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Junior Sailing News

posted Apr 19, 2015, 6:51 PM by Admin hycnz   [ updated Oct 11, 2015, 1:21 PM ]
The Hobsonville Yacht Club dinghy fleet now totals five Optimists and one Topaz "Taz", which can be used for training purposes and learning to dinghy sail. The Junior Sailing Programme is now going into the Winter phase, with sailing on alternate Saturday afternoons, starting this Saturday 11th April 2015, with the Briefing at 1300 hours. Sailing once a fortnight means we can coincide with favorable tides, as well as cater for children involved with Saturday sports.

Gary Matthews has worked tirelessly, to source, check out and buy any likely Optimists that have turned up for sale on Trade Me! He has then stashed them in his factory, given them a marine facelift, and on Friday night will transport them to the club to get them rigged and checked out, ready for the first fleet outing on Saturday. He has been supported by Jaime, who despite running his own business full time, has found time to help me buy and restore another old wooden Opti, as well as build three brand new light alloy launching trolleys. The club is extremely fortunate having two such highly skilled guys, willing to give so much time and effort, to this project. I am also very glad that we have such a talented young sailor as Niall, who willingly gives his time as a qualified coach, and is brilliant at engaging the interest of all age groups!

So even if you are not involved in the Youth Sailing, come and see what we get up to on the water. If you have dinghy sailing experience, or can drive a Safety Boat, we are always looking for more helpers, both on and off the water. We are always on the lookout for either Optimists or Sunbursts, so if you know of any lurking unused, in someone's garage, please tell us about them so that we can add to our fleet. We do need some two man dinghies to enable total beginners to go out and have a good experience under expert supervision.

Gill Moore
Dinghy Sailing Coordinator

HYC's First Junior Sailing went last Friday - Friday 13th March!!

The first Junior Sailing evening was held last Friday and about fifteen children aged between four and fourteen turned up as keen as mustard to get on the water and try their hands at sailing. So far the Club has acquired two Optimists and borrowed a Topaz off YNZ, and with only one launching trolley getting on and off the water was the greatest problem. However willing parents and vigilant club members all helped and it was wonderful to successfully get all the children on the water for over an hour. They either sailed or spent time in the Safety boat, waiting for a chance to get another sail.

Gill was ably helped with the coaching by Niall, who gave an entertaining Safety briefing. They both got wet accompanying kids in either the Opti (Gill) or Taz (Niall), and the wind was ideal for beginners with a gentle 5knots. It never ceases to amaze me how youngsters can talk so much and still manage to learn to steer a boat. Another fact is that dinghies sailed by youngsters have a magnetic attraction for each other, and are always hell bent on colliding!!!! 

Despite the low tide no one got too muddy, so the hose down facilities weren't used on any children, just on the dinghies. Next Friday there will be lots more water to play on, and hopefully some launching trolleys. We are still short of boats and if any club member has a surplus Sunburst lurking in the garage/shed please let us know and we could give it a happy and busy home.

My thanks go to all the club members who helped so willingly as well as the parents who really got stuck in and offered with all kinds of jobs. I am delighted with the first session, and see a great future in training youngsters to be safe and have fun by becoming skillful sailors in the widest sense of the word. We will be running the Friday 5pm sessions until daylight saving. Then we will probably shift to the Saturday afternoons; still to be decided, comments welcome!

Gill Moore

Sailing Development Co-ordinator