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Home > Sailing > Race Series and Events > Kickstarter and Stepping Stones Series

Kickstarter and Stepping Stones Series

Kickstarter and Stepping Stones Racing Series

If you have learnt to sail and are wanting to expand your experience and start to race then the Kickstarter series is an obvious next step. This series is open to all members - youth/junior and adults. The club Coaching Team, supported by experienced club sailors provide a supported introduction to racing most Sundays during the main season. Please check the calendar and look out for information in the monthly Starboard Tack newsletter for dates the Kickstarter series is running. The trophies for this series, and a record of recent winners, can be viewed in the Trophy Cabinet on the Club's website. The Adult Trophy here and Junior Trophy here. You are required to be logged in to view the Trophy Cabinet.

The Concept

The idea of the Kickstarter series is to help you love racing by helping you ease into competitive sailing. Joining in the racing can feel a bit daunting as you might think you'll get in the way, make loads of mistakes and look a bit daft at the back of the fleet. Leave all these pre-conceptions at home, all sailors make mistakes and there is nowhere better to hone sailing skills faster than in the racing fleet. Even if you decide ultimately racing isn't for you, learning how to do it will help your overall sailing skill level immensely.

There are 3 races each day which count towards the Kickstarter series, two races in the morning only for Kickstarter participants and then the series joins the main club racing in the first race in the afternoon, you only need to complete one lap in this race to get your Kickstarter results, but we encourage you to keep going and finish the main race too!

There is a competency criteria for this series, these sessions are free and are not a cheap "learn to sail" alternative to the coaching and instruction available on Saturdays at Improvers. If you have obtained your RYA Junior Stage 3 or RYA Adult Level 2 or have equivalent skills and have participated in at least six improver sessions the previous year (or equivalent time on the water) then you are very welcome to participate in Kickstarter and this series is the natural "what next" progression after our RYA training courses. Kickstarter is also an additional way to boost skills learnt on the RYA start racing course. If you are thinking about participating and want a chat to decide if you are ready, please contact the Coaching team who will be happy to help.

On The Day

You need to be rigged, changed and ready to go at 10.45am promptly. The session will not wait for you if you are not ready as we need to deliver an hour of coaching whilst the morning club race is held before the whole club stops for lunch at noon. Club boats are available to hire for the Kickstarter series via the normal club boat booking system.

The morning session focuses on a key aspect of racing each week so by the end of the series you will have had several sessions on the start, the windward leg, sailing downwind, high wind or light wind sailing, rules and lots of other stuff. There are two short races in the morning with feedback from the coach on the water.

The club then stops for lunch together and you are encouraged to mingle with the regular sailors who will be happy to answer questions, help with any rigging questions & generally just chat. Don't be shy, none of them bite!

At approx. 12:30pm the coach will provide a short de-brief on the morning session and then talk through the afternoon race, they will explain the course, the start and the finish line and answer any questions you have. Kickstarters all start with the slow fleet and the coach will be on hand at the start and throughout the race, either in their own dinghy or in the coach boat to offer advice and support. You need to complete the first lap of the afternoon race to get your Kickstarter result, after this you can come in or finish the race.

Other Information

Kickstarter sailors are required to sign-on (in the same way that all racers do) with the Race Officer's team as sailing in the Kickstarter Fleet. You will also need identify yourself on the water so the regular racers know who you are (and can shout advice and encouragement too) as well as helping the coach, safety boat team and the race team quickly identify you on the water. Y&J Kickstarters usually wear bibs and the Kickstarter adults fly a streamer from the end of their boom.

Kickstarter participants are requested to sign up to each session on the club website, by 17:00hrs on the Friday before the session, so that the coach can prepare a suitable session content for those attending. The Coaching Team usually send out a summary email each week to collate everything discussed and sometimes they have even been known to set home-work for the following week!

If you buy a boat part way through the series and stop sailing a club boat, this is absolutely fine (the club encourages boat ownership) as the series results are for the sailor, not the boat & sailor combination (which is the usual system). This is deliberate to allow you to try different boats and find out which of the many boats sailed at RSC suit you and your family best.

The series can not run without volunteers to assist the coach. Each week we need someone in the coach boat with the coach to meet the club's requirement for all PB to be manned by two people when coaching or supporting racing (so it can act as a safety boat if necessary) and we also need some help to record the results. These are great ways to get involved and get to know people and learn about racing all at the same time.

The Stepping Stones Series

The Stepping Stones Fleet is the next logical step after you've participated in one or more Kickstarter Series and provides a progression for newcomers to racing who have benefitted from the supportive Kickstarters environment. The Stepping Stones Series operates alongside the first two Holiday Series races on a Sunday and is open to any adult or junior who has participated in previous Kickstarters' events. On the day please ensure you arrive early enough to prepare you boat and yourself (10:00 for a 11:00 start) and sign-on for The Stepping Stones Fleet so that the Race Officer can record your results appropriately. The Stepping Stones fleet will start alongside the Slow Fleet (irrespective of the type of boat you are sailing) and depending on conditions, will usually sail just one lap. Results for this series will appear within the Slow Fleet results.

Last updated 20:02 on 16 May 2022

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