Youngsters eased into sailing

A DOZEN fledgling sailors, their buddies and coaches were greeted by crisp blue skies and temperate winds for their introduction to the latest learn-to-sail classes taught at the Port Curtis Sailing Club (PCSC).

Head coach Claire Marshall has attributed the ongoing success of the Buddy Series to the involvement of peer mentors who voluntarily take part in introducing the new students to the fun of sailing.

Victoria Pryce, Rohan Berry, Alec Marshall and Jack Pashley concentrated on sharing the fun of dinghy sailing with the new recruits, taking them into the protected waters of the Gladstone Marina and playing games such as Tiggy with tennis balls (a dozen tennis balls are thrown into the water and skippers and crew compete to sail to the only pink ball among them). “Follow the leader” is also a fun way to teach wind and tide direction and basic tacking skills. Jack Pashley pre-empted the training course by introducing his small charge to capsize drill as well.

Sunday was the first of three weeks of the Buddy Series; however, new students are welcome to come down to the PCSC on Sunday mornings and join in at any time during the series. The cost for the Buddy Series is only the cost of a junior sailing membership of $35 which covers required insurances.

A learn-to-sail course will begin directly following the completion of the Buddy Series. Interested participants between the ages of nine and 15 are welcome; no prior experience is required and parent participation is also welcomed. Enquires can be made at reception at the Gladstone Yacht Club or call reception on 4972 2294.

In other sailing during the school holidays, The Australian Midwinter Youth Championships were held at Royal Queensland Yacht Club in Brisbane. This regatta attracted youth sailors from every state and territory in Australia with the country’s best sailors there. Hannah and Phoebe O’Brien travelled to compete, facing tough conditions on the first day with winds gusting 25 to 30 knots throwing the fleet into disarray. In contrast the rest of the regatta was disappointing with little breeze on the other three days of racing. Hannah O’Brien was placed 14th overall while Phoebe, sailing in her first big regatta, was 16th.

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