Club Fleets

Part of the appeal of South Staffs is due to the strict restricted classes policy operated by the club. Whilst this may be seen by some people to restrict the potential membership, the aim is to provide members with close racing against people in similar boats.

IMPORTANT: Current members of the club are or have previously been National and/or World champions in the Lark, OK and GP14 classes.

Another advantage is that there is always someone in the boat park to provide assistance with boat setup and tuning.

Although there is a healthy inter fleet rivalry in the club, all members share the belief that it is important that people are sailing, no matter what they sail.

The five classes available to adult members are:

 

Larks

Larks are light, fast racing boats with mainsail, jib and spinnaker. The Lark is one of the fastest symmetrical hiking dinghies and extremely responsive, but can be sailed equally well by males and females of all ages.

The design has had two major upgrades since it was first developed by Mike Jackson in 1966. The class was introduced to the club in 1972.

The latest ‘Mk. III’ Rondar Lark introduced in 2001, is very stiff and virtually dry when righted after a capsize. Spinnaker handling is made easy as the boats have an opening in the foredeck called a ‘spinnaker chute’ from which the spinnaker is launched and subsequently recovered. Construction is low-maintenance FRP/GRP although a few older boats have wooden decks.

South Staffs is one of the oldest Lark clubs and the boat still retains fleet status after over 30 years.

Many of the current top national crews have been brought up and trained by the experienced sailors at South Staffs – the club had 3 crews in the top 7 at the 2002 nationals at Looe!!

Length: 4.07m
Beam: 1.65m
Weight: 95kg
Sail area: 9.75m2
Spinnaker: 7.40m2
Optimum weight of helm and crew: 125-146kg (19 to 23 stones)
PN: 1073

OK

The OK is a specialist racing singlehander well suited for the heavier helm. Designed by Knud Olsen in 1957 the boat is easily recognised by its flexible topmast and low boom that catches every breath of wind passing over the decks. It is available in all forms of materials – wood, GRP/FRP and composite construction.
•Length: 4.0m
•Beam: 1.2m
•Weight: 72kg
•Sail area: 9.45m2
•Optimum weight of helm: 80-100kg
•PN: 1111

GP14

As its name implies, the GP14 is a General Purpose 14ft (4.27m) sailing dinghy. It has 3 sails: a mainsail, either a large, overlapping foresail (called a ‘Genoa’) or a smaller jib and a traditional symmetrical spinnaker set on a spinnaker pole. It offers great racing but is also well suited for cruising under sail or with a small outboard motor clamped to the stern. Nominally for two people, it can carry three in comfort and with just the mainsail set it can also be sailed single-handed. It is therefore difficult to find a more versatile family boat.

Originally designed by Jack Holt in 1949 the class has its origins in Wales (its sail emblem is the legendary Bell of Aberdovey). Over the years the class association has adapted to the times. Construction materials have moved from the original wood and marine ply, through traditional glass-reinforced plastic (GRP) to the latest foam reinforced plastic (FRP) designs which offer superb stiffness and durability. It is also possible to have wooden decks on a plastic hull to achieve the beauty of a wooden boat with the low-maintenance offered by fibreglass. In recent years a Series II design has emerged with a double bottom that comes upright almost empty after a capsize.
•Length: 4.27m
•Beam: 1.54m
•Weight: 133kg
•Sail area (main and genoa): 12.85m2
•Spinnaker: 8.4m2
•Optimum weight of helm and crew: 120-150kg
•PN: 1127

Solo

Another singlehander, the Solo differs from the OK as it has a deeper, more traditional hull-form, a permanently stayed mast and a powerful, fully battened mainsail. Another design from the drawing-board of Jack Holt, the Solo first appeared in 1956. Very popular with the mature sailor, the design is extremely comfortable with ergonomically designed side-decks for ease of sitting-out. There is also plenty of space for the occasional passenger when not racing. It is available in all forms of materials – wood, GRP/FRP and composite construction.
•Length: 3.78m
•Beam: 1.55m
•Weight: 70kg
•Sail area: 8.36m2
•Optimum weight of helm: 77kg
•PN: 1155

Firefly

The Firefly was designed in 1939 by Uffa Fox, but due to the war no boats were built until 1946. The Firefly is regarded by many as the original one design dinghy. For the Olympics in 1948, the Firefly was selected as the Single Handed Class.

There have been many modifications to the deck and internal layout of the class, the most significant being when Rondar took over production and revelotionised the class giving the ability to bring a capsised boat back up virtually dry. Following on the redesign by Rondar, the Class Association recently passed the Mark IV wooden conversion, giving the old wooden boats the same characteristics of the modern Plastic boats.

The Firefly is a responsive, non spinnaker boat which can be sailed by people of all ages.

  • Length: 3.66 m
  • Beam: 1.42m
  • Weight: 100kg
  • Sail area (main and jib): 8.36m2
  • Optimum weight of helm and crew: 108-153kg
  • PN: 1170

Welcome

South Staffs Sailing Club is a friendly club that has members of all ages. We cater for all abilities, from beginners to experienced sailors.

As an RYA Training Centre we provide courses that will enable sailors, whatever their ability, to flourish and really enjoy sailing at the club. If racing is something you aspire to do you will find competitive fleets and tuition available to improve your skills.

We have an active and thriving junior section, with a team of dedicated trainers committed to ensure the children have a fun time and are able to develop a real passion for the sport.

The club has a regular programme of social events and the club members always enjoy any excuse to arrange a good party.

If you would like to visit us, the club is conveniently placed adjacent to Jct 12 on the M6 and just off the A5 near Cannock. You will be made very welcome.

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Why should I sail at South Staffs Sailing Club?

South Staffs Sailing Club is considered to be an extremely friendly club that welcomes new members. You will be joining a group of people who love the sport of dinghy sailing, and are more than happy to share that enthusiasm. The club is run on a self help basis and joining in with the tasks that are needed for the club to function, enables new members to quickly make friends and settle in. For many it has become a long term passion and many members have been active in the club for many years, and for some there are three generations still active.

The club is an approved RYA Training Centre and facilities are available for both adults and juniors. Learn to Sail and Improver courses for adults are run each year. Sunday morning sessions are available for juniors to develop their confidence and enjoyment for the sport. Additional supported free sailing sessions are also available to allow practice and to provide time for skills to be developed.

We have a dedicated team of race coaches, including sailors who have been both National and World Champions so any level of ability at adult or junior level can be accommodated.

Easy access from Staffordshire and the West Midlands via the M6, M6 Toll, A5 and A449. The club is approximately a mile from Junction 12 on the M6.

The club offers competitive fleet racing. We sail a range of single and two handed boats that will suit all standards and sailing abilities. Our fleet captains, instructors and coaches will ensure that everyone can develop their skills and get the maximum enjoyment from sailing at the club.

The club has a strong family foundation, and in some cases multiple generations of the same family are club members. The membership costs reflect that belief and junior membership (up to 17) can be at no or minimal costs when joining with sailing adults. Concession rates are also available for students.

The Social aspect plays an important part in integrating  new Members to the Club and introducing them to other members and so making new friends.

It  has always been a very active aspect of the Club with a variety of events over the Year to suit all ages and tastes. From Quiz Nights, Car Treasure Hunts, Wine Tasting, Summer Ball, Christmas Dinner, Mince Pie Night with Carols and our own Orchestra,  An Annual Dinner Dance and our own House Band all prove very popular.  The Junior Team also put together a very interesting series of Social events for our younger Members.