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Racing at PPYC


Percy Priest Yacht Club is a home to one of the better venues for sailboat racing in Middle Tennessee.  J. Percy Priest Reservoir is just minutes from downtown Nashville (click here for driving directions).  Deep water and the large, open area just outside of Hamilton Creek gives us all the room we need for great buoy racing. The multiple islands provide entertaining and challenging distance racing. 

Our club maintains all the gear we need to run top-notch regattas for fleets, including Catalina 22,  J/22, Northstar 500, S2 7.9, Vanguard 15, PHRF Spinnaker & Non-Spinnaker.  We host several regattas each year and have hosted 2 national regattas in recent years; for the Vanguard 15 fleet in 2015 and the S2 7.9 fleet in 2008.  For more information on upcoming regattas, visit our Regattas Page

If you are new to racing or need your boat’s rating, contact our Racing Director for basic racing orientation. You will find PPYC is filled with experienced members ready to help you become a better sailor. 

Club racing is happening at PPYC throughout the year.  Our most popular series is the Wednesday Night Series, which runs April through September.  All of our club races are intended to be a fun way for all PPYC’s members to participate in club sailing.  PHRF ratings, pursuit-style starts and distance courses keep things simple for beginning skippers.  Even if you've never raced before – you’re welcome to come out, ask questions and have a great time sailing with some of the most seasoned skippers in middle Tennessee.  If you’re a member of the club and need to get your boat rated, please complete a PHRF Rating Application.

PPYC Club Races

Wednesday Night Racing
Wednesday Night Races have become the most popular races at PPYC. Wednesday night races are FUN RACES that use a pursuit-start format. Races are held every Wednesday starting the first Wednesday in April through the last Wednesday in September. Races start at exactly 6:15 pm. Novice sailors are encouraged to participate and skippers get Novice Points to encourage them to sail with new sailors. Click here to learn more about our Wednesday Night Racing.


Sunday Buoy Series

The Buoy Series is held on Sunday afternoons in June through September. Races start at 2:00 pm. Please check the Racing Schedule for Sunday Buoy Series dates.


PPYC holds organized regattas in the spring, fall, and even in winter. Regattas are formal races typically held on Saturday and Sunday. Often, there are social events in the evening to welcome racers from out of town and build comraderie among sailors and PPYC members. To learn more about PPYC regattas, click here.

Out of Town Regattas

Many fleets from PPYC participate in out of town regattas for regional, national and international races. These are often larger regattas where you can meet a network of excellent sailors from around the U.S. and the world. Currently, active fleets that participate in out of town regattas are the Catalina 22 fleet, J22 fleet, S2 7.9 fleet, and Vanguard 15 fleet. Other boat owners also participate in out of town regattas. For more information, please contact our Racing Director.

Why Race?

You do not have to own a boat to race. Many skippers and boat owners are looking for crew and you can easily find a boat that needs crew. If you are a sailor, racing is the way to build your sailing skills the fastest. Even a sailor who has spent several years sailing a cruising vessel will generally learn more about boat handling during a season of racing than they have during the several years of cruising. If you are interested in finding an opportunity to crew, please visit our Skipper/Crew Matchups page by clicking Sail in the main menu and selecting Crew: Needed/Available in the list that appears — or access it now through this link: Skipper/Crew Matchup Process.


The following are some additional benefits of racing:

  • Meet and sail with excellent sailors, many of whom are regional, national, or international champions.
  • Develop quicker responses to a variety of situations that better prepare you for real-life situations.
  • Learn the best techniques for a variety of tasks on a boat.
  • Overcome your fears and learn to handle boats with calm expertise.
  • Become better at understanding the effect of weather and wind.
  • Learn how to properly use sailing terms in correct context.
  • Learn the importance of training, team work, fun, education, and boat maintenance.
  • Learn how to best take care of your boat for both maintenance and performance.
  • Build relationships with sailors that have years of experience sailing around the world.
  • If you join a traveling fleet, you can become a part of regional, national, or international network of racers.
  • It’s a lot of FUN!!!!

It is relatively easy to get started into racing. So give it a try! Whether you choose to participate in a few local regattas or aspire to land a crew position on a traveling boat and compete year-round; racing at PPYC makes you more knowledgeable, confident and safe in a sailboat.  At the very least, you’ll have a great excuse to get out to the lake and have great fun! Contact PPYC’s Racing Director to get started.

Additional information can be found on our Racing 101 page, including terminology, Crew Positions and Sailing Terms.


The above information is meant to be an introduction to racing at PPYC. There’s way more to learn, but reading this guide is a start. Direct any questions you have about our racing program to the Racing Director.  We hope to see you on the race course soon!