Youngsters learn to sail in holidays
In the school holidays the Nga¯roto Sailing Club ran two successful three-day learn to sail programs.
The programs were a truncated version of the Yachting NZ Learn to Sail programme in which participants undertook an initial programme of about 15 hours spread over three days.
The full programme involves 24 hours of learning and practice.
Organisers say by the end of the programme the children were in a position to decide if they wish to continue with sailing as a sport or interest.
Those who were interested in continuing have the opportunity to sail, with coaching provided, on club sailing days — held on Sundays leading up to Christmas and then on Saturdays from February next year.
Participants used Optimists for the course.
The ‘Opti’ is a stable, forgiving boat and a good starting point as the children can build confidence before moving onto less stable, but faster, boats.
As part of the course the kids learnt the components of their boat, setting up the boat, boat handling, safety, basic knots, how to sail — including tacking (upwind), gybing (rounding marks) and reaching (sailing across the wind).
Beyond the basic skill of being able to sail a boat, sailing as a sport offers the opportunity to compete at club, school, regional, national, international and Olympic level.
This Saturday Nga¯roto Sailing Club is running a free open day from 10am to 2.30pm for kids and adults who want to have a go at sailing or simply want to come down and see what sailing in the Waikato is all about.
Following the open day the club will be running further Learn to Sail classes for both kids and adults.
Left: Young sailors out on Lake Nga¯ roto.
Happy participants in the Nga¯ roto Sailing Club Learn to sail School Holiday programme.