Tuesday, July 25 2017

Published on July 13 2017. Sport
Sailing Club builds on success
Potential new sailors try their hand

Sailing Club builds on success

Another of Rye Harbour Sailing Club’s ‘taster’ sailing sessions, where the public is offered the opportunity to have a go at sailing for free, was held on Saturday July 8. On this occasion, we had a number of returners who took the opportunity to have extended sessions on the water. The weather, which initially looked to be very calm, perked up with a stiff sea breeze that allowed boats to go up into Rye Bay in fairly benign but fast sailing conditions, allowing the novice sailors to helm (steer) the boats. This year has seen a large number of people sign up for a sail; included in this group are young adults and children that the club monitor for RYA and Sport England statistics. To date ‘Project Kindersail’ has seen more than 40 under 25s sail at least once with the club this year. We are looking for future sponsorship for to buy more up-to-date dinghies with which we hope to improve on that figure.

Another young sailor has a go

The following day, Sunday, disappointingly, did not see a return of the sea breeze. With temperatures approaching 30 degrees, winds did not get much above five knots. Nevertheless the dinghy section gave it a go – delayed though by the arrival of a large cargo vessel sailing down the River Rother. The club members were overseen by Officer of the Day Anna Knight assisted by Sue Saich.

The start did not have the usual bustle and speed we have previously seen this year, but the dinghies crossed together with slow motion jostling for position. After a few minutes what was to be the final order of finishing became apparent. Though slow winds are an irritation, sailors need to be able to cope with them in addition to high winds – this race was a test in getting the best out of the boat: its balance, trim, sail setting and appropriate course setting.

John Powell crossed the line first with Steve Eccles coming second and Tom Ashmore third. The late start caused by the cargo vessel meant that it was a bit of race to get back to the club house before the tide was too low to get back in. Utilising the RNLI slipway (whose crew were spotted rescuing a jet-skier in the Bay) everyone got back in safely, if a touch muddy.

Photos: Sarah Nelson

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