Fisherrow burgee Yacht Club

Ten Things I Love about Dinghy Sailing at Fisherrow Yacht Club

Fisherrow Yacht Club, East Lothian’s best kept nautical secret

Welcome to Fisherrow Yacht Club. What? Never heard of it? Perhaps it is because the clubhouse and dinghy park are a little beyond the more familiar harbour area in Musselburgh, and are quite well hidden behind a high wall. Fisherrow is however a fabulous place for the dinghy sailor/racer:

Ten Things I love about dinghy sailing at Fisherrow Yacht Club

  1. Making life easy

    Access to the club is easy with lots of free parking. Access to the water is also easy. The beach to the east of the harbour where dinghies are launched from faces north. With the prevailing wind direction, this makes launching and returning home a delightfully user friendly (close or broad) reach.
  1. Water rationing

Access to the water is restricted to the top half of the tide. This sounds awkward but is overcome by adjusting the sailing/racing times to match the tide. The big benefits are a short pull across the sand when the tide is in and lots of help available as all the sailors launch together.

  1. Surf’s up. Not!’

With harbour wall to the West, Musselburgh lagoons to the East and shallows to the North East, the beach is very sheltered. Whatever the wind direction, the waves on the shore are small and easily negotiated for getting out and back again.

  1. Horses for courses

Once out on the water there are no secret nasty rocks to crash into, tide is slack and any wind direction affords good and varied sailing conditions. The lower topography and fewer buildings in East Lothian make for a less shifty and gusty offshore wind than is experienced further up the river off Edinburgh. There are still lots of lovely waves to play in further offshore when the wind has a northerly element.

  1. SoS

FYC operates a smashing very comfortable, very seaworthy rescue RIB with a big ‘boy racer’ engine. If dinghies take a tumble, the attentive RIB crew will be on station to offer support (and possibly some good humoured banter) in seconds. Very reassuring for the capsize victims and great fun to drive when it is your turn for rescue or race officer duties.

  1. Not that I am competitive, but ...

There is a busy racing calendar at the club. It is fun, friendly and welcoming to all, but very competitive too. Results are posted on the club website. Overall club championship results are maintained and updated following each race day, so sailors are motivated to turn out to stop their rivals sneaking ahead in the table. The two day annual open regatta in June is well attended and the club hosts one of the RS200 traveller events.

  1. The 19th hole

When heading back to shore, the shelving beach allows you to jump out with your bows almost on the beach and the rudder still all the way down. Dinghy sailor heaven! Everyone helps each other with boat recovery up the beach. Excuses and banter commence. Following a welcome hot shower some sailors head for the club bar to further exaggerate their exploits.

  1. There’ll be a welcome in the hillside

New members are welcomed and offered lots of support and help if wanted. Various training events are held at the club ranging from: sailing taster sessions, RYA led sailing courses, first aid and radio use qualifications and racing rules seminars. Once tempted to join, new members are soon integrated into club life. Meaning they will find themselves painting the clubhouse, washing the dishes following club evening events, singing at open mic night or press ganged into crewing the club creation for the annual Musselburgh festival raft race.

  1. Knees up Mother Brown

The club bar opens on Fridays year round for a quiet social. There are a number of bigger events involving lots of lovely homemade food and entertainments ranging from blathering to live music and themed nights. There is a relaxed and informal atmosphere at these events and they are popular with families and individuals.

  1. Interested yet?

Members are prompted about races and events with details and weather reports via group emails and can keep in touch through facebook and twitter.

Check out our great Website, events calendar and contact details, or pop in to the club when the season starts to say hello.

Please note that this very biased report was written unashamedly from the dinghy sailor’s perspective. Many of the above points are also relevant to the FYC sailors of those funny big boats that live in the harbour and sail leaning over at precarious angles on purpose.

Andy Stewart

Jan. 2014