Regattas in EU that accept open dinghy class / DIY boats?

Discussion in 'All Things Boats & Boating' started by laukejas, Aug 17, 2023.

  1. laukejas
    Joined: Feb 2012
    Posts: 766
    Likes: 19, Points: 18, Legacy Rep: 128
    Location: Lithuania

    laukejas Senior Member

    As an amateur boatbuilder and a sailor, I've designed and built 3 boats so far, with a 4th one on the way. None of my boats were designed after any particular class, but were all single-handers, 3-5 meters (10-16 feet) in length, with sails of around 7-11 m^2 (75-120 sq. ft.). I love participating in local regattas in my country, and while they always have one-design groups (Lasers, Finns, Fevas, cruisers etc.), they almost always have an open class for dinghies that don't fit in any other class - either because there aren't enough participants with a particular class boat to form a group, or for rare / DIY boats like mine. Usually there is no handicap system.

    Although serious sailors might argue that such competition is not "serious" because boats in this open class open differ wildly in their performance, I actually enjoy this challenge a lot, since it tests not only the sailing skills, but also boatbuilding skills, and I spent years researching hydrostatics, hydrodynamics, etc., and perfecting my designs as well as my sailing skills. I am proud to say that my latest boat holds it's own against Lasers, 420s, FDs, Cadets, and even Finns in the right conditions. Still can't beat 470s though, but hopefully my next design will get me there.

    Having done quite well in my own country, and consistently won podium places in various local regattas, I can't help but wonder, are there any international regattas in EU that have open class racing for small dinghies like mine? When it comes to yacht racing, there is the handicap system in place that allows different boats to have a fair race, but I can't seem to find anything like that for dinghies. I would very much like to challenge myself racing against other DIY boat designers, see how my boats fare against them, learn from them, and have fun in general.

    Before you say it, I know I could try to go for one of the development classes, but these are usually very restricted, and don't really leave much room for innovation and creativity. I like to go wild with my designs, and so far it resulted in some pretty competitive boats.

    Can anyone suggest any regattas like that in the EU?
  2. latestarter
    Joined: Jul 2010
    Posts: 401
    Likes: 50, Points: 28, Legacy Rep: 233
    Location: N.W. England

    latestarter Senior Member

    I am out of touch these days but I was a member of a small sailing club in the 70s and 80s on the East Coast of England with a complete mixture of dinghies.

    The racing used the Portsmouth Yardstick system. The way it worked was based on previous racing results. When a new design arrived the experts estimated its performance and gave it a provisional number which was adjusted as more results came in.

    Portsmouth Yardstick - Wikipedia
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