Event Q&A

If your question is not answered below, please email us with further questions and we will do our best to answer them.

What is Rutland Water like?

Rutland is one of the biggest inland lakes in Europe: 9 miles long and about 2 miles wide. The sailing is much like estuary sailing, except that there is no tide to worry about.

What will the sailing area be like?

We have unrestricted access to the whole lake and can therefore use an area suitable for any wind direction or condition. The racing area will be close to the shore to allow quick changeovers and good viewing. If it gets windy, there may be some waves and chop.

How deep is it?

About 20m (70 ft) in the middle, shelving out to the shore.

What are the grounds like?

The sailing club grounds are large and away from towns. There is a spacious front lawn that will be great as a viewing area, if the weather is nice. There is launching all along the front.

Will we be able to see the sailing from the clubhouse?

Yes. The aim is to have the main viewing from the large balcony at the club. You will also be able to see the race area from inside the clubhouse.

What course are you going to use?

This is not yet agreed. We want to leave this open for a number of reasons. We feel that to sail only one course can make the racing a bit formulaic. By using different courses, we can put the flair back into the racing and reward seat of the pants sailing. We have experience of many different courses and are working with ISAF on options. ‘Starboard S’ and ‘Starboard Box’ are both being discussed. Good team racing should allow on the leg tactics to balance with mark tactics. Many people feel that short Starboard S course is rewarding specialist tactics at Mark 3 and 4 too much, therefore don’t expect this course to be used all the time (subject to further discussions with ISAF). For the sport to grow, team racing should be careful not to position itself too far away from fleet racing. Exciting viewing is also exciting sailing.

When appropriate we are looking to add a leg at the end of the race to make the finish line easily sighted from the balcony.

We are hoping to make the course slightly longer than standard – rewarding boat speed and opponent control as well as mark roundings.

How warm is the weather?

It is England in the summer! It should be between 17 and 25 degrees Centigrade. People swim in the lake throughout the summer. On a nice day, it is possible to sail in shorts. On a windy north-easterly ‘cold day’, a thin wetsuit/ spray top might be most people’s choice. If you are caught out without the right clothing, there is a good shop on site.

What winds are we expecting?

There is no set wind for the time of year. It would be very unusual to have a whole week of very light winds. It may be possible to have strong winds all week but the most likely wind would be a moderate 8-15mph. If there is a calm day, it often fills in during the afternoon, in which case we can sail on until sunset.

What are Fireflies like to sail and are there any similarities with other well-known boats?

Fireflies are very rewarding and easy to learn. They tack and gybe easily. They plane when the wind gets to about 15mph. They are loose rigged and respond well to sensitivity on the sheets. It is possible to stall them by bringing the sails in too tight. Helm wise, they are considered to be quite similar to a Laser. They are not that different to a 420 sailed without a trapeze or spinnaker. There is a lot of information and advice that we are happy to share; and we can help with training.

Is it worth bringing the family and is there anything to visit nearby?

There are lots of things to do, if you are not sailing. The club has a play area suitable for young children. We are willing to lend boats to parents with children, provided that they talk to us in advance. Bicycles are available for hire locally and it is possible to cycle around the lake, a 17-mile round trip. There is a nearby inland beach. Rutland is a tourist part of England. We are one hour away from Cambridge and London. Isaac Newton’s house is 30 minutes away. There are lots of additional local attractions listed on the maps on the website in the Tourism section.