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Dinghy Sailing & Racing

Key Info - Contact our race director at racing@mooredalesailing.com for questions or to get added to the racing email list.

BABY DUCK REGATTA - September 12th - Download the Sailing Instructions

We have many opportunities to race from early May until October! View the Mooredale Events Page for all the dates.
Friday Night Race sign up is here: 2signup.info. Please sign up by Wednesday to be put in that week's draw. 

Mooredale is home to International and Canadian champion helms and crews, and all of our experienced sailors are happy to share their knowledge with those who are just getting started. Our enthusiasm is quickly infectious for most new members and it's a great way to meet lots of new people in a short period of time. If you're a new member, come to Race Training to learn the ins and outs! Or volunteer to help run a race. No experience is required, and you'll get to use flags (and a cannon!) and get up close to the action.

Friday Night Racing

Super-unique, this is one of the world's biggest one-design (one boat type) regular race meeting. There can be up to 50 boats! From May to early September, you sign up as a helm or crew and get randomly paired with another Mooredale member. Then you're off to the races, competing as individual boats for the coveted "mug" but also on behalf of our club against other clubs for the end-of-year Spanish Donkey trophy. It's a supportive atmosphere, and most new members' first experience of racing an albacore. Racing starts at 7pm (be at the club at least 1 hour earlier!) and is finished around 8:30pm, except for the hanging out and rehash of all the events of the night!

How the Draw works:

  • Sign up by Wednesday evening as either a helm or crew
  • The race director will do a draw and post/email the results and boat assignments. Boat captains are assigned their boats. Extra boats are assigned randomly. At this time the "cut-off time" will be posted - you must be at the club by this time to ensure you get to race.
  • If you can no longer race, please contact the race director as soon as you know. If you are coming but will be a few minutes late, please also let the race director know.
  • If you don't have a helm or crew assigned PLEASE STILL SHOW UP. You will almost certainly get to race as extra people show up or some others don't show. If for some reason you don't get a partner, you will be first in the draw next time you come, ensuring you get a spot!
  • If you do not show up and don't let the race director know, you will be at the bottom of the list for the next race. Please be courteous to the director (who is juggling a lot of things at race time) and your potential helm/crew and let us know you're not coming.

Harbourmaster Series

On many Sundays at 1pm there are two races back-to-back. Find a partner, sign out a boat and join the racing! Sundays are often a bit more competitive as you see some of the championship teams out there who've been sailing together for years. The top 3 teams get the "mugs".


If you want a full day on the water, enter a regatta! The first gun is usually around 11am, racing goes until 4pm, and the whole event is followed by a dinner and party. 

Helming and Crewing

Helming in a race is a big challenge! Even if you have experience on other types of sailboats, we recommend crewing for several races before you start to helm. A good helm knows a lot about the Racing Rules of Sailing (mainly about rights of way), can handle the boat capably in various conditions, and can coach a new crew through their first race - all while handling the tiller and having perfect sail trim. 

Crewing is the perfect way to get your feet wet (sometimes literally) with albacore racing. You should come to at least two race trainings before signing up to crew on a Friday Night, so that you can learn some of the advanced skills that you might not have encountered in your Cansail class. A good crew is alert to other boats (preventing crashes!), knows where the marks are, balances the boat well, and keeps the jib set properly. Hiking pants, a watch, and good gloves are all useful things to have. 

Boat and Sail Tuning

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...

Boat and sail adjustments help 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. 

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



5 minutes: gun, Albacore flag is raised
4 minutes: gun, preparatory flag is raised (could be "P" flag, black flag, or other)
1 minute: gun, preparatory flag is lowered
Start: gun, Albacore flag is lowered

Racing Rules: Racing Rules of Sailing 

Know Your Flags! Click here to see the most important flags for racing.

Crewing the Mooredale way

Your main jobs are:

  • Trimming your sail
  • Balancing the boat
  • Watching for boats that will cross your path (Especially when you are on Port tack)

Around The Race Course

The Upwind Leg

    • The centreboard should be all the way down before you start the race.
    • Sheet the jib for close hauled. This generally means inside the edge of the jib is pointed at the outside tip of the spreaders.
    • 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, butt, shins, etc.

      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 pole 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 pulling 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.
        • 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 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.
        • 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 maneuver 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 Things 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 we already mentioned that, but it can't be said enough).
          • Get out on the water early to do some practice 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.

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