Welcome to GYC's dinghy section. We're lucky enough to have a great piece of water to sail on and with the o2, Canary Wharf and Thames Barrier as our backdrop, a stunning setting to enjoy the river.
It’s true that sailors have a very varied taste when it comes to sailing, and we’ve set up our sailing calendar and provision to reflect this. Our sailing calendar revolves around cruising, racing and training, and we head out sailing as often as we can – with the Thames being a tidal river, this tends to be around high or low tide so we can benefit from slack water.
Our cruises are a great opportunity to rig some boats and get out on the water just for fun – these are run on weekday evenings during the summer, or at the weekend throughout the year. Cruises are low key, fun and inclusive, and a brilliant way to try sailing for the first time, try sailing with someone else or give another class of boat a whirl.
For training we offer RYA accredited coaching (Dinghy Level One/Level Two) and also class specific training (Intro to the 2000, Intro to the Laser) for sailors looking to try out a new class of boat or build upon existing skills.
As a club we have chosen the 2000 as our preferred two person racing boat, and the Laser as our preferred one person boat – both boats cater for a wide range of skills, and have fairly similar handicaps resulting in close racing.
We look to be an active part of the 2000 and UK Laser Class Associations, and you’ll often see GYC sailors attending open events. That being said, we welcome all classes of dinghies and have a broad selection of boats taking part in our sailing activities.
We have a Summer and a Winter Series for those sailors who enjoy racing, with a variety of race formats being run – ‘Round The Cans’ out the front of our club house, mini-series, longer distance races round the peninsula to Greenwich or back, match racing against other sailing clubs and ‘Her Majesty’s Cup’, a 20km race from GYC east to the QE2 Bridge at Dartford that marks the start of the Winter Series.
Our racing is competitive but very friendly, and usually ends in our beautiful club house at the bar having a chat over a drink or two.
Some members choose to purchase their own boat and pay an additional fee to keep their boat in our secure compound – this being subject to permission from our Yard Master who ensures there is space available before giving the go-ahead to bring the boat here.
Many club members use club boats to take part in these activities – the club offering 2000s, Laser Stratos, Lasers (Radial/Standard) and Bosun dinghies.
To hire a boat you must be a club member, and also a GYC Approved Dinghy Helm – this status being granted once you’ve demonstrated you can rig, launch, safely sail, recover and pack down one of the club boats. We look to quickly grant Approved Dinghy Helm status to experienced helms, and work with less experienced sailors to get up to Approved Dinghy Helm standards quickly.
As they are club boats, you can use these to take part in any club activity – GYC Approved Dinghy Helms are given credentials to our online booking system, where they can reserve and pay online for the boat of their choice.
Our club activities are supported entirely by volunteers, and we expect all of our members to volunteer in some way so we can all enjoy the club’s activities. Volunteering duties include taking visitors out sailing on a Laser Stratos, driving a safety boat or acting as a race officer – the club offers training for all of these roles to members so they can then do their bit.
Both experienced sailors and beginners are very welcome here at GYC, and we are always happy to have new people join us. We have a great stock of clothing and equipment we can lend new sailors to get them out on the water, so get in touch and come out for a sail with us!