Cruiser Passage Racing

Passage Sailing Races in the Solent

Challenge yourself to sail the best course in our handicap passage sailing races in the Solent.  SWSA hosts 5 cruiser passage races in the Solent each summer, starting at Bald Head buoy.  These are 3-6 hour time limit races and a Round the Island race.  The courses, dates and start times are designed with tides in mind to allow boats on tidal moorings in the Southampton Water area to compete.  We take account of possible light winds and strong tides in setting courses which can be finished within the time limits.  These passage sailing races are open to members of the RYA and our 10 member clubs.

Passage race starts on Saturday mornings


Saturday races with morning starts,  pre-set marks and time limits so you can plan your passage in advance.

We start at Bald Head buoy 1Nm SE of Hamble River entrance, with courses set to make best use of tide and allow safe return to tide-restricted moorings.

Using handicaps (including white sail handicaps) and 2 classes, everyone has a chance to win our Race and Series trophies.

Join our friendly races

Just complete our simple entry form, pay your Race Fee for the year and you’re ready to race. We’re looking forward to meeting you!

entry fees

We keep our entry fees low and your first year is always free!

The annual fee covering ALL SWSA races is £25 for members of SWSA clubs, £50 for RYA members

No extra charges

We use the Byron Handicap system, which is free. So once you have paid your single annual race fee there’s nothing more to pay.

sailing for everyone

Take a look at our full race series for including weekend and passage racing, rallies and even a Saturday single-handed race. 

More about our Cruiser Passage Race Series

Southampton Water Sailing Association passage races are designed to provide challenge and excitement for experienced racers and novices alike. The handicap system means faster yachts race against each other in Class 1, whilst slower cruisers compete with equal skill at Class 2. Our trophies are heavily contested each year, but more importantly the competitors have a great time.

Do I need to be experienced at cruiser racing?

If you have never raced before, but have cruising experience then you will find our Cruiser Passage Sailing Races in the Solent the perfect chance to give it a try. 

Our simple Sailing Instructions give a clear starting point and instructions, so you have plenty of time to check tides and plan your race in advance. Even if winds are light on the day, SWSA races are timed to ensure tides will help you on your way, and we also set a time limit for each race so that you know when to call it a day.  

Don’t forget, you don’t even need to be a member of an SWSA member club (though we highly recommend it!). If you are a member of the RYA then you can still join our race series with a single payment – or if it’s your first year then you can enter any or all our races free of charge.

Sailing Rallies

We try to include a social event with most of our passage races; perhaps a pub lunch or an evening meal. It’s a great time to relax and meet like-minded sailors. Sometimes more impromptu gatherings are arranged close to the race date, so keep an eye on this website for details.