Please select your home edition

UK National Cadet Class - Bish, Bash, Bosh sailing this winter

by Neil Collingridge 15 Oct 08:45 BST
UK Cadet class winter sailing © Tim Hampton /

As the summer draws to an end the UK National Cadet Class has been busy drawing up plans to keep the young sailors sailing as much as possible but always with a keen eye to behaving responsibly in the Covid world we find ourselves in.

Venue cancellations put a end to the fleet's usual autumn squad selector events and with clubhouse and changing rooms shut the rearranged Nationals also went by the board. But unperturbed the Class has developed a new concept -The Winter Championships - which is a series of one day events with up to 4 races a day through the winter, each counting as a separate event but also counting towards an overall prize. This is designed to be Bish, Bash, Bosh Sailing... Arrive, Rig, Race, Leave... so as to minimise risk of infection but also to allow people to make last minute decisions as to whether they can attend based on the weather and any relevant Covid restrictions.

At the start of half term the notoriously tricky Frensham Pond will kick things off on 25th October. Will the local Surrey posse rule the roost or will some visitors master the shifts and overhanging trees? A warm welcome is expected but Frensham's cadet alumni list leaves no one in any doubt as to the quality of dinghy racers this club has turned out year after year.

Shortly after that on Friday 30th October the circus moves on to Waldringfield Sailing Club in Suffolk - home of "better than nothing sailing" after lockdown - where the recent Cadet Weekend saw a cracking 22 boat fleet mastering strong winds and challenging tidal conditions. With plenty of new pairings and some new small helms and smaller crew coming through it will be interesting to see the form book developing.

Crossing the country to the Cotswold Water Park, the fleet will return to South Cerney Sailing Club on 28th November, venue of a very successful last squad training event just prior to the Covid lock down in March. If we get conditions anything like last March there will be plenty of thrills and spills as the wind barrels down the lake and gusts between the large New England style houses that fringe it.

The fourth event currently scheduled will take us to Grafham on February 6th - likely to test the resilience of event the hardiest of Cadet Sailors. Get that dry suit or at least a beanie hat on your Father Christmas list as it could be brass monkey weather. Who can forget the 2019 qualifier when the fleet turned upside down in unison as a bad black cloud swept down from the top of the reservoir?

With squad weekends difficult to hold at away venues without classrooms and showers, the Class' focus for training through the winter will be at the major squadrons. Frensham and South Cerney are always active through the winter anyway and are well advanced with their planning and Waldringfield will move to winter quarters at Royal Harwich where the galley and showers are open and a winter race series runs on Sundays - opportunity for hardy (or deranged) parents to also go for a sail. All the Winter Championships events will also include a coached regatta fleet for the less experienced and to encourage those less used to travelling to come out and play.

The Class Association is resolute in taking its opportunities to sail when it safely can do so to ensure the fleet continues to thrive and sailors continue to develop. Some dates, no doubt, will fall victim to the weather or to pandemic restrictions but as one day events they will be easily rearranged if at all possible.

More Winter Championships dates may get added as the winter progresses and more clubs open up for events but the emphasis will remain on safe, fun racing for all levels. After the disappointments of 2020 - and there have been many - we have the undoubted attraction of a Worlds in Riva del Garda to look forwards to in 2021, pandemic permitting.

Related Articles

Cadets and U21 RS200s at Waldringfield
22 Cadets and 10 RS200s in this meticulously organised event After months of meticulous planning which became a seemingly never-ending series of hurdles to jump and sometimes felt like we might never get there, Waldringfield's Cadet Squadron hosted a joint Cadet and U21 RS200 Open. Posted on 21 Sep
Harken SA Summer of Sail Festival 2020-21
South Australian sailors are set for an exciting summer as state bounces back South Australian sailors are set for an exciting summer of sailing when the state welcomes the return of the Harken SA Summer of Sail Festival. Posted on 17 Sep
Australian Cadet Nationals cancelled
The decision was made after careful consideration of all aspects The 2020 International Cadet Class National Championship, scheduled to be held this coming summer in Melbourne has been cancelled due to ongoing uncertainty resulting from the current COVID-19 pandemic. Posted on 29 Aug
Dates changed for Australian Cadet Nationals
Royal Yacht Club of Victoria reschedules following the Worlds cancellation The International Cadet Class 2020 Australian Championship at the Royal Yacht Club of Victoria have been shifted to a more traditional set of dates, following the cancellation of the Worlds amid the Coronavirus crisis. Posted on 17 Jun
Cadet Class Update and Season Preview 2020
Blasting into the new season, starting with the RYA Dinghy Show! Whilst many of their parents have opted for packing their boats away through the winter months (well the wise ones amongst us have), the UK's Cadet Class have been having none of it. Posted on 26 Feb
Take on the Cadet Class Spinnaker Challenge
Can top the leader board on stand H31 at the RYA Dinghy Show? UK Cadet Class Association will once again be inviting Cadet Class sailors and visitors to the show to take on the challenge and see if they can top the leader board in a bid to be crowned champion and win some great prizes. Posted on 18 Feb
Cadet Worlds head down under
Hosted by Royal Yacht Club of Victoria Some of the world's most talented junior sailors will head to the Royal Yacht Club of Victoria (RYCV) next summer as the historic Australian club gets set to host the national and world championships for the International Cadet class. Posted on 14 Feb
Alton Water Frostbite Series week 2
Some vicious gusts of 30+ mph Week two of this popular nine-week series brought a brighter, mild day with the wind from the same direction as the previous week but with more of it, plus some vicious gusts of 30+ mph. Posted on 16 Jan
Alton Water Frostbite Series week 1
51 on the water for the first two races this year With new management at Alton Water Sports Centre, no-one was sure how this popular Frostbite Series would be organised this year, but with some good teamwork a seamless operation was possible. Posted on 10 Jan
Cadet Class Australian Championship preview
Launching a huge summer of sailing at Geelong The country's top junior sailors will compete in Geelong later this month, when the Royal Geelong Yacht Club hosts the Cadet Class Australian Championship. Posted on 12 Dec 2019