From beginner to adventurer…
Sailing is a great way to build independence and self reliance for your child, and it’s a terrific activity that you can do together.
French Bay offers a sailing education pathway to racing for children aged 10 and above in Optimist class boats, and parents are encouraged to get involved too.
Our pathway is as follows :
- Holiday Learn to Sail
Run in the school holidays, these courses are run by a Yachting New Zealand qualified instructor and a club representative (usually an instructor themselves) and are designed to give children 10 years and upwards an introduction to sailing over a 3 day period. Having tried a number of variations on entry level sailing courses, we believe the three day Holiday Learn to Sail course offers great value and is the best way to get children engaged in the sport.
- Skills Development Squad
Having graduate from a Holiday Learn to Sail course club members can then make use of the fleet of 10 plastic Optimist dinghies to continue their skills development up to the point at which they are comfortable sailing on all points sail in up to moderate breezes. Coached by a club member on Saturdays these students will mix in with the Learn to Race sailors when weather permits. The Skills Development Squad course encompasses on-shore based theory, on the water coaching, and fun activities. Parental involvement is a very important part of this squad, and parents are expected to assist with getting their child’s boat ready before coaching, to launch and retrieve their boat and pack it down and may be asked to join rescue boat crews and help out with other club activities including running racing on Sundays.
- Learn to Race
After a season in the Skills Development Squad (or sooner!) children should be equipping themselves with their own Optimist to get racing. Coaching is on Saturdays and racing for the Optimist group is on Sundays with the Adult fleet. At this level the club encourages young sailors to spend as much time on the water as possible and even venture to other clubs to try ‘Green Fleet’ racing against other sailors. Parental involvement is again an important part of this progression and the club expects that by this time the parents are engaged themselves as sailors or as an active patrol boat crew or as part of the race management team. Several years in the Optimist class provide the perfect grounding to move up to the Starling when the child reaches about 50kg in weight.
- French Bay O’Day
- Sailing Have a Go!
- Registration Day