Junior Sailing

HYC has a junior sailing progamme which is great fun for all ages.  

For more information please e-mail Gill at dinghysailing@hycnz.org.nz

HYC DINGHY Racing & LTS Report: 18 December 2019

posted Jan 14, 2020, 7:55 PM by Admin hycnz

Hi All,

Our apologies from the Dinghy Sailing team about this delayed update on the LTS and Dinghy racing program.

Learn to Sail (LTS)

Over the past month the LTS program has been progressing well and the juniors involved are showing great improvement every week. The number of kids each week has been strong, and the weather has been favourable each Friday to allow us to get out on the water. The only challenge has been the tide, which has essentially been fully high one week which has been great, but then dead low the next which has been not so great. 

Two weeks ago, we carried out the Capsize drill at the ramp. Well done to all the kids involved! it was a lot of fun and you all did well. Everyone, including the spectators seemed to have a lot of fun. 

A special thank you to Tamas and his team of helpers for all their hard work to make the LTS program run smoothly.

Well done to all the Juniors involved with the program!

Dinghy Racing

It was great to observe two good fleets on the 2 days of racing carried out in the past month; 01 & 15 December 19. The weather played the game for both days racing, however the wind on Sunday the 15th was very light and frustrating for all the sailors. It’s been great to see a few older Dinghy sailors like Denis, Mark, Tamas and Sean on the water, to show the Juniors how it’s done, or not done is some cases! I heard the remarks like ‘being old’ and ‘OK Boomer’ mentioned a couple of times from the teen sailors out racing. 

Four races were completed in the past 2 weeks and the Pre-Xmas series is now complete. Ollie (Starlings), Cohen (Firebugs), Astin (Opti) and Denis (Div. 2) have generally won on the day, but well done all for some great racing! I would like to especially mention all the sailors have shown significant improvement over the first half of the Summer season’s racing! 
Well done to everyone and thanks to the safety boat drivers and the Officers of the Day for running the racing.

Div.2 Dinghy Pre-Xmas Series Results
1. Ollie Smith
2. Kieran Munro
3. Grace Munro
4. Barnabus Sebesteny

1. Cohen Laban
2. Barnabus Sebesteny
3. Kaelem Swanepoel

1. Astin Thornton
2. Kiera Smit
3. Quinn Heald

Div. 2:
1. Denis & Nixon
2. Mark Jones 
3. Tamas

It will be great to see everyone at the Christmas Function on this Sunday 22nd starting at 2pm, with Dinghies on the water at 3pm for some fun and games. There is a Pot Luck Dinner after the boats a packed away following the water activities.
I hope everyone has a Great Christmas and New Year and we are looking forward to seeing everyone back in the New Year.  


HYC Dinghy Sailing Team


Dinghy racing at HYC on Sunday 9th June 2019

posted Jun 23, 2019, 8:02 PM by Admin hycnz

Seven Junior sailors turned up bright and early on Sunday morning, after a night of celebration at the Annual Prize-Giving the night before. Some of the adults found time to help with the debris from the previous night’s party, before the racing started. The decision was made to race south of the club, in Catalina Bay, to avoid the strong spring tide, which posed quite a challenge with the very light SW wind. Gill set a triangular course, with the start line from a Patrol boat and the leeward mark, and the finish line off the club flagpole well downwind of the course. This gave the sailors some valuable experience of finishing away from the course, and then sailing directly back to the starting area for the next race.

The first race saw the Starlings get round the course in 20 minutes, on a dying breeze, but the Firebugs got becalmed and took forever to finish. With just Cohen and Barnabas sailing the Firebugs, they entertained each other by playing eye spy, while drifting around. The Starlings were towed and tied up alongside the Patrol/Committee boat, and enjoyed the remains of the carrot cake from the Prize-Giving, while waiting for the new breeze to set in. Justine popped to the market and bought coffees for all the Race Management Team - thank you they were much appreciated!

As the coffee arrived the wind came too; so it required a quick concentration shift back to sailing and race 2 got under way. There was a big wind shift which made it a 3 leg fetch, so only one lap was sailed. A quick shift of the top mark to make a beat, and race 3 got underway. This was the best race, with the tide starting to ebb, a decent beat and a constant (but shifty) wind. The juniors are gradually learning to spot wind shifts, but they are prone to play at follow-my-leader, rather than think about where the best line is to the next mark. With such strong tides, often the shortest route is not the best one.

It was a real treat to eat up some of the left-overs from the previous night, because it was after 2pm, by the time the sailors came off the water. Thank you Justine for dishing it out, sending the kids outside to eat, and tidying up afterwards. Congratulations to James who was racing for the first time in his own Starling; he sailed better each race and went from 4th to 3rd and in the final race came a close 2nd to Harrison. Kieran won the other two Starling races, whilst the Firebugs saw Cohen getting two 1st and Barnabas the other 1st. The next dinghy racing is 23rd June, with the race start time at 10.30am and the shed open at 9.15am. Please make sure you get there early so that you can be ready for the briefing at 1000hours. This gives us the chance to sail an hour either side of high water, which is crucial with these Spring tides!

Gill Moore 
Dinghy Sailing Coordinator 

HYC Dingy Sailing Report: Sunday 31st March 2019

posted Apr 26, 2019, 3:50 PM by Admin hycnz

Friday Training:

There was a good turnout for the last Friday night of summer sailing. After a few weeks away, I was real impressed with how smoothly the ramp operation went to get all the kids on water. Thanks to all the parents who are putting in the effort to make the Friday evening summer training work.

I was equally impressed with the kids sailing in a reasonable wind strength. We just got out on the water to sail on the last night and sail well they did. Tamas and I were very pleased. Kaelem and Barnabus were awarded with sailors of the day, but well done to all the kids! 

We are really looking forward to next summer, we should have our new Optimists by then after the Million-dollar mission. We will also do some maintenance work on the Firebugs over winter, so they are in good shape for the summer.

Sunday Racing:

The Dingy sailing team raced for the last time this summer on Sunday. 

Initially it looked like we would have too much wind, however the wind was up and down from the NE at 0-20 knots in the channel. The sailors were keen, so we got on to the water with a slight delay at 3.15 pm. Like last week we did all our starts on the water in the Safety boats and were able to get in 2 races. 

In contrast to last week, the sailors were frustrated with the swirling winds which had strong gusts at times, followed by lulls with zero wind or wind from another direction. They all did seem to be smiling at the end so believe they still managed to have fun! There was a total of 7 boats on the water. Unfortunately, both Harrison and David had to pull out in the first race.

Kieran (Starling) sailed well to gain to place 1st on line in the first race over a long course and considering the conditions. The second race had a shorter course, where Ollie took 1st place on line from Kieran, in a very close race. In the Firebugs, like last week Barnabus sailed well placing 1st in both races, well done! 

The best starts went to James in race 1 and well done to Ollie in Race 2.

Sailor of the day when to Kaelem who like George last week, gave it a go and raced for the first time. He put what he has learnt on Friday's into practice and he sailed exceptionally well. Well done Kaelem!

Pirate of the day went to Kieran and Ollie. In 2nd race they had a great tussle for first, however while they were concentrating on their own battle they forgot about Barnabus who nearly sailed around them. There were only 5 secs between the 3 boats. In the end, there were some good lessons learnt. 

Race One  Start Time 15:30:00 AM
Place Name Time
1 Kieran (S) 16:12:49 PM
2 Barnabus (F) 16:22:06 PM
3 James (S) 16:22:29 PM
4 Ollie (S) 16:25:11 PM
5 Kaelem (F) 16:30:02 PM
6 David (F) DNF
7 Harrison (S) DNF
Race Two Start Time 16:35:00 AM
Place Name Time
1 Ollie (S) 16:51:28 PM
2 Kieran (S) 16:51:31 PM
3 Barnabus (F) 16:51:33 PM
4 James (S) DNF
5 Kaelem (F) DNF
6 David (F) DNS
7 Harrison (S) DNS

The next racing will be in winter. There will be racing on every second Sunday during winter and the program will be released shortly. There will be a break for a period, however during this time we will need to do some maintenance on the boats, so standby for a date, for a working bee. 

Thank you to all for everyone’s efforts during the summer sailing program.

Sean Munro
HYC Sailing Captain

HYC Junior Sailing report - Sunday 24th March 2019

posted Apr 1, 2019, 7:42 PM by Admin hycnz

The Dingy sailing team rescheduled their race day on the 10th March to the 24th March, and we could not have picked a better day.

Initially it looked like we would have no wind, however we got on the water at 1015 am and timed this nicely with a wind change into the Northeast at about 5-10 knots. We did all our starts on the water in the Safety boats and were able to get in 2 races. Based on the banter and smiles a lot of fun was had by all that raced.

There was a total of 8 boats on the water including our Sailing coach Tamas and his son in their RS Feva.  Kieran (Starling) sailed well to place 1st on line in both races but had a good tussle with Tamas to achieve the 1st place in the second race. 

In the Firebugs, Barnabus sailed well placing 1st in both races. Of note both Barnabus and Cohen managed to beat some of the Starlings on line in the second race, through good starts and tactics. 

Sailor of the day when to George who gave it a go and raced for the first time. He put what he has learnt on Friday's into practice, and although he was DNF both races he managed to sail around the course 1x Race 1 (2 Laps) and 2x Race 2 (3 Laps). Well done George!

Pirate of the day went to Mackensie for calling starboard on Kieran during the start sequence with a grin, when she was knowingly on port. Kieran rightly held his course and there was no crash!
The best starts went to Kieran in race 1 and well done to Cohen in Race 2.

Race One  Start Time 10:30:00
Place Name Time
1 Kieran (S) 10:46:33
2 James (S) 10:49:19
3 Mackensie (S) 10:49:53
4 Barnabus (F) 10:52:00
5 David (F) 10:52:04
6 Cohen (F) 10:52:47
7 George (F) DNF
Race Two Start Time 11:05:00
Place Name Time
1 Kieran (S) 11:24:01
2 Tamas (RSF) 11:24:48
3 Barnabus (F) 11:26:08
4 Cohen (F) 11:28:22
5 Mackensie (S) 11:28:57
6 James (S) 11:29:10
7 David (F) 11:29:30
8 George (F) DNF

It would be great to see more sailors out on the water for racing on Sundays. George has set a great example, and it would be good to see more sailors giving racing a go. It is one of the best ways to learn. There will be racing on every second Sunday during winter and the program will be released shortly.

The next race is this weekend, Sunday 31st March first race starts at 3 pm. The sheds will be open early so please start getting the boats ready at 1.30pm so we can get on the water as soon as possible.

See you all Friday for the last training night of the Summer and on Sunday for racing. 
Sean Munro
HYC Sailing Captain

Junior Sailing Report Friday 1st Feb 2019

posted Mar 25, 2019, 6:17 PM by Admin hycnz

This was a fabulous start to the New Year, with 15 youngsters out on the water, with 3 new families joining in too. The sailing groups were divided into 4, with a coach allocated to each team. Tamas had the beginners in Optis, whilst Sean took the older beginners in Firebugs combining them with the Improvers and helped by Nicol as assistant coach. Gill took the Advanced group covering the mark rounding rules and Buoy Room, then applying it on the water in a multitude of scenarios. All groups had plenty of time on the water, and each group was de-briefed as they finished putting their dinghies away. This system worked really well, but we were only able to do this with the very generous help of Claire and Carl, friends and neighbours of Sean,  who very kindly came in their large RIB, and added extremely competent Patrol Boat cover. Thank you Carl and Claire, and we hope you enjoyed the fun on the water and we’d love to see you again!

It was great to see Kaelem, Anthony and Athena out on the water, sailing on their own and enjoying it. Next week when the Smiths, Thorntons and Devta’s are back, we will be at full capacity in the Junior Sailing section. A big thank you to Mark Jones who also came out on the water and helped instruct. Look forward to seeing you all on the 8th February, except the Wills’ who are off to the Cricket Test.

Gill Moore
Dinghy Sailing Coordinator 

HYC Juniors - Dinghy Race at HYC on Sunday 18th November 2018

posted Dec 9, 2018, 11:53 AM by Admin hycnz

It was an amazing day on the water for the young sailors racing the second Sunday in the Summer Series at Hobsonville Yacht Club. They started promptly at 2.00pm, with 5 Starlings, 2 Firebugs and 1 Optimist. It was a reaching start, and a short leg to mark 1, a gybe and then a long run to the leeward mark set deep into Hellyer’s Creek. This gave the fleets a long beat back to the ODM and time for the Starlings to gain a big lead on the slower Firebugs and Opti. The course was shortened for the latter to just one lap, whilst the Starlings went on to complete the requisite two laps. Grace had an unfortunate capsize, and when she went in for a second swim whilst disentangling her mainsheet, she prudently decided to retire and save her energy for the second race. David added even more excitement, when his mast fell down due to a shroud coming undone. He was towed back to the slipway and got the mast back up in time to make the second race.

In the second race things got really exciting, with both James and Harrison capsizing. Both recovered well, and Harrison even caught up and, sailing an intelligent beat in the shifty conditions, managed  to narrowly beat Ollie and Kieran. Ollie also sailed a competitive last beat, just sneaking in on port tack at the finish to separate Harrison and Kieran.

Overall results for the day:-


Harrison two 1st ; Kieran 2nd & 3rd; Ollie 3rd & 2nd; Mackenzie 4th & 5th; Grace DNF & 4th

Firebug & Optis

James 1st & 2nd; David DNF & 1st; Phoebe 3rd & DNS

Many thanks to Stuart, Sean, Craig and Cameron for manning the Safety Boats; Dianne and Craig for making things run so smoothly in the Gear Shed and on the Ramp; and Tina and Erica for excellent work in the Race Tower managing the racing

French Bay regatta - Saturday 24th November - Report by Mackenzie

posted Dec 3, 2018, 5:01 PM by Admin hycnz

Two of our Junior Sailors went to a regatta at French Bay yesterday - their first major regatta. Here's Mackenzies report on the experience....

Our experiences at French Bay: 
Arriving at French bay on the 24th of November 2018 Grace and I had no idea what to expect. Although we had been to the club in previous times we had only gone for social events and regattas, this time we were racing against top sailors, national champions in a series called the Traveler series.

When we got there it was pouring with rain we were all wet rigging up our boat’s (Kermit (888) and white heat (219) ) but we pushed through and eventually got on the water. The first race we were both confused. Generally, when we do club racing everyone gets out and goes straight for the start line, but this wasn't the case. There were boats everywhere and we were just following the majority but with no clue were the start line was. Lucky after the 10-minute flag went up people started to make there way back and we figured out where the line was.

First race. I had problems straight up. After the 2-minute flag went down my knot from my main sheet had come undone. I attempted to tie it back up but then realized that it was never going to work because I was pulling the boom towards me and making myself turn so I wasn't head to wind anymore. I started to worry because the race had started and the 5min gun for the opties had gone off. After a rib came and supported me and explained why the knot had come undone and so on I turned around, crossed the start line and went on with the race, miles behind anyone else.

After that race, I realized what my competition was. Grace and I both had to DNF if we wanted to start the next race. Grace pulled out altogether after the first race and went in but I decided to stay out and try some more to see if I had any chance of beating these people.

Race two. I got a much better start. I started with all the other boats and was with the pack the whole way up to the first mark. I learned a lot from this leg. They were all tacking up at one point and it wasn't benefiting in any way at the time, I just followed them still wondering what the purpose of this tack was until I realized something. I looked at my wind indicator and figured it all out - they were tacking because they could see a wind shift that had not come yet and they were moving so they didn't lose heaps of ground when the wind shift came.

I thought I was doing pretty well being in the middle back until I capsized. I got up easily and quickly and got on my way but these boats were fast and already way ahead. And the fact that the wind had died in the area I was in didn't help things a whole lot. I kept going behind the pack and went around the bottom mark. Heading back up there was a shortened course and once again I had to DNF.

They were running one more race but I was getting tired and cold and a little fed up of not finishing. I headed back in, packed up and waited.

In the end, it was a good day. I got a cool life jacket as a spot prize and one other girl came up to us and gave us a little pep talk. She said that things like that happen to all sailors when they're just starting and sometimes all you need is a bit more time on the water and in your boat. And she also offered to give us some coaching.

I learned a lot and you’ll see me and Kermit out on the water practising hard!

Junior Sailing Opening day racing - Sunday 28th October 2018

posted Nov 19, 2018, 3:02 PM by Admin hycnz   [ updated Nov 19, 2018, 3:11 PM ]

Opening Day Race Div 1

The Opening Day Race for the Div 1 Dinghies was sailed in ideal conditions with a gentle Nor-westerly, peaking at about 10knots. The 1000hours start time was postponed by 15minutes, whilst Mackenzie was righting her Starling, after an unexpected swim before reaching the start area. With a fleet of 4 Starlings, 1 Firebug and 1 Optimist, the decision was made to take the race area into Hellyer’s Creek, and use the new IRB as the Committee Boat. This worked very well indeed, and Stuart and Tamas quickly laid the leeward and windward marks, enabling a true beat to mark 1, and a start line square to the wind direction. The Starlings looked very professional, once they located which way to go. They milled around at the starboard end, looking for the perfect start, and Ollie was in prime position at the gun. Unfortunately Barnabas was OCS, and failed to start correctly, so Phoebe led the Opti/Firebug fleet. The Starlings did 2 laps of the course and finished with Ollie 1st, Kieran 2nd, Grace 3rd just overtaking Mackenzie 4th, close to the line. Barnabas did not have a good race, when he parted company from his Firebug, leaving him swimming while the dinghy sailed rapidly away from him. The Patrol Boat was quick to pick him up first, and then catch up with his escaping dinghy, which capsized and got it’s mast stuck in the mud! That is the only snag with sailing in Hellyer’s; it is quite shallow, but the positive side is the lack of tide.
The second race started straight after the first race, with an equally exciting battle for the best start position between all the Starlings. Ollie came out on top again, but a sudden breakage, meant total loss of power from the mainsail, and he was left with a 300metre gap to close, and Kieran got well away. However Mackenzie and Grace stayed hot on his heels throughout the 2 lap race, with Kieran 1st, Grace 2nd, closely followed by Grace 3rd, and Ollie having sailed his socks off, only about 100metres behind. Phoebe sailed competently around on her own as Barnabas had been towed home so she ended up with two 1st  positions.

Thanks to Justine for coming out to help with the Race Management; Sean, Tamas and Stuart for operating the Patrol Boats, and Tina who kept everything together on the shore. No easy feat with Market goers wanting to block access off into and out of the compound in the no parking zone! 

The first Friday Junior Sailing Night was also a success, with 4 new families joining, and a fifth coming next Friday. The current youngsters did a great job looking after them all, making everyone feel welcome, showing them around and taking the juniors for rides in the Starlings. Some of the new parents (and grandparents) have experience of sailing, and two of the Dad’s got straight out on the water and joined in the YNZ Safety Boat Skipper’s Course which Kim Admore ran last Friday. If any club members want to help out on a Friday night you’re most welcome to come in any capacity of expertise. A love of sailing and/or children is a great help!

Gill Moore
(Dinghy Sailing Coordinator)


posted Mar 19, 2018, 7:48 PM by Admin hycnz

9 junior sailors participated in races to Whenuapai and back today. It was a quick downward run and a long haul home beating into the wind and tide. 

A great day for all involved in challenging conditions testing both skills and endurance of our young sailors. 

A very big thanks to the owners of the privately owned boats used to replace out stolen safely boat.



Junior Sailing Regatta Report- Sunday 18th February 2018

posted Feb 25, 2018, 7:18 PM by Admin hycnz

Some of our more experienced junior sailors took the firebugs to the French Bay regatta on Sunday.

This was the first regatta for all these sailors and was a great first outing with it being not too serious and aimed to be good fair racing.

The firebugs created their own class which was all HYC boats but raced the first race with the starlings and were out there with the whole fleet which consisted of Optis, Lasers, Zephers and Jollys. Great experience of real racing for the kids.

The start was delayed due to lack of wind but they all managed to get around the course in the first race. Kieran took out this race in convincing fashion with Harrison 2nd and Mackenzie third.

Unfortunately the 2nd race was abandoned 2/3rds of the way through due to to lack of wind with Mackenzie in the lead after she and Grace made a great move through the fleet on the second leg to get there.

Hard day due to lack of wind but a great experience for all. Special mention to Dennis and Nixon who sailed in a Zepher as well.

Really enjoyed going to French Bay, and we were made very welcome. Racing was quite a way out so a bit hard for spectators but thanks to all those who turned up to support the kids - Gill, Gary, Tamas and Mark, the kids really appreciate it.

Hopefully we can do another event soon.

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