Dinghy Racing

Dinghy Racing 2024

Dinghy Racing is run every Saturday from the beginning of May  and also on Wednesday evenings from beginning of June. The aim is to runb two races on each day, first gun on Saturdays is @ 1500hrs and on Wednesday evenings @ 1900hrs.

A full schedule of racing can be found on the events calendar.

Dinghy Racing is run under the Portsmouth Yardstick Handicap system, and the fleet split into two classes:

Class 1 (PY1)

  • Flying Fifteen
  • 420
  • 29er
  • ILCA 6 (Laser Radial)
  • ILCA 7 (Laser Full Rig)
  • RS Aero

Class 2 (PY2)

  • ILCA 4 (Laser 4.7)
  • Topper
  • Mirror
  • Topaz
  • Wayfarer
  • Feva
  • Optimist

Any other Boats not listed wishing to enter will be allocated a Class prior to entry.

Once again Harry & Mary-Cait Hermon will be on the committee boat, and anyone who would like to help out and learn a bit about race management will be most welcome to join them.

Alternatively, we are always looking for help from those qualified to drive ribs for mark laying and safety.

If you have any queries, please call Harry on 085 140 0376

In the meantime on behalf of the dinghy committee, we’d like to wish you all the very best for the summer.

Dinghy racing every Wednesday @ 7pm &  Saturday @3pm


If you want thrills, speed and spills then dinghy sailing sailing is for you. Be warned, you will get wet!

Dinghies are small open sailing boats which are great fun for day sailing, racing or just mucking about. They come in all shapes and sizes and are an inexpensive way to enjoy being on the water.

Popular dinghies at WHSC are:

  • Optimist ( Oppie ) – Designed in 1947 by Clark Mills to offer low cost sailing for young people, it’s a classic. Imagine a 2.36 m (7 ft 9 in) bath tub with a sail. Perfect for younger kids learning how to sail. Wikipedia article.
  • Laser  (one) – One of the most popular single-handed dinghies in the world. A 4.2 m (13 ft 9 in) ‘one design’ which is fun to sail and easy to transport. Wikipedia article.
  • Wayfarer – A 4.83 m (15 feet 10 in) long dinghy designed in 1957 by Ian Proctor and known for it’s stability and seaworthiness. A great boat to take the whole family. The club purchased two brand new Hartley wayfarers in 2016 for sail training and club rental. Wikipedia article
  • 420  – So named because of it’s length, 4.2 meters ( 13 ft 9 in). A popular youth training and racing dinghy designed for a crew of 2. Wikipedia article
  • Flying 15  – The Flying Fifteen is a 6.1 m (20-foot) two person keel boat and was designed by Uffa Fox in 1947. Wikipedia article
  • Topper – A low maintenance plastic hulled dinghy suitable for 1 young sailor
  • Topper Topaz – A low maintenance plastic hulled dinghy suitable for 1-2 sailor. A robust dinghy, perfect for learning to sail.
  • Topper Omega – A larger version of the Topaz suitable for group sailing. A robust dinghy, perfect for learning to sail.

What to Wear for Dinghy Sailing

At sea, exposure and fatigue set in quickly. Wearing the right gear keeps you safe. The below is a rough guide only. What you wear will depend on conditions – talk to your instructor or more experienced club members if you are unsure.

  • Buoyancy aid – Never sail without it. Keeps you afloat when you fall in. Wear a vest style buoyancy aid suitable for dinghy sailing which allows free movement of the arms.
  • Neoprene wetsuit – This is the lowest layer which insulates your body should you fall in. It should be 3 or 4mm. Shorties are ok in warm weather.
  • Cag – A windproof and waterproof layer which keeps the wind chill down.
  • Hiking shorts – Protect the soft wetsuit material from abrasion.
  • Neoprene gloves – Stops rope burn and keeps the fingers warm. Fingerless gloves are ok in warm weather.
  • Neoprene sailing booties – Keeps toes and feet warm and protected, especially when hiking (leaning over the edge supported by toe straps).
  • A beanie hat – For colder days a suitable hat. Be sure it’s suitable and keeps you warm even when wet.
  • UV protection – The sun’s effect is magnified at sea. Don’t forget sun glasses, a cap & sun cream.

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