is easy and informal. Any boat can participate, with any number of people on board. We encourage you to try racing, even if you don't yet know basic rules. Learn as you go. Our sailors are friendly and helpful, on and off the water.
Some very much enjoy competition, though most of us are not out to prove how fast we are. We sail together to improve our sailing skills, which increases our enjoyment of the sport. It's just more fun when lots of boats are on the water, and sailing a course provides more opportunities to gain skills.
We sail simple courses, described in our race instructions, and use a 3 minute start sequence. NOTE: our marks are in the general, same place on the lake each week. We round marks to port or starboard depending on the wind direction that day. Our committee will tell you, others on the course will shout it to you verbally, AND the committee will post a large, red or green NOTICE, at the grassy point. (Red = marks to port/left side of your boat; Green = marks to starboard/right side of your boat.)
Typically, we sail at least two, and up to four races, each Thursday evening. Our race committee will make that decision at the conclusion of the second/third race, given wind, and amount of boats participating —knowing each member will need sufficient time to dock and exit the water; park rules require all boats to be off the lake by dusk.
Thursday evenings: First race start: 6:30 PM. Be on the water sailing prior, to participate fully.
Sunday afternoon races start at 2:00 PM.
No one has an advantage over another. We are all about fun and improving. We have two scoring systems to insure no one is slighted, and "everybody fits!" We score boats using the fairest handicap system.
Boats sailing our full course, will be scored using their Portsmouth rating. If your model has no Portsmouth rating, and/or you are new to racing, and/or sailing our shorter course, we will use a scoring Marc developed, called "Delta Time" (Creekfleet System).
We will time your boat each week you sail, and you will develop an average, and compete against others in this group. Most boats being scored with our Creekfleet system are sailing our shorter course.
To nurture newer sailors (and accommodate all kinds of boats), we set two windward marks. We encourage those who sail more slowly and/or are new to racing to round the closest windward mark (which means you will be sailing a shorter distance overall: our Short Course).
Having two choices of course length (choosing to take the closer, or further, windward mark) helps even a large variety of boats, and sailors, finish with similar times, and prevents long waits between starts.
If you find you're consistently winning the shorter course, try sailing our longer course. If you're not sure which to sail, talk with Marc, and/or other experienced members; this will help you make a decision.
There is no cost to race with us, though you will need a pass for your car and your boat to get into Stony Creek Metro Park. You can purchase an annual, or daily, pass from the park as you enter. (The park considers you a senior if you are 62.) COMBINED passes also available: A vehicle WITH boat and trailer costs the same as two separate passes, but it is ONE sticker for your windshield (instead of two).
Go to the BOAT LAUNCH at Stony Creek. Along the drive to the ramps, pull off to the side; you can put your mast up, and rig/ready your boat for launching there. Others rigging there are likely Creekers, and can probably answer questions you might have. Tell our committee person, who will be walking around with a clipboard (or may already be on the grassy point), that you'll be sailing with us, and which course you plan to sail. He/she will likely have a form you can fill out on the spot, or you can download the PDF registration form, and fill it out before you arrive. We ask for your name, email and phone number, the kind of boat you're sailing, sail color, and ideally, your sail number (so the committee can identify your boat on the water).
Join in best you can. Sail by the committee on the grassy point anytime before the start of the second race. We'll note your sail number, and include you in the the next race/s.
Absolutely. There's a good view from the grassy point, where our sailing committee sets up, and onlookers gather. Ask questions, chat. See for yourself how easy it is, and how fun we are.
All kinds. Our record attendance is 29 boats; most Thursday evenings draw a dozen or more. Types you'll likely see: Catalina 16.5, 14.2, Expo 14.2, Sunfish, Laser, Buccaneer, Mutineer, Pintail, Super Snark, Hobie 16 and 18, Holder 14, CL... we've had sailing kayaks, windsurfers, home-crafted boats.... Any boat with a sail is welcome to join us.
Read our leader's suggestions/comments race-day morning on our email list re the weather forecast. Remain optimistic: iffy and ho-hum forecasts have turned into some of our best sailing days! Come, and *be prepared* to sail. You can always NOT launch/sail, if it seems too brisk for your skills, or too light for you/your type of boat. KNOW: we put safety —first and foremost; we don't "just" care about (yours and our) fun.
Too windy (or seemingly-too-light wind), often provide excellent opportunities to pair with more experienced sailors, and learn safe-handling techniques, or more about racing: starts, buoy rounding, rules, and strategy. Nothing like a one-on-one answering specific questions ...a mentor, who might become your life-long friend, too!
Copyright © 2017 Creekfleet Sailing Club • Stony Creek • Metro Detroit, MI • sponsored by Avon Sailboats