by Greta Yeoman
Sailing season has restarted and young South Canterbury sailors are already out on the water.
The Timaru Yacht and Powerboat Club hosted its first sailing session for the season late last month and the juniors were already preparing for competitions, club member Rob Berger said.
The club had also hosted Auckland-based sailor, sail-maker and coach Graeme Robbins for a three-day coaching session last week.
The sessions, on Tuesday to Thursday, had run from 8am to 5pm, making for “long days” on the water for the young sailors, Mr Berger said.
The coaching event was attended by 11 South Canterbury sailors and two from Christchurch.
Mr Berger said his daughter had been introduced to Mr Robbins by fellow club member John Olds at a sailing event last year, where the pair talked about sail-making.
Mr Robbins had expressed his interest in teaching the young Timaru sailors towards the end of the season last year, but this had been unable to happen until the start of the 2018 season, Mr Berger said.
They undertook lots of new drills and when the weather turned during the Tuesday afternoon session, it provided a challenge for the sailors in the P-class boats.
While some of the sailors had been in the P-class boats for a season or more, many had moved from the Optimist yachts only this year, he said.
The juniors were also already in competition, with a quartet from the club preparing to compete at a South Island interclub regatta at Naval Point Yacht Club, near Christchurch, over Labour Weekend.
The Timaru Yacht and Powerboat Club would also host its regular Aviemore Classic regatta on Lake Aviemore, near Otematata, over Labour Weekend, Mr Berger said.
He encouraged South Canterbury families with an interest in sailing to come down to the club, at the port end of Caroline Bay.
There were plenty of P-Class and Optimist yachts available for families or individuals to learn on, juniors representative Justin Pauley said.
“We want to fill them up with kids.”
The junior sessions, for children aged 7 or older, run on Sundays, from 11am.