Last year we saw some great sailing from all our Juniors. Congratulations to our Most Improved Junior as well as those who progressed from the double-handers up to the Silver Topper fleet and from the Silver to the Gold Topper fleet!
Once again our friendly team of voluntary OYC sailing instructors, parents and members have some exciting sailing planned for our Juniors for the 2024 season. As well as the regular Thursday evenings, the three popular Fun Days are back and we’ll be organising some social sailing for sailors from both our Junior group and adult membership to practise their skills on Friday evenings.
We start the season with a ‘Parent & Junior briefing’ in mid April which will give you the chance to meet the team and find out all you need to know about how the training sessions run as well as a host of other exciting plans. Training evenings are held every Thursday from 5.30pm to 8pm, from April to July.
We welcome all children aged between 8 and 18 regardless of parental membership of the OYC. For those children who are not part of a Family membership, Cadet membership is currently £37 for the year. Please contact the club Secretary, via the website under “About Us”, “Join Us” or “Contact OYC” to request membership information. Please book your place by emailing the ">Sailing Secretary (Paul Belton). Once your space has been confirmed please complete the form found within the Members area (Username = oyc, Password is the complete top line on the back of your membership card – all 6 characters). Demand for training is high so for 2024 numbers will be capped to ensure we maintain sensible Instructor : Student ratios and we’re able to continue to provide sufficient safety cover afloat.
These sessions are run by voluntary OYC members with RYA instructor qualifications, assisted by instructors working towards their RYA qualifications, parents and grandparents. The aim is to encourage sailing and seamanship by:
- The children learning through fun, games, mini races and spending time on the water, alongside informal training.
- Gaining experience at the child’s own pace in a safe environment.
- Providing an opportunity to meet other young sailors of a similar age for fun on the water.
Our objective is to attract new Juniors to the Club who in time will continue to enjoy sailing through into adulthood.
- At least one parent/guardian is required to stay at the Club during the event and they are encouraged to help their Junior with rigging, launch and recovery.
- Safety boat cover will be provided.
- The Club dinghies will be available to use or the Juniors are welcome to use their own dinghies during these events. (Appropriate insurance must be held if using own boats). Currently there are nine Toppers, a Hartley 15 and a Wayfarer. The Hartley 15 and the Wayfarer are used for the beginners and one of the club Instructors will always be onboard these to deliver training. The Toppers can be used independently by those (experienced) Juniors who can sail a triangular course (Silver & Gold fleet) and by new / inexperienced Juniors as soon as the club Instructors decide they are at the required standard.
- Children must come with adequate clothing to keep them warm (bear in mind it’s colder on the water), including a buoyancy aid (these are available to borrow from the Club free of charge). For Topper sailors – a wetsuit is required with windproof over, and either old trainers or wetsuit boots/shoes. For the Wayfarer sailors – warm comfortable layers with windproof over, and either old trainers or wetsuit boots/shoes. On colder days thermal base layers, warm hats and gloves may be required.
- Please read the following with your child and sign the Junior Training and Events Contact Details & Consent form before taking part:
We hope that the children, and any new parent members to the OYC, enjoy the sailing through these sessions and become more confident and capable enough to want to move on to try some racing and other activities at the Club or within the local area. These could include:
OYC Fun Days (TBC) Sailing > Dinghy > Fun Days
Three dates for the diary, join us for lots of fun, games and laughter, on and in the water! Fun for all the family – mini races (including the infamous Cork race), try a Topper or double-hander.
OYC Casual Sailing (alternate Friday’s from May to August) Sailing > Dinghy > Casual Sailing
Get afloat at the end of the week and just have some fun sailing around on the water – practise what you’ve learnt from the training, organise some fun, informal mini-races or just enjoy sailing up and down the river.
RHYC Junior Week, (19th – 23rd August)
This race week is hosted every year by the Royal Harwich Yacht Club during the School Summer holidays and really is a well-run and fun week with racing every day and various fun activities ashore after the racing has finished. In past years familiar faces from the Junior Team go along to provide support ashore and afloat in the safety boats. It is hoped that there will be an OYC Juniors team present at this event this year (including team t-shirts). In order to be able to take part, competitors must be able to sail a triangular course and recover a capsize independently, most of the time. All these aspects will be covered in the Thursday evenings training.
Club Toppers can be borrowed, with permission, and there is an entry form and fee to pay RHYC, available on their website nearer to the date (www.royalharwichyachtclub.co.uk). Speak to Paul or John at the Junior evenings for further information and to express your interest.
There is also a Regatta Optimist Fleet aimed at those children new to racing and so the emphasis is on fun, games, mini races, picnics and quality time on the water with some great coaching. There is a limited number of Optimist dinghies to rent at the RHYC – this is a very popular fleet. If you are interested please let Paul know asap.
- Following the successful trial of these sessions last season, they are now a regular part of the programme.
- Open to all members over 18.
- Please come dressed ready to sail if possible as this will allow you to get afloat sooner.
- We’ll be using the club’s double-handed training boats (Wayfarer & Hartley 15) as well as the fleet of Toppers.
- Training will follow the RYA National Sailing Scheme Level 1 and 2 with each session building on the skills learnt in previous sessions.
- We usually start with a demo and an opportunity to practise new skills ashore before heading afloat.
- Once clear of Ostrich Creek, sailors will take control of the boats (supervised by the Instructors) and spend maximum time as helm or crew to help them learn the ropes!
- The clubhouse and bar will be open after the session for sailors and spectators to dry out, warm and socialise.
- To help us gauge interest in these sessions please email the Sailing Secretary (Paul Belton).