Frequently Asked Questions
How may I contact someone to ask questions about Oxford Sailing Club (OSC)?
Website: The website is constantly being updated but already contains information that may answer your questions. You may use the website to join the club or renew your membership or please use the Contact Us page to ask questions not covered by the website.
Visit to the OSC office: There will be a Committee member on site in the OSC office every Sunday between 09:30 and 12:30 and Club members will be on duty at all organised sailing event times; the Officer of the Day (OOD) will wear a hi-vis tabard.
Email: (Contact Us Form) Committee members will respond to your emails as quickly as possible, normally within 48 hours.
Phone the OSC Office: (01865 863201) The office will only be routinely staffed on Sundays (see “Visit to the OSC office” above).
Facebook: Members may make use of Facebook to ask questions of other members and the OSC committee. https://www.facebook.com/groups/oxfordsailingclub/
The Committee are all members with day jobs who have volunteered to be on the Committee. This means they are not available all of the time.
The people you may find particularly useful as a new member are:
Harbour master: Please contact Mark Rainford
Windsurfing Secretary: Russ Canning should be able to answer your windsurfing queries.
Sailing Secretary: contact Jane Middis with questions about racing.
Fleet Captains: Each racing fleet has a fleet captain, fleet details and contact email links are on the Dinghy Fleets.
Novice Fleet Captain: If you are new to sailing and feeling a bit apprehensive about racing we have a Novice Fleet. For more information about the fleet please see the OSC website (Novice & Casual Fleet) or contact Tony Bell for more details and lots of encouragement!
I see that there is a car park barrier, do I have to pay?
OSC members receive a car park swipe card in return for a £5 refundable deposit.
Members of the public pay £2.00 when exiting the car park barrier.
Visiting sailors for organised events should ask about arrangements when signing on for their event following arrival at the club house.
When may I sail?
The club is open all year round and members can sail between 9.00 am and sunset or 9.30 pm (whichever is earliest), subject to the two-boat rule - that is to say that there must be two boats or windsurfers on the water or one boat/windsurfer and a powerboat (safety cover). Between Easter and October, there are usually other users on the water most days but it is quieter in the winter. Also see When we sail at Farmoor.
How may I find out if the site is closed?
The reservoir site is managed by Thames Water. Normal site opening times are 08:00 - sunset or 9.30 pm (whichever is earliest), for safety reasons the site is closed when it is dark. Thames Water will also close the site when poor weather conditions would make the site unsafe; such exceptional closures are first announced on Thames Water's Farmoor Fishing Facebook page.
Is there a cafe at the club?
Our caterers, Hackett's, provide food and soft drinks for all organised events (e.g. club racing and social events, open events and training events). They also aim to open 7 days a week from 09.00 to 16:00 and serve dinner until 20:30 on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday evenings from April till October. Hackett's reserve the right to close if no one is around, to check whether food is being served call Pauline of Hackett's on 0794080756. Here is what Hackett's say.
Is there a bar at the club?
The members only bar, also run by Hackett's, is open to members during the day throughout the year, and Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday evenings during the summer. Guests must be signed in by a member; proof of membership may be requested.
What is the definition of a 'family' membership?
A family membership is you, your partner or spouse and any children up to the age of 18 who are still living at home.
What age does youth membership go up to?
Youth membership is up to the age of 18. Young persons between ages 18-25 years are eligible for a young persons’ discount on the adult membership.
What is the definition of 'student' membership?
For over 25 year olds in full time education, a student discount is available on production of a valid student ID card.
Do I have to pay a whole year's membership if I join part way through the membership year?
The membership year starts on 1st April. From August, membership is pro-rated so 8/12 would be due if joining in August, 7/12 in September etc.
Can I join the club and sail on the same day?
As soon as you have your membership card you may sail (see section above for When may I sail?). Until then you may sail if signed in as a guest by a member.
May I hire a boat or board?
OSC has equipment for members to hire. Please see the separate guide to equipment hire (soon to be added to the members section of the website). Also see Pay & Play.
Can I bring a guest to the club?
Yes, members may sign in the same guest up to three times in any membership year and bring a maximum of three guests at a time. There is a guestbook in the hallway that must be completed.
Can under-18s be left at the club unattended?
Parents or guardians of all under-18s are responsible for their safety at all times and, if leaving the club site, should be aware that weather conditions may change. Under-12s must have a parent, guardian or responsible adult nominated by the parent/guardian present at the club throughout their visit.
Is there a chandlery at the club?
We don't have a chandlery.
Will I be safe on the water?
Members are responsible for their own safety at all times, including when sailing whether or not safety boat cover is present. Unless you feel confident of your ability to go on the water without safety cover you should restrict your sailing to those days when safety cover is available.
The two-boat rule must always be observed – you cannot be the only craft (boat or board) on the water (NB fishing boats do not count as a second craft). Safety boat cover is normally available only for organised sailing events.
How can I find out what the wind is like at Farmoor?
If you have access to the internet the club’s website www.oxfordsailingclub.com has pages for our webcam and weather. Please see “How may I contact someone to ask questions about Oxford Sailing Club?” above.
How do I volunteer for duties?
We are a club run by members for members so we all take a part in that. Each adult member is expected to do at least two ‘duties’ per year, this may involve helping with racing on a Sunday, Wednesday evening or Saturday and other events we host including windsurfing. If you would like to help the club in some other way please speak with a member of the committee or use the Contact Us form
Racing teams are led by the Officer of the Day (OOD) with helpers to start, monitor and finish the race plus a Principal Rescue Officer (PRO) responsible for providing safety cover. The duties for this year may be already allocated but as part of the renewal process next year you will be asked for your preferences re days, dates to avoid etc. Please don’t worry – you won’t be thrown in at the deep end, there are usually six in a team so there will be plenty of help and advice. If you would like to help out with racing this year please get in touch with Jane Middis (Sailing Secretary).
If something goes wrong and I want to complain?
Please contact Chris Howe, the Commodore at firstname.lastname@example.org
May I hire OSC rooms or facilities?
Rooms are available to hire, please contact Oxford Sailing Club via the website.