OutSailing Newcastle with The Albert Kennedy Trust, 30-31 August 2014
Coquet Shorebase Trust, Ladyburn Lake, Druridge Bay Country Park
This new venture for OutSailing showed great promise, with most of the young people arriving at the meeting place before us! From Newcastle City centre, the minibus drove us to the sailing centre. The setting was absolutely beautiful.
We divided into two groups, for sailing and kayaking, and swapped over at lunchtime. It was blowing a hoolie and affected the confidence of some of the non-swimmers. We sailed two-up in Qubas (similar to a Pico) and with the three experienced S&CA members taking a boat each, we managed to avoid all but one capsize! And it was our most experienced sailor that managed to capsize…. who is not so confident in the water. It went like this… M to F, “You hang on to me!”. F to M, “No, I think you had better hang on to me!”
C calmly passed on a huge degree of confidence to the young people who were able to start tackling the challenging conditions themselves. And one young man saved me from a pretty embarrassing capsize, as he instinctively reached for the mainsheet. Meanwhile, the kayakers battled paddling into the wind.
We took a very tired group to a youth hostel for the night, where after dinner we all watched X- Factor with a very funny running commentary. With the Newcastle accent, we had many Cheryl Coles in the room!
Day two was sunny and warm with not a hint of wind! So we varied the activities. Some took out the Qubas single-handed. Some went out on a catamaran and played on the trapeze, while others kayaked and took out a Canadian canoe. As we were on a lake, we could all see each other. Being able to stay together as a group even though we were doing different activities. It was quite extraordinary.
These events on day two gave some of the young people a real opportunity to shine, and we felt some of them would be ready to be put forward for their RYA Level 1&2 sailing courses.
This weekend was both successful and rewarding and one to be repeated soonest.
Feedback for the AKT Office included:
“One of the young people said he was not in a good place mentally before he went on the trip due to stresses up here but he said he was glad he went and it was probably the best weekend of his life”
“Not only did the young people have a great time and learn new skills we feel that this has helped us to improve our working relationships with those who attended“