THE Lindisfarne Sailing Club (LSC) is going back to basics this summer, offering some old-school and inexpensive options in an effort to boost membership numbers.
LSC dinghies have been a regular sight on the River Derwent since 1955.
And while junior events still attract large fleets of boats, the number of vessels competing in senior dinghy classes has dwindled significantly since peaking 20 to 30 years ago.
Now the club plans to introduce low-budget, mixed-class racing in an effort to reverse the trend and encourage more people to try their hand at sailing.
Club spokesman Mark Rasmussen said the sport had effectively priced itself out of the market, with many potential sailors simply unable to afford to participate.
“In many classes of dinghy, skill will get you towards the top of the fleet but if you want to be serious, you need to spend some pretty solid cash to have the latest hull, rig and sails,” he said.
“This sidelines a big group of potential participants who can’t justify the expenditure from already tight family budgets.
“We believe that there is room for a less expensive pathway into dinghy sailing.”
The LSC – which has for many years catered for the relatively inexpensive and highly competitive Sabre class of boat – now wants to recreate the mixed dinghy classes of bygone times, giving different sized dinghies the chance to go head-to-head in handicapped Sunday afternoon races.
By using performance handicapping, a well-sailed smaller boat can overcome the odds and win.
The club is also keen to hear from anyone with an old Laser, Sabot, Heron, Mirror, 125, Enterprise, OK, Cherub, Hartley or Rainbow taking up space in their garage, and will use its website to connect boat sellers with potential buyers.
LSC annual membership is $170 senior/$90 junior.
For more information, visit www.lindisfarnesailingclub.org.au or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Caption: The Lindisfarne Sailing Club is on a mission to bring back the old-school dinghies this summer.