Successful year of sailing for kids on Hamo
BEAUTIFUL sunny weather and an easy 12-knot south-easterly breeze met the students from Hamilton Island’s State School as they donned their lifejackets and set up four Opti Tacker boats for the final day of sailing in their 2014 schedule last month.
Eight students from Grades 4-6 took part in the school’s sailing and leadership programme this year, which ran every Friday during terms 2 and 3.
Participating students learned about theoretical and practical sailing skills, as well as life skills such as effective communication, organisation and the development of resilience, confidence and perseverance.
Teacher and sailing instructor Johanna Winstanley led the eight students on their sailing journey, from the classroom, to the staff pool, and finally to the marina side of the island, culminating in a lesson on Friday, September 19, with a game of relays around a buoy just offshore.
Ms Winstanley said the students made plenty of “starboard” calls, with some strong tactics used to overtake the boats in front and gain an extra lap.
“[But] by the end, everyone had lost count of the laps, and the winning team didn’t matter, as all the students felt that they were the winners of the day,” she said.
Ms Winstanley praised the students, who could always be relied upon to help with setting up and packing down, and showed a great team spirit, in order to maximise the amount of time they got on the water each week.
She said Hamilton Island State School was fortunate to be able to offer students the chance to learn a unique sport, while also building their personal and interpersonal skills.
“Arriving by plane or ferry, visitors to the island are greeted by the welcoming sight of brightly coloured sail boats being sailed confidently by a group of young students and must certainly think that these children really are very lucky to live here in paradise,” she said.
Lastly, Ms Winstanley thanked the parent volunteers who lent their time and effort to help ensure the programme ran safely and efficiently again this year.
WRAPPING UP: Jaimee Coleman, Isabel Davis, Emily Buenamente, Johanna Winstanley, Preis Boileau, Joshua Flores, Tom Sharpe, Matthew Stephens and Michael Stephens, have all enjoyed the 2014 programme of sailing on Hamilton Island this year. Photo by Darren Stephens.