SAiling with the WCA

The WCA organises a mix of social, fun, and competitive racing over the whole year.


In the summer we run a full calendar of sailing events.  These include:

  • Easter Regatta.  Our season opener - two races plus an evening social
  • Sunday Series.  The main series, run jointly with all clubs on Windermere
  • Marina Series.  Run in co-operation with the Windermere Marina Village (WMV), providing a gentle introduction to racing for members of the WMV, as well as a separate series for club members.
  • Pursuit Series.  For this popular series, boats start at different times- slowest boat first.  Hopefully everyone finishes at the same time!
  • Commodore's Weekend.  The highlight of the summer calendar wIth the emphasis firmly on having fun and the social side.
  • Joint Clubs Regatta.  A NEW weekend fun regatta, incl. evening social at the prestigious Motor Boat Club.
  • Endurance Series.  A couple of longer races, in conjunction with the South Windermere Sailing Club.


Summer racing is run using the RYA’s National Handicap for Cruisers (NHC) scheme.  This is the governing body’s scheme for club racing and is designed to help newcomers into racing.  As well as NHC, we run most races under IRC as well to cater for the keener racers.


Most races start at 1330.  Following the races we meet up – either on the lake in a raft-up, or back in the Boathouse at the Windermere Marina Village.


From October to March, we run the Windermere Winter Series.  This is the premier inland winter racing event for sailors in the North of the UK.  It attracts top notch sailors from far and wide, and provides an opportunity to develop your racing skills matched against a broader range of experienced sailors.


If you are new to sailing on Windermere, then take a look at the wealth of guidance available on the downloads page.   If you want to find out more, then we are very happy to help – simply contact the Sailing Secretary or any member of the club.

Thinking of entering the wca summer series?

If you haven't raced before but are interested in trying your hand you'll find guidance in our "First Timer's Hints & Tips" guide. We also have a handy checklist of things to think about whether you're a beginner or an expert.

Key Documents can all be found here.

WCA races are scored using NHC and IRC. If you're new to racing this isn't something you need to worry about and we'll take care of things. All entrants are included in the club's NHC results. NHC is the RYA's National Handicap for Cruisers Scheme. As you race with the WCA your NHC handicap will go up and down depending on how you do, so every entrant has a chance of taking the podium. For example, in Race 2 of our Easter Regatta, only 33 seconds separated the first four on corrected time (the time adjusted with the handicap).

IRC isn't a handicap, it's a rating based on the boat's measurements and it doesn't therefore alter from race to race.The "IRC Rating Rule" is designed to enable different designs of keelboats to race together and doesn't make any allowance for differences in crews' capability or experience; to do well under IRC you and your crew need to be able to get the best out of your boat. To be included in our IRC results you'll have to have a valid IRC Rating certificate for your boat. You can apply for this through the Association's IRC programme at a favourable price.

Running both of these schemes alongside each other means all levels of competitor and competition can be catered for. In the Easter Regatta OLLI took NHC honours beating four boats which also race under IRC; Volante, Swordfish, Cor Baby, and Shockwave II (2nd, 3rd, 4th, and 5th respectively). However Shockwave II won under IRC beating Cor Baby, Swordfish and Volante (2nd, 3rd, and 4th respectively). Plenty to talk about in the bar afterwards!

Whatever your experience level, to enter you will need to submit a Race Declaration Form and an Insurance Indemnity Form. You'll also need to read the Notice of Race (NoR) and the Sailing Instructions (SIs).

Have fun, stay safe, and see you on the water!


To Protest or Not to Protest?

During a race, sometimes there are incidents on the water.  We would like to encourage people to use these incidents as learning points to improve understanding of the Rules.


1. ‘Normal’ Incidents - Take your Penalty Turns on the Water

If you find yourself in the wrong, or suspect that you may have broken one of the rules, then it’s best to promptly take a penalty on the water.  Either a single turn (Rule 31 touching a mark) or a two turns (rules of Part 2 in an incident while racing)

[ISAF Rule 44]


2. Serious Incidents – Retire and Protest

If you are involved in an incident where there is either injury and/or serious damage, then you must retire.  This will then lead to a formal Protest.  See item 6 below.


3. Incidents where you agree that you were in the wrong, but were unable to take turns on the water

Here you agree to take an Exoneration Penalty.

This applies to ISAF Rule of Part 2 (where boats meet), or ISAF Rule 31 (touching a mark) or 42 (Propulsion).

Notify the race committee (the OOD or the Sailing Secretary) and state that you have broken one of the rules, and that you would like to accept a 20% scoring penalty.  This means that your place will go down by 20% of the number of starters, minimum 2 places.


4. Incidents that you would like to discuss and learn from

This is called an Advisory Hearing.

Sometimes, following an incident on the water, it is not clear what has happened.  In this case, whilst no protests would have been raised, it would be beneficial to discuss what has happened and to learn from it.

Notify the race committee (the OOD or the Sailing Secretary) and state that you would like to hold an Advisory Hearing.

We will then call the parties together for a discussion as to what has happened, and provide advice on interpretation of the Rules.

If, following the Advisory Hearing, you wish to take a penalty, then you can voluntarily take an Exoneration Penalty (20% scoring penalty).


5. Incidents where you would like a formal ruling, but not a full-blown Protest Committee

This is called RYA Arbritation.  It is not appropriate where there has been any injury or damage.

Notify the race committee (the OOD or the Sailing Secretary) and state that you would like to RYA Arbritation.

We will convene a formal hearing.  If the Hearing decides that a party should take an Exoneration Penalty, then it need not go to Protest, and any protesting boat can withdraw its protest.

[ISAF Rules Part 5]


6. Incidents where a Formal Protest is needed to Determine the Facts and come to a Formal Binding Decision

This is called a Protest Hearing.

This will be run iaw the guidelines provided in the ISAF Rules Appendix M.

[ISAF Rules Part 5 and Appendix M]


[NB: These are brief guidance notes.  The WCA SIs and World Sailing RRS take precedence]

Racing Status:
Sun 7th January 2018
Race 8
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