The Alaska Sailing Club has an active and vibrant racing program that includes five weekend regattas, a summer-long Wet Wednesday series, and the notorious Pirate Race. We have three active fleets at the club with something for sailors of all ages and abilities.
The ASC hosts the following regattas on an annual basis:
- The Icebreaker Regatta
- The Firecracker Regatta
- The Fireweed Regatta
- The Governor’s Cup
- The Northern Lights Regatta
Each race has its own special traditions, but there a few things that all of our weekend races share in common:
- For each day of active racing, we’ll have a Skippers Meeting that starts at 11:00am. During that meeting we’ll talk through race plans, course layout, starts, etc. Exact timing for the races will depend substantially on the wind and weather. Conditions on Big Lake are highly variable, and we won’t start racing until we have decent wind. But you should always have your boat rigged and ready to sail by 11:00, because we’ll we want to hit the water as soon as we can!
- For one-day regattas we’ll try to get in at least three races with a target of fives races if we get enough wind. And for two-day regatta we’ll try to get in at least five races with a target of seven races if the weather gods are with us!
- We’ll have an experienced sailor available to help new folks with rigging from 9:30 – 10:30am before each day’s racing. So if you’re interested in a club Laser, Buccaneer 18, or the Catalina 16.5 please show about by 9:30am and we’ll help you get a boat ready.
- We have a group potluck after the first day of racing on any given regatta. Timing is variable. In practice potlucks can happen any time between about 5:00pm and 9:00pm … it just depends on when we finish racing, and that in turn depends on when the wind blows!
Our Wet Wednesday events are a midweek series of ’round the buoys races. They start at 7:00pm, and happen (yes … you guessed it!) the first thee Wednesday evening during the months of June, July, and August. We usually set simple windward / leeward courses and with a rabbit start format. We try to keep the courses fairly short so we can get in a number of races each evening.
Wet Wednesday are a pretty popular event at the ASC for a number of reasons. First off, who doesn’t like to take a mid-week sailing break? Plus we have endless summer sunshine at this latitude, and the daily wind pattern at Big Lake usually provides us with a 5 to 10 knots of breeze in the evening. And did we mention the amazing sunsets with a clear view of Denali?
We usually arrive at the club at about 6:00pm to get boats rigged and set the course. We have a regular carpool from Anchorage that starts at the New Sagaya Midtown parking lot and leaves at 4:00pm. New sailors are always welcome, and we try our best to find everybody a spot on a boat. And if you’re looking for somebody to sail with on a Wet Wednesday it’s best to get there as early as your can!
We try to provide a little something for sailors at all skill levels. This includes beginners, long-time causal racers, competitive one-design racers, kids, and small keelboat sailors. Our goal to to make sure that everybody can find a comfortable place to race at the ASC, and each of our fleets is described in more detail below:
The Open Fleet
The Open Fleet is fun, relaxed, and accessible to sailors at any level of experience. Our Open fleet program places a special emphasis on people new to the sport of sailboat racing and is closely linked with our education program. We actively encourage graduates of our dinghy class to participate in this fleet to continue building their sailing skills. The Open Fleet is open to any type of boat and uses the Portsmouth Yardstick for handicapping purposes.
The Buccaneer 18 One-Design Fleet (Fleet 61)
The Buccaneer 18 Fleet (or simply the “Bucc Fleet”) is a highly competitive one-design fleet focused on serious racing. Bucc Fleet racers always have a lot of fun, but starts and mark roundings can get a bit noisy and may occasionally involve a use of “colorful” nuatical language. Sailors in the Bucc Fleet typically have many years of racing experience, strong boat handling skills, and a firm grasp of the Racing Rules of Sailing. Our Bucc Fleet is active, growing, and currently the second-largest one-design fleet of Buccaneer 18s in the world!
The Big Boat Fleet
The ASC has a Pearson Ensign 22 for use by the club members and mooring space for five privately owned boats. These boats race together in the Big Boat Fleet. As with the Open Fleet, the racing culture in the Big Boat Fleet is relaxed and very beginner-friendly. Our big boat skippers always love to take new members and visitors out on the race course, so feel free to come by and ask for a ride!