Contrasts and Congestion? Tues Youth 14 June

We were expecting dredging to start, mindful of problems last year, so Sally checked four times with the harbour office. On Tuesday morning, the Harbourmaster assured her that the pipes unloaded on the slipway would be cleared by 4pm and it was fine for Tues youth training to go ahead. The forecast was light breezes, contrasting with the previous week. Plans were for the individual assessments missed then. Several useful Team members were to be absent.
Flexibility was key, and a brilliant effort from all, Team and our U18s, saw us through!
At 4.45, the pipes had been formed into the snake. The Harbourmaster came over on his way home to assure Sally they would remain there, leaving a corridor for us to the water. By 5pm, Stuart Wain’s new fishing boat was arriving on a low loader, being craned off, Jamie had a truck with trailer waiting for a rib, the pipes lorry was still on the slipway. So not much room!
But we started launching the Ribs and getting dinghies down, counting numbers and adjusting to fit Simon’s plans, with Jim overseeing. Keeping to 4 x 420s and 7 Picos, plus Graham’s ILCAs, made it simpler. Several dinghies had to use the road entrance by the clubhouse as the main slipway entrance became blocked with vehicles.
Simon was briefing all the sailors on roll tacking and dry capsizing, Dave and Jim ready in Ribs on the water, when Sally noticed the dredging barge chugging down the harbour. It could have only one intention! A deal to give us 10 minutes to launch before they pulled the snake out, was agreed after dodgy communication. Becca from the harbour tried to help Sally, but had not been briefed on any activities by the dredger. Everyone was urged to get the boats in the water quickly. Luckily this was the 9th session, so easier for Jane’s crew to check rigging, and Ray waded in to help push them off. Hardly any wind, but even the Picos made it slowly up the harbour. Meanwhile, Simon, realising a Rib was left unoccupied by Jack, called in Cameron on his way from work. He ran to change and jumped aboard, following the last Picos out, just beating the barge towing the snake! Cameron supported Simon with the roll tacking and deliberate capsizes, just the right choice for the conditions. Still cold sea, but warm sunshine. Graham meanwhile, had his ILCAs finding the patches of wind, light-weather sailing skills.
It was a very successful evening, many returners shared their increased confidence and were far less nervous about capsizing and righting their dinghies. They understood what roll tacks are, if they’d been rather hazy about the practicalities beforehand. Isla and Niamh are now keen to go solo, Edward capsized 10 times and seemed pleased with himself, Arthur managed better than expected, Alex W too, Josh and Alex were proud of dry capsizes, Harry had ideas for next week, hosing down the last 420 seemed to take far more than its crew as they all helped each other.
Cameron did take a photo as Simon got them all to capsize at once, but we’ll have to add that later. 01297 442373 / 07748225153