Good week for future stars at Norfolk Broads Yacht Club
It was a successful first week for the Norfolk Broads Yacht Club Sail Training Academy in their Cadet fortnight.
There was racing for all abilities and an entry of over 50 youngsters ranging from seven-year-old “water rats” sailing for the very first time, up to teenagers in the advanced racing group and everything in between.
Most children sailed Optimists or Toppers, although some of the older, more advanced, competitors sailed Wayfarers. The mornings were spent sail and race training in individual groups according to age and ability, with the addition this year of “Water Fun” activities for those that needed to gain confidence with more time in a boat.
With very varied weather conditions throughout the week, there were some testing conditions and when the wind got a bit too strong for the beginners, the Optimists halved their sail area and went “sprit racing”. The afternoons saw a great variety of alternative activities including Topper capsizing, powerboat tuition, keel boat sailing and raft building. All competitors gained RYA certification.
It was a jam-packed week of fun with a serious learning edge to it, and it was no coincidence that as this next generation of young yachtsmen learned their craft, two past graduates were heading off to compete at international level in world class events – 11-year-old Tom Thwaites has just left for China to complete in the Topper worlds, whilst 15-year-old Will Pank leaves for Cyprus and the Optimist worlds as part of the British team competing against 264 sailors from 57 countries.
Elsewhere, Beccles SC hosted its annual open regatta – three days of hotly-contested competition, with a range of vessels travelling from a variety of sailing clubs to take part. Although the wind was quite light in the mornings, conditions picked up quite nicely once the sea breeze gathered momentum in the afternoon.
A dozen cups were available, and each individual competition was spread out over the three days with many results coming down to the last race in each event, with scoring was incredibly tight in most cases.