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Blind Sailing Ended 2020 with some successful weekends of sailing.

For those of us who were fortunate enough to have another opportunity to go sailing the weekends would be a continuation of what sailors and volunteers had focused on in our previous times on the water and taking our online learning from our PC to the water.

As is customary both weekends we met for dinner at a pub next to our accommodation and despite needing to adhere to support bubbles we swapped stories and many laughs were heard from both tables and Friday nights being the first night of the weekends 😊

As sailor we prepare for all weather and it is thanks to Rooster for the great warm kit, we have allowing us to sail into the winter. We have been very lucky both weekends Saturday with the weather being steady which was completely different to the last time we had been at South Cerny. We previously experienced very gusty conditions, yet our last two weekends were light with a building wind.

It is great to hear the sailors in the boat park, while VI sailors and their volunteers worked in pairs rigging the dinghies Kate could be heard calling out to Martin, “Are you sticking a reef in?” Hazel, Kate and Martin all grinned at the idea and laughed 😊 just to explain, putting a reef in to a sail is effectively folding some of it out of the way therefore making the sail area smaller and in windy conditions this gives the sailors more chance of being able to handle a boat better.

Both weekends the weather allowed sailors to swop roles and play with different types of kites. It is a special moment for Blind Sailing watching their sailors on the helm for the first time with a kite up, true skill building, Kate took to this with a few nerves but with a few words from Lucy and great support from Hazel she was away. It was also special moment watching Martin back on the helm after what he believe is six years, a great partnership with his son Oscar, there may have been a few turns but these were done with smiles on their faces.

Our weekend in November was packed just when we thought we were done, we were not done for the day! oh no, Jonny had organised a fitness session that was delivered by David from CrossFit Cirencester. This exercise class was a combination of mobility and stretches as sailors had previously asked for advice on how they could improve balance particularly when moving across a boat. All we used was a length of PVC piping and it was amazing how this lightweight apparatus helped with stretches and balance, Blind Sailing is so grateful for these opportunities and look forward to more in 2021.

As a charity we were so grateful to receive group membership to South Cerny Sailing Club and their open arms and membership means we can join in with Sunday club racing. This willl help us train and on weekends when there’s no official training volunteers and sailors alike have been invited to join in events and races. As a club we are so privileged to be included in this way and we would like to thank everyone at South Cerny and Blind Sailing who have worked together to make this possible.

Each Sunday the club run a mix of racing with a mix of boats always between 15-20 boats on the start line. Both Sunday sore our sailors race in different conditions meaning them work hard on race tactics and patience. First Sunday was light breeze, Gavin one of our safety volunteers accurately described us “you should be called drifters not sailors.” 😊 Having the skills to use every little puff of wind no matter how little is equally as important as being able to cope when everything is moving 10 times faster as it was the following Sunday.

Blind Sailing are watching our sailors move up the results board each weekend; this is an amazing opportunity to be able to race in a large fleet taking our sailors confidence to the next level.

Thank you Rooster and South Cerney Sailing Club and all our volunteers for making our last weekends of 2020 so special.


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