R.H.A.D.C. offers a wide variety of sailing programmes to both junior sailors, and adult sailors. These programmes range from Learn-to-Sail, to Advanced Racing.
With professional sailing staff at the club year-round, there is always a programme underway. Please contact the sailing staff to discuss your goals, and help find a programme that's just right for you.
Sailing is a lifetime sport - it's never too early to start learning and building your skills!
Junior Sailing Programme
Use the schedule, levels, and programme details to help plan your childs participation. Use the registration forms to register your child with the programme. Contact the sailing staff if you have questions.
Getting into Sailing
Sailing is one of the world’s most popular sports enjoyed by young and old. If you want to find out more about how to get involved with sailing, then read on. Gael Pawson from Yachts and Yachting magazine explains more.
There are plenty of ways to spend your leisure time, so what makes sailing so special? The answer lies in the variety it has to offer.
There is one thing sailing isn’t short of, and that’s stereotypes. For many people who have never had contact with the sport their first thought is of luxury yachts, millionaires and lots of glamour. The reality is very different. The types of sailing you can get involved in are many and varied, and so are its participants. They can range from eight to 80 years old (and younger, or older), from the very fit athlete, to those slightly less fit who sail for fun, or the disabled sailor, from beginner to expert, keen racer to laid back cruiser and every shade in between.
It is this variety which means for many sailing becomes a sport for life, as during different stages in your life you may dip in and out of different areas depending on your circumstances. You might start as a child, sailing at a small local club, perhaps crewing for a friend or a parent. Perhaps you progress to helming on your own, then at university maybe join the sailing club and get involved in team racing. Your first pay packet might lead you to buy your first boat, and you might start travelling to events around the country. You may have a family and simply sail on holiday, or have a small dinghy that you hitch up behind the car and take away for a weekend now and again, or sail locally. It is a sport that can cater for a huge range of interests, tastes and budgets.
Sailing is also one of the few sports that can truly be enjoyed by the whole family, from youngest child to grandparents, and it’s a great sport for parents to enjoy with children, whether it be sailing together in a doublehanded dinghy, in singlehanded dinghies, or as a larger group on a yacht.
Sailing on a budget
One of the sport’s biggest myths is its expense. Yes, you can spend lots on a luxury yacht, but a second-hand dinghy and sailing club membership can be very inexpensive indeed. While some specific items of clothing will add to your comfort and enjoyment, the list of essentials is pretty small and there are a host of budget kit manufacturers as well as the big brand names — you can even buy wetsuits in a number of supermarkets nowadays!
Meet new people
The social side of the sport is another one of its strengths. By joining a sailing club you can meet a range of people from all walks of life. Most clubs have youth sections and there are a lot of events for young sailors, making it a great way to meet new friends. And you don’t have to be close to the sea, a huge number of people sail each weekend on small reservoirs and lakes across the country. Smaller clubs are generally cheaper, and there are plenty to choose from so you can pick one that suits your pocket and your personal taste.
The basics can be learnt easily in a week or over a number of sessions, it doesn’t take long for you to be able to sail around a triangular course on your own. To begin with it’s about getting to grips with sitting in the right place, steering, changing direction and trimming the sails. As you progress you will learn to do these more quickly and efficiently to get the most out of the boat. From there, however, there is a lifetime of learning and progression, which will always provide you with new challenges if you choose to take them.
Having learnt the basics, most people progress into racing. Organised by clubs and classes across your country, racing round a course is a great way to improve your skills and have a lot of fun along the way. For most people racing is not about going to the Olympics, although there are plenty of opportunities for talented youngsters to progress through to top-level competition. Racing at a local sailing club usually involves a variety of classes of boat and a huge range of abilities and experience across a wide age range.
As you gain in confidence you may choose to travel to open meetings at other clubs, or to regional or national championships. There are also many regattas during the summer which welcome families to some lovely holiday destinations where a week on a sandy beach can be combined with sailing during the day, and barbeques, parties and even firework displays in the evenings.
So, how do I start?
The best way to start is to contact your local sailing club. You don’t have to live by the sea either as many clubs are on lakes or reservoirs. If you contact the ISAF Member National Authority (MNA) for your country (just go to www.sailing.org/mna to find out how to contact them), they’ll be able to give you a list of clubs in your area.
Once you contact a sailing club, see if they can organise a “try sailing” day for you on some borrowed equipment and if you like it, they should be able to arrange some lessons or advise where you can go to have lessons. Your club will also have many contacts for you to purchase equipment or clothing or they may even be able to rent it to you for a small charge.
However you get into sailing, the first thing to remember is to have fun and be safe. Sailing is a wonderful sport and can be truly enjoyed for life. Fair winds!
2006 Gael Pawson, Editor Yachts and Yachting Magazine - http://www.yachtsandyachting.com/