Sailing is a great sport for kids! As well as getting them into the fresh air, it teaches them self reliance, water confidence, team work and so much more. Here at Hunts SC we follow the RYA's tried and tested method of getting youngsters afloat which is to break the process down into four separate Stages, each one building on the last and all leading to its own certificate, so they can see themselves making progress. But that's not all; the process is also intended to be one of continous assessment, so if a child achieves a skill from the next level up they can have it signed off by their instructor, even though it may be part of the next Stage. Once all components of a Stage have been signed off, a prestigious RYA certificate is awarded!
Stages 1 and 2
For complete beginners, these Stages introduce the basics of steering, launching, tacking, controlling speed and avoiding collisions. Children might typically sail optimists or toppers at this level. We prefer to combine these Stages so that children gain a good grasp of sailing skills on which they can then build under supervision by either parents or instructors.
We recommend that children do practise before going to Stage 3 from Stage 2, especially if they have had a lay off from sailing over the winter. This Stage builds on what has already been learned and introduces rigging, capsize technique and some theory. After the course the child should be able to sail around a triangular course in moderate conditions.
This course refines technique and expands knowledge to include sailing a double handed dinghy and acting as both crew and helm, recovering a man overboard dummy and picking up a mooring. By this stage your child should be capable of joining a club race and can move on to take the Youth Improvers and Advanced courses.
For more information on RYA Youth Sailing see here.