Getting into Sailboat Racing is not Easy
In many ways, Long Beach, California is the ideal location for racing a sailboat. The relatively mild weather and consistent southwest breeze offer almost ideal sailing conditions. San Pedro Bay, the ocean right off our coast, is protected by an offshore breakwater which creates an ideal sailing venue for smaller boats. The City of Long Beach operates the Alamitos Bay Marina and the Shoreline Marina which, collectively, offer slips for 3,755 boats. In addition, the area boasts five yacht clubs that host sailing and racing events year round.
Despite all of this, it is not easy for people living in Long Beach to get involved in sailboat racing. Learning how to sail is relatively easy. You can take lessons at the Leeway Sailing Center, which is operated by the City of Long Beach, the U.S. Sailing Center, the Orange Coast College School of Sailing and Seamanship, or the Newport Sea Base. Once you know how to sail, getting involved in sailboat racing at a local yacht club is relatively difficult unless you have the means to purchase your own boat and join a yacht club.
Granted, you do not need to join a yacht club to take part in local sailboat racing; all you really need is a boat. However, the logistics of storing your boat at home or in storage facility, trailering the boat to the club hosting the race and launching the boat before every regatta can be daunting. Then, when the regatta is over, you have to start the process all over again but in reverse order. Needless to say, a person who is simply trying to figure out whether they would enjoy sailboat racing is not going to do this.
If you are lucky, you will know someone who owns their own boat and convince them to take you out on their boat as a crew when they go racing. Unfortunately, most sailors who race their own boat are looking for experienced crews and may not be willing to take out an inexperienced person unless they are willing to commit to crewing for an extended period.