Last year we ran a very successful advanced sailing course which was very well received by those who participated. An encouraging number of people have come forward to do a similar course this year. Unfortunately, this will not be possible as Tom Skuse, which we used as a rescue boat cum teaching platform is ashore for a major refit. However, in order to fill the gap, we’ve decided to use the “Free Sailing” days to offer help and encouragement to those wanting to improve their confidence and sailing skills.

On these Free Sailing days there will be a duty officer for the day who will designate the sailing area to be covered by safety boats. Sail Training will provide at least one Dinghy Instructor and one Assistant Instructor on each day who will be there to help and assist anyone set up their boat or help on any point of sailing or sail trim. Depending on the weather, they might suggest improving boat handling like tacking, gybing, spinnaker flying etc or practicing some manoeuvres like man overboard, reefing afloat or coming alongside another boat. They even might suggest something a bit more exotic like sailing backwards or sailing without a rudder; all good fun and worth trying at least once!

Alternatively it may be a series of short races round the cans or, weather permitting, a mini cruise up the river. If none of these appeal, you can of course just go off and do your own thing but with full safety boat cover.

These Free Sailing days were inserted into the programme in response to replies to the recent questionnaire; they are very “experimental” but worth a try. So please come down and make use of them and our Instructors; they are there to help and they are very good! It is best if you have your own boat, but failing that, the club boats will be available. However, priority will be given to those that have recently come through the Start Sailing courses and who signed up for the advanced course this year. Lets hope for a good turn out and some good sailing.

Tony Turnbull
Sail Training Officer

01454 614253