The first sailing clinic and race start practice went off without a hitch with 20 club members and guests attending!

Beginning a bit late, yet perfectly on time for sailors, we spent about one and a half hours at the club reviewing some basic sailing/racing instructions.  Alicia Starsong reviewed flags and signals, what constitutes a start line, windward/leeward/other marks, how to determine the course of the day, and a bit about the waters we sail in here in Kona.

Next up, Brad Weinmann discussed port/stbd, barging, overtaking, right of way and touched on some start techniques. As everyone’s eyes began to glaze over and chatter arose, we knew it was time to hit the water armed with some knowledge to practice a few starts.  Once divided up into who was sailing and who would be our PRO (Principal Race Officers), we headed down to our typical starting area just offshore of Kaloko Ponds. With four boats sailing and Daniel Starsong leading the PRO crew, we all attempted to float to the start line; I say “float”, because the wind was so light and fickle that experienced sailors were challenged to get their boats to the start line.

While the pictures may show our sails full and the bows leaping out of the water, it’s a miracle that our sails stayed full. The first start had all boats late to make it over the line as the wind would blow, and stop, and shift; oh my! We sailed up a few minutes and returned for another start. With the little bit of wind backing off even further for the second start; only two boats were able to make the start, the other two boats continued to sail west looking for the wind.

With limited time and light winds, we all headed out to sea to make a layline for the green buoy marking the entrance home. Some tacking their way back, and others sailing out to minimize the number of tacks and lay the line, we all followed into the Honokohau harbor. Overall it was a successful day of learning and sailing; although, I think we all would have enjoyed a bit more time on the water. Light wind sailing sure does make a sailor focus and concentrate to get the boat moving, and this was a great day to test these skills.

We hope you will join us at our next sailing clinic, if you have any specific topics you would like addressed contact please contact us: