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Help for beginers.


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Hello to all, as a relative newcomer to the sport of model yachting I would like to put forward a suggestion that more help be given to anybody on what is a large learning curve, maybe in the way of some marking on the boat/sails to let those who have more sailing experience know that you are a slightly less experienced skipper than them selves or a event for the likes of myself were the rules are shown in detail and maybe sail with a mentor alongside???. Before there are numerous well meant reply's saying join a club and they will be only to happy to show you the ropes I do belong to a MYA club but and there is always a but :shock: the likes of yesterday when all skippers were sailing for club points, 19 boats I believe, not fully understanding the rules and some of the meanings of the rules even though I have read them and studied the diagrams, as I am sure you will understand it get's a bit disheartening when you think you are making some headway with your sailing to be if I may use the term " chastised " for turning to starboard when you should be turning to god knows were when you are some what surrounded by four or five other boats, or you reach the mark were you think you should be to be told " do a 360 you touched another boat " 5 boats at the mark, ok which one.

It makes me wonder how many other budding rc yachtsmen have given up after a short time and turned to another hobby, so maybe the MYA or the clubs completion secretary's might be able to come up with a proposal to help and encourage new comers like myself and I feel sure a few others with similar thoughts??????

Thank you for reading this bit of a ramble, but if it helps to promote a brilliant hobby.


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Welcome to our sport/hobby. Hopefully, you may find someone local to become a mentor to help you set up your boat - it is much easier to sail a boat that is in tune, than one that is off.

One problem for newcomers is steering (or over-steering), and especially if sailing directly towards yourself – as left and right become reversed – but it does improve with time and practice.

Learning the rules is quite a challenge – so try to master some very basic ones first eg

Port keeps clear of starboard,

windward keeps clear of leeward,

astern keeps clear of ahead,

only tack if you are clear,

give room to boats inside at marks,

and when in doubt stay clear – BUT ASK AFTERWARDS to find out which rule would apply.

There are some helpful sites to learn about the rules. You may find my site helpful – especially Chapter one – The Definitions. https://sites.google.com/site/johnsrcsailingrulesandtactics/

When starting to race, it can be intimidating - you don’t want to screw up the other boats’ races – so what we do with my local fleet for newcomers, is to have them start at the 30 second point – this puts them in clear water around the course, and as they get overhauled, the fleet is spaced out. So less pressure on them. As you improve, you will no longer need the head start, and will begin to start with the fleet.


John Ball

IOM CAN 307 (V8)

In my private capacity

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  • 9 months later...

I would look at the results from the last race and approach one of the finishers in the top six and ask them if they would be your mentor and advisor. My experience of the top guys is that they are extra helpful to beginners and that would be pleased to help. Perhaps my unfair impression but most of the shouting tends to be mid fleet!

At Birmingham myc we are running some single class  events with three starts 30 seconds apart. Beginners off first and the faster guys last. The starts are therefore quieter and easier to get away from. After the first 3 races, the fast fleet guys then stop sailing and concentrate on helping a sailor from fleet one. It works very well

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