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GJW Direct 2020

Starcross Yacht Club Junior Sailing starts for the summer!

by Peter Solly 27 Apr 10:21 BST 21 April 2023

Friday 21st April saw 44 sailors on the water at the first full session for the longstanding Starcross Yacht Club (SYC) Junior Sailing summer sessions, after a an on-land session for new joiners on 31st March and then a reduced program through the Easter holidays.

Hugely popular and successful, this year the program was once again over subscribed with 56 young sailors signed up. Mainly sailing RS Teras, Toppers, Oppies and Lasers, the sessions run on Friday evenings from 6pm. This week the complete beginners were out with instructors in three Comet Trios and a Wayfarer; whilst the other sailors were in their individual boats.

With a highly experienced group of parents and club-member volunteer coaches, SYC divides the children onto five separate groups based upon experience. Each group has its own instructors & coaches, and runs separate on-shore briefing sessions before going afloat. As well as a beginners group, there is a Stage Two+ group, a Stage Three+ group, and two racing groups. The two racing groups have separate briefings and 45 minute coaching sessions, before joining together for a combined session of short racing. Parent volunteers crew the safety boats, act as Beach Master and man the galley - as well as generally lending a hand with launching and recovery of RIBs. Its a real team effort!

After sailing, a hot pasta sauce meal was served by galley volunteers to lots of hungry children, parents and volunteers.

This year once again, the club's Assistant Instructor (AI) program is running as part of the Friday evening sessions. There are five older teenagers who have come through the ranks of junior sailing, and who are now training to become assistant instructors. This has run very well for many years, and is an excellent way of retaining older sailors on Friday evenings when they otherwise might be wanting to sail elsewhere; and is also great at creating a visible pathway for the younger children, many of whom look at the AIs as role models. Izzy Smith, now sailing at a high level in the Nacra class has been through the AI program and still comes to help at SYC on Friday evenings. She was recently presented with the SYC Shield (awarded to somebody flying the SYC flag at other clubs and events) for her exceptional results at the Youth Nationals in 2022.

Sessions run on Friday evenings through the summer, and Starcross is also hosting a number of other events this year, including:

  • Open RS Feva training on 13th May
  • RS Tera & Topper Open Meeting on 8th October
  • The renowned August Junior Regatta on the 19th - 22nd August

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