Radio Sailing News
Radio Sailing News
The Radio Sailing Fleet meet every Wednesday and Saturday morning
September to April down at what people who race on a Sunday would call "the Oppie jetty". For three hours (less time if its cold or wet or otherwise unpleasant!) they race their radio controlled model yachts for some "sailing while staying dry"! Starting at 10:00AM
, unlike larger dinghies that will struggle to fit 2 races into the time, with the radio controlled yachts there can be 7 or 8 races in three hours.
May to August the times are slightly different. Saturday morning start at 10.00 AM. Wednesday start at 02.00PM finishing in time for the Bar at 06.30PM
The Radio Controlled racing in this country is governed by the MYA - Model Yachting Association
, who organise National Championships, Open Meetings and various Inter-Club challenges. Since all the normal racing rules apply, this can be a great way to hone your skills for larger dinghies.
Come along any Saturday or Wednesday and make yourself known - they are a very friendly bunch of people once the race is over!
The MYA organise 12 or 13 different radio and vane model yacht classes, although not all of those are regularly sailed at Burghfield. The two most popular classes at the club are the IOM and RCLaser:
IOM - International One Metre
These boats are light, responsive and great fun to sail.
The IOM is the most popular of the four international classes and is sailed at many clubs both in the UK and across the world. The class rules are "restricted" in order to promote close competition, but also to allow the DIY enthusiast some freedom to construct a relatively inexpensive and competitive boat.
The important speed related criteria of length, draught, displacement and sail plan are limited to a maximum of 1000mm, 420mm, 4kg and 3 prescribed rigs.
58 boats raced together at the Nationals in 2007, with the top Burghfield boat in 5th place.
RCL - Radio Controlled Laser
The RC Laser
is the official 1/4 scale Laser: Designed by the same Bruce Kirby, the hull is an exact replica, it uses a simple un-stayed rotating mast, it can have a choice of 4 different rigs: just like the larger dinghies - but when you make a mistake you don't get wet!
When you buy an RC Laser, it all comes as a complete, ready to sail package, including the radio - just fit it together in under 5 minutes add some batteries and you are sailing! You can buy a carry bag to keep the boat in, and extra sails for light wind or heavy weather sailing - but that is it. After that, its down to the skill of the helm to get the best out of the boat.
There were 49 boats at the 2007 National Championships, with the top Burghfield boat in 3rd place.
If you would like to join the fleet, come along and make yourself known. There will be opportunities during the winter to have a go on a Sunday morning, just to get you ready for an extra Christmas present and sailing next year!
To get the full story of a couple of Radio Controlled Lasers, see: Bubble and Squeak