Friday 25 May 2012

Glorious Sun and Sail

Well what super weather we are having.  Its been in the 20s for the last few days here in Chester with a cloudless blue sky.  Just as well as our sail training is now in full swing at the sailing club with 8 adults learning to sail we have been kept very busy indeed. Most have never been in a dinghy before so its right back to basics.

Sailing conditions have been absolutely perfect for learners and our intrepid matelots have been quick to learn.

Yours truly on the right briefs the trainees before we launch (yes it is a beer barrel under the boat)
 After some basic tuition ashore in glorious sunshine its off to the river for some sailing with a lovely background of Chester and the river Dee (its a tad bit bigger here than at Llangollan)
All Aboard - Getting under way
 First of all we take them out for a joy ride so they get the feel of sailing.

Then we teach them how turn the boat and sail up wind (tacking) followed by down wind sailing and turning the boat with the wind behind (gibing).  Once they master that we let them sail on their own but shadow them in a rescue boat to give them further advice.

Tim gives the trainees a helping hand to get under way
 It is hard to believe these guys are sailing on their own after just 4 - 2hour evening sessions but they have all picked up the basics and sail really well.
Looking good sailing down wind

Getting ready to tack the boat as they sail up into wind

The boat on the left is an RS Vision (modern design) and the other a Wanderer (old design)
Once we are happy they can handle the dinghies well we then let them try out smaller single handed dinghies called Toppers.  A Topper is almost a surfboard with a sail.  You can recognise one as it has a top hat Logo on the sail.

Learning to tack round a buoy
Whilst Andy and I instruct from the rescue boat (its a hard life for an instructor you know)

It can get very busy on the river
The end of a lovely evenings sail and a lovely sun set in the background
Finally we come ashore and teach them some theory on wind awareness, safety aspects, a few basic knots, and how to rig and de-rig the boats.  All this is done over 6 weeks for 2 hours a week after which they can sail a boat safely and proficiently.  I have to say I do get a great deal of satisfaction teaching someone to sail and then see them sail on their own for the first time.  

Together with the club racing in our own dinghy on Sunday mornings and Tuesday evenings Chris and I are out sailing pretty much most evenings now.  With the great weather we're having its so nice to be out on the water, beats gardening any day!

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