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Home / Club / Youth & Junior Sailing

Youth & Junior Sailing

Youth and Junior Sailing

If you are you a keen sailing family or a parent who has a child who has been on a fun course and wants to do more sailing read on. We aim to be as inclusive as possible and put on activities for all levels.

Some activities are aimed at non members and some at members. For any further information you can email the fleet captain, Chris Rowlands , at juniors@rutlandsc.co.uk

The video below was taken at Easter 2019 and shows the sorts of things we get up to

Youth and Junior Sailing so where do I fit in?

There is a route available for everybody at Rutland Sailing Club.

  • If you are looking for an opportunity to learn to sail we have RYA sailing courses
  • If you just want to practice and improve you can join in some of the Club Pro activities, perfect if you aren't a member or don't have a boat
  • If you can sail already and would like to practice more or start to race you can join Junior Racing - see below
  • If you're already on the racing circuit you can join Junior Pro or Hydra (depending on age) and a number of our sailors will give you some great competition - see below

Junior Racing on Sundays at 1pm (volunteer led, ability stage 2+)

We race all sorts of boats!

If your child can sail already or has done a course and improved through Cygnets, this is the next step. It is aimed at members' children aged from 7 to 14 years old who are able to sail a simple course, have a boat and want to improve their sailing. If your child is keen but still struggling then they can also continue with Cygnets in parallel.
Junior Racing is led and run by parent volunteers and isn't a 'drop and go' session as we are not professional coaches. Parents are therefore asked to stay at the Club as there are always fun things you can help with, from learning how to help on the beach, to rigging and recovering boats and learning to help on the water (often un-capsizing upside down boats). We can help you gain confidence and even get Power Boat 2 license to drive the safety boats.
For young sailors who are gaining confidence and ability, racing is the natural next step and it hugely helps their development and confidence. We have a number of children who regularly race between April and October. This is a fun way to start racing and a minimum of 4 volunteers are needed to help at each session.

Junior Pro Sunday from 1pm (volunteer led, ability stage 4+)

Our sailors regularly take part in competitions, both fleet racing and team racing

We run advanced coaching for members who are starting to take part in larger events on the national circuit and have had some great results and lots of fun. We coach in single handers and 2 person boats.

Race Training winter squad organised by the sailing school

This is squad training that is similar to that organised by the RYA (zone and national squads) but is held at Rutland Water and run by the sailing school. It runs through the winter and is aimed at competent racers aged from 8-18. It is an opportunity to improve your boat speed, race tactics and strategy.

Hydra youth coaching

Any Rutland Sailing Club member aged between 13 and 25 can apply to join Hydra. This is the next step on after Junior racing and is designed to take your sailing to another level. We train in Lasers, double handed dinghies, high performance dinghies and team racing boats to hone boat handling skills, tactics and race strategy. Sessions are held about once a month and run through the year. Many of these sailors are competing in regional and national events.

Team Race Training (run by volunteers, open to all!)

We run lots of team racing training and events, from RS Feva teams, to youth Firefly teams to adult Firefly teams.

The club owns a number of Firefly two person dinghies which can be used for team race training. Training sessions are often held on a Saturday morning (especially through the winter). This is an excellent way to hone boat handling, tactics and the art of team racing.

RYA Zone and other squads

YA Zone and other squads

These are not run by the club but a number of juniors and youth sailors are part of the RYA training schemes.

"How can I help?" a guide for parents

So your child wants to go sailing but you don't know the sport. Here's how you can help:

  1. Bring wellies! Be on the beach to help with trollies
    then, after a while
  2. Learn how to rig/de-rig. Help with pre-launch checks and packing away
    next
  3. Borrow or buy a buoyancy aid. Help on a committee boat (tooting the tooter!)
  4. With a buoyancy aid go out as crew in a safety RIB (the driver will be qualified)
    and when you're ready
  5. Have your own go at sailing e.g. do a course, join in with 'social sailing'
  6. Learn to drive a RIB: Lay marks and help with safety cover

How can I help?" Parent roles at Junior Racing each week

Lead Race Officer:

  • Set course (ideally in advance)
  • Brief and debrief
  • Lead the session

Assistant Race Officer

  • Toot the tooter / operate the flags
  • Time the races
  • Record results

Safety Boat lead and RIB driver

  • Need RYA Power Boat Level 2
  • Provide safety cover
  • Assist laying and moving courses

Safety boat assistant

  • Assist on safety boat

A box full of checklists and safety equipment is available at the club.

Junior / Youth Preferred Classes

RS Tera A popular children's boat at RSC with a growing fleet and a thriving race circuit. Typically more expensive than a topper but also more representative of the boats they will move into and it is suitable from age 8 to 13 with two sail sizes. A good option and worth a test sail.

Optimist The classic single handed junior boat, available in wood, fibreglass and plastic. The boat is stable even in strong winds and is ideal for the smaller/younger sailor to both learn the basics and race competitively. We have a small fleet at RSC and the Optimist is one of the RYA's recognised junior pathway classes, with regional and national squad training and racing. Many Olympic sailors started in Optimists!

Topper Single handed junior boat, great fun and good to race. Made of injection moulded polypropylene, making the boat strong and almost maintenance free! A recognised RYA junior pathway class, with regional and national squad training and racing. Popular at RSC, with two sail sizes this boat is used from ages 8 to 13.

RS Feva A two-person hiking asymmetric junior boat. An exciting and safe introduction to gennaker-sailing. Plus the variety of rig options provide excellent flexibility. The RYA has also recently adopted the Feva as a recognised junior class.

Laser 4.7/ Radial/ Standard The Laser is a one-design single hander. Three simple, interchangeable rigs take the growing sailor from the Optimist or Topper to an introduction to youth sailing with the 4.7 rig and then to full youth sailing in the Radial with the final step to the full rig.

29er The high performance youth boat. A 'no-holds-barred' skiff designed along the same sleek lines as its big sister, the 49er. Whilst not a beginners boats, the 29er provides sparkling performance at an affordable price for lighter crews, making this an ideal boat for teenagers. It is also a recognised RYA youth class, with regional and national squad training and racing.

Last updated 09:24 on 12 July 2021

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