The first stages of sailing are often daunting, so here are some of the options and support available to you in your early months and years of sailing.
Its best to start off with an RYA training course. We run these at regular intervals through the year. Book early as they tend to fill up. Push the Boat out 14th May is a good day to get a longer time on the water compare to the open day which is very busy. Details of training can be found here.
There are a number of options to help you consolidate your sailing skills if you have done a course or have a bit of experience
- Crew for an experienced sailor on Sundays. Unfortunately, there are not many opportunities but if you can find someone who needs a crew from time to time that is a good way to develop. Let me know(click on this link) and I can send out an email.
- Attend Go Sailing sessions. These are informal sessions with coaching available. They happen after every Saturday 3pm from April where a Jybaz session is in the calendar. If you come down earlier in the morning and afternoon you will probably be able to get on the water with rescue boat cover, but Juniors have priority on boats for their training till 3pm. It’s a good idea to ring before coming down to check if any boats are free. From 3pm adults have boat priority. You can borrow a boat for a nominal £5 fee at these sessions to contribute to maintenance costs. People will be on hand to help you rig a boat and get on the water.
- Attend Wednesday evening sessions. We have experienced sailors down from about 5pm who can help you take out a club boat or who might take you out in their boat. Wednesday racing is very gentle so a good place to start. Remember if you can follow round the course and come last that’s progress and a good way to learn. First target is not to come last! You can borrow a boat as a novice for a nominal £5 fee on Wednesday afternoons/evenings as a contribution towards boat maintenance. We also usually mange to lay on tea and cakes.
- Informal sailing on Sundays. You are welcome to come down on a Sunday. If you are a novice you can borrow a club boat for a nominal £5 fee in your first full year of membership. However, bear in mind, most people are focused on racing so you might find it a bit daunting at first. You probably need to be able to rig and launching a boat and getting back to the shore under your own power and keep out of the way of the racing area. There is always an officer of the day on duty who can give you guidance, and if you let the rescue boat cox know you are going out they can keep an eye out for you and give you some encouragement.
- June/July – we have lots of opportunities in the early summer. Look at the calendar for Go Sailing sessions every other Sunday morning focused on inexperienced and improving sailors. Whilst there is racing in the afternoon, you can still continue to sail and might in time like to try joining the back of the race. Again, £5 fee for borrowing a boat.
Choosing a boat.
Don’t rush into this, you can always borrow club boats to start with. Then have a chat with Ian/Bruce or any of the committee or class reps for advice.
Who to talk to?
We have two Novice Sailor Reps – Ian Lee and Bruce Carter. They will always help you with help and guidance. Try and find yourself an experienced sailor to give you help and advice, they are generally not very good at spotting a novice and offering, so be brave and ask…. Or get Ian/Bruce to find someone to look after you.
Duties and duty man.
If you join in the year you will not be allocated duties. From your first full year of duties you will get a few general duties. Don’t be daunted by an email from our duty system (DutyMan). You will be allocated general duties which means helping out either on the rescue boat (so bring down warm clothing) or on flag duty in the starters cabin or to help with the galley. There will be experienced people on hand to help you. If you can logon to DutyMan and confirm your duty, that’s great, but if you don’t get to that, don’t worry, just come down anyway – it’s a great way to get to know people
Novice get together.
We are planning to hold an informal get together for novice sailors on the FIRST Sunday of each month after racing at approx. 4pm in the bar. No agenda, just a chance to chat to other novice sailors, compare notes and ask questions of the more experienced sailors – and have a drink at the bar.
Once you have got the hang of basic sailing one way to learn and make progress is to join in the racing on Sunday or Wednesday. I wrote these three guides a while back as an introduction that you may find useful.
Remaining a member