What a magical day for a sail in Manly. The sun shone and a gentle breeze picked up gradually throughout the morning and with 24 participants expected we rigged all 7 of the Hansa 303s for a busy day’s sailing.

Together with the large number of expected participants a large group of volunteers arrived to help out. We had more John’s than we could shake a stick at (one of them was SDC) and got as many of them (as we could) off the pontoon sailing together with Dennis, Michael, Peter, David and Jeremy, with Jenny and Malcolm getting our for a sail as the morning progressed.

Helen and Wilma were our rocks on shore making sure all participants were greeted and put in lifejackets ready to go out on the water. Warwick skippered Charlie’s Chariot with (you guessed it) another John as observer! Malcolm and Wolfie made sure the pontoon was running smoothly during the day.

And what a great range of participants came down to join us. We had some new sailors from Arranounbi, Matthias, Simon and Ava – judging from the smiles on their return they will be back! Then Ben, Ha-Na and Yi-Na and Noah came in from Royal Far West with both Ben and Noah also being first time sailors who enjoyed their first experience of sailing.

Shane came down with his carer and then the group from Northside arrived with Tarek, James, Ella and Alyse. Alyse impressed Peter with her sailing skills so he was not surprised to hear she is a champion sailor when she skippered him back to the pontoon. Rodney, David, Ginny and Sue then arrived from Sunnyfield and all got out on to the water, with Sue opting for Charlie’s Chariot and realising that next time she will bring another jumper to keep warmer.

Hanlon was our last participant to arrive and as always enthusiastically went out for a sail before we packed up for the morning. A new participant, Gerry came down to have a look – a sailor from way back who taught his kids to sail many years ago, he is looking forward to coming down with his carer in the next few weeks to show us what he can do in one of our Hansa 303s.

I stopped for half a minute to watch all the volunteers during the pack up. It all works like a well oiled machine as people go from one task to another helping each other to pack all the gear away so it is ready for our next day of sailing. Volunteers take a bow – you do great work!