This week we had 2 learn to sail kids Ashley and Cody and manly junior sailor, Dylan.
Whilst setting up the skyriders we reviewed how to tie a figure 8 (stopper knot) and reviewed the various boat parts. At briefing we talked about how to sail to a buoy upwind. We spoke about what it means to be in “irons” and how to sail up to a buoy facing into the wind. After discussing with the young sailors we decided the answer is to sail at around 45 degrees away from directly into the wind.
The small rubber ducky was manned by Ashley’s dad, Justin. He set 2 marks offshore aligned with the SE direction of the wind.
Dylan headed over to join in with the Manly Junior course and Ashley and Cody worked on sailing to a windward mark. With 2 young sailors and 3 coaches this allowed the kids a very personalised coaching experience.
Some of the key areas Cody worked on were finishing his turns when tacking and keeping the tiller pushed across until the boat has completed the turn and the sail filled with wind from the opposite side. Sail between 2 people (acting as buoys) and practising tacking.
Ashley headed out on a work and tacked back to make the offshore mark. As confidence built the main sheet was pulled tight and Ashley was able to take the shortest route to the windward mark, practising controlling the power in the sail by using the rudder movement. Both youngsters experiencing what it feels like being in irons (when the sail flaps and the boat stops moving) and how to get out of irons by turning away from the wind and filling the sail to start moving again.
Cody’s Dad hopped onto the skyrider to give him some support to go out around the windward mark. Cody giving him some capsize drill practice.
With a few fluctuations in the breeze giving the young sailors a burst of speed every now and then to test their skills. Both appeared to enjoy the challenge. Ashley took a capsize whilst gybing in her stride and with a little assistance righted the craft and sailed away again without missing a beat.
The other thing the young sailors worked on was to keep in contact with the tiller and mainsheet - transferring them from one hand to another when tacking and gybing so as to keep control of the boat.
Both young sailors doing extremely well.
Next week Saturday 10th December 2016 is the last Learn to sail session this year. Learn to sail is having a break starting up again Saturday 21st January 2017.
PS: Next week bring along some xmas theme gear as Santa might make an appearance after sailing.
Looking forward to seeing you for the final learn to sail for the season.
Regards Hugh Lewis