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FAQ’s: RYA Keelboat Start Racing Course

How much will this course cost including any exam fees?

Price wise it will typically set you back around $230, £160 or 210 EUROS depending on the country you wish to take it in, and the time of year.

What will you get out of the RYA Keelboat Start Racing course?

So, you’re a competent sailor and come mid table in the club’s fun racing days but want to play with the big boys on the Sunday racing series? This course will enable you to win in the jostle for the start line and equip you to win the odd race.

There are a lot of skills in winning a race that don’t just involve setting up your rig properly and flying your spinnaker well. This course will show you the best ways to start winning races.

But don’t expect to be hired by Ben Ainslie for the Americas Cup World Series! This course will ensure that you never get the wooden spoon or have your race cut short for falling too far behind the fleet.

Is the Start Racing course theory, practical or both?

There are a lot of techniques that you won’t necessarily put into action until faced with the need to do it, so these will be theoretical based initially.

There are however practical skills that you will learn and develop on this course, such as the roll tack and getting to the start line first at the best speed without getting a foul.

Where can you take the course? Can you take it in another country?

Most UK keelboat sailing clubs that have teaching facilities will teach it, and there are sailing schools all over the world with RYA accreditation that will help you attain this certificate.

Click the 'view courses' button below to find a course near you.

What level of experience do you need before you begin the Keelboat Start Racing course?

You should have a minimum of the RYA Keelboat Level 2 though many sailing schools will expect you to have a Level 3 as a minimum, or the equivalent experience. Ask at the centre of your choice. 

Duration - How long does this course take?

The course takes 2 days to complete so you could do it over the weekend. Typically you will start earlier on day 2 so that you can fit in plenty of racing practice.

What will you learn?

There are three main elements to this course, the shorebased, race rules, and practical.

  • The shorebased element looks at rig tuning and how to prepare for a race in given conditions.
  • The race rules element looks at the rules around right of way, mark rounding, penalties and flags for starting, penalties and finishing and other standard racing rules.
  • The practical elements look at techniques for rounding marks, getting to the start line first and a number of other skills that will enable you to do well in club racing.

How do You progress after completing the Start Racing course?

Consider doing another RYA racing course such as the Intermediate and Advanced Racing courses.

Does this give you international accreditation?

Not in a legal capacity though it does informally.

Though not recognised by governments, however the RYA is recognised by clubs and sailing schools all over the world, and with this certification you could end up racing at clubs as crew anywhere in the world.

Where can I learn more about the course?

Have a look at the RYA website for a rundown of what the course involves.

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