11-14 Years Lead Instructor Shane Kelly reports on the Autumn Term.
Dear Junior Club Members and Parents,
Since the beginning of September, the 11-14 group has been focused on improving everyone’s sailing abilities, with the introduction of a new format of teaching that allowed us as instructors to cater better to all skill levels. The idea of ‘tutor groups’ has been used throughout the term as a way of making sure that those who are only starting off catch up as quickly as possible, and that those who are more experienced can progress further. Myself, Zoë, Lucy, Oliver and Patrick have been glad to see all of the 11-14 group improve with leaps and bounds, especially given the variety of conditions that Autumn and Winter months can deliver.
Not only has learning and honing our sailing skills been a focus of this term, but doing so while enjoying ourselves. Even when it was too windy for us to go out sailing, we took full advantage of the shelter of the harbour and ran a series of relay races on the water between 4 competing teams. We even got to venture out in kayaks during the warmer earlier weeks!
11-14 Beginnner Report
Our tutor group were firstly introduced to the basic elements of sailing such as the points of sailing, parts of a boat and their respective functions. This was all to familiarise everyone with the boats they would be sailing every week.
The beginners also started to learn practical skills such as the rigging of a dinghy and 'on the water' manoeuvres such as tacking and gybing. We emphasised the importance of finding where the wind is coming from and why the boat is pointed head to wind on land in order to rig our boat correctly.
We also got some decent knotwork in as well, knots such as the figure of eight, reef knot and the round turn and 2 half hitches were brought into play to be used when rigging our boats.
Sailing is a fun sport; however, it is no different to any other sport when it comes to wearing the correct gear and equipment. We went through the importance of wearing a lovely woolly hat, a thick wetsuit and or drysuit (especially during these winter months), as well as wearing sun cream, a sun cap, and some sunglasses during the summer months.
Ollie & Patrick
11-14 Beginner Group Tutors
11-14 Intermediate Report
The intermediate group was instructed on improving their skills these past few months.
We had them doing a figure of eight course to practice our reaching and we started getting to grips with the triangular course to practice all 3 main points of sailing.
Other material such as parts of the sail, sail controls, manmade hazards and the importance of telling someone ashore!
We also got our students tangled up in rope work! Learning the basic knots such as the figure of eight, reef knot and the round turn and 2 half hitches.
11-14 Intermediate Group Tutor
11-14 Advanced Report
With the ability to focus on our tutor group, myself and Zoe were able to run through specific aspects of the RYA syllabus for Levels 3 and 4, along with some regarding Seamanship Skills.
Important manoeuvres such as Man Overboard, Picking up a Mooring, and Coming Alongside were in demand with many of the students, along with ropework and the ‘Rules of the Road’ for sailing. Some of our students worked on sailing with spinnakers, which proves to be one of the most enjoyed aspects of the advanced sections.
Meteorology has also been a prominent topic this term, as we have been asking everyone to look at the forecast for Saturdays and explain how we should adjust our sailing plans to suit it.
Shane & Zoe
11-14 Years Advanced Tutors
Overall, I would like to extend the gratitude of myself, Zoe, Lucy, Ollie, Patrick, and everyone else behind the scenes of Junior Club this term to you all for choosing to sail with us through autumn and winter. It has been a pleasure to teach all these members, and to see their abilities progress over the course of the past weeks. Towards the end it has also become chilly too, so to see everyone still coming down has been encouraging, as it shows the interest that you all have in the sport, and that you enjoy the experience of sailing with us. We hope to see you all again for the spring term, which starts on February 10th!
11-14 Years Group Head
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