The Royal Victoria Yacht Club has several one-design fleets plus PHRF Div 1 (to 162), Div 2 (163 - 192) and Div 3 (193 and over) keelboat fleets.
Amongst the Club's one-design fleets, there is something for everyone. The one-design fleets appeal to new sailors because the learning curve is much faster thanks to having many helpful sailors nearby with advice, and are also appealing to the expert racer due to the close level racing.
RVYC One-Design Fleets:
Fireball & 470
Laser & Laser Radial
Other Youth Dinghies
The Martin 242 fleet has raced competitively at RVYC since the late 1980s. Currently there are nine Martin's at the club including two club owned boats. The Martin's are moored in the water in the water on D dock and two boats are dry sailed.
The Martin 242 is a straight forward and comfortable 24ft sailboat for racing or cruising, sailed by a crew of 3-4 where the crew hike with “legs in”. Martin’s are rigged with a non-overlapping furling jib, mainsail and symmetric spinnaker. The Martin242 is a strict one-design allowing only minimal additions and modifications to keep the price down and the racing and sailing simple.
Local regatta’s are sailed in a one-design Martin242 division; THRASH Regatta, CFSA Regatta, Summer Solstice, SIN Regatta, Cow Bay Regatta, and Maple Bay. Local club racing on Wednesday nights and Sunday racing are sailed in the PHRF Division, where the Martin is a very competitive boat with a rating of 165.
The T-Bird fleet is celebrating its 50th anniversary in 2008. Originally a wooden home-built or kit boat, the T-Birds were then produced in fibreglass.
There are at least 10-15 T-Birds at RVic, with 3-5 out for regular PHRF racing and up to 10 for special one-design events.
The T-Bird represents a great value for the cost at $5-10k, and a great way to get into keelboat racing.
The T-Birds are the Club's "Div 3" type of one-design, racing with the Crown 23s and C&C 25 when racing PHRF, with a rating of 198.
For more information, visit the T-Bird fleet 4 website.
The Cal 20 is the Club's largest one-design keelboat fleet with up to 10 boats regularly on the start line and a fleet of 20+ in the area. There were almost 2,000 in total built and there are active one-design fleets all the way down the West Coast.
The Cal 20 is an easy to sail boat with a crew of 2, sometimes 3. At only $2-4k, the Cal 20 is a very affordable boat and easy to find moorage for at RVYC or Oak Bay Marina. The Cal 20 particularly appeals to the older racers as it requires significantly less physical activity.
The Cal 20s always race one-design. For the unusual occasion that they race in other fleets, their PHRF rating is 294.
For more information, see the Cal 20 Fleet 13 (Victoria) website.
The Mini 12 is a miniature of the 1980s-style 12-metre America's Cup boats, but only 12' long and sailed by only one person. The Mini 12 fleet is the largest in the Club with 26 boats sailed by 50 active racers.
The sailor sits down inside the hull, somewhat akin to a kayak. As such, your eyes and ears are only a few inches above the water level, so it feels like you are going extremely fast. The boat is steered by foot pedals, and all control lines are led back to the cockpit right in front of the sailor's chest. Even the spinnaker can be set within reach of the sitting position. The boat cannot be capsized and will float with deck awash when filled with water. All in all, the design makes the Mini 12 the ideal boat for the older sailor but fun for everyone.
The Mini 12s race throughout the winter on Saturdays, and one evening each week in the summer.
There are two classes of Mini 12s in the Club - Illusions and Deceptions. The Club owns 9 Illusions, which are leased out to members. Another 6 Illusions are privately owned and there are 11 privately owned Deceptions. Although they do not change hands frequently, used Mini 12s can be purchased for a very reasonable price.
For more information, see the Mini 12 fleet website.
Fireball & 470
The Fireball and 470 are the Club's most active double-handed dinghies. While they often race separately as one-designs, their speed is very close and so can also often race together.
The Fireball fleet has been active at the Club constantly since the late 1970s. Originally built of plywood using the same techniques as light wood kayaks, they are now also built of high tech materials including kevlar and epoxy. The Club hosted the 2006 Fireball World Championship. There are approximately 5-10 Fireballs racing in Cadboro Bay (between RVYC and CBSA), and the fleet regularly hosts and travels to the fleet in White Rock and the large fleet in Alberta (Calgary & Edmonton). The level of competition is high, with several Club members regularly attending the Fireball Worlds (Thailand, Australia, Switzerland, etc.) and placing in the top 20. See the national and BC class association pages for more information.
The 470 fleet was active in the Club in the 1980s as an Olympic double-handed boat, with several Club members making successful Olympic campaigns. The fleet is now seeing a healthy resurgence with 4-5 470s racing actively. See the 470 North American Class Association website for more information.
The Laser fleet has been active at the Club since the early 1980s. After a short dip in the late 90's / early 00's, the fleet is once again strong with a large youth fleet and more adults getting back into the boats.
The Laser is the "full rig" designed for adult sailors, usually adult males due to weight requirements to be competitive. The Radial uses the same boat, lower mast and boom, but a different mast top section and a smaller sail better suited to younger youth sailors, women, and lighter men.
The Laser is a great all-round boat, simple, affordable, a blast to sail, and can be raced all the way to the Olympic level. The Club's Spring Dinghy Championships & Fall Dinghy Championships regularly have showings of 30+ Lasers and 20+ Laser Radials.
See the North American Laser Class Association website for more information.
The youth racing team also competes in several other youth-oriented one-design dinghies in addition to the Laser and Radial: