recommended classes

SHSC have a broad selection of recommended classes aiming to suit all groups of sailor

which boat should i sail

This summary of classes is to help you choose a boat to sail at Staunton Harold . It does NOT cover all the classes that are available, but instead concentrates on the ones that are particularly suitable for racing at SHSC and the size of our water. Those classes marked FLEET are currently popular at SHSC.

Junior and Youth sailors tend to sail Optimists, Toppers, Teras and Fevas with some families enjoying the Mirror dinghy.

Choosing a class that has a regular following at the club is very important:

  • You immediately “join the community” of that class.
  • You can get advice and guidance, help and support from existing class members.
  • There is a range of second-hand boats, bits and a good source of second-hand sails if yours need replacing!
  • When the time comes to upgrade or replace the boat, you should still find a good second-hand market.

Aero (Fleet)

After years of development we believe the RS Aero is the most technically advanced boat in its sector. Which explains why it’s the most exciting and best-selling modern single-hander. And easily handled too. Astonishingly, the RS Aero weighs about the same as an Optimist. That drives everything about its incredible user friendliness through transporting, rigging and launching – before you even experience the addictive sensations afloat. Complex thinking leading to beautiful simplicity – the RS Aero ignites the pure excitement of sailing in its least complicated form. Three rig sizes enable youths, ladies and guys to enjoy the ride. 

Fleet Captain: Lol Hayward

Comet (Fleet)

Plenty of sail area make Comets exciting to sail – easily onto the plane when the wind picks up but with great light wind performance due to the light, easily driven hull.
If you are looking for a single handed boat capable of coping with all conditions look no further! Fast but forgiving, race it competitively or for fun – enjoyment is guaranteed.  Annual open meeting usually in October

Fleet Captain: Steve Boud


The GP14 fleet at Staunton Harold comprises around 10 boats. Three or more can be seen racing competitively each weekend and during the week or cruising our pleasant waters. The fleet members are a mixture of gender and age. GP14 members at Staunton Harold can be found travelling to Open meetings, Area Championships, and Regattas held on inland waters or on the coast. Not forgetting the Southport 24 hour race which SHSC support annually.  Annual SHSC open meeting

Fleet captain:  Charles Saunders 

Tim Saunders Fireball Worlds 2018

Fireball (Fleet)

The Fireball is a two-person boat with trapeze and symmetric spinnaker. Crew weight of 127-158Kg (20-25 stone). A high performance two person symmetric spinnaker racing dinghy. Fast and exhilarating yet forgiving enough for beginners. Designed in 1962, very popular worldwide with numbers over 15000. Wooden or fibreglass. Available for any price from £500 to £10,000. The Fireball is suitable for all wind conditions, on any style of race course making it an excellent choice for sailing at Staunton Harold

Well supported annual SHSC Open Meeting

Fleet Captain : Colin Davis

Come and enjoy great sailing at SHSC racing cruising learn to sail in Derbyshire Leicestershire RYA Champion Club of the year family outdoor activity

Laser (Fleet)

At SHSC we are fortunate to have a very active racing Laser membership across the spectrum of abilities. The laser fleet has its own start in many of the race series. Competitive sailors can enjoy racing alongside (or slightly behind) accomplished and renowned champions, whilst newcomers to the fleet find plenty of accompaniment throughout the race. Due to the high number of competitors, final positions can vary greatly from race to race which keeps the fleet vibrant and exciting. All rigs used by our fleet. Many sailors also compete in the Midlands Grand Prix events. Several training sessions every year with club lasers for hire

Well supported annual open meeting

Fleet Captain Sam Jones

Andy Krailing and Simon Forbes 2018 Gul Scorpion Nationals


Any boat with a Portsmouth Yardstick number no lower than 900, and which does not have a fixed keel, may sail on the Clubs water and take part in racing. Sailboards are also welcome.

Fleet Captain Alan Bennett


Optimist Open


An optimist is a perfect boat to learn to sail and have fun in yet can extend to being in a big competitive event with 300+ boats. It is a boat that you can start sailing as a beginner, or compete as an experienced sailor. Optimists are made of wood, plastic or glass fibre and anyone can sail one up to about 50kg body weight. It is a RYA recognised junior class, up to age 15 and can be very competitive and great fun. SHSC also own some optibats for hire which are similar design and a great starting boat.

Annual SHSC open meeting often with other junior classes.


Come and enjoy great sailing at SHSC racing cruising learn to sail in Derbyshire Leicestershire RYA Champion Club of the year family outdoor activity

RS 200 (Fleet)

The RS200 is ideally suited to sailing the shifty winds at Staunton Harold Sailing Club. She is a fantastic two person non-trapeze high performance asymmetric racing dinghy, aimed at crew weights 17 to 23 stone. The RS200 provides fun and excitement for helm and crew of all ages. Annual SHSC Open Meeting, regular training sessions.

Fleet captain ; Andy Marriott


Solo (Fleet)

The National Solo is a classic, one-design, single handed dinghy. Designed by Jack Holt in 1956,the Solo remains a popular dinghy, sailed at many clubs in the UK, Holland and Australia. 

Fleet captain ; Tim Gray


2000 (Fleet)

The 2000 (formally the Laser 2000) is a performance sailing dinghy designed by Phil Morrison and currently sold by RS Sailing. It combines a traditional GRP hull and foam sandwich deck moulding with a modern asymmetric rig including a furling jib, reefing mainsail and single line gennaker hoist system. 

A high boom provides plenty of headroom whilst the self-draining cockpit keeps the crew dry and drains quickly should the boat capsize. 

The 2000 has established an enviable record as a resilient and versatile design; docile and forgiving for novices yet an exhilarating sail for more advanced sailors. SHSC are lucky enough to own 4 2000’s in their hire fleet so why not have a try before you buy sail
Annual SHSC Open Meeting, often with the other asymmetric fleets.

Fleet Captain : Terry Forbes


Optimist and Topper Opens Start Line


The Topper requires little maintenance, is easily rigged in a matter of minutes, is rugged and safe for beginners and is an exciting race boat too as your skills develop and like the Mirror and Optimist is car-toppable so transporting a Topper is a simple task. The aluminum mast comes in two sections allowing the spars to be stored within the length of the boat (and easily transported by car), combined with a swivelling mast gate enables you to erect the mast single-handed. The standard 5.2sq m sail can be reefed around the mast to reduce sail area or you can use the new 4.2sq m sail. Our juniors train in topper dinghies and we are lucky enough to have several for hire. RYA zone training in squads and also Midlands topper training for all Cheap to purchase and hold their value. Annual SHSC open meeting often with the other junior classes.

Fleet Captain; Neill Clingan



RS Feva

The RS Feva is a two person youth class, though it is also sailed and raced by parents plus child or by an adult single handed. 

Crew weight 80-115Kg (12 to 18 stone). The asymmetric kite provides great training practise for many of the other modern classes, while the polypropelene construction makes it very tough. SHSC have several fevas in our hire fleet and they are sailed at our junior squad weekends. They are a great boat for youngsters who prefer to sail a two man dinghy and allow many skills to be gained.


Stand-Up Paddleboarding SUP

Stand up paddling in one form or another has been around for thousands of years. SUP has roots spanning millennia and continents. Modern SUP surfing almost certainly began in the mid 20th century in Hawaii. SUP as we know it today has only really boomed in popularity and diversified as a sport over
the last 20 years. The essence of SUP is to stand (or kneel) on a buoyant board, using a single bladed paddle as a means of propulsion and control. In a very short period of time, participation in SUP has grown exponentially, and the sport has spread out from the surf zones to incorporate a range of sub-disciplines.
Today’s SUP boards are being used for leisure, fitness, racing, touring, polo, surfing, yoga, downwind, white water, foiling and wind-SUP. Whilst most SUP paddling is still done with one person on a board, tandem and multi-rider boards are also becoming more common.

Contact Greg Wilson



Windsurfing is often recognised as an extreme sport that provides limitless thrills and excitement in a range of disciplines. However, it is also a great way for the whole family to enjoy a beach holiday or have an active day out on the water at a more laid back pace. Whether your aspirations are to ride big waves, to compete in slalom or course racing, to sail freestyle, or just to sail for fun whilst on holiday with the family, there will be something for you. We are happy for members to sail their windsurfers. Maybe for the future we would like to reintroduce windsurfers to our racing fleet

Contact Simon Foskett