Saturday 29th May dawned grey and cloudy with a less than promising weather forecast of breezy and gusty conditions with rain promised for 13.00, would anyone turn up? By the start time of 11.00 there were 12 youths of varying age and experience, some members and some not so at least the effort had not been in vain ( I’d hired 4 myself to ensure some sort of turn out )
Incredibly, over the next 3 hours, we saw in excess of 30 kids aged from 4 to16 go sailing in less than pleasant conditions, the last of these being dragged off the water by their parents at around16.00.A slightly bemused Roger Wilson commented that he’d never seen anything like it during his time at the club (I presume this was a good thing Roger?)
Boats out included Oppie x 3, Wayfarer x 2, Mirror, Topper x 5, Laser 2000, Laser Stratos and a Laser or 2, quite a fleet in fact
One 6 year old sailed for the first time ever with her Dad in a loaned Mirror (brave as he hadn’t sailed for 10 years), then graduated to a Wayfarer with John Saddington and Dennis Manning (& dad) in gusty conditions which she loved.
Next she moved to a club Oppie inside the pontoons (no Dad) and after lunch returned for more of the same in pouring rain. When she got home she logged onto e-Bay looking for a suitable craft for Dad to buy her. Brilliant!
While things didn’t quite go to plan (and a very loose one at that) everybody seemed to enjoy themselves with a positive response to the informality of the whole day.
Unfortunately the weather rather put paid to our afternoon plans as the rain arrived at 13.20 and was still hammering down when I left around 17.00
Questionnaire-What you wanted
24 Kids and/or their parents completed our 2 questionnaires ( the kids had their own one ) with positive responses to almost all of the questions.
To answer some of the requests and questions
- Yes we will run further events , hopefully one a month between April and September although the next may not be until early July
- No I can’t arrange a Sealion show on the broad
- We will incorporate some sailing/paddling games in to the day ( rain stopped play this time )
- We will light the BBQ as it was well received by the parents and kids
- Limited refreshments will be available at future events Tea/Coffee/Juice/Crisps/Chocolate/Muffins etc..( for Laurence Milton )
- Formal training can be made available to those who want it and not just at the organized events ( Steve Gray is offering this on some Saturdays )
- Please post any other comments/ideas/requests on the club web site
We asked kids to describe their best and worst bit of the day
Our favourite best being “ I like it when the boat tipped on its side. My dad can’t do that” with the worst being no more than a “wet bottom”.
A big thanks must go to all who supported this event, in particular the club members without whom the event wouldn’t have been the great success it was
To the parents who gave up a large part of their day while their little angels sailed. It seemed that almost everyone who rang, e-mailed or posted on the website turned up.
To Roger Wilson, Ian Ayres, John Saddington, Dennis Manning, Steve Gray ( those 2 little nippers surprised you in the Wayfarer ), Derek Page & Laurence Milton and anyone whose names I’ve forgotten or don’t know.
Finally to the kids themselves, it was your day and you made the most of it
Why did we do it?
This was an experiment to try to re-ignite kids sailing at Rollesby that for various and understandable reasons had perhaps faltered over the last couple of years. The recurring observation was that parents had brought their kids to sail, particularly on Saturday, but as there appeared to be few others for them to sail with their interest had waned.
The attendance of more than excited 30 kids and their equally enthusiastic parents on a single day proved otherwise.
Is this the start?
Hopefully, in between the organized events, more families will now want to sail together and make the best use of a friendly club in a lovely setting, and most of all, have fun.
Is this the start of a Rollesby cadet club ( I still prefer KIDS@RBSC )?,only time will tell but please let us have your thoughts and those of your kids.
Watch this space for details of the next event