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Home / Sailing / Club Racing

Club Racing

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A brief summary of the various types of racing events that take place at Burghfield:

Wednesday Evening Pursuit Race

These events, held for approx. 18 weeks in the summer, are very popular - both with complete beginners to the racing scene, and to those who are a lot more experienced, it's the time when the lake is the most crowded! Wednesday evening races are a good time for beginners - the winds are generally lighter and the racing is less serious. Because of the Personal Handicap, you can get good racing against other boats, however skilled or un-skilled you might be. Start times range from 18:45 through to about 19:30 with the slower boats starting first. A mass finish is timed for 20:00 followed by a meal and drink in the Club at about 20:30.


The initial personal handicaps will be set to 50% of the values from the end of the previous year. If you have not sailed in this series before please read the Explanatory notes so that you have an idea of the way it works, if you still have any questions please contact your fleet captain or Mike Proven, Rear Commodore Sailing.

  • For those who are new to the series, or those who have changed boats, we will need to assign you with an initial personal handicap. Initially, it can be anything from -2 to +2 depending on your level of experience. Just follow these guidelines:
  • If you are new to racing, use -2 minutes, this will give you a bit of a head start.
  • If you are a reasonably competent club racer, start from the scratch time for your boat.
  • If you are a competitive racer comfortable at open meetings, use +2 to give yourself a challenging race.

Of course, you can use -1 and +1 if you fit in the middle somewhere. Please note that most people in the fleet will already have personal handicaps from previous years so you are just trying to pick a number which will slot you in at the right place. If you are unsure please ask. Should we feel you have got it wildly wrong, your handicap may be manually adjusted for your second race but after that it will only be done automatically.

If you are fairly new to racing, then there are lot of pointers to further useful information on the Introduction to Racing pages. More detail about the Wednesday Evening Pursuit racing series can be found here. This series rounds off at the end of August with the much anticipated “Bloodbath"!

    The Bloodbath

  • As a celebration to the end of the Wednesday Evening Series, come and join us for the Bloodbath.... It's not scary! It's a great, fun way to end the evening series!
  • A lap-timed handicap race, single start with one loooooooong line, & no personal handicaps!
  • Start 6:50pm for ALL competitors
  • Competitors will need to go through the start/finish line on every lap
  • The race will be in the region of 45-60mins long
  • Following the Bloodbath, there is a supper and Prize-Giving

Normal Sunday Racing

Sunday's are when the main racing at Burghfield takes place. The racing is organised into fleets and handicap racing, and the numbers on the water can vary between about 20 or 25 boats (when its cold and raining) to well over 100 (when its sunny and there is a good breeze blowing). The main racing that takes place at the Club. Organised into fleets and handicap races:
  1. Fast Asymmetric - 11:00 and 13:30.
  2. Fast Handicap - 11:03 and 13:33
  3. Slow Handicap - 11:06 and 13:36
  4. Optimists - 11:09 and 13:39
The races are split into a morning and an afternoon series for each of the Frostbites, Spring, Summer, Autumn series. Normally there are 10 or 11 races in each series.

Bank Holiday Racing

Each Bank Holiday from Easter Monday to the end of August there are a couple of races held. These tend to have fewer people racing than on a Sunday or Wednesday, so the water is not crowded. This can be a good opportunity to swap helms or crews, to try new ideas, or to gain more experience. Normally these are Pursuit Races. With a "100 minute" in the morning (start at 11:00 = finish at 12:40); and a "70 minute" (start at 13:50 = finish at 15:00) in the afternoon. The 8 races held count towards the Bank Holiday series results.

Special Event Sundays

Between each of the main Club Series, there is often a special event held. These may be all-in handicaps, or pursuit races, or fleet races. For more details, check the club calendar for: Commodores Cup, Cock of Burghfield, Fleet Trophy, KGFS Pennant Race, Ladies Race.

  • KGFS & Ladies Rosebowl - Consists of three races with one discard and there are two prizes to be won. The KGFS Plaque which is open to all competitors and the Ladies Rosebowl which is open to Female Helms. The format of the racing is one start for all competitors and is a normal lap timed handicap. It is an ideal opportunity for all types of boat to compete together and should make for an interesting start! The start will be at 11am, as normal with the second and third race being run back to back after lunch. It is an ideal event to have a go at if you haven't really raced that much before as it is all completed in the one day, so come along and give it a go!
  • The Commodore's Cup - a one-day, handicap event - it is a great chance for classes who don't usually get to compete against one another to do battle.
    The format is as follows:
    3 races, 2 to count, Single start for all classes, Lap Timed handicap, First Start 11:00
  • Fleet Trophy Day - a one-day event normal Fleet racing (as for normal Sunday racing), but 2 races in the morning and 1 race in the afternoon.
    3 races, 2 to count, First Start 11:00
  • Cock of Burghfield - Usually a one day, pursuit race event but can span two weekends - 5 races, 3 to count.
    Day 1 - 3 x lap timed handicap races 2 in the morning, 1 in the afternoon. First start 11:00
    Day 2 - 2 x pursuit races - With a "100 minute" in the morning (start at 11:00 = finish at 12:40); and a "70 minute" (start at 13:50 = finish at 15:00) in the afternoon.

Open Meetings

Each of the fleets that are sailed regularly at Burghfield normally has an Open Meeting at the club at some stage during the year. Visitors travel, often up to 150 miles, to attend these events. Visitors from other clubs find the Burghfield Open Meetings very popular - because of the good competition, the way the events are run, the location of the club and the friendliness of the people here at Burghfield. For more details, check the Club Calendar

National Championships

Burghfield also run National Championships and National Inland Championships for a number of different classes each year. The actual boats and classes involved change every year, as the classes like to visit different venues. Burghfield has held National events for Moths, Larks, Optimists, Fevas, RS classes, Laser classes, Enterprises, Comets and many others in recent years. Please check the Club Calendar for details

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