Ladyburn Lake, Druridge Bay Country Park, Northumberland Sat/Sun 4/5 July 2015
For the second time we visited the Coquet Shorebase Trust sailing centre for a two day event of sailing and kayaking. The group this year from DISC were all female and most had never been in a boat before. There were a lot of nerves, as some were not confident in the water, and this is a big thing to overcome. However, with the patient support of the instructors, and confidence in the safety equipment, even the non swimmers got out onto the water. Some of the young people were even jumping into the water from the end of the pontoon by the end of the weekend.
We split the group into two, so half could do sailing in Quba sailing dinghies and a catamaran, whilst the others paddled the lake in kayaks. The group swapped each day at lunchtime.
To make the trip more more interesting, this group of young people from Allsorts, in Brighton were driven by minibus to Bewl Water in Kent.
There was a nervous excited as the group gathered in the morning, as this was a brand new experience for all involved. Many were uncertain what to expect, and some of the young people were new to the group. As they got to know one another, the banter began and as they all supported one another so well, you could see individuals grow in confidence. The beautiful weather allowed everyone to be in shorts and t-shirts, and the fair winds was kind to the beginners.
Once the instructors had given the briefing, lift jackets were fitted, and it was down to the waterfront to rig the boats. The group sailed in single handed ‘Toppers’ which meant they had a boat each, allowing for a rewarding and immediate experience. The group learnt how to rig and sail the boat, and were taught what to do in the event of a capsize. The fear of capsize is quite high, but once you have done it the fear disappears….. and there certainly makes it easier the next time!!
The group were exhausted by the end of the day and many fell asleep on the minibus. All couldn’t wait to go sailing again.
This was a much smaller group this year.. allowing really personal one to one coaching session. Laser 2000 was the dinghy of the day used and
The day were a little overcast, but with light winds the conditions were perfect for beginners. With a small group we were able to do sailing all day, and each young person gained in confidence as the day progressed. Taking it in turns to helm and crew, the team bonded in a way that most have not experience before.
All the young people enjoyed the event and can’t wait until the next one