Sailing is a must for us here in Torbay and now the weather has started to warm up we have been running regular sailing sessions for students who want to complete their Royal Yacht Associate level one course.
The Royal Yachting Association (RYA) is the British national governing body for all forms of boating sport, including dinghy and yacht racing, motor and sail cruising, RIBs and sports boats, powerboat racing, windsurfing, and personal watercraft.
The course is run over two days so student will spend two weekends starting with the basics before taking the boats further out to sea to test their skills and maybe race.
Students sail on the beautiful Teign Estuary between the lovely fishing village of Shaldon and the larger seaside town of Teignmouth.
We sail with Sea Sports Southwest and use Laser sailing boats that are great for learning but are also used in most major championships in this class of boat. They can be sailed singularly or in pairs, which is great for our students because they can buddy up to learn the basics and then when they are feeling brave enough they can go it alone.
None of the students had sailing experience and some had never been in the sea so for us to be able to provide this kind of experience is just amazing.
The course starts with the basics on land so students learn about the different parts of the boat and water safety once this is complete they head out onto the water to learn how to set up the sails and how to do basic turns. This is one of the hardest parts because they have work very closely together using the tiller and main sail at exactly the same time. They also have to remember to duck as well!
The second day of the course is when the fun really begins because students are able to give the boats a good run around and get up some speed. This allows them to do fast turns in the boats and to have a go at racing each other. It is also a great chance to enjoy the amazing scenery and just enjoy being out on the sea.
I grew up by the sea and I cannot imagine having not had the chance to get out on it because of the amazing sense of freedom that it gives. Sailing is a great way to enjoy the sea and a great skill to learn.