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Start Offshore Racing

5: Training

Whatever your sailing background, before racing offshore it’s normally best to start with doing some inshore yacht racing (see last issue) to gain familiarity with handling the boat as part of the crew and with various roles in different manouevres.

If you want your first experience of offshore sailing to take place in a less pressured environment, consider an RYA course that, weather permitting, may take you cross-Channel (if you want this, discuss it with your chosen sea school before making a booking).

There are also a number of short RYA courses that address important knowledge for those who sail offshore in any capacity. Sea Survival is a one day course covering emergency situations, including abandoning to a liferaft, with a valuable practical session in a pool. It’s a requirement for a proportion of the crew of some longer offshore races, such as the Fastnet, to have this training. Other useful RYA courses include VHF operation and First Aid at Sea.

As with inshore yacht racing, there are no RYA courses directed specifically at offshore racing, but a number of sea schools offer the opportunity to combine race training with an offshore event. This can be an excellent way of building experience in your first few offshore events. In addition, the RYA’s Yachtmaster scheme, although geared towards the needs of cruising skippers, also provides much of the background knowledge of seamanship needed by skippers and senior crew members of boats that race offshore.

Further information:
www.isora.org
www.rorc.org
www.jog.org.uk
www.eaora.org.uk


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