Sail Training

JUNIOR SAIL TRAINING

 

Each year it is pleasing to see a number of juniors become competent, independent sailors. Whilst the Sail Training scheme plays a part, these sailors also use the holiday period to practice their skills. We always need parental support to run the Junior Sail Training sessions and we will be organising some up-skilling sessions during the Whit week holidays.

 

RYA Training Centre Status

Our recognition as a RYA Training Centre means we're inspected annually to ensure that we maintain high standards of tuition, equipment and safety. Sailors are taught by qualified RYA Dinghy Instructors to the standards required by the RYA Youth Sailing Scheme.

 

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Am I a beginner or an improver?

You are probably a beginner if this is your first or second season of sailing. We would expect an ‘improver’ to be able to helm in light winds.

 

I am a beginner – can I book all 10 sessions?

If you have access to a suitable boat you can book all the sessions and we will try to make sure that we have enough volunteers to help you learn to sail. We have a number of club boats that you can use but due to the anticipated demand we may have to limit the number of sessions that you can attend. We will, of course, reimburse part of the fee if demand outstrips supply.

 

What will I do during the beginner sessions?

If you are 8 or 9 you will probably:

 

  • help to rig, launch, recover and de-rig a double handed boat (Otter)
  • learn the names of some of the most important parts of the boat and some knots
  • help to crew the boat by moving your weight about and controlling the jib sheet
  • steer the boat
  • steer and control the main-sheet
  • begin to sail the boat upwind by tacking
  • begin to sail the boat downwind and gybe when needed
  • take part in a controlled capsize recovery

 

If you are an older beginner you may follow the steps outlined above for double handed boats but are more likely to start sailing on your own in a single sailed Topper where you will:

 

    • rig, launch, recover and de-rig a Topper
    • learn the names of some of the most important parts of the boat and some knots
    • steer and control the main-sheet
    • sail the boat upwind by tacking
    • sail the boat downwind and gybe when needed
    • recover a capsized Topper.

 

I am an improver – can I book all 10 sessions?

 

If you have access to a suitable boat you can book all the sessions.

We have a number of club boats that you can use but due to the anticipated demand we may have to limit the number of sessions that you can attend. We will, of course, reimburse part of the fee if demand outstrips supply.

 

What will I do during the improver sessions ?

 

Improver sessions are designed to make you a better sailor so that you can confidently take part in club activities such as sail-away and races.

The syllabus will include:

  • is it safe to go out sailing? – too much wind – too little wind – waves – tide – weather forecast
  • preparing to go sailing – rigging the boat – boat controls – launching in more challenging conditions
  • tacking and gybing more effectively and in stronger winds
  • how to race – signing on - starting – the quickest way around the course – the basic racing rules around the racecourse – finishing – signing off
  • capsize recovery
  • recovering the boat in more challenging sea conditions.

 

Care of Boats

 

The club has a fleet of boats for juniors to use during sail training. These are also available, using a booking system, for the use of any club member at other times. Please familiarise yourself with the guidelines for use in the booking folder that is kept in the clubhouse.

The fleet includes Toppers (5) and Otters (3). Please take special care when launching, sailing and recovering these boats. Wash down the boats you have used and pack them away tidily at the end of each session.

 

Getting your boat ready for the season

 

Here are a few things junior members can do before the summer sailing season begins:-

  • If you have your own boat you are likely to improve more quickly. The options here are to buy or borrow a suitable boat. Depending on your height, weight and age you might be looking at any of the following. Optimist (or similar), Topper, Mirror, Pico, Feva. If you or your parents want some advice contact the Youth Co-ordinator.
  • Have a plan of how you are going to get the boat down to the beach. You may need to borrow a trailer or put it on a roof rack. Before bringing the boat to the beach it is a good idea to rig it in the garden at home. Does it have all the ropes, are parts worn, is there anything that needs to be repaired, does it have a centreboard and rudder ?
  • Toppers and Lasers can be tested for leaks by blowing a little air into the hull through the bung hole and putting soapy water on all joints and fittings. More details here
  • If you need parts the mail-order firms provide a quick service and will often give you free and sensible advice. Google any of the following:- Northampton Sailboats (General), P&B (General), Sailing Solutions (Toppers), Rooster Sailing (Lasers), LDC Racing (Feva), Laser Direct (Pico/Laser), TridentUK (Mirror). Give yourself plenty of time to get the boat ready and whilst you may need some adult help try and do as much as you can for yourself.
  • Finally a waterproof digital watch with a countdown function is very useful once you start racing. It doesn’t need to be expensive - £20 watches are more than up to the job.

 

We look forward to seeing you during the season,

 

The Sail Training Team

 

 

 

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