BCSC Juniors Sail At Sutton Bingham
Our juniors were up early this weekend with a trip up to Sutton Bingham, a sailing club on the outskirts of Yeovil.
This friendly club sits on the banks of Sutton reservoir and on a clear day enjoys commanding views throughout. It really is a ‘Swallows and Amazons’ kind of place where members can sail around the lake, stop on its grassy banks and picnic. Unfortunately for us, our first glimpse was not quite as idyllic, and was rather wet and gloomy.
This was the third instalment in a series of eight weekends with the South West Youth Training Academy. With over forty children attending, the focus for this weekend was downwind sailing and mark rounding. With seven instructors out on the water, they made sure that plenty of time was spent with each junior.
The weather on Saturday was forecast as very light, but did pick up nicely, and in the early afternoon was around 15 knots with some strong gusts coming through. The wind can be a bit tricky here as it swirls around the lake, but luckily the juniors didn’t mind getting wet! How many times did you say you capsized Alex?
These weekends are always well structured. The children have a morning briefing, along with a two hour sail. After lunch they brief again and then have another two hour sail. At the end of each day they go over video feedback and summarise.
Sutton Bingham was ideal for watching the sailing, as the courses are set close to shore. You could see as the weekend progressed the juniors really improved on their runs and gybes.
Sunday was in contrast to Saturday with nice clear skies but unfortunately little wind. They did have enough for a good morning session but the afternoon was very light. Sunday the juniors practiced balance, trim and spent time sailing without a rudder.
Our juniors wanted to share a few tips learnt this weekend:
- On a run, sheet in before you gybe
- Lots of kicker going upwind and then loosen slightly going downwind.
- On mark rounding, go in wide and out tight
- When running, use windward heel
- When the wind is strong, going downwind you sit further back and lean back in the gusts
- When rounding the windward mark, lift your mainsheet arm up so you can let the sail out quickly
- Make sure you have a good lay line when approaching marks
- When sailing in very light winds, make sure your weight is forward so to lift the heel of the boat out of the water