White Sail Event

Friday 30th – Saturday 31st August 2024

Dartmouth Royal Regatta Sailing Week is a celebration of sailing in all its guises.  We are conscious that there are plenty of sailors of yachts and dayboats who don’t necessarily want to race all the time. Our White Sail Event  is designed for sailors who want to enjoy the pleasures of Start Bay during Regatta and is ideal for crews who like a challenge but don’t want the hurly burly of racing. Come and enjoy a relaxed couple of days sailing for family and friends where brain rather than brawn will be needed. There is no need for large numbers of crew, and spinnakers or specialist downwind sails are not allowed.
We hope many cruising yachtsmen and families who don’t want to join in the formal racing will enjoy this fun event.  Each day has its own set of prizes so don’t worry if you can only take part on one of the days.

On both days, the event will run jointly with the Gaffers Event and will take the same format as in previous years, with boats sailing a fixed course in Start Bay, noting their own start and finish times. This year, the start window for White Sail Yachts will be 1 hour, and you will need your passage planning skills to make the best use of the tides and predicted winds when deciding your departure time.  

Boats will compete under handicap. Following the RYA decision to move away from NHC, this year’s event will again be run under the RYA YTC handicap system (see rorcrating.com/ryaytc/), and competitors are encouraged to apply for a certificate, which is free but must be renewed annually.  Near to the event, please allow at least 7 working days for your application to be processed.  Boats without a certificate will be allocated a rating according to the best estimate of the Chairman.  The White Sail Event is actually open to all yachts regardless of the colour of their sails, provided spinnakers and specialist downwind sails (e.g. code zero or asymmetric) are not used.  Specialist racing sails (e.g. containing Carbon, Aramid  (Kevlar), Dyneema or similar fibres) should not be used, but if you have no alternative, please inform us and this may be taken into account by an adjustment to your rating.  If in doubt, please email entries@dartmouthsailingweek.com to check your eligibility. 

Each day’s course will be announced by 20:00 on the previous evening, depending on the weather, and to keep clear of the main race fleets. It will be emailed in pdf format to all entrants, available to download from the website (click here for the course and Start Bay Chart), and printed to collect from RDYC – or contact us beforehand if these arrangements don’t suit you.  You can cross the start line any time between 10:00 and 11:00. Your declaration form should be returned to RDYC by 16:00, either in person or by email.  Please be aware that emails can be delayed if signal is weak, so don’t assume your emailed form has been received unless acknowledged by the Sailing Office.

Please note that this event is not covered by a Notice of Race, and should be sailed under a “Red Ensign”. In the spirit of the event, boats should be handled in a courteous and seaman-like cruising manner – if the weather dictates, reefing is encouraged, and manoeuvres such as deliberately creating wind shadow are discouraged.

Important: please check your insurance to ensure that you are covered at least for third party liability risks. Although not classed as a formal race according to RYA terminology, your insurer may exclude or limit cover in a timed event such as this, which some might interpret as racing.

Communication will be on Channel 10. A mobile phone must also be carried to comply with the Emergency Procedures (available here nearer the time). Crews may join a WhatsApp group to share photos and chat through the day. 

Prizegiving (TBC) will be on Saturday, with both Daily and Series prizes.

Get your entry in early to take advantage of the early-bird discount – just £14 per day or £23 for both days until 31st July.  After that, the full fee is still only £18 per day, or £28 for both days.  Click here for information on how to enter, or click here to go direct to online entry and payment for this event.

Cancellation policy: If an entry is cancelled, an administrative fee will be charged of 4% until 31st July, and of 50% from 1st -16th August; from the 17th August, refunds will only be made in exceptional circumstances. In particular, a full refund, or the option to carry their entry to 2025, will be offered to competitors withdrawing because of a positive Covid-19 test or an official requirement to self-isolate.  If the event is cancelled for any reason associated with the Covid-19 pandemic, entrants will be offered the options of a full refund or to carry their entry over to 2025.