For our summer break event The Young People were invited to the New Anderton Centre, at Rivington reservoir to take part in a sailboat training day.

On Tuesday, 8th August 2017, ten Young People met at the centre to take part in the day’s course. After our arrival and introduction to our trainers it was into wet suits, buoyancy aids and a safety course. On the walk down to the slipway the Young People had to take their sailboat from the parking place and manoeuvre it on its trolley down to the water’s edge.

The first part of the course was getting to know your boat.

Know, Know, Know your boat

The instructors lead the Young People through the assembly of the boat’s components, what each component does and how they affect the dynamics of the boat on the water. After erecting the mast and attaching the boom, rudder, tiller and unfurling and attaching the mainsail the group were ready to take to the water.

Float, Float, Float your boat.

After a few initial nervous moments understanding how the boat felt and reacted to changes in direction our intrepid sailors set off to reach the yellow buoy. The first turning point working mainly in crews of two, the group practised how to handle the boat, watched closely by the instructors in their powerboats. In what seemed no time at all our group were sailing off down the reservoir making turns and learning how to react to the wind.

We are sailing, we are sailing home again ‘cross the sea

At the end of the first session the group were persuaded to return to the slipway, lower the sails and bring the boats out of the water. It was time for lunch. Appetites were large after the morning session and the packed lunch provided by the centre more than matched up to the challenge of feeding the group. Throughout the lunch the group spoke about the morning’s experiences and chatted to old friends and new ones recently welcomed into the group.

Following lunch it was back to the boats. The next sessions saw more sole crews taking to the water and the introduction of a larger boat that could take a crew of four.

The regatta about to pass the flagship

There is never a shortage of the Young People taking up a challenge. When a race was proposed there were a number of volunteers. The boats sailed down to the Rivington village end of the lake to start the race.

Let the race begin

After the races and learning further skills the afternoon’s session came, too quickly for many, to an end.

It was time for a shower and to get out of the wetsuits. After transport had arrived, goodbyes said, promises to keep in touch, it was time to leave.

Our thanks go to the New Anderton Centre for hosting the event and the outstanding picnic lunch. Thanks also to our two instructors for their care and patience in working with our group for what was hailed by all a challenging and outstanding day. A big thank you to Karen Hall for coordinating the event.