After a busy successful year, the team wanted to end with a bit of fun and a new skill that will enable all to advance their racing, so a weekend of two different types of spinnakers was planned.
We started 2018 being welcomed by Hollingworth Lake Sailing Club and Hollingworth Activity Club and ended 2018 by being welcomed by the members of the club alongside the support of Hollingworth Lake Activity Centre staff. The water in the lake was the lowest it had ever been seeing the cars drive on the lake to launch the boats and the group walk out through the entrance to the harbour to launch, but all added to the fun.
Strong winds were forecasted they called them the Beast from the East where you add 10 knots of breeze to the forecast as the wind picks up speed as it rolls down of the hill to the lake. So, both Adam’s set about activity’s all around spinnakers on shore, but after a great fish and chip night at the club, we all woke to a great sunny day, the breeze was due to build, it was at the upper limit for spinnakers, but wanting to get sailing the team rigged and took the coaching out on the water.
7 boats were launched, and the team rotated the sailors to ensure everyone got equal time on the water. We used a mix of boats giving the VI’s a chance learn asymmetric and symmetric for most of the group it was their first time out launching, flying and retrieving. This weekend it was key to have great team work, communication skills not only to stay up right in the dinghy but to also get the kite flying. When a sighted sailor trims they watch the edge of the sail curl, but for most of the VI’s that was not possible but with key word of trim and ease the kites were flying. By the end of day one all were gybing and launching and retrieving without getting the kites wet. It was great to see Kate one of our new sailors jump into a dinghy and by the end of day one with great encouragement from the team launch and recover an asymmetric spinnaker with a smile a great achievement for first few times out sailing.
Saturday evening the team came together with friends and family for pie and veg cooked by the Hall family, this was truly a great way to end a busy day out in the sun and then into the bar at the lake to enjoy a few beers before bed, but after a great busy sailing day with around 6 hours of sailing an early night was had.
Sunday the wind was due to build again but the sun was shinning so after a bit on shore theory all were back out on the lake for more fun. We also welcomed one of our youngest sailors Patrick and his crew with their 420. The two boys started their 420 campaign this year and it was all new moving from a single sail, to a boat the has three sailing and a traipse is a big step, but one the boys are loving. It was thanks to Gary Butler spending time giving them help, one of the main points stay calm, which when the wind is shifting can be hard for all.
Hollingworth Sailing Club invited us to join in with their winter series, for sum of our sailors this was their first weekend with kites so they chose to carry on having fun and continue their learning but 5 boats entered a fleet of around 20 boats for some of our Vi sailors this was the largest number of boats they had been on the line with. All were keen to get away and with so many boats over the line it was a general recall. Second start all were away but again you had to stay on the right side of the shifts, it was great to see all the Blind Sailing boats right up in the mix, between Lucy Hodges and Adam Parry and Liam Cattermole and Colin Midgley they changed places with each other on each leg. A great race seeing all finish but with long journeys ahead the team backed up for the day.
But a great weekend with sun, wind and such welcoming company learning a skill we had not touch on before in Blind Sailing, thank you all.