Thanks, must go to Lucy and Johnny and all our volunteers who worked tirelessly to make our first weekend of being back on the water such a success.
Looking from outside in there was no difference sailors rigging and learning and chatting but is was in our new world! COVID restrictions meant that members could not be as sociable as they would have liked the hugging and sat side by side but still with bubbles made everyone had an enjoyable time.
Blind Sailing facilitated support bubbles-once these were created they were kept to and although the bubbles were socially distanced the group as a hole were able to share stories and laughs from boat to boat, in some ways it has been said the changes mean people get to chat more as the groups are small. It was great to also meet sailors’ friends and family that supported them for the weekend for many of the sailors it was their first-time way from the safety of their own home.
Saturday morning dawned and was a bright yet blustery day. Sailors had to arrive kitted up and worked together in their pairs to rig and launch; the weekend was supported by South Cerny sailing club. The sailors had a mix of boats that they could sail in from, Wayfarers, RS200 and Behera. One of our members who sails at South Cereny joined our two days of sailing along with his usual crew in their flying 15.
The sailors were all given a focus based on the zoom training the previous week helming smooth and slow, the sailors experienced very shifty breeze and small sharp gusts that could catch you out. When asked how she felt the weekend went Kate said, “I loved being back on the water, although I needed to get back into the swing of things and the gusts tended to appear out of nowhere, I relished the enjoyable challenge.”
Even though the weekend was run differently to how things are normally organised everyone made the best of things and collectively worked together to help to make Saturdays a day of sailing for all. Sunday was race day, we joined the sailing clubs Sunday racing such a success, two races which were very competitive from start to finish, its great to see our fleet of bats line up with along side the club competing for the committee boat end as for both races it was a short beat to the first mark, each team showed their own skill in amongst a start line of 16 boats. Because members were not able to socialise as much it meant everyone made the most of the time out on the water, and it’s great to hear the camaraderie across the water.
One of the Blind Sailing members Martin sailed with his son Oscar for the first time in years and although they did capsize, and it was great to hear who would take the blame, both survived, this was special to see the communication and confidence in a father and son. And will return for round two at the next month’s sailing. Our thanks to go to Gavin and Kate Wood who provided our safety cover and our tuck box always a welcoming call chocolate anyone!
We’d like to end this blog by sending thoughts to those of our sailors who weren’t able to join us due to local lockdowns, or still high risk, but on more happier news Sally was not able to be with us and used the excuse of becoming a parent for the first time, CONGRATULATIONS to the proud parents.
We would also like to thank the sponsors behind these weekends that have enabled the Charity to provide sailing, with one to one coaching and time to think. We are also proud to wear the Rooster logo and this weekend the team were truly loving their Aquafleece, lightweight and the warm fleece lining just takes the edge off the wind, thank you for being by our sides and for providing great service.
Blind Sailing sends everyone both on and off the water warm wishes and we are sure we will all be together again and when we are, we will throw the biggest party.