Do I need to buy my own boat?
If you don't have a boat that won't stop you from joining us and learning to sail!
BSC Cadets who are in our Lake Training Groups have access to a small fleet of Club training boats. Once competent enough to sail on the River then we ask that you buy your own boat so that the training boats remain available for other learners to use. There is a good second hand market within the Club for the Cadet classes of boat; many are advertised via the Club website. If you buy or sell a boat don't forget to use the "Tell us about your boat changes" online form (in the Members section) to ensure we can add or remove the boat from your membership account. When planning to bring your boat to the Club contact the Hon. Warden to be directed to a dinghy park space.
What type of boat will I learn in? Click here for more on cadet boats at the BSC
BSC Cadets learn to sail in Optimists on the Club Lake before progressing to the River when they are ready and competent. Cadets generally stay in Optimists until approximately 13/14yrs (depending on size and weight). The usual progression for single-handed sailing would be into Teras or Toppers and then Lasers. If Cadets prefer sailing in a double-hander they still learn the basics in an Optimist, but progress into Mirrors or Fevas and 420s. We encourage Cadets to remain in Optimists for as long as possible so they can really refine their skills in a manageable boat rather than moving too early and sailing for survival in a boat they are too small/light for. This progression allows them to concentrate on developing their boat handling skills and become more competent before moving onto the more powerful, larger dinghy classes.
When can I use the Training Lake?
The Training Lake at the Club is a fantastic resource for all Club Members and all Cadets are free to use it whenever they want* under their 'responsible adult' parental supervision. Any other children under 8 years are welcome to come with the family BSC Members. There are Club boats kept near the Lake for Cadets to use, and a rowing dinghy for Mum or Dad to supervise from the water! Cadet Parents should ask the Cadet Skipper how to access the Club boats and rigs and, if necessary, how to rig the boats. Please look after the Club boats. Breakages do occur, but if you can't fix it yourself please make sure you let the Cadet Skipper know so that we can find a volunteer to do a repair and get the boat back in use as soon as possible.
*The ONLY time you cannot use the Training Lake as a family is during organised Cadet Training Weekends AND when the Lake has been hired out to another organisation WITH SOLE USE. This happens 2 or 3 times a year and is usually advised to Members via the website (Club Notices and/or Event calendar)
How can Cadets get into Racing
In our Cadet Week the Cadets who have progressed from the Training Lake are encouraged to join in competitive racing, initially in coached racing groups. There are some fine Cadet Trophies to compete for over the week long racing series. There are also some dedicated Cadet race events on the Club Race Programme (collect a Race Card when you join), and competent Cadets are also encouraged to participate in the general Club racing. We have recently added a 'Short Course' option for newer, less confident racers. A number of Cadet racers in Optimists, Toppers, Mirrors and Fevas enjoy these races alongside Adult racers.
Some of our keenest Cadets travel to Open Meetings and National racing events with their Parents. A number of BSC cadets have achieved success in European and World Championships and we are always delighted to publish reports of our Cadet achievements on our website!
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