And Now for Something Completely Different

Published on June 1st, 2016

by Tim Finkle, RCR Yachts
There has been chatter about too many serious races and the need to incorporate some fun races into the mix. Well this Saturday on June 4, Youngstown Yacht Club (Youngstown, NY) will hold its annual Secretary’s Race.

Boats of roughly equal performance are lined up at the dock. Crews are gathered around the clubhouse bar and names are drawn from a hat and assigned to one of the boats, which is skippered (not necessary helmed) by the owner. Any club members and their guests are welcome to sail.

At a signal from the club secretary, the sailors all dash to their assigned boats, lines are cast off and they power out of the mooring area while hoisting sail. Once clear of the area, they race around a course set by the RC signal boat which is on the move, with crews never knowing when or where the RC will drop an inflatable mark. Sometimes it is actually behind the fleet and boats reverse course. The race ends when the boats sprint back to the dock and the winner is the boat whose crew is all back at the bar first.

There are many different permutations of such a race, but the point is to get people out sailing in a fun atmosphere, on boats they may never have been aboard, and with random crewmates (although friends can be together).

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