Training Update



On Saturday 26 October eight very keen young Bassenthwaite sailors and their parents travelled to the RYA youth regatta being held at Derwent Resevoir Sailing Club.

Despite most of us getting a little lost either at Corbridge or on the small roads around the club whilst heading for Slaley we got there at 10.00am for an expected 11.00 start.

Despite the forecast of strenghthening winds and everybody being ready for an 11.00 start the OOD had delayed the start till 12.55 so that competitors could have lunch before the planned three back to back races, as it was expected there would be no races on the Sunday.

As forecast the wind got stronger, and we were having doubts about letting the kids go out, so we reefed well down, but then luckily the wind abated in time for the first start.

The Bassenthwaite kids wisely stayed a bit away from the 38 boat start letting the Lasers, RS Tera’s and the Optimists go first but then started intent on catching the early starters.

Despite the wind rising again to over 30 MPH , after a many capsizes, all finished the first two lap race.

For the second race the wind rose even more and gradually the rescue crews were bringing most of the younger crews ashore, including our Toppers.
Only the very experienced Lasers and a few Teras started the third race making the results a true test of skill.
By this time we had foaming streaks across the lake and pretty big waves on a lee shore making recovery quite dificult.

A quick well organised pack-up allowed a prompt departure to get back to Bassenthwaite before nightfall to unload boats.

Congratulations to all the kids going on this expedition to another club and facing their strongest winds and competition so far.

A big thank you to all the parents for taking the kids and helping with rigging and de-rigging the boats.

1) On Saturday October 26 the Youth Squad will be going to Derwent Reservoir Sailing Club, Corbridge, Nr Hexham for a RYA Youth regatta. We will be using our club Toppers as well as some owned ones.
2) Weekend of 12/13 October Peter Ballard will be taking the Adult Level 3 course assisted by Jim Christie. Neil Garrison will be taking the Autumn Youth beginners who will be completing their Youth Level 3 and some elements of Level 4. Normal 9.00am start.
3) On weekend of 19/20 October Neil Garrison will be taking the youth squad aiming to complete the practical part of the start Racing Course. Normal 9.00 start.
4) On 24 October we have a parents evening for the youth squad to discuss various ways of providing boats for next year. 6.00 pm.
5) On the weekend of 26/27 October Peter Ballard will be taking the Adult Start Racing Course.
6) As the 2013 sailing season and our training season comes to a close we find that, building on training in previous years, we have brought 16 youths up to a standard where they can move on to club sailing and participating in regional youth open meetings. The clubs existing race structure includes class starts for the Topper classes and a separate start will be arranged for Thursday evenings in 2014.
7) The adult classes have resulted in some 7 adults now reaching a standard where they can participate in club racing. This is having a rejuvenating effect on the Laser Fleet so we look forward to some serious class racing next year.


Bassenthwaite Sailing Club is a Royal Yachting Association recognised Training centre. This recognises the fact that this club provides well organised courses following RYA guidance in a very safe environment. We provide taster sessions lasting about an hour for those who have never sailed before, We provide “ Onboard” courses for schools wishing to give their pupils a slightly longer taste of sailing and we provide progressive training for anyone from beginners to advanced sailors. We have been awarded Champion Club status for supporting youths wishing to progress from the RYA training scheme into club racing, attendance at regattas and class racing competitions. People wishing to undertake training are required to become club members and will be encouraged to take part in club racing as their training advances.

Training takes place mainly in the club’s fleet of 12 Topper dinghies which are suitable for youths and adults. Having a fleet of 12 of these identical boats soon encourages close competition to be first around the practice course. A sailing instructor will normally supervise your training from a rescue boat.

Training is run by volunteer club members who have themselves taken RYA training to Assistant Sailing instructor, Sailing Instructor, Senior Instructor or Sailing Coach level.

Training for youths from age 9 begins with four levels of basic training to sail, and then there are two levels of racing qualification (Start Racing and Intermediate racing). An advanced racing course can currently only be provided at training centres with very advanced sailing instructors. The first five levels are provided as weekend course with the last course lasting three weekends. Evening practice sessions are provided between each weekend course. A youth starting training at Easter can reasonably expect to complete the Start Racing course in their first year. The more advances sailing courses are better tackled after a few months club racing experience.

Training for adults follows the same pattern except that there are only three levels of basic training. Basic training is again followed by Start Racing and Intermediate Racing courses. Each level of course is provided as a weekend course with practice sessions in an evening.

In 2014 it is proposed to have a Spring series of courses running over weekends and one evening each week, an Autumn series of courses using weekend and evening and a few week-long courses during the school summer holidays.

We provide buoyancy aids and hard hats but we do strongly advise that you buy a well fitting wet suit, waterproof top and neoprene shoes or boots. They will not keep you dry but they will help you keep warm.

Training is provided free to members but because the boats do need ongoing maintenance and occasional replacement there is a £50 boat hire fee for the Spring course from April to July and a £25 boat hire fee for the shorter September/October training period. Week long courses will also have a £25 hire charge.

We recommend that students do not purchase their own sailing dinghy until they have completed at least Adult Level 3 /Youth Level 4 , have tried a variety of different boats and have discussed choice of boats and things to watch out for when buying a second hand boat with an instructor.

For further details of Sailing training please contact Neil Garrison ([email protected]) or come down to the sailing club any weekend between Easter and October. Press the button on the gate access pad to request access.
Any active young member of Bassenthwaite Sailing Club can consider themselves part of the Bassenthwaite Youth squad.
The aim of the Youth Squad is to bring together those doing RYA training at the club with those who have already completed training, to organise club events, to encourage youths to take part in regional youth class open meetings in order to develop their skills and experience sailing at other clubs and to organise more advanced race coaching either at the club or elsewhere.
The adult Youth Squad coordinator is Des Wright, who works very closely with the Club Training Coordinator Neil Garrison.
For 2014 the Youth squad will have full access to the Clubs fleet of 12 Topper Dinghies so that Youth squad members can have competitive organised racing alongside the normal Thursday Evening club racing which will use the same course. There is a £2 per evening charge per Topper.
At weekends Youth squad members may borrow any club boats that are not being used for training. As weekend training starts at 9.00am the instructors will know which boats are available for Youth Squad in plenty of time for most activities. At weekends the hire charge is £5 per day.
Youth squad members wishing to borrow a boat to take part in an event at another club should try to arrange this about 4 weeks before the event so that the demand for boats for training at the club can be assessed.
Each year one of the Lake District sailing clubs hosts a RYA Youth regatta. The last few years this has taken the form of a six hour long relay race, where teams of up to 4 youths take turns to sail a boat around a triangular course and change around frequently.
In 2013 Bassenthwaite Sailing club hosted this event on 21 September. Eight youth teams came from Derwentwater Marina, Lakeside Leisure Windermere and Low Wood Windermere as well as this club. Despite letting visitor teams use the boats with new sails, our teams came second, fourth and sixth. A very good result. Everybody got a prize of a sailors water bottle and pencil case from sponsor Harken. Whilst the relay race was taking place those waiting had a chance to try canoeing in a Kayak or trying a windsurfer(with a sail or paddle). Food was provided by the parents of the Bassenthwaite Teams. A big thanks for this.
The 2014 RYA onboard Regatta will be held by Derwentwater Marina at Keswick in September.
On the 28/29 September 2013 the RYA held the Regional RYA Regatta at Yorkshire Dales Sailing Club. Due to the distance and the absence of transport for the club Toppers no one was able to go, despite the attraction of all entrants names going into a hat to decide who would have free use of a brand new boat for 3 years.
On October 27/28 Derwent Resevoir sailing club, Corbridge Near Hexham is hosting a second RYA Youth Regatta. It is intended to transport about 6 boats for the Saturday only so as to avoid organising camping.
During the school summer holidays we will organise a few mid- week fun days. Youth squad members will have the opportunity to learn how to paddle a kayak, take a leisurely sail, paddle and swim or build a raft.
On the closest weekend to Bonfire Night the club hosts a Bonfire and Firework evening.
There is no entry fee to the evening but each person is asked to bring one big firework.