Join Date: Feb 2000
Location: Annapolis, Md
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Looking for Experience Sailor to Crew with
Most areas have mid-week or end of week races that are colloquially referred to as a "Beer can series". These are mostly casual short course racing. In some areas these are strictly non-spinnaker, while other areas have both spin and non-spin fleets and still others are only spinnacker classes. In most areas a Venture 24 would not be competitive but since these are intended as fun races, who cares about that?
Many beercans are run by a specific yacht club and do not permit non-members to compete. Around here, the most competitive beer can is Annapolis Yacht Clubs Wedneday night races. Those are closed to non-members. There are other series run locally that are open to anyone for a nominal fee.
If you want to learn, I suggest that you try to get aboard as crew on a boat with crew who are willing to bring you along and help you develop skills. Few crews are willing to instruct very much during the race but during the warm up prior to the race or during a practice sail, a skipper or fellow crew person will often take the time to give a quick course in what your role on board will be. Then doing that role during a race will be help you develop that skill further.
On bigger boats there is a lot of rail time and so you should be able to quietly ask questions of the more experienced sailors but you have to be aware that you don''t want to create too much chatter or ask direct questions that might distract the helmsman or trimmers while they are doing their job.
You may also be able to get out for daysails with more experienced sailors. I am always looking for people to join me on short notice.