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Dinghy Sailing & Racing

Friday night race sign up sheet is here: 2signup.info. Sign up by Wednesday to be put in that week's draw. 

Don't forget to read the 2018 Friday Night Series Sailing Instructions  and the 2018 Harbour Master Series Sailing Instructions!

At Mooredale Sailing Club, we love sharing our passion for sailing. Our enthusiasm is quickly infectious for most new members. We love seeing our students enjoying the thrill of sailing well and fast! We have a tradition of sharing sailing knowledge openly, which makes our club the place to become a great sailor! For the unfortunate sailors who do not live in Toronto, we put together this section of our website: "Dinghy Sailing & Racing". Welcome! Please don't hesitate to submit an article for publication by sending an email to communication@mooredalesailing.com

Helming and Crewing

Get inspired by Dave Perry, who explains in the introduction of his book "Winning in One-Designs" what racing is all about. "When you really stop to think about it, sailing is possibly the most complex sport in the world." Read more...

Helming involves a lot of preparatory work. George Carter, member of Mooredale Sailing Club and one of the top Albacore sailors in the world, will be presenting recommendations regarding the preparation for a new sailing season. 

Crewing on an Albacore is extremely rewarding and involving. It requires a lot of different qualities, including physical, analytical and organizational. Check out this Mooredale training video on Albacore Crew Training.

Sailing in waves, in Shackles and Cringles, a CAA publication
written by George Carter, reviewed by Raines Koby.

Boat and Sail Tuning

Boat and sail adjustments to get the speed you're looking for. Check out the article "Fast Thoughts on Reaching Speed" from the Albacore World Champions Barnie Harris and Dave Byron.  Read George's notes on Tuning and Sail Trim. 

Read: Mistakes in sailing: what makes all the difference. 

"I have my CanSail, I am interested in racing, what are the next steps?" Come to Race Training!


Racing RulesISAF Racing Rules of Sailing 2009-2012, with Flags and signals. Rules explained (diagrams and video).

Crewing the Mooredale way

Trim your sail

Balance the boat

Watch for boats that will cross your path (Especially when you are on Port tack.)

Around The Race Course

The Upwind Leg

    • The centre board should be all the way down before you start the race.
    • Sheet the jib for close hauled and cleat. This generally means inside the outside tip of the spreaders, unless the wind is very light.
    • If it is very windy, hike as hard as you can off the start line.
    • Watch for crossing boats on both tacks, but especially when you are on port tack. Give your helm plenty of warning.
    • Immediately after tacking, organize your jib sheets for the next tack.
    • Ignore pain in legs.

      Around the Windward Mark

        • If you are approaching on port tack, help your helm find a hole in the line of starboard tacking boats, and be prepared to take sterns.
        • As you round the mark, heel the boat to windward slightly, to help the boat to turn around the mark.
        • Ease your sail and move toward the centre of the boat for the reaching leg.
        • Make soothing remarks to your helm.

        The Reaching Leg

        • Keep the boat flat
        • Launch the pole to halfway(ish) (halfway meaning that the pole crosses the mast half way between the boom and the spreader). The pole deployment line is generally located at deck level beside the mast. The purpose of the pole is to hold the jib farther outboard when on a reach or a broad reach so that the jib and the main are more or less parallel, keeping a nice air flow through the “slot.” Hence the broader the reach, the farther out it should be. Use the tell tails on the jib to check your setting and expect to adjust frequently.
        • Tip – if you’re not sure about your pole set, look at boats around you. They may know what they are doing (or not).
        • If possible, keep the launch line in one hand and the jib sheet in the other so you can make constant adjustments. Keep both ticklers flying at all times. If the outside ticklers are flopping, ease sail out. If the inside ticklers are flopping, pull in. This may be a matter of an inch or two. Constant adjustments are required.
        • Should planing conditions arise, you will need to be up on the gunnel with your helm. Be prepared to hike out and back very hard, very quickly.
        • Practice juggling in your spare time.

        The Gybe Mark

        • Help your helm by throwing the boom across the boat on the gybe. Put your backmost hand around the boom, with your fingers into the cloth at the foot of the mainsail. Put your forward hand on the blocks at the top of the boom vang.
        • Stand up and throw the boom across when you are running dead down wind. The helm should say "gybing" and you can also notice that tell tales on the shroud are flying straight ahead towards the bow of the boat. Duck.
        • Sheet the jib on the new side, including launching of the pole.
        • Centre board should be ¾ to fully in the boat.
        • Sit far enough to leeward to balance the boat, holding the boom out.
        • Piece of cake.
        • Note: Use of pole before and after a gybe may vary depending on the wind angle. Discuss this with your helm as you arrive at the mark. In general you want to keep the jib flying for as long as possible and get it re-positioned on the new point of sail as quickly as possible.

        The Run + Launching and Gybing the Pole

        • When you are on a run and ready to launch the pole, first organize yourself close to middle of the boat, keeping your weight as far back as possible. Lean forward and grab the clew of the jib on the opposite side of the mast from where the main is flying and move it outboard into the “wing and wing” position by hand if necessary.
        • The helm may help with positioning the sail by pulling the jib sheet through the fair lead and should say “ready” when ready (duh).
        • Deploy the pole out fully and cleat. This takes several pulls on the deployment line to achieve.
        • Turn and take the jib sheet from the helm (this assumes you work as a team and the helm has been putting pressure on the jib sheet for you). Sit down slowly, under the boom, holding the boom out, keeping the boat balanced.
        • When the helm calls for a gybe, uncleat the jib and hold the jib sheet in your forward hand (the one that will be holding onto the the vang block to assist with throwing the boom.)
        • First gybe the boom across, releasing the jib sheet at the same time. Then with lightening speed release the pole and redeploy as described above. Turn and take the jib sheet from helm, etc.
        • Wasn’t that easy?
        • Sometimes you may feel you need an extra hand. Practice juggling once again.

        Round Up to Windward Again

        Prepare for the windward leg in advance of reaching the mark. With a couple of boat lengths to go, put the centre board down fully again. 

        To take the pole down, just release the deployment line and sheet in very loosely on same side as main as you begin to head up. During this manoever the boat will heel to leeward. Pull in the main sail gradually as you round and move across to flatten the boat for the upwind leg. Pull on boom vang and rig tension as needed.

        Friday Night Races are generally 2 triangles and a final windward leg:

        Other Stuff to Remember

          • If you get to the club early, help your helm by rigging the boat.
          • Get an LCD watch with a timer.
          • Don't wear jackets that are loose and apt to catch in the main blocks. Or at least tuck the back and hood in.
          • Watch for starboard boats (I know I already mentioned that, but it can't be said enough .
          • Practice gybing before the race.

          Learn which boats "matter". The most important ones are those that are going to cross close to your boat. Here is how to tell who is about "even" with you. Get help from your helm practicing this before the race too.


          Non-sanctioned regattas are held throughout the sailing season in Toronto Harbour and elsewhere. Each of the OHSF clubs sponsors a weekend regatta in which three or four races are run each day. The Toronto Sailing and Canoe Club sponsor an open regatta in May (TARTS) and The Royal Canadian Yacht Club sponsors a 2 day open regatta in June. New,QCYC sponsors a 2 day open regatta now open to Albacore sailors in early September. Each season one of the OHSF clubs sponsors a Triathlon regatta, Women’s Helm regatta, Around the Island Regatta and a New Skippers’ race. Sailing associations and clubs outside Toronto also sponsor Albacore regattas.

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