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Junior Sailing Report Friday 31st March 2017

posted Apr 30, 2017, 4:31 PM by Admin hycnz

This was the last Friday sailing for the Summer, as daylight saving makes next week too dark to sail. We had the best turn out ever, with seventeen juniors turning up, meaning that the whole fleet of dinghies went out except one Sunburst. And the only reason that one didn't go out was that we had no adult to take the helm, to give the beginners their first taste of sailing.
The wind was Easterly, with a touch of south in it, and a strong incoming tide,  due to the King tides this week. Launching was the worst we have had, with a build up of fresh, slimy, sticky mud covering the end of the ramp. I think this must be due to the dredging that is going on upstream of the ramp. It was great fun wading in and out of the mud, getting a working line launching (me and Denise), fitting rudders (Nick) and retrieving trolleys, Phoebe and many others. I'm very relieved my daughter, Jenni, wasn't there, as she cannot resist daubing mud all over other people!
Beating up to the windward mark, just off the club and the two barges anchored there, was a huge challenge. With wind and tide together, and the tide strengthening to over 2knots, the Optis found it very slow going. The little fleet of faster dinghies, with Emma and Harrison in the two Starlings, and Kieran in the Firebug, found it much easier, and whizzed round the course quite quickly. I had Phoebe and Darroch with me in my Okura sailing gig, and we had great difficulty getting round that top mark, despite sneaking right out of the tide, underneath the barges. It reminded me of my sailing days in Plymouth Sound, dodging around the huge ammunition barges, anchored in the lower reaches of the Tamar river. It gets quite scary when the anchor chain, with a large bow wave appears to be rushing at you, and you have no steerage in your little sailing dinghy!
The two Patrol boats spent a lot of time rescuing runaway Optis that drifted downtide beyond the sailing area, and bringing them back into the fleet. However things livened up when we started playing sponge tag, but I never did find out what happened to the sponges whilst we were on the water. Thank you for returning them later. The retrieval of the dinghies was much simpler with the tide covering the mud, and loads of help from the shore teams to get everything put away. The list of breakages/mending wasn't too long, and  we were all tucking into pizzas by 7.15pm. Thanks to the parents who organised the food; a great job and much appreciated. Thanks also to Dennis and Nick, who instructed, and welcome to Thomas and Gabby, and their two boys, Barnabas and Ben, who came sailing for the first time. Sailor of the Day went to Harrison, who sailed a Starling for the first time, and did so well he even took on a beginner passenger. Pirate of the Day was awarded to Darroch, for his piratical communication skills, speaking Maori to all the other dinghies sailors.
We had a brief meeting to formalise a Junior sailing Committee for the future, to share the workload of an ever increasing junior section. Thanks to Erica Wills (Secretary), Stuart Wills and Sean Munro (Patrol Boat Reps), Gary Matthews and Dennis Craig (Bosuns), Nick Gaites and Thomas (Coaches to train to YNZ qualified), Kathleen Waldock and one other (Committee Members) and a Junior Sailor to be voted for at the next sailing session, to also be on the Committee to voice the juniors opinions. Gill Moore agreed to stay on as Chairman. It was also decided to have a working “B” at the start of the holidays to get the children more involved with maintenance and repairs. The Winter Race Programme was also finalised, a copy to be sent to the Executive to be approved before posting on the website, and printing.

Gill Moore (Dinghy Sailing Coordinator)