Following many successful years of taking the youngsters to Plymouth in May this year we let the instructors have a weekend there without the children. Here is a report from one of the participants:
20 West Wilts instructors, assistant instructors and helpers made the journey down to the Mount Batten Centre in Plymouth for a cracking sailing weekend, in place of the usual Stage 2 & 3 weekend. The weather could not have been kinder; there was not a spot of rain and the wind was always strong enough to keep even the most experienced sailors on their toes.
The sailing started on the Saturday morning, with most of the older instructors going off around the Sound in the Hawk 20s, and the younger instructors and a few of the older instructors taking the high performance boats to do some spinnaker work. This did result in many capsizes, as all of us were trying a little too hard to go as fast as possible! The whole group reconvened for some lunch at the centre, before we split up again. For the high performance sailors, the afternoon consisted of some speedy spinnaker hoists, while the Hawk sailors explored more of the Sound. At about four o’clock everyone headed in to pack up the boats and have the traditional Mount Batten Spaghetti Bolognese.
Sunday morning saw a drop in the wind, so almost everyone went out for an hour on the paddleboards. One group headed off into the Cattewater while the less experienced group stayed by the slipway to learn some tips from Lee, one of the senior instructors at Mount Batten. After the paddleboarding, everyone rigged a high performance boat ready for racing and headed round to Jennycliff. There were two races in the morning and three after lunch, allowing everyone to have a go, and the more experienced racers to exercise racing rules as much as possible! The last race was back into the Cattewater, and a massive gust of wind blew half of the boats over, giving the rescue boats a fair amount to do! Another traditional Mount Batten meal (pasty and chips) was served, before everyone headed home in an attempt to beat some of the Sunday evening traffic.
I would like to thank Lee and Andy (the Mount Batten senior instructors), the rest of the Mount Batten staff, the rescue boat drivers and their crews, the race organisers, anyone who took photos (which are brilliant), and Nic for putting the whole weekend together. Everyone thoroughly enjoyed it and we are now looking forward to returning in October for the Stage 4 & Seamanship weekend.
There is a selection of photos from the weekend in the Galleries section
So successful was the weekend, we are now planning a 2018 event to include all members – it will take place at The National Sailing Centre in Weymouth