Crewing on Racing Boats at RVYC
How can I get started?
It can be intimidating to get into a new sport. We make it easy for you!
There are six easy ways to get started:
- Check the “crew bank” and find a boat that needs crew,
- Sign up as Crew on the Crewbank.
- Contact the crewing coordinators at and the crewing coordinator will help you find an appropriate boat in advance
- Just show up by 9am on race days or 5:30pm on Wednesday Nights (May - August) and stand in the crew area in the lower parking lot at the head of the docks (demarcated by a yellow box painted next to the corner of the large shed in the parking lot)
- Walk the docks on race days and ask people if they have an extra space
- Take one of the adult Learn to Sail courses in the summer
Check out the Racing Fleets page to find out more about what types of boats race at RVYC and what might be most appropriate.
What if I don’t have experience?
That’s okay! Lots of boats are pleased to take out people who are new to racing. Just tell the boat owner what experience you have and let them be the judge. Don’t be shy!
There are two broad types of racing. Both often occur on the same days but start separately. "Around the Buoys" racing is closer racing around a set of markers just off Cattle Point, and as such tends to be faster paced (usually 2-3 individual races are raced in a day). "Distance" racing starts in Cadboro Bay but sails a single longer distance race around the local islands or Coast Guard marker buoys. Distance racing is often a good way to get started because there is generally a bit more time for everything to happen, more time between manoeuvres, and it is usually raced by larger boats so it is more likely you can be an extra hand while you learn from the more experienced crew on the boat.
Do I need to be a member?
No! Just come on down. After racing, most crews head up to the chart room (bar) for a drink after racing. Your skipper will sign you in at the bar so that you can have a drink and get to know everyone!
When is racing?
Most Sundays in winter and Wednesday nights in summer. Have a look at the Club racing calendar online.
What should I bring?
Clothing: Bring layers as the temperature can change:
- Waterproof jacket and pants (ski gear works!)
- A fleece sweater (two in winter!)
- A pair of non-marking soled shoes or boots (old runners work well!)
- Lifejacket if you have one (if not, don’t worry, there are spares)
Food: Racing often spans lunch (or dinner on Wednesday nights). Bring along a couple of easy to eat snacks (granola bars work well), and a bottle of water. And if you want to guarantee a ride on a great boat with a happy skipper and crew, bringing along a cold “six pack” always helps!
Getting to the Club
From Lansdowne or Cadboro Bay Road, follow Beach Drive to Ripon Road. The yacht club entrance is on the Ripon Road side.If you bus, #11 will pick you up downtown, at Fort and Douglas streets and will drop you off a block away on Midland.
If you are busing from UVIC bus #11 will drop you off directly across the road from the Club.