Back On The Water 2021.
Smiles all-round this weekend!
First, we want to thank the Blind Sailing committee, South Cerney Sailing Club and all our volunteers for making the start of 2021 a success. We started the year slowly working within the government guidelines and ran a few supper Saturdays along with supporting our sailors, sailing near home, we must say it was great to have calls with the T-shirt Twins John and Lauren about what they had learnt online and then what they had put in practise, they are really working on expanding their knowledge. Also some great Saturday racing result seeing our boats in the top 5 a few Saturdays.
We have still been having our online talks and the last few have pieced a lot of our lockdown training together. Mark Rushall and Steve Irish provided two great evenings. With Steve painting the picture looking at weather and building it into your day and then with Mark working through the three circles gains, shifts and positioning, all this getting our mind working ready for being back on the water.
In January we set a date of May 22nd to be our first weekend back on the water. Little did we know we had read Boris's mind and this date stayed firm. Still working within government guidelines keeping all safe it was so nice to see all our planning come real and so many sailors and volunteers and new volunteers arriving Saturday morning at South Cerney Sailing Club.
It was a packed weekend for both the charity and the club a true buzz. For Blind Sailing Lauren and John attended the RYA Level 1 course and pleased to say passed with flying colours thanks to the training from Liz. They are now set for their next challenge RYA Level 2 and continue building their time on the water.
We then had Lucy and Burt spinning their way up the lake, well they were practising rudderless sailing, getting to grips with body weight and timing of pulling the sails in. Getting Lucy set for her next challenge later in July.
Then the rest of the team were getting back into the groove ready for racing in the afternoon, with support from Jonny Stevenson keeping a focus on timing and getting the boats up to speed to hit that start line and go. It was great to see all six boats take part in the club racing. With the wind shifting and some small guest, it was key your luck was in and you were on the right side of the sift. It was a great way to end our first day with a packed start line and a solid 90 minuet race, it was also nice to see our new members Peter and Elena join in with the racing, truly inclusive afternoon of racing.
If the smiles at the end of Saturday were not big enough from sailing, the smiles got wider as we all got a chance to meet baby Carina as we came off the water, it seems that she will take to the water just like mum Sally
Saturday evening was a chance to catch up over a few drinks outside and a lovely meal at the Cold Harbour who to have been so supportive along with Premier Inn who have kept us safe each time we have visited.
Sunday was set to be breezy, so it was an early start to catch the good part of the day. With two races starting at 11 our crews rigged and went out to test the breeze. Whilst onshore it was great to see our two new sailors well new to Blind Sailing get refreshed with helming and rigging with our new volunteer Floss, it key to take the time to understand how boats are rigged, what happens when you pull a sheet, and this was a perfect day to learn.
Racing started dead on 11 it was also great to see Emily one of our volunteers take to the water for the first time with Blind Sailing, with Lucy at the helm they were off, it is true to say that you do not need to change the way you sail when you volunteer it just about communication and with the guest building Emily was on it. Helming of a visually impaired sailor in changing conditions requires focus but with guests counted in by Emily they were able to keep moving and trimmed. So, any sighted sailor reading this it’s easy to jump in and volunteer just need great communication so do get in touch.
Our sailors have also been building skills with the different types of spinnakers and it was great to see Dennis coaching our newer members Judith in the differences and then supporting out on the water. Some great results this weekend not just in the racing but all our sailors time on the water.
There is so much to say, people to mention about this weekend I would be here all day, but all I can say is there were lots of smiles.
We also have to say a big thank you to Gavin and Kate for providing safety for the weekend.
Stay Safe and keep us back on the water.