some things to watch out for. A (below) is the stance to avoid: sail is leaning over to the side, your butt is hanging out, and you are bent at the waist. If you get in this horrible stance, let the sail out with your backhand, bend your knees, and tuck in your butt.


B is a good stance. The mast is more or less vertical. Knees are bent, your derriere discretely tucked in, and your back is straight. When the wind is light, to keep the mast vertical, your elbows (particularly your front arm elbow) should be bent and pointing down. When the wind is strong, you will need to lean way back to counteract the wind in the sail and therefore your arms will be straight. Both feet will be behind the mast, about shoulder width apart. If you are a heavier person and you notice the tail of the board sinking, move forward. If the bow is sinking, move backward. As the wind gets stronger, you will have to more back on the board to keep the bow from purling under the waves. For now, it is important that your knees are slightly bent and your feet on the center line.


In higher winds, try C below. You should have a slight “pelvic thrust.” Like a paper straw, the fewer bends in your body, the stronger your stance. D below is a high wind stance. You will not use this stance for a while, but it’s the stance you will ultimately aim for as you become an advance sailor. In the high wind stance, your arms are straight, and your body is straight. (No kinks in the straw.) Most of your body is over the water and you are hanging your weight off of your harness lines. (I will cover harness use later, but you will need to use a harness as you progress.) As you get into high winds, you will move your feet into the footstraps on the windward side of the board.

A few hints

We said NEVER let go with your front hand. (The only exception is when you are coming back to the beach and you want to drop the sail in the water.) There are two reasons for not letting go with your front hand. Most importantly for now, if you let go with your front hand, the sail will drop in the water and you will have to uphaul again, a definite drag. If you let go with your back hand, you will just let the wind out of the sail. Then you can always return to the basic position and start again without having to uphaul the sail.

Second, when you get "launched" into your rig (which will happen), holding on to the boom may keep the boom (or other parts of your equipment) from crashing into your dental work (or other expensive part of your body). If you let go of the boom, there is nothing to keep you from directly meeting your equipment. If you hold on to the rig with your front hand you may cushion the blow.

For now, it is important to keep your knees bent and your feet on the centerline. Keeping your feet near the centerline of the board is especially important with today's wider boards. As the wind gets stronger, you will have to move back on the board to keep the front of the board from going underwater. Eventually, you will move your feet into the footstraps on the windward side of the board. To counteract the force of the sail, your body will be "hiked" way out to windward and your legs will be straight, that is, when you advance to high winds, your knees will not be bent. For now, however, your knees should be bent and feet on the centerline of the board.

For now, your centerboard should always be down. You only need to raise it when you reach high speeds at which point the centerboard causes instability. When the wind is high, and you feel this instability, first try raising the centerboard 1/2 up, then all the way up. Sometimes in high wind, your board may tend to "round up" into the wind. Raising the centerboard 1/2 up will help with the problem (as explained in the Steering section).

A History Lesson

Windsurfer, Sailboard, Baja Board? Where did this stuff start? Two Southern California aeronautical engineers, Hoyle Schweitzer and Jim Drake, started experimenting with a personal sailing craft around 1961. Both were avid Hobie Cat sailors, surfers, and general water sports enthusiasts. The pair of inventors built many complete prototypes, including some that would be considered bizarre today. The "personal sailing craft" that we have today incorporates all of their design breakthroughs: freely articulated mast, wishbone rig, centerboard, and skeg. The first production run were made like surfboards, glass over foam, and were called Baja Boards. A Seattle distributor suggested the name Windsurfer.

Drake and Schweitzer were awarded a patent in 1971. A few months later, Drake sold his share in the company for a reported $30,000.

Schweitzer couldn't get anyone interested in mass producing windsurfers in the United States. Finally, he got Ten Cate, a Dutch textile manufacturer, to produce boards in Europe. The sport caught on in Europe, with little interest in the U.S. The next decade of the sport was marked by acrimonious patent fights between Schweitzer and a host of European competitors. "Windsurfer" was the name of Schweitzer's company and board so the term "sailboard" applied to everyone else's product. More recently, the original "Windsurfer" went out of production, and the term has been claimed for sailboards in general. (You use to have to say "Windsurfer(TM)".) Now the term "windsurfer" is being used in the generic sense, as is the word "sailboard."

In 1996, Jim Drake was elected to the Sailing Hall of Fame for developing the windsurfer.

If you are interested in the early days of windsurfing, I recommend a DVD called "Wind Legends."