The Glenmore Reservoir is open for recreational sailing.

Youth Summer Camps - because of the pandemic, this summer we are only running a CANSail 3 course in August. See the calendar for details.

Please email us if you are interested in private or semi-private youth lessons and for other CANSail levels

Adult Keelboat lessons will resume in 2021.

Youth Summer Sailing Camp info

Covid-19 updates


Log in

Watching Sailboat Racing

The Objective of Sailboat Racing

Sailors use the wind to sail their boat around a course faster than other boats in their class (a "class" is all the boats of the same type).

It's easy to watch Sailboat Racing... but we wanted to share a couple of our favourite locations and tell you a bit about what you will be seeing.

  • If the wind is blowing from the East, watch from this grassy hill
  • If the wind is blowing from the West, watch from this high point near the Club
  • if you really want to see the activity on the boats up close, bring binoculars (though they are definately optional)

Typical Sailboat Racing Courses
Boats sail either a "windward / leeward" course or a "triangular" course.

The Start
As shown in the above course diagrams, sailboat races always have an upwind (into the wind) leg first.

In the middle of the Glenmore Reservoir, you'll see a pontoon boat. This is where we start and finish all our races.

The pontoon boat is at anchor, so it always points into the wind. The starting line is set perpendicular to the wind on the left side of the pontoon boat, between the pontoon boat and a floating mark in the water a couple hundred feet away. 

The volunteers on the pontoon boat use flags and sounds to let sailors know when races will begin. When you are on shore, you may hear the sound signals we use to count down to the start of a race.

As boats are preparing for their start, they choose a position downwind of the starting line based on their strategy for the upcoming race. Sailors determine their race strategy on a number things like where they see the stronger wind, where they think the next wind will come from, the angle of the starting line relative to the wind and the position of other boats. Races are won and lost at the start.

First Upwind Leg
After the start, it often looks like boats scatter and heard in all different directions. Because sailboats don't sail straight into the wind, the zig-zag course they sail upwind allows boats to get to the upwind mark. Decisions when to tack ("tacking" is turning the boat when zig-zagging upwind) are made based on some of the same things sailors were considering before the start (wind shifts, other boats are blocking their progress, etc).

Right of Way
The basic rules of the road when sailing are easy. There are two of them.
Boats on Starboard and those which are Leeward have the right of way.

Starboard
* these are boats with the wind coming over the right side of the boat / who have their main sail on the left side of the boat

Leeward
* these are boats which are downwind of other boats

The Windward Mark
After the start this is the next place every boat has to go. So, it can get a bit busy here at times. Boats will round the windward mark going counter-clockwise / leaving the mark on the left side of their boat. Many fine point / technical rules about rights of way at this mark.

Downwind
With the windward mark safely behind them, boats seek the freshest winds for the downwind ride. But... there's a bit of a twist. The boats in the lead now have the boats behind them "sitting on top of them" / blocking their wind. It isn't as nasty as it might sound... it's just part of the game. Boats in front have to consider this when strategizing their downwind run and the boats behind are looking to catch up some by slowing down the boats in front.

The Leeward Mark
With all boats headed towards the leeward mark before heading to the finish, this is another point of some congestion on the water. As the race has been going on for a while at this point, things are a bit more spread out and boats are likely to have a bit more room to make their rounding strategically before heading upwind to the finish.

The Finish
Congrats, you stayed with us this far. The Finish Line is to the right side of the pontoon boat and it's usually only about 50-80 feet long. By this point in the race, boats can be a bit more spread out but there are always some close finishes with boats crossing the finish line with less than a boat length apart after a half hour of racing.
That's close racing!







Club Location:
8601 24 St SW
(South Glenmore Park) - view map

The Club is fully wheelchair accessible.

Mailing Address:
Box 72107, Glenmore Landing PO
Calgary, Alberta T2V 5H9

GST #88037 2875 RT0001

Connect with us:
Contact the Board

Phone: (403) 238-2044

Wind Forecasts

Weather Underground PWS IABBAYVI2

Community Sport Partner

Member of the following:

Sail Canada
Alberta Sailing Association 

Donate to Youth Sailing

Our youth sailing program  charitable donations are generously managed by
Parks Foundation Calgary.

Learn more and donate online

Our thanks for their support!



Thank you for the grant to purchase boats and equipment for our youth sailing programs.





Thank you for the Amateur Sport Grant to purchase boats and equipment for our youth sailing programs. 

Thank you for your support



McKenzie Towne





Upcoming events