Starcross is one of the most active dinghy racing clubs in the southwest. We race year-round on Sundays and on Wednesday evenings during the summer. As our sailing water is a tidal estuary we adjust the start times to get the best of the tide - usually racing near high water, with one or two races per day.
Although our racing is run on a handicap basis a number of fleets have class races within a race. Currently, the RS100, RS400, Merlin Rocket, and Hurricane SX have good class participation every weekend. Other classes raced regularly at the club include Hornet, RS800, Laser, Finn, National 12, Aero, D-zero, B14, RS200, Topper, Dart 18 and Solo - click the links for more information on each class.
The club runs five long series through the year (Spring, Evening, Summer, Autumn, Frostbite) with approximately 50% of the races in each series to count. The long series are divided into fleets for Asymmetric, Fast Handicap, Slow Handicap (PN 1020+) and Multihulls; the evening series being the exception with a fast handicap, slow handicap, and multihull fleets. We run shorter series over the Easter and Christmas holidays - in this case, the fleet starts are monohulls and multihulls. There are a number of individual trophy races, including two pursuit races, scheduled throughout the seasons. We also run a number of Open Meetings during the year for our popular classes. These are usually one-day events so that club racing on Sundays is available for members. During the Frostbite season, we run the popular Starcross Steamer which regularly gets 100 entries, and Starcross is also one of the three organising clubs for the annual Exe Regatta held during the summer.
The full race programme is available here.
We use a combination of the estuary navigation buoys and our own inflatable marks to set courses around the estuary. Courses can be signaled to the competitors from the shore. For Sunday racing we aim to set windward/leeward courses for the Asymmetric and Multihull fleets; the Handicap and Lasers using more traditional courses with a combination of reaches and runs. Wednesday evening involves traditional estuary courses for all fleets. The start line is close to the launching area for most club races, but we often use a committee boat to start the open events and regatta races.
The club has invested heavily in a recently refurbished Race Box to provide efficient race and results management, with a light-based signaling system, automated timekeeping and results updating, and electronic sign on for competitors. The race results (and updates to the relevant series results) are usually posted to the website before all the boats are ashore. Race results are available here. The Sailing Committee monitor handicaps annually using an extensive database of race results going back to several years and are active users of the RYA’s online PY system. Local handicap adjustments are made to encourage fair racing between the classes.
Although we pride ourselves on the breadth and quality of our racing, it is not all about rock stars. Beginners and juniors are very welcome. Starcross is a very friendly club; if you want help in setting up your boat, understanding the tidal flows, navigating around the sandbanks, or just sailing faster there is always someone around to offer advice. With a fleet of three safety boats, we can provide safe cover and protection to competitors in all conditions.