JUNIOR SAILING SESSION - Saturday 16th September
Published 15:29 on 27 Sep 2023
The 9th junior sailing session of the 2023 season and what a wonderful session it was! The weather gods were kind and allowed a record breaking 36 MRSC juniors to take to the water aged 7 to 16. We would have been at capacity apart from a few regulars unable to attend.
The session began with a busy boat park filled with Oppies, Teras, Fevas and Lasers being rigged before instructor briefings. Teenagers ran and hugged in the boat park reunited after a summer of GCSEs and adventures around the world, which had interrupted the sailing season but not the life-long friendships born from Mengeham having learnt to sail together since they were 7.
Nine juniors sailed in front of the club, including 2 new teenage members for their first time. The rest were out on West Mud.Group 2 started the season with limited skills and can now sail a triangle.Groups 3 and 4 have improved their racing skills and increasingly participated in club races.
What a sight when they all sailed back in, like junior race week all over again.Graeme McDonald could be seen watching, grinning from ear to ear at so many happy little faces returning from their adventures, excited with achievements to share with parents on the shore.
"Mum I capsized my Oppie out on West Mud, but it was OK.I was OK. I got it back up again and just carried on.I'm so proud of myself!" said the child who a month before would have freaked at the idea let alone the unexpected experience.
"Dad, it was just like riding a bike!" said the child who been reluctant to get back in a boat on their own all season, "Can I do it again next time?"
Why not visit on a Saturday and watch the MRSC Junior machine at work? The last session will be this Saturday. It's no easy task putting 36 juniors on and off the water.Safety is our number one priority followed by fun, progress, friendship and making memories that build a love of the water that last a lifetime. This is what it takes and we welcome anyone who would like to offer their skills and support:
- 3 paid young instructors Ellie and Alex were my first gold fleet 10 years ago, now qualified instructors and competent enough to teach groups without supervision. Charlie, just 16 years old, but thriving as an instructor and all adored and respected by the children.
- 2 lead adult volunteer instructors Amelia and Ben new members this year, both have juniors of their own on the water and both making a huge impact on the success of juniors sessions
- 8 safety crews the majority of whom have joined in recent years, gained their PB2, trained alongside experienced drivers and are now competent and skilled drivers themselves
- A huge shoreside team lead by Nikki and Eliza tally masters, Mengeham Base radio operator maintaining communications from the water to the shore, First Aiders, junior store supervisors, Rupert drivers for rib launching and recovery, trolley heros, radio allocators, tuck shop supervisors, adults training adults to keep succession planning alive
- A sprinkle of the 'old guard' our juniors are nearly all grown up, but the parents continue to support the 'new guard' in the background, as and where needed until we no longer are
- Someone to open the bar at the end to share a pint whilst the kids spend way too long in the showers!