There's no greater satisfaction for the team than seeing a student who started out with us passing on the skills to the next generation.
Alex recently became an Assistant Instructor with us, taking the next step along a pathway where the school picks talented young sailors and provides a structured programme to transform from student to teacher.
We caught up with Alex and chatted about what his time with the school, what he loves about sailing and how being an assistant instructor is going!
Alex started sailing with the Irish National Sailing & Powerboat School aged 9. Starting in the 7-10 year old age group Alex spent time during the summer sailing the oppies. Co-incidentally, his first week as an assistant instructor is on this very group (this is where we find out how much he can remember!).
Alex recalls moving up an age group early, to allow him to join a slightly older friend. They both joined our 11-14 years advanced group, where he had no trouble keeping up! His overriding memory of the summer courses is that they were the perfect way to spend a “really good and fun Summer!”.
Junior Club – Saturday Sailing During the School Term
Alex joined the junior club aged 11, sailing predominately in the Topper. Our junior club programme runs on Saturdays throughout the school term, starting in September and running until December, and beginning again in February for the run up to the Summer in May.
Winter sailing brings with it some seasonal challenges, according to Alex specifically it’s not quite as warm as the Summer, but numb fingers didn’t stop him!
Skill progression and racing
The school is closely associated with the Irish National Sailing Club, founded by graduates and staff from the school’s adult courses. The club hosts a winter series for RS boats, and invited advanced INSS junior sailors to join in.
About the same time, Alex was lucky enough to be offered an RS Feva, and joined in with other sailors in school RS Fevas in a series of winter races. Alex was “over the moon” with the new boat, and we’re incredibly heartened to see someone putting the skills they’ve developed with the school to use in their own boat.
Becoming an Assistant Instructor
Alex was a natural choice to take the next step on the Instructor pathway. Polite, a great sailor and incredibly enthusiastic, Alex took to the role fantastically, his senior instructor reporting “that he had a fantastic energy and an innate talent with children”.
We asked him what advise he has for others looking to become an assistant instructor and what was the most important thing to remember in the role. “Never give up” on the ambition and when assisting “always listen and learn”. We couldn’t agree more!
Keep up the good work Alex!
Alex (left) sailing in one of the school's RS Fevas