A look back at the 2017 season .....
Who and When?
Seventy-three Club members moving together as one - well almost. Every Wednesday evening between the end of the Easter Holidays and the beginning of Cowes Week is Adult Sailing at the Royal Vic. All Club members aged 18 and over are welcome to join in, and they came - thirty five 'students' and thirty eight 'instructors'.
Adult Sailing is not a RYA course, so there is no requirement for any of the instructors to have a recognised qualification, but all students get a very special certificate of attendance. The Club has a huge number of members that are experienced sailors and are generous enough to not only give up their time, but many of them also loan their own boats as well. This allows the cruiser students in particular to get some experience on a number of very different types of yachts.
This year the menu of boating activities included: Sailing Cruisers led by Adrian Robson, Squibs: Andrew Porteous, Double Handed Dinghies: Mike Duke, Single Handed Dinghies: Gregor Arthur, RIBs: Howard Knowles and a Motor Boat supplied by Mike Waddleton. Students choose which type of boat they would like to get experience with and with a bit of luck got their first choice. Some students are complete novices, whilst others come back year after year, which in some cases means that they are more experienced.
Over the course, ten cruiser owners took learners out on their boats. Two student cruiser owners took instructors out on their boats. Six squib owners instructed, using either their own boats or the club squib, "Alice". Four instructors accompanied learners in their own RS or in club Bahia or Wayfarer. Five Single handers used club Picos or their own Pico and had the use of one instructor most of the time.
On the Water
This year the tide times were particularly kind to us and whilst the tidal waters of the creek normally only allow us to sail one week and have a theory session the next, we were able to fit in some extra sailing sessions. Not only did the tide favour us, but so too did the weather, we had a glorious run of good weather which allowed us to get out on the water for most sailing sessions
Topics such as safety on the water, points of sailing, boat parts, rigging your dinghy, knots and splices, pilotage, navigation and buoyage were covered, usually accompanied by a drink.
We are very fortunate to have excellent support from the Club RIBs organised by Howard Knowles and his flexible team of nine club members. As well as maintaining a safety watch over potentially capsizing dinghies, Squibbers were ferried out to squibs and learners could develop their RIB handling skills. Bosun, Martyn Squibb ensured we had appropriate Crane management skills, and generally kept us in order.
Helen Vrba and a well drilled group of five club members maintained radio contact with all participating boat helms, checking everyone out, then, back in at end of each sailing session. Club members were able to develop their radio skills.
Gail and Sharon were amazingly accommodating as always. We had Pie Night Supper available, either as we came off the water after 2000 or from 1830 prior to the Theory Sessions starting at 1930. On 26th July we enjoyed an "End of Term" BBQ and party where Nigel and Sue awarded "special service medals", and our Vice Commodore, Chris Rickman, was gracious enough to attend and gave a rather good speech, recognising that we had all had a very Good Time.
Strictly speaking, participation in Cowes Week is not part of the AS Course, however Four club members offered to helm the club squib " Alice" over the eight days of Cowes Week.Six Adult Sailors crewed and had some exciting times in rather windy conditions. This made fantastic use of the club Squib, gave some newcomers to racing a wonderful experience, and ensured that we have plenty of new sailors wanting to join the Squib fleet.
Two Adult Learners joined the club in order to do the Adult Sailing Course At least three participants have either bought or are about to buy a boat following attendance. Students state that they are keen to continue to develop their sailing skills.
The AS Course has brought members from different groups that exist within the club together. It is an ideal opportunity to get to know a wider group of people within the club and explore which area of boating may be best suited to them. It has been good to see that "graduates" from previous AS Courses are now regularly crewing, sailing and racing.
Nigel and Sue are resisting all challenges to take over control, and will once again coordinate a great and wonderfully supportive group of volunteers - so 2018 Adult Sailing will happen as usual after the Easter holidays and up to Cowes Week. Plans are afoot to expand the options further by introducing a start to race group. This will be aimed at those that can sail reasonably well, but have little or no experience of racing. It will be led by Kev Gibson who is a very experienced racer, having competed in dinghies, keelboats and yachts in numerous local and national events
If any of you want to lead or learn in any other type of boat, such as a kayak, scow, coracle or pedalo, just ask and we will put out the call to see if we can form a group.
Last updated 12:22 on 13 September 2017