CLUB OWNED BOATS
WRSC owns a number of boats available to members. They are used for ideal for beginners, training and new members who want to get the feel of different types of sailing boat before they make the big decision what to buy for themselves. The club fleet consists of:
GP14 – two-man dinghy. Stable 14 ft, also has a spinnaker. Ideal entry-level boat for adults, especially wanting an introduction to spinnaker handling. Can be cruised with kids as well as racing two-up. The club owns one GP14.
Lark – two-man dinghy with spinnaker. Livelier than the GP, more of a racing dinghy and much loved by universities as they are great fun. The club owns three Larks.
Topper – single-hander. Ideal entry-level boat for children, youths, and small adults. The club owns four Toppers.
Oppi – single-hander for under 16’s. Oppis are a robust version of the Optimist; the largest class in the world, and the boat for kids start their sailing career. The club has six Oppis, which are enormously popular.
As at all inland sailing clubs, sailing at WRSC revolves mainly around racing, which is the ideal way to get to know more fellow members, and is the best way to improve sailing skills and knowledge. Members choose the classes of boat the club sails at the Annual General meeting held early each year. The club currently has two designated classes, Laser and Solo. They are given their own class starts in the various race series held during the year.
In addition, there is a Handicap fleet for those classes of boats which insufficient numbers to support class racing. New classes can grow from within the Handicap fleet, as happened with the Solo.
The club currently lacks a designated class of double-handed boats. The Sailing Committee is addressing this by recommending the RS200, 2000, GP 14 and Lark as suitable classes. By channelling members into these classes there is a better chance of building up a strong class fleet giving better racing, improved sailing standards and improved camaraderie.
Here’s a bit about some of the boats we sail:
Laser – one of the most popular classes in the world! 4.23m, 59 kg single handed and comes with a choice of 3 interchangeable rigs: -
The Standard rig is for fully developed adults, and is used in the Olympics (heard of Paul Goodison?).
The Radial rig is slightly smaller and is used by female, youth and lighter sailors. It’s the Women’s Single Handed Class in the Olympics.
The 4.7 rig is the least powerful and is ideal for youngsters, and those just starting.
WRSC gives the same start for all three variants, and a handicap system evens out the speed difference of the various rigs in the final results. The Laser is easy to sail, especially in the reduced rig versions, but it is difficult to get the best out of it. It is the sort of boat that teaches you to sail properly; otherwise it will let you know!
Solo – 3.78m, 70 kg single-handed class. Not as physically demanding as the Laser, the Solo is very strong at WRSC and well established throughout the UK. A variety of rigs are available to suit the helmsman’s weight from 9.5 – 16 stone. Hulls can be wood, FRP, or a combination of the two. If you’re clever, you can build your own! Solos appeal to a wide cross section of sailors, young to old. An 80-year old has competed at the National Championships!
Information: Solo Class Association
RS 200 – Modern 13 ft., 78 kg. two-man boat with an asymmetric spinnaker, designed in 1995. The RS 200 is fast and exciting and small enough to manoeuvre within the confines of inland water. Not ideal for beginners but not difficult once you can sail, it’s suitable for crews in the weight range 16 – 26 stone and can be sailed by child and parent as well as adults. A relatively new class, the second hand prices are beginning to fall as older boats come onto the market.
Information: RS Class Association
2000 – Formerly known as the Laser 2000 this is a modern 4.4m, 100 kg two-man boat with asymmetric spinnaker. Heavier, more stable and easier to sail than an RS200, with rewarding performance in high winds. Good family boat with furling jib as standard and low sail loads compared with some modern boats. Extremely popular in the south and now looking to build fleets further north.
Information: 2000 Class Association
GP 14 – Classic 14ft, 133 kg two-man dinghy suitable for all age groups, from beginners to open circuit aficionados, also suitable for cruising 3-up when not racing. Has spinnaker and genoa (large jib) and with stable hull provides good platform to learn how to use these sails. Used to be only constructed from wood, often home built, but now almost exclusively FRP. The class has been around since 1949, so there are some great bargains on the second hand market. WRSC owns one GP 14, which has been successfully represented the club in the annual West Lancashire YC 24 hours race.
Information: GP14 Class Association
Lark – 4.065m two man dinghy with spinnaker. Versatile and not particularly weight sensitive, offers an exciting performance for crew weights of 18 – 28 stones. Active class association, renowned for organising lively social events. WRSC has three Larks available for members’ use.
Information: Lark Class Association