AN INTRODUCTION TO DINGHY SAILING AT WQSC
From Steve Kirby
Welcome to the wonderful and adventurous world or dinghy sailing at WQSC. We have a number of aims and the paramount aim is to have fun, but to have fun safely. Whilst having fun we will learn how to sail or develop the sailing skills we may already have.
To be comfortable on the water, it is essential to dress correctly. The kit list below may look a little daunting but the Club does have a range of wetsuits and buoyancy aids that can be hired at a nominal charge. We may not be able to fit all sizes but we do have a reasonable range. Provided we can loan you the kit, the cost to get on the water is minimal.
We have a fleet of dinghies that will satisfy any individual's desire to get wet or to remain dry. Dinghy sailing is one sport where the entire family can participate - come and try it, you may be surprised!
For those wishing to learn to sail or simply to improve, the club runs sailing sessions every Friday evening at 17.45 from April to September open to all club members for an additional fee. Safety boats are manned by qualified volunteers and tuition is provided by qualified club members.
KIT LIST ESSENTIALS
- Wetsuit (preferably full length)
- Buoyancy aid
- Swimsuit (to wear under wetsuit)
- Water shoes/dinghy boots/old trainers. Not clogs or flip flops – these get stuck in the mud or float away when you go in the water!
- Windproof top. A proper dinghy top is great but an old cagoule/waterproof jacket will do the job.
- Gloves if chilly. Sailing gloves best, otherwise a material that performs well when wet.
- Hat at all times. Either a warm ‘beanie’ type or, for when it’s hot and sunny (yes, that might happen this year although we didn’t see much sun last season!) a cap with a peak.
- Change of clothes & towel. While it is simplest to turn up ready to go in wetsuits, remember you’re very likely to be wet at the end of the evening.
These are the basics to keep you safe and comfortable on the water. Remember that even when it’s warm onshore, it’s much chillier out on the water – especially after a couple of hours and a dip or three.
If you’re new to sailing and not yet sure whether it’s for you, the Club has, as mentioned earlier, stocks of wetsuits and buoyancy aids that can be hired in the short term. When you start coming regularly, we recommend getting your own. Plenty of places to buy online: one supplier that is local is Big Orange Watersports at Gunnislake. www.bigorangewatersports.co.uk.
If you can swim, buy a buoyancy aid (a basic one costs around £24): for anyone who can’t swim, a lifejacket is essential.
The Royal Yachting Association (RYA) website has a range of useful books and DVDs. For beginners there is RYA Start Sailing – Beginners Handbook. £5.99. For improvers there is RYA Dinghy Techniques £12.32.
Log Books If you would like to start a log book this year and record your progress, ask a member of the instructing team at WQSC. We can get them at a reduced price.