Crawley Mariners Yacht Club has much to offer Junior dinghy sailors
We have a well established junior training scheme which has evolved considerably since it began. Young people between the ages of 10 and 16 can start with RYA courses Stages 1 and 2, and progress on to Stages 3 and 4, also during that time they can do a two day Start Racing course. These courses enable a smooth transition to the advanced syllabus which includes: Sailing with Spinnakers, Seamanship Skills and Performance Sailing. At this stage improvers and advanced racing courses are also available
Under the guidance of the RYA we have structured our race training for young sailors and became a Volvo Champion Club. This enables us to help and assist any aspiring Olympic medallists to find the right coaching and training available to help them in their quest. In recent years we have also had visiting RYA coaches running evening coaching sessions for Toppers and this year will include several for budding Laser sailors. We also run fun introduction days to Team Racing using either Toppers or RS Fevas.
A list of club boats available for use during RYA courses and at other events is listed below:
7 x Optibats (those aged 6 to 10)
Five of these boats were obtained from Lottery funding and an additional two were purchased. We are shortly to take delivery of a brand new boat and sell our oldest, as demand in this age group is high we need to keep the fleet in tip top condition. These boats are very similar to Optimist dinghies but are heavier and very robustly built.
10 x Topper (age range 10 to 16) :
We originally had five new Toppers from Lottery funding and members donated old Toppers to increase our fleet to 10. The original ten boats have now all been replaced as we sell the oldest each year (usually to a club member) and replace it with a new one to keep this, our hardest working fleet, in good shape. These boats are prepared and equipped for us by Sailing Solutions with 'Club' race rigging. This enables budding Olympians to learn and race in boats up to the standard required of Volvo Champion Clubs,
4 x RS Feva - double handed dinghies (ages 10 to 16)
Thanks to three of our young sailors living in West Sussex, who applied to the Youth Opportunity Fund and received funding for these four boats and a double trailer. Very exciting to sail with modern asymmetric spinnaker and a real feel of speed but also very forgiving, these boats enable us to teach RYA Stage 4 which allows the young sailors to attain the skills required to apply for pre-assessment to take part in an RYA Dinghy Instructors courses held at one of the RYA coastal centres. This qualifaction can help young peopled with D of E awards, and help them to find Summer jobs at home or abroad whilst at college or university.
These boats, along with the road trailer, have enabled our young sailors to compete at National and County regattas with great success.
4 x Lasers (ages 12-19)
Three more of our young sailors in the West Sussex area successfully put forward a bid to the Youth Opportunity Fund to purchase two brand new Lasers with XD radial rigs and a double road trailer plus an additional 4.7 rig. Our two older Lasers have now had their rigging upgraded to a similar standard and, with an additional 4.7 rig, we are able to cater for the increasing number of young sailors in this age group. This enables them to sail an Olympic class boat with a rig suitable for their height and weight.
2 x Topper MAGNO dinghies (14+ to adult)
Although now 9 years old these boats have proved invaluable for teaching asymmetric spinnaker and trapeze techniques. They are robust and easily reefed, making them suitable for experienced young sailors to helm and so gain confidence with more advanced skills in a stable boat.
2 x Laser 2000 (16 to adult) These boats were purchased to enable adults members joining and doing RYA Level 2 to have the option of learning centre-main skills, as the majority of modern boats are designed this way. We also use them for the adult Seamanship and Sailing with Spinnaker courses and, as quite a number of our 15+ sailors join in these courses, they get to use these really great training boats. They have proved themselves already as they are in constant use on all our adult courses at the lake, and we take them to Cobnor and Angmering (sea racing) where our instructors can introduce other members to seamanship and racing skills in these really user friendly boats.
With such a wide range of excellent boats for young sailors from 6 to 19 to use, it enables them to learn, improve and decide which type of boat is best for them at each stage of their sailing development before buying their own.