With another new starter, Kyah Glover, we spent time demonstrating how to set up a skyrider. Collecting all the components. Pointing the hull into the breeze etc. He also received some advice from Steve Sellers and the other parents assisting the kids when necessary:- Dylan Beattie, Corbyn Devanish, Samuel Gray, Flynn Sellers, Ayesha and Quentin Mascarenhas setting up their skyriders.
With the stronger breeze the briefing focused on what you do to control the boat and keep the hull flat. Concentrating on leaning and mainsheet control. Letting the mainsail rope (mainsheet) in and out to help control power in the sail. We also armed the kids with the knowledge that if the boat gets a little too fast then they can turn up into the wind to slow down.
On the shore we demonstrated leaning, mainsheet control and affect. Another area also reviewed was when tacking the need to swap hands behind back keep in contact with tiller at all times. Sliding the back foot thru so that you turn facing forward and end up on windward side after tacking the boat. After each of the kids had practiced on shore it was time to go onto the water. Looking out over the lake there were quite a few white caps and some reasonable waves coming into to the shore. The more experienced manly junior kids Dylan Beattie and Corbyn Devanish going out 1st and we had Dylan Beattie’s dad set up 2 buoys across the shore line for them to start sailing across parallel to the shore. With the rest of the learn to sail kids we started with one skyrider initially and four adults which we built up to 2 skyriders. So they could get focused mentoring and guidance. The other kids waiting in the water for their turn.
This approach worked well with the kids gaining confidence. Even Kyah under instruction, first time ever on a sail boat happily sailing in a 10 to 15 knot breeze with up to 18 knot gusts and waves between 2 adults. Must be a natural. By giving the new learn to sail kids assistance tacking they and keeping them upright the majority of the time saw them circulating between the 2 adult buoys. Confidence growing and progressing quite well by the end of the session.
The more experienced manly junior kids found the going a bit tough. Not getting as close hands on assistance sailing independently between the 2 buoys. Towards the end of his session after a couple of capsizes chose to climb aboard the little rubber duckie and watch the rest of the learn to sail kids.
It was great to see even 1st time new sailors take on the conditions and enjoy themselves. At the end of the session I had to tell the youngsters to come in as they would have kept going. I would like to thank the parents who assisted lending a hand.
After packing the gear and wash down I let the kids know to start thinking about coming to the end of
season camp (see below). At the end of the session a new parent approached me regards his 2 sons looking to start learn to sail. So looks like we will have another 2 new keen starters next week.
Regards Hugh Lewis
Learn to Sail Coach
PS: Only 3 sessions to go. Our final learn to sail for the season being 18th of March 2017. This is the juniors sailing camp. Start planning for a great fun weekend. Starts with regular learn to sail in morning, then go out with senior sailors in the afternoon. We do activities in the evening and watch a movie. Sleep over in the club house. Sunday morning after breakfast we go for an adventure sail around Gooseberry Island. There will also be opportunities for the learn to sail kids to hop on a Manly Juniors with an experienced MJ sailor. Normally finish up around lunch time