Are you new to sailing…. or new to sailing catamarans?
Or maybe you just haven’t had the time or connections with others who sail?
Are you looking at our website and thinking that your sailing skills may not be at the level to race? Or maybe that it sounds too competitive?
If any of these questions have crossed your mind, you’ve come to the right place!
We have all skill levels, all ages, and both men and women sailing with us. Many of us were brand new to sailing when joining this club. You will find that whatever skill level you are, there are people to learn from and help you sharpen your skills.
Most of us had a lot of questions before the first regatta, so we've put together a few tips shared by our newest members.
Ok, so you’ve signed up for your first CRAM Regatta and it was free, awesome right?!! Congratulations!
So now what? Hopefully you have made a few connections with the group, if not, it’s important to email the Commodore, let him know it’s your first time sailing, so he can put you in touch with a few folks to help answer any questions you might have.
As you can see from our Regatta schedule, we travel throughout Michigan for most of our events. We’ve been doing this for a while, so we’ve pretty much nailed down the best spots. If you have decided to stay at the recommended campground, a different one, or even a motel/hotel, the first thing you will probably want to do is find out where to drop off your boat. Don’t rely on the campground personnel to know this. It’s a good idea to download and print maps from the website that can guide you, but try to get a few cell phone numbers from CRAM members so you can check-in and find out details if things look confusing.
Usually, on Friday night, most of us will already be there and rigging our boats for an early morning sail. Unless you’re an early riser, it’s probably a good idea for you to do the same, plus you will have the opportunity to meet people. Don’t be surprised if people stop by to say “hi” and lend a hand, everyone is very friendly and helpful.
After you’ve got your boat rigged, then do all the other stuff you have to do which includes getting a good night’s sleep! You’re going to need it!
This may not be an issue for most people, but I want to mention motion sickness… just in case you’re at a location and the conditions are windy and causing big waves… make sure you either have a light breakfast and snacks on-board, or bring whatever cures you. Having enough water on board is very important as well!
Things to Bring
1. Personal Flotation Device (Mandatory)
2. Wet Suits/Dry Suits (whatever keeps you comfortable)
3. Beach Wheels: It’s a really good idea to invest in a set, it makes it much easier for you and your crew to maneuver your boat around, but if you don’t have them, don’t worry… people will be around to help.
4. A VHF Radio: This is a good idea so keep tabs on schedule changes, early or late starts for a fleet. Waterproof is best.
5. Extra parts, tools and tape: you never know what you might need, be prepared.
6. Righting Line rigged on your boat! If you haven’t added a righting line, it’s a good idea to do so. If the winds pick-up and you capsize, the CRAM Race Committee will try to help you, but it may take some time. Having your own righting system will guarantee you stay in the race.
7. A laminated card of the Class and Start/Stop Sequences taped somewhere on your boat (if you need it) if you know the flags and meanings, great! However, we will cover this in the racing rules that follow.
8. Water! Water! Water!
Before the Race
Remember…this is friendly, light competition racing and no one is out to win a gold medal, just out to have fun. If you’re an experienced racer, you will have competition, so bring your best game.
The schedule will be posted on the website, rain or shine, barring lightening, we stick to the schedule. In the morning you will want to Check-In at the Registration desk, so we know you’re in the race, get names and sail number. Make sure you have any last minute rigging finished, and I can’t stress enough…. Ask Questions!!
On a distance race, make sure to find out what color marks we are using. There could be several races occuring in water nearby.
The Skipper’s Meeting is a great time to ask questions. The Commodore will conduct the Skipper’s Meeting, so it’s important that the Skipper be there to find out race details, like the course, and any other important information about the conditions on the water. More information is provided on the Beginner Racing page.
If you have any questions at all, don’t hesitate to reach out by phone or email, all contact info is on the website! Also, if you're on Facebook, join our group and stay on top of important updates.
We hope to see you sailing with us this year!