Suc­cess­ful year of sail­ing for kids on Hamo

Whitsunday Times - - ON THE WATER -

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.

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