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!

ABK Windsurfing Camp - Thursday July 26 - Sunday July 29

We've been doing this for several years, but it's different this year. This year's camp is Thursday, July 26, through Sunda7, July 29. It is 4 days, and the club discount is $375 each. The location is the Rio Vista Delta, about an hour from the club. More detailed information on the instruction is here. Andy is one of the best windsurfing instructors in the world and teaches at all levels.

You will be able to camp. There may not be water on site, but town is 10-15 minutes away. 

This year will be more limited than in the past, with a hard limit of 10 people. We may be able to setup a second session from August 2-5.

Payment in advance will be required. You're interested, contact Peter Naulls, and he will supply more details.

CSC Promotional Video - Check it Out

Courtesy Min Lee (his Senior Project).

We're in the Cruising Season!

We've already had several, both keelboat and dinghy. Here's a photo from the recent dinghy cruise to Richmond Marina Bay.

Don't miss out on Club cruises. There will be a lot this year, as a number of Seniors are going for their Cruise Skipper rating, which requires, well, doing cruises. If you're logged into the website, you can go to Activities->Cruising->Cruise List to see what's scheduled. Better is to be on the Cal Sailing Announce email list, where they are announced (see here for how to subscribe).

This is a great Club benefit, sailing to interesting places on the Bay. Go out and do it!

Next Junior Fast Track June 4-8

The next Cal Sailing Fast Track will be held from 6/4 through 6/8 from 5pm to about 9pm.  Fast Track is a week of intensive lessons designed to prepare students to take their Junior Skipper practical test.  There will be testers available later in the week for those who are ready and a hot meal and refreshments will be served each night.

  • To enroll you must finish several prerequisites by dock time on Saturday,  June 2.  These include:
  • Junior Written Test
  • Rigging Test
  • 2 extra volunteer hours (beyond those required for membership)

    It is also strongly recommended that students have had 3 plus lessons, be comfortable handling the main sheet and tiller, and have read the dinghy sailing manual on the club’s website.

You must also commit to showing up all 5 nights (teaching if you pass your test early), helping with cleanup, and contributing $20 for refreshments.

To sign up email Alan Ostreicher, the Fast Track Coordinator. If you do not have email, as the Day Leader to contact Alan.

If more students sign up than we have room for, students will be prioritizes by when they get their prerequisites completed, so don’t wait to long to get them done.

Please contact Alan if you would be so amazingly awesome to want to commit to being head chef one or more nights during the week.  Signup for instructors and testers will be set up later.

 

Windsurf Lessons Now on Summer Schedule

Basic lessons on Saturdays from 10:30 am to 1 pm and on Sundays 11 am to 2pm. More info here. We're getting into the windy season, so come out and learn.

Advanced Dinghy Classes for 2018, Starting May Adv Dinghy Image

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. Here are the classes for May:

  • May 7 - Introduction, Follow the Leader
  • May 14 - Sail Trim
  • May 21 - Docking and Man Overboard
  • May 28 (Memorial Day) - Special session with two lessons. 3pm Dodge Ball in dinghies, and 5pm Flying the Spinakker on a JY

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

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.

 

 

Step 9: Sailing downwind

By downwind sailing, I mean sailing on a "dead run." Sailing on a run requires having the sail in a different position than in normal sailing and it takes some concentration. On the plus side, it looks cool, it will get you home, and after mastering sailing on a run, a nonplaning jibe will be literally "a snap." Of course, before sailing downwind, you must be able to steer and tack so that you can get upwind.

Before taking the downwind (running) sail position, you must be on a broad reach. Now is a good time to reread the Steering section. Do not attempt to turn on to a run directly from a beam reach or higher. Head off the wind in the usual manner until you are sailing on a broad reach. Sail in that position for a bit.

To go into the running position, first move your hands back on the boom, and swing the sail across the front of your board as you did when you turned downwind (see Steering). The only difference between steering from a broad reach to a run is that the sail is moved more across the board and less forward. As you start to turn further downwind, move your front foot back so that it is even with your back foot, heels together. If you were successful in turning the board, you will be in the position shown below. If you did not turn the board downwind you (1) did not move your hands far enough back on the boom; (2) you did not lean the sail far enough across the front of the board.

In the downwind (running) position (1) the sail should be square in front of you (at a 90 degree angle to the board, (2) your knees should be bent, (3) you should press down on the boom.

In the downwind position, the board will seem very "tipsy," one rail will want to sink and the board then will want to turn in the opposite direction. To avoid sinking one rail or the other, you must be light on your feet. There are two ways to become light on your feet: (1) Go on a diet. (2) Bend your knees and aggressively press down on the boom. Pressing down on the boom will transfer your weight from your feet to the boom and mast. The first method of becoming light on our feet has never worked very well for us.

To steer in the downwind position, move the sail back and forth along the line (with arrows) indicated in the picture. Try to steer directly downwind by making steering corrections with the sail. When you are finished sailing downwind, steer off to one side or the other (on to a broad reach), and move one foot forward (i.e., resume the normal sailing position).

Now for the fun part. Practice sailing straight downwind 5 or 6 times. Each time, have your feet further back of the board. This will necessitate bending your knees and aggressively pressing down on boom. At the end of this exercise, you should be so far back on your board that if you were to let up on the boom, the tail of the board would sink (you would do a "wheelie"). Only after you can get that far back on your board are you ready to tackle the next step, a nonplaning jibe.

If you can sail downwind fine when the wind is light, but in strong winds, the sail gets blown out of your hand, get further back on the board. If you are far back on your board, the sail will be tilted toward the wind. Therefore, you can hang your weight down on to the boom.

 

Faster than the wind - More geek talk

How could a sailor go faster than the wind? Windsurfers do it all the time. The true wind speed might be 15 MPH, but windsurfers are screaming along going 20 to 25 MPH. Part of the answer to this (and other) mysteries is blowing in the (apparent) wind: Sailors make their own wind.

The apparent wind is the wind you feel as you move. For example, on a windless day if you are going north on an Interstate Highway at 55 MPH and stick your head out the window of your car, the apparent wind will be 55 MPH. In the other hand, if the wind is blowing 55 MPH in the same direction you are going, the apparent wind would be 0 MPH. In other words, the apparent wind is a combination of the true wind and your speed. The apparent wind can be greater than the true wind, and it is the speed of the apparent wind that matters for the sailor. The speed of the apparent wind can be illustrated with a "vector diagram" where the length of the lines indicates speed (in knots or MPH).

If a windsurfer is going fast, he or she is creating additional apparent wind. Going faster than the wind is one of the pure joys of windsurfing. The diagram also illustrates another mystery: When windsurfers are going fast, they always seem to be sailing against the wind (i.e., close hauled, with the sail sheeted in). The reason for this position is that the apparent wind is always forward of the true wind.

Next time an advanced windsurfer blasts by you, remember that she actually has more wind than you do. Somehow, it doesn't seem fair.

But then, it is rather magical.