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Junior Club | 11-14 Years September Newsletter

By Shane Kelly, Friday, 14th September 2018 | 0 comments
Filed under: Children's Sailing.

The 11-14 years age group plans are expanded upon by section head Shane Kelly.

Hi All,

After the return of the Junior Club last Saturday it was great to see so many back on the first day on the water. I’ve formulated a plan for this term coming. As I mentioned to everyone last week, this term is all about enjoyment, fun and learning! My aim is for everyone to take their sailing skills to a new level, be they a fresh beginner or a well-experienced sailor, and have fun along the way.

Skills Progression

Based on our last session, I’ve seen that there are roughly cohorts types of students within the 11-14 group. First off, there are a few who are brand new to the sport, and have were introduced to it last week. For these students, my aim is to encourage confidence on the water and having fun while learning the basics. These students will sail in our fleet of Toppers, due to their stability and usability, covering Stage 1 in the RYA Youth Sailing Scheme, and make our way onto Stage 2 towards the end of term as well.

Many of those partaking in junior club this term are those who started sailing with us during the summer or Easter either this year or in previous years. Because these students have been familiarised to the boats and the basic skills of sailing prior to this term, after a quick refresher on these we’ll be cracking on with making these skills instinctive. These include wind awareness, trimming our sails correctly and the quickest way to get from one place to the next. These students will already be making their way through stage 2 on the RYA Youth Sailing Scheme, and will hopefully progress on to stage 3 in the future.

I’ve also recognised a good few faces from last year’s Junior Club group! I will say I am pleased to see how some have progressed in such a short period of time, but that doesn’t mean it comes to a halt! My plan for these students is to not only progress through the RYA Youth Sailing Scheme syllabus, but to also introduce a bit of racing to those who are up for it. The reason for this is because it encourages students to get the most out of the boats by finessing their skills and thinking ahead. As we go through the term I also aim to do a bit of spinnaker work with those of whom are able, and so this will then add another dimension to their sailing. The way I plan on doing this is by coaching everyone on something for half the session, and then moving on to an informal race, where they will apply what they were coached on at the beginning.

Overall, I’d like to finish by saying that if anyone has any topic in particular they’d like to cover, do come to me so I can plan it, and also to answer any questions you may have if you’re unsure. I’m looking forward to getting a lot done this term, and having a bit of fun myself too!


The Autumn Term of the Junior club has traditionally culminated in a visit from Santa Claus who arrives to Dun Laoghaire all the way from the North Pole by boat. We’re reliably informed that once again there’ll be a small present for all the Junior Club members, while their parents will be invited for mince pies and mulled wine in the clubhouse on Saturday the 1st of December.

In addition, we’re adding a new event to the schedule. We’ve had a number of requests to run a small regatta and introduce sailors to racing. Racing has always been a difficult subject for us, as our ethos has been one of participation rather than competition. In fact, this has ensured that sailing numbers do not fall off as rapidly as is seen in clubs where racing is the focus of training programmes. Put simply, racing works for the top three finishers, and doesn’t for anyone else.

We’re always following international developments in sailing, and have closely watch the International BIC class, who combine traditional racing, with fun skills-based challenges too. We’re developing a day towards the end of the term with fun filled sailing challenges and racing, including plenty of prizes on offer too! Stay tuned for more!


Shane Kelly

11-14 Years Section Head


Further Information

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