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 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.

First Junior Sailing Friday 27th October 2017 at 17.00

posted Nov 6, 2017, 6:29 PM by Admin hycnz

The first session of Junior Sailing was land based, as it was LW at 1927, and the thought of launching and recovering through all the mud that has been stirred up by the dredging, was in the “too hard basket”. Ten keen youngsters turned up with one new member keen to learn how to sail.
Gill went through basic Safety on the water, covering topics from what to do when you capsize, to how to dress sensibly while dinghy sailing. Harrison made a great model, getting dressed up in all the correct gear, and there were some ribald comments about his dress sense. He did earn a healthy muesli bar for his efforts. Kieran demonstrated how dangerous it is if your buoyancy aid is too loose fitting, with Dennis pulling it up over his face, which is what would happen if you fell in the water.
Other topics covered were sun protection, first aid needs, food and hydration, wind awareness, how to signal for help, and the local sailing area. The children finished with a group task of drawing up a map/chart of the sailing area used by the Junior sailors on Friday evenings. They came up with some novel ideas, and interesting illustrations.
The next session is next Friday 3rd November starting at 5pm. There is also a Junior Committee Meeting on Thursday 2nd November, so if you want anything discussed please contact me.

Last of the Junior Winter Series’ Races 24th September 2017

posted Oct 1, 2017, 7:06 PM by Admin hycnz

With a gentle Westerly wind the last of the Winter Series was sailed in ideal conditions. The course was set using the ODM jointly with the HYC Div 5 yacht race, and set on a transit between the orange post on the club, but starting in the opposite direction!  The first mark of the course left a mooring buoy to starboard, and then downwind into Hellyer’s Creek to leave the large black/white conical buoy to port. Two downwind/upwind legs and then back to the ODM completed the first race, with all the youngsters finishing before the yachts returned from Meola to finish their first race.
The second race was started just after the yachts started their second race, but the sound signals were confused by the sirens from the Farmer’s Market going off for a lengthy period. This meant the juniors had to rely purely on the visual flag signals. Two were over the line, OCS, and had to restart, which put them a long way behind due to the strong tide. However there was still some good racing and the standard of sailing has improved considerably.
Sincere thanks go to Sean Munro who organised all the on the water stuff. A very warm welcome to Tamas Sebesteny, who has recently qualified as a YNZ Learn to Sail Instructor, and helped out on the water with a safety Boat. Also to his family, Gabby and boys, Barnabas and Ben, who all got involved either on the water or at the after match food and debrief. It is great to have more talent joining the junior sailing team.
Last but not least a big thank you to Justine who ran the BBQ as well as writing down results, and giving me a lift to save me driving with my bad shoulder. The bring a platter worked well with plenty of food for everyone. And welcome back to the Wills family who turned up for an hour, having only just landed back in NZ after their holiday in the USA.
Sailor of the Day went to Cohen Laban-Jefferies, who showed a huge improvement, sailing a testing upwind course for the first time. Pirate of the Day went to Grace Munro for mutineering; nice one! Overall points winner for the Winter Series was Kieran Munro; full series results to be published soon. The new Programme will be finalised and published this week. The planned Working B this Friday is cancelled.

Gill Moore
Dinghy Sailing Coordinator 

HYC Juniors get vouchers donated by Crustys Pizza Burger!!

posted Sep 24, 2017, 7:37 PM by Admin hycnz

The running of a Club hinges on many people doing many small tasks and some large and with many tasks accomplished without fanfare or acknowledgement.

Recently the Junior sailing group were handed burger and pizza vouchers for  Junior Sailor of the Day generously donated by Brendon Marsh of Crusty’s Pizza Burger. 

This fine establishment is located on the corner of De Havilland Rd and Baffin St at Hobsonville Point. Please support this business as it is supporting us with a purchase or just a pat on the back and a “good on ya, mate” to Brendon.

The mover and shaker that acquired these vouchers - through wit, charm, personality and perseverance is none other than Gary Swain. Thanks mate!!!

Junior Sailing - 13th August 2017

posted Aug 27, 2017, 6:55 PM by Admin hycnz

Finally a good day for junior sailing, a bit of wind and a nice fine day. We had six keen junior sailors turn up for racing. Everyone managed to get themselves organised and on the water quickly and efficiently.

Sean set a course right out in front of the club. The first race was three laps of the triangular course. Once everyone figured out where the course actually was (listening at briefing is a skill a couple of sailors are working on!) they all got off to a clean start.

Ollie sailed particularly well and got off to a good lead at the start which he never lost, Kieran and Harrison fought it out for second and third with Kieran getting over Harrison on the last lap and taking second place. Phoebe, Mackenzie and Nixon sailed well to complete the race.

After some minor sail adjustments race two was four laps of the same course. Ollie, Kieran and Harrison were again fighting it out for the top three spots, some close exciting racing was great to watch from the shore. In the end Harrison took the line honours with Kieran and Ollie second and third. Mackenzie was overtaken by Phoebe on the last lap with Nixon finishing the fleet.

It was a great day for learning about racing with some close racing making it an exciting day for all. Many thanks to Sean Munro for organising, Denise, Greg and Garry for helping out and Cameron and Stuart for safety boat duties.

The day finished with Phoebe and Mackenzie going out with Greg for a bit of sail which they really enjoyed.


 Race 1
 1 Ollie
 2 Kieran
 3 Harrison
 4 Phoebe
 5 Mackenzie
 6 Nixon

Race 2
 1 Harrison
 2 Kieran
 3 Ollie
 4 Phoebe
 5 Mackenzie
 6 Nixon

Junior Sailing Report for Race 3 Winter Series Sunday 18th June 2017

posted Jul 2, 2017, 7:53 PM by Admin hycnz

After a very sociable evening, the previous night, at the HYC Prizegiving, most of the adults were quite tired and so were some of the children! We arrived at the club to thick fog and unable to see across the Harbour or even up to the bridge or Ferry Wharf. However the wind was over 5knots from the South, and the Optis were rigged with speed and enthusiasm. Eight Juniors had turned up so there was an Opti each, and they all tallyed on and signed in with their boat name for the race. The parents are brilliant at helping with any of the myriad of jobs needed to get all the gear out of the shed and onto the water. And they are great at showing new parents what to do as well, a real team effort. 
As the time for the briefing approached, the wind died to absolutely zilch, and I decided to postpone for 30 minutes. In the next half hour, the fog lifted, and a pleasant breeze came in still from the South! We had expected a NE out of Hellyer’s Creek. All systems go and the Patrol boats and Optis were launched in double quick time, and headed towards the start line. Then the wind died again completely. Optis got stuck in the middle of the harbour going backwards, stuck on barges, stuck on each other and scattered in all directions! The two patrol boats did a fantastic job towing all the fleet uptide and upwind, and enabled the Race Control to go into the start sequence. The wind had now veered to the north and Dennis Craig coached them all into a perfect start, hovering on the line using the wind to keep them below the line and the tide helping them over as the start hooter fired. All 8 Optis crossed the line within 6 seconds, but unfortunately no-one had a camera lined up! The first lap was a close reach on port, followed by a run against the tide back to the staring mark. Racing was close with Ollie leading closely followed by Nixon, then Harrison, Kieran, Grace, Phoebe, Mackenzie and Rohan, all within two and a half minutes of the lead boat. On the second lap the wind suddenly started to die down, and even with a shorten course there were no finishers and the race had to be abandoned. That is now three consecutive races where there hasn't been enough wind to race on a Sunday morning.   
Thanks to Justine for bringing two fabulous bacon and egg pies down for the after match lunch, much appreciated by everyone. Thank you to all the parents and helpers who make this dinghy racing happen. We have one Opti hull in the shed, which Gary has renovated, and all it needs is a mast and sprit, and then we will have a ninth Opti to put out onto the water. If anyone can locate either, or both items please get them. We also need someone to mend or re-configure the launching trolley for the Firebug, any offers gratefully received!!!!!

Gill Moore
Dinghy Sailing Coordinator 

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