The first of our sail training day for volunteers was held on a day when the wind was forecast to hit 40 knots in the afternoon. We decided to go ahead, in spite of this forecast as it looked like the perfect sail training day at 9.00 a.m, a gentles 5 to 8 knots, with a few gusts.

We broke up into pairs of a reasonably competent sailor with a beginner as a partner. We started with a very detailed look at the rigging, with Denis in charge, explaining how each section of the process is carried out, and the reasons for it. There was a very strong sense of concentration, so that when the partners went away to rig their own boat, it was much more easily accomplished than is generally the case. The partner groups then took their own boats down to the pontoon, and learnt how to attach the rudder and keel to their own boat, being conscious of the safety aspect of this operation. Then into the boats, and off to the Western Side to practise sailing skills for a good hour. When the wind started getting higher, all boats made their way back to the pontoon, and were brought out of the water and de-rigged then washed by the sailors who had sailed them.

Slideshow of Start of the day, rigging, Concentration as we did it, Andy and Claire, Ken and David, Denis and Ella, Concentration on the white board.

After this, Denis again got the sailors together, this time with a white-board, model boat and diagram. He went through the design features of the Hansas to explain what makes them go faster in a racing situation. All crews were transfixed by this session, and went away with the feeling of a day very well-spent.

A huge “THANK YOU” to Denis, and to everyone who spent the time today to learn all about the boats we sail, and took the opportunity to practise the skills we need.

Denis, today’s excellent leader.
In Charlie’s Chariot: Warwick, Tony, Eli and later, Jasmine.
Learning teams: Tara and Mitchell, Nikki and Vince, Ken and David G, Ivan and Michael, Andy and Claire, Denis and Ella, Mal and Jasmin, then Eli.