Welcome to the BHSA
You will find us quite informal and our members eager to help you enjoy sailing on the Barwon Estuary.
The existence of a sailing club on the river often surprises people, for our presence, lacking an imposing clubhouse, is obvious only when we are running a race. Our small clubhouse is somewhat hidden among the ti trees and is deserted when we are not racing. It is only big enough to store members’ sails and essential club equipment.
So how do you meet other members and where do you get help if you want it?
Let’s get you started.
Barwon Heads Sailing Club is about sailing rather than chatting over a drink (as might occur if we had a bar and dining facilities).
To casually meet other members, you need to be on the beach at racing time, and preferably be there with your boat rigged, ready join in. If you have little experience of sail racing, or have little confidence in your knowledge of the rules, you might be hesitant to join in a race. Everyone remembers when they were in your position and how they worried that they would mess up and get frowned upon. I started by following behind the last boat and of course was soon overtaken by the leaders (lapping me), but everyone was friendly and pleased to offer guidance. If you don’t participate in races you miss out on the actual benefits of membership.
Don’t let this happen to you!
Another reason for participating in our races is that the navigation law demands that you never exceed a speed of 5 knots on the river, which means sailing very slowly, with the following exception:
BHSA is given dispensation by Transport Safety Victoria for (only) our members to exceed the speed limits and only during our scheduled races. The club must re-apply for this dispensation each year and, considering the amount of activity on the river, this is a significant privilege - one that depends on members sailing safely and considerately at all times.
Should you already know members of the club then they will be pleased to get you started. Otherwise you can contact one of our Committee Members or check our newsletter, Ratty’s Ramblings to see which committee member’s role is most relevant to your enquiry.
When you filled in your membership registration you may have requested a mooring for your boat and that will be arranged by our Mooring's Officer, who will be happy to tell everything that you want to know.
Any member will be pleased to offer assistance launching your boat and in providing advice setting it up, as well as any sailing instruction you might want. But you have to make yourself and your needs known, and coming down to the beach is the most effective way of doing that.
For further information about racing, including rules and race calendar, please visit our Let's get racing page.
Once you have raced a few times you will earn yourself a skipper handicap commensurate with your skill, so quite soon you may be winning handicap trophies. You will find all this explained on our racing page.
Check out the Let's Get Racing tab or Ratty's Ramblings for all the latest information including racing schedules and pop down to the beach and introduce yourself. The value of your membership is realised by getting involved in the activities.