As an RYA Recognised Training Centre we have recently started running RYA adult ‘Start Sailing’ (RYA1) and ‘Basic Skills’ (RYA2) courses for Blackwater Sailing Club members. Senior Instructor Alan Coday leads our adult dinghy courses and instruction is provided by our own dinghy instructors on a rota basis, which gives an interesting and varied approach. Beginners can ‘know about and try’ RYA approved techniques in the RYA1 ‘Start Sailing’ programme, whilst improvers on the RYA2 ‘Basic Skills’ course ‘can do and demonstrate’ a series of skills, tasks and manoeuvres essential for safe, satisfying, successful and fun dinghy sailing.
The inaugural cohort of six adult beginners, battling through the winter months, all recently ‘graduated’ achieving RYA 1 and 2. On completion, Mike said: ‘The course was fun and encouraging and I really feel my sailing has improved since taking part. The instructors were excellent, very knowledgeable, experienced and supportive.’ Irena said: ‘I thoroughly enjoyed this programme which was the highlight of my week, I have learned so much and my confidence on the water has improved’. Tony said: ‘The course is first rate and it’s been a great way to spend Friday afternoons. I'm going to miss it!’ and Sophie said: 'I have absolutely enjoyed myself. The instructors have taken me from a beginner to understanding how to sail and how to sail better. From parts of the boat, to rigging, launching, points of sail, tacking and safe gybing. Slowing and stopping the boat by putting in irons and of course man overboard. The fun and laughter the 6 of us, along with all our instructors, over the weeks has been amazing.’
To help satisfy demand, we plan to run adult dinghy courses throughout 12 months of the year. The next January weekend course is over-subscribed and the next six-week course starting 28 January is already full but we shall be following that with an RYA Level 2 (improvers) course commencing mid-March, a Direct Assessment day (mid-April), another weekend course (end of April), another beginners’ course (May), followed by another improvers course (June) – repeating the series all the way to Christmas.
These chargeable courses in BSC boats are bookable by members through the ‘Events’ page of our website or via the Wild Apricot member app. We also provide ad hoc one-to-one mentoring, arranged for one or two mentees. For more information please visit the Sailing School page on our website. If you are interested in becoming a member and taking advantage of our adult and cadet training, please visit Contact Us
Photos (c) Alan Coday & Belinda Sturge