USSC? Who are we?
Linked with Sussex Yacht Club in Shoreham, we’ve created a place where anyone and everyone can go sailing – from the complete “never been on a boat before” beginner to the pro racer, and everything in between.
On Wednesday afternoons we sail at Sussex Yacht Club in Southwick.
We have access to a number of boats, from toppers and picos, to bahias.
We have a number of voluntary Dinghy Instructors among us who run these sessions.This means our dinghy sessions are 100% beginner friendly - zero experience necessary. We provide the boats, the buoyancy aids, safety boat cover at all times, and the instruction. You bring yourself, a change of clothes and shoes that you don’t mind getting wet, and a sense of adventure! Don’t be afraid to get wet, you might fall in, but that’s all part of the fun. SYC has hot showers and a changing room, so bring a towel and a change of clothes just in case.
For the able sailors among you, Jack is an experienced Race Coach, and along with our our DIs, can help you develop your sailing skills.
Weekends are yacht sailing time. We head over to Southwick, and crew on the yachts of Sussex Yacht Club members. The boats vary widely - in size for one thing, and also in their attitude to racing, and how well-crewed they are.
Some boats are very relaxed about racing, and just do it for fun so aren’t too driven by winning, and more by the taking part. They often have the time during a race to show you the ropes, and let you have a go at different roles on the boat.
Some of these boats are also well-crewed already, so won’t be relying on your input. Other boats are lacking in crew and require competent sailors to help them sail. Some boats turn up every week with the aim to win, and will push you hard to be a useful member of the crew. The most important thing to take from that is this: we will put you on a boat that matches your abilities, so you will be comfortable, learn lots, and have a great time. Students often form great relationships with skippers and crew, and find themselves a ‘usual’ boat.
Life jackets will always be provided (use of life jackets is mandatory), and sometimes skippers have spare kit to lend out if you don’t have proper salopettes or sailing jackets. Otherwise, plenty of layers are recommended, shoes with a light coloured sole to avoid marking the white decks, and waterproofs. It’s always important to remember that it’s far colder out at sea than on land, even on a warm day, so always bring 2-3 layers extra.
SYC is an RYA training centre, so there are plenty of opportunities to gain qualifications. Over the past two years we’ve put members through courses such as VHF radio, Day Skipper Theory, Powerboat Level 2, and Coastal Skipper/Yachtmaster Theory. All of these have been at well-discounted prices. We do our best to offer as many training opportunities as possible, but they usually rely on a minimum number of interested students.
Apart from sailing, and knocking back drinks in the clubhouse afterwards, our club’s activities also include:
Excellent socials (because who does rowdy parties better than pirates, I mean, sailors?)
Attending sailing events (Cowes Week, the Royal Escape, Sussex Regatta, etc)
Weekend or summer trips (bareboat yacht charter in Greece