I truly am a lucky sailing chix. Over the weekend I got to spend the entire two days on the water at two pretty awesome clubs.
The first one being Middle Harbour Yacht Club on Saturday. Dad asked me to come out on the Start boat. Not only to learn a little more watching him as the club PRO but also to take a million photos on a perfect blue sky day. The Harbour really put on a show. In Middle Harbour you could see the bottom as it was crystal clear water on a perfect 15 knot day. I was so very lucky to be able to spend the day taking photos on a day like this. Plus I got to see the first race of the season and where everyone was at.
Images from Saturday
I then got the chance to drive Hugh George again and learn how to pick up the marks after the race. This was something new to me on such a large start boat. It was great to have the clubs two RO’s onboard to help me learn this skill and how the boat likes to operate. So big thanks to Dad and Steve for that one.
On the way back in the crew were letting me know to slow down as they had seen a windsurfer in a little distress. I let Dad take the helm for this one as we got the poor shaking guy and his board onboard and delivered him back to Balmoral. Poor guy really was in a state and I am glad we saw him before he ended up in the main harbour. He was already near Middle Head and heading his way out there. When we got back to the club the preso was done and people were already heading home. What a long day on the water!
Sunday I had to deliver some parts to friends of mine at Narrabeen Lakes Sailing Club. When I got there for their first Learn To Sail morning session there were kids EVERYWHERE! I mean EVERYWHERE! It could have been the amazing weather, the impact of the Olympics or the family atmosphere at that club. It was an amazing day as the kids from the club took out a new kid each to give them a go and Rhys, Greg, Ian, Ian and I manned the Rescue boats also towing them out with out sails up to learn how to balance in a boat and steer. What an amazing effort by everyone! Pam and Andy could be seen taking people out in Herons at the same time! EVERYONE from the club was busy and helping out somewhere. Things then changed back to a bit of normal as we headed out for the junior sailing session. Gee joined me in the RIB to do some coaching as Greg jumped in the start boat. She did a fantastic job in particular coaching her little Junior States Crew around the course when the breeze kicked in a little.
In the afternoon I was leaning towards heading home to do some work on the website. My friends informed me I could not go to work as I was in the RIB for that afternoon. I must say I was not really going to say no on such a beautiful day.
There is something special about watching a young sailor “get it”. On Sunday I had the pleasure of heading out on a RIB to watch the Heron NSW Junior State Titles at Dobroyd Aquatic Club. This coming weekend I will be doing the same at Narrabeen Lakes Sailing Club where I spend my Sundays. After some terrible weather recently we were so lucky that the rain only came as we were all headed home which meant we had a great day on the water. The breeze started light and gradually built to around 15knots. Perfect for the little skippers who were for some giving it their first attempt.
The Heron class do such a great job of fostering young sailors. There was the first start which was for Junior / Juniors then a second start for Juniors with their Senior crews. A big hats off to all the adults who jumped into the front of the boat! Now to my point of seeing young sailors “get it”. Up the front of the Juniors there are four boats who were so evenly matched and all pushing it hard it was just fantastic to see. The Skippers Jerome Watts, Emma Harris, Matt Doyle and Georgia Llewellyn. Not only are they fantastic young sailors but they also have a great attitude and respect for each other on and off the water. Watching them have close racing around marks and tacking on top of each other and sailing clean at the same time was a joy to watch. The skill in boat handling was evident even as Georgia unfortunately capsized and Matt had issues with his pole. They both showed the skill and maturity to deal with the situation they were in and stay on the water and try their hardest. Fantastic to see. The other three skippers all wished Georgia better luck next weekend after her swim even if they did make fun of her choc top.
These sailors truly are showing such skill it is hard to remember they are still so young and can improve so much more. Looking at their sail trim, mark roundings and so much more it is obvious they enjoy their sailing and take pride in doing the best they can. It is obvious too by the banter on and off the water that these four skippers push each other to further their sailing.
I am so looking forward to watching the last three races this weekend and have no doubt the winner will not only be deserving but that the others will also celebrate with them. As a sponsor this is something that is fantastic to see and as a sailor it is why we love the sailing community so much.
The Heron class have apparently been doing this for years. Letting their little crews have a go at steering in a regatta is just such a fantastic idea and the parents have done such a great job of fostering this talent into little skippers who turn into skippers of their own boats as they get older. It is no doubt a tribute to the adults in this class that:
These young sailors get it.