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Junior Sailing Report - Saturday 16th April 2016

posted Apr 24, 2016, 4:37 PM by Admin hycnz

Saturday 16th April dawned with sunshine and a fresh NE breeze, blowing straight out of Hellyer's Creek. We had planned a day with the focus on race training to up skill the boat handling on the water, and encouraged some of the adult dinghy sailors to participate too. It was great to welcome the Jones's, Mark and Greg, Niall, Bronwyn and Scott, Andy as a fully qualified Instructor now, to help Gill, Denise and Gary. With some of the kids not arriving the adults outnumbered the children. This didn't matter as Niall took the Omega with Caleb, Bronny the Sunburst with Autumn, and both Connor and Jack went solo in the Optimists. Mark and Greg took one Safety boat and laid the ODM on the club line, with a short reach to the "top" mark close to the end of the slipway. Andy and I helped get the two soloists out in their respective Optis and soon all four dinghies were merrily reaching to and fro between the two marks, getting the idea of how to sail fast and round the marks and where the line was to start the races.

The first start using just a one minute countdown was total shambles, with only the Omega turning up on the line going in the right direction! However the next and subsequent starts got better and better, as the children gradually got the hang of lining themselves up behind the line with twenty seconds to go, then getting up speed to hit the line on time. Niall livened things up by charging on starboard tack between the Sunburst and Conner's Opti, but only succeeded in getting a clip on the head with Bronny's boom, during one of the races. Both Autumn and Caleb helmed the boats they were in and Caleb nearly lost Niall overboard when Niall was out on the trapeze wire. Connor managed to win the most races, with Jack giving him a good run for his money, and seizing one very narrow victory. In total we did over ten starts in the hour, and by this time the children were getting pretty tired, and random things started to happen. Time to get off the water!

The pot luck lunch worked very well and was a great way to finish the debrief while we ate. Connor was named "Sailor of the Day" and is really getting to grips with handling the Opti in fresher wind strengths. Denise is awaiting the first opportunity to get her revenge on Greg who accidentally filled her sea boots with water, whilst hosing down the dinghies. It was wonderful having more adults out on the water, and this could be a regular training session for all dinghy sailors, if they wanted to hone their skills.

Gill Moore
Dinghy Sailing Coordinator