Welcome to CSC!

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

Membership costs just $120 for 3 months ($99 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!

New Video on RS Venture Capsize Recovery

This video will be part of a series on capsize recovery. It is also in our video library under Lessons->Sailing->Videos.

Third Junior Sailing Fast Track June 24-28

The third Fast Track of the 2019 season is coming up - June 24-28 !

Fast track is a week of intensive sailing instruction with dinner afterwards each night, and a party on Friday! So, if you are working towards your junior rating, come to fast track! Already a junior/senior? Come to fast track and teach!

We need instructors Monday—Thursday & testers on Thursday & Friday. Like to cook? Come to fast track and make dinner! Like to eat dinner? Come to fast track and volunteer to help in the kitchen! 

Students - please make sure you can commit to participate all 5 days and if you become junior earlier in the week agree to be an instructor for the rest of the week.

Email Mark Elgood to sign up* and get involved.

Who: CSC members actively pursuing Jnr rating (priority given to novices but anyone interested should apply!)

Pre-requirements (by Noon Sun 6/23): Active membership, Jnr written/rigging test, 4 available volunteer hours (2 fast track + 2 for junior)

When: 5-8pm every day June 24-28

Where: Cal Sailing Club

Money: $25 venmo or cash on Monday night

Sign-ups will be prioritized on first-come first served, with a waitlist as necessary. Accepted students will be confirmed no later than Monday morning, June 24,

New Video on Rudderless Sailing

This is a hugely important sailing skill, and not just on dinghies. When you master it, you will have more and more efficient and effective controls on the boat. Rama Hoetzlein and Andy Hacket produced a video on this. It is also in our video library under Lessons->Sailing->Videos.

New to Cal Sailing?

Come to a new member party and meet the gang!

New Member Parties

Summer Series 2019

Saturday May 18th   6-9 pm
Saturday June 15th   6-9 pm
Sunday July 14th    1-3 pm
Saturday August 10th   6-9 pm
 
All are welcome - new club members, potential members, or current members.
If you are a member, bring a friend or two to hang out and party. If you're a Junior, you can take them out sailing (not during Lessons time, though)
 

 

Advanced Dinghy Starts April 29

Advanced Dinghy lessons are back for the spring/summer on Monday evenings, April 29 through the end of August except for Fast Track weeks and holidays.

These lessons are intended for Juniors who would like to enhance their sailing skills (thinking of senior rating?). If you are a recently rated junior, it's a great opportunity to open new horizons for practice. And they are good review for Seniors, too.

If you are a novice or non-rated yet but close to taking your test and interested in any topic covered by this class, you are welcome to join for the dock talk. Depending on the people present, you may be able to get on a boat for the on-water practice, but if you're not close to Junior, you probably won't learn much. Lesson schedule is here.

No need to sign up, just show up.

We will rig the boats at 5PM, lessons will start at 6 with a dock talk followed by on-the-water practice and feedback around snacks after we put the boats away.

For more info, contact Tony.

 

Junior Sailing Fast Track Dates for 2019

Fast Track is a program of intensive instruction to help move you to your Junior rating. It's a full week of intensive instruction – 1 instructor for 2 students from about 5 or 5:30 pm to sunset, Monday through Friday, with testers available. These are the dates for this year. Details and pre-requisites will be announced as the dates approach:

      • May 6-10
      • June 3-7
      • June 24-28
      • July 8-12
      • August 5-9

Open House Dates for 2019

During Open Houses we offer FREE introductory sailboat rides 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 early as, 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 2019 Open House Schedule is below:

      • Sunday, March 10
      • Saturday, April 6- Coincides with the Berkeley Bay Festival! 
      • Sunday, May 19
      • Sunday, June 16
      • Sunday, July 21
      • Sunday, August 18
      • Sunday, September 15
      • Sunday, October 20
      • Sunday, November 17

New Windsurfing Links

A windsurfer in St Petersburg, FL, passed these on to us. Check them out here.

Article Index

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.