Q & A

Frequently Asked Questions and Tips for sailing at Point Chevalier.

1. Beginners

What can be done to make it easier when launching on my own?
We have a couple of buoys just out from the ramp. Tie your boat up to these while you return your trailer. These things make life so much easier.

What is the deal with signing out / in, when I am not even racing?
Don’t ever forget to sign in / out. In a lot of national contests you will be disqualified if you break this rule, so it is a good habit to get in to. It is there for your safety. If you are not racing and something breaks, it is great to know we might be thinking about a serach for you. So, give-us-a-clue before you leave :)

What Clothing/Shoes do I need?
It is dangerous out there, get some decent wet suit boots or anything that works for you with warmth and grip. The oyster shells, bottles and syringes could be deadly. Winter time you need a proper wetsuit, Summer time you need only a 2.5mm cheapie from the warehouse/trademe. Various other layers, hat and poly pro to suit the weather of the day. Wetsuits that dont have arms (singlet top) provide lots of arm movement, long leg wetsuits keep you warm in winter.

Why does it cost $10 to use a Club Boat?
The Club Boats take a pounding and cost a lot to maintain, we want to encourage everyone, but beginners are tough on the boats and the senior members volunteer to do the work. The least we can do it pay for all the small bits and pieces. At the end of the day there is no substitute for having your own boat. Then you can learn to look after it and will be familiar with it.

What on earth is Hove to?
If you ease the main right out and you push the tiller right down to leeward, you should be able to get the boat to sit in one place, slightly sailing forwards and then sailing backwards in a banana curve about a single spot. Once you have this mastered you can (more or less) ignore the boat and eat your lunch and have a drink between races and relax a bit so that you are re-charged for the next race. In fact if wind comes up strong or if you are exhausted after a capsize or for whatever reason you need to have a breather it is a good idea to have this in your range of skills.

Can you give me tips for a beginner sailor to take the next step?
Often beginners will oversheet the main and point as high as they can and tend to get stalled out. Sail will be set well, but the boat won't be going fast. Experiment a bit even if you end up going really slow. As long as you do the exact opposite next time, you will eventually figure out how to go a bit faster.
Simple rules: start by getting the boom near the aft quarter (quite a way off centreline) and sheeting with traveller or vang to get the woollies looking reasonable at all heights of the sail. Once you have nice flow over the sail and you are reaching try sailing a little higher each time and try adjusting the sail a bit in and out each time to see what the boat does. Beware of temporary affects, so relax and take you time before your next setting.


2. Racing

What racing is offered?

Our senior fleet races a range of classes, and sailors vary from beginners to Olympians. Point Chevalier currently has a large number of Zephyrs, Lasers and Sunbursts racing.

The junior fleet race on a separate course, close to the beach. Green Fleet and Open Fleet Optimists start and race together. After Christmas we encourage a Learn to Race group with active coaching on the water.

If I go out to a race and sail what is the start sequence ?

5 mins Class flag, course direction, club pennant
4 min add blue peter (blue with white square) to above, sound hooter
1 min take down blue peter, hooter
0 all flags except club pennant down. Hooter Start watch to be kept going so you can record total elapsed times for all boats
0 or start of Class 1 is 5 mins for class 2 so class flag 2 goes up as rest come down.
Do I really have to race ?

You don't have to race, but go out and take a look as a spectator to see if the other boats are having fun. Provided you don't capsize right in the middle of the start line of another class of boat, nobody is going to mind in the least. Actually, even if you do fall in doesn't really matter; that's yacht racing..

What is a good way to sail in a classic NW breeze with a front and series of squalls?
The prevailing wind is SW. On windy days with a front approaching it will tend to be a NW wind. We often get a series of squalls come across in bands about half an hour apart. The wind approaches survival conditions as the squall passes through. Wind approaching with the line squall will be NW. Immediately after it has passed through it will most often be SW. Then as the next one builds it gradually goes NW again. When you are sailing upwind you can take advantage of this (opposite going downwind). So, go out to the port side of the course sailing on starboard tack until you are almost to the port layline. You will point well on the NW breeze, so life is good. Then as the squall is about to hit, TACK before it gets vicious, get yourself ready. Now you can stay on port up to the mark. You wont have to tack in the high winds and you will get lifted by the SW breeze all the way to the mark.

What is a good way to sail in our regular SW breeze?
A steady SW breeze is the most common situation and it is really nice. Beware areas of dead air near the shore. Depending on whether the tide is coming in or out, the situation changes quite a bit as you may want to hug the shore to stay out of the tide. In a Southerly or near Southerly the course is somewhat parallel to the shoreline. There can be shifts and swirls near the shore, but if you are pushing the tide there is a place to be which is still reasonable breeze, but not too much tide. My Tip; follow
Colin Maddren. Failing that, make sure you have plenty of breeze and then try to minimise the tide by going as close to the shore as you can without losing the breeze. Watch out for an area off harbour view drive where it is really shallow and seems to set up a lot of waves on an out going tide. There is a lot of tide flow in this area.


3. Membership, Miscellaneous, etc.

If you sail as a visitor up to three times,
you can get your visitor fees deducted off the membership fee if you join up. Effectively, this allows you try out the Club with no obligation and if you like it you can join without having to pay "twice".

When was the Club founded, how old is the Club and when is the next party?
The Club was founded in 1919.
Later, on
21st March 1923
it was registered as an incorporated society.
We are probably one of the oldest centreboard sailing clubs in the country.