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Sail Camp 2019

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Published 08:19 on 7 Aug 2019

Forty-two budding young sailors had a 'whale' of a time at Ullswater Yacht Club's annual sail camp from July 29 - August 2. Sail camp has been held at the award-winning club every year for more than 30 years and this year's theme was Under the Sea.

With five days of fun on and off the water, it has become a 'must-do' event for the club's youngsters. The 8-14 year olds spent the week taking part in the Royal Yachting Association course relevant to their age and ability - from beginners to assistant instructors - and were taught by fully qualified RYA instructors, most of them ex-sail campers themselves who have learned at the club and gone on to teach others.

"It was an absolutely fabulous week with the most well behaved kids we've had in the past 11 years of us being at sail camp. They really were a pleasure to be with and teach," said organiser Steve Potter. He said that four of the older sail campers gained their Royal Yachting Association (RYA) Assistant Instructor certificate and many other attained various RYA sailing levels from stage 1 all the way through to stage 4.

Locals who did well were Violet Simpson who was a house captain and Sarah Featherstone received the 'most improved girl' award as well as becoming an assistant instructor. The 'sail camp spirit' award went to Olivia Dembinska from Carlisle. 'Most improved' boy was Oliver Mehta who travelled all the way from Oman to do sail camp with his sister and parents. They join UYC to do this, go on holiday in the UK, then go home again and this is their third year.

Steve explained: "We start the day with PT (physical torture the kids call it) at 7am. The day centres around food - sailing then cake, sailing then lunch, sailing then more cake, sailing then tea! We had perennially favourite food, roast dinner, 'Brunskill' pie, spag bol, along with loads of great puddings (pineapple upside down cake, apple crumble, fruit salad, chocolate cake and chocolate sauce). And there was real hot chocolate before bed. Amazingly, the primary school kids go to bed at 7.30pm and are asleep by 8 as they are so tired."

During the week there were storms all over the area but that did not affect the sailcampers. "We had rain, we had torrential rain and we had thunder, but surprisingly had little impact on the sailing as it seemed to occur when the kids came off the water," said Steve. "We had a picnic, went for ice cream in Pooley Bridge and a regatta on Friday morning with no wind so it turned into a 'tiller waggle' race."

The sail campers are divided into house groups to do games and group activities and this year the groups were named after club marks, Thwaite, Brunskill, Bay and Lodge. With the under the sea theme, there was onshore fun with a shark group and dancing dolphins.

"Our thanks go to all the volunteers who made the week run so smoothly - the kitchen team, front of house, the cleaning team, and the campsite team and we are grateful to all the instructors and Edmund for once again agreeing to take charge of them."

The annual sail camp is run entirely by volunteers and the instruction was led by UYC Sailing Development Officer, 24-year-old Edmund Clarke who grew up at the club, attending sail camp, qualifying as an instructor, then a senior instructor and making a career out of teaching sailing.

UYC is running its annual Family Learn to Sail Week from August 12-16 and there is sail training for members in September. And on Saturday, August 24, 1-4pm, as part of its contribution to the Nation's Biggest Sports Day, the club is holding free I am Team GB Free Sailing Taster Sessions. See the UYC website for details.

Here's the link to an album of brilliant pictures from sail camp by Phil Burrage:


Last updated 18:34 on 24 July 2020

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