Saturday we had all 4 boats sailing again after most of our students had finished their exams. The plan was to keep all academy boats as close as possible together. Not as easy as I thought. We never had more than 3 boats in the same place. On team B&G we were fooling around until we saw that team Escape was higher and faster than us. We did some fine tuning and looked a bit better until we hoisted the bag. They were also faster downwind. What a relief for our team when we noticed a massive piece of kelp hanging on our rudder. I swear I didn’t feel anything on the rudder. After a quick reverse the handbrake was taken off and our team felt a lot better again.
After the sail training a lot of our students went to the Milnerton Aquatic Club to support the fundraiser evening from team Escape. It turned out to be an entertaining and well supported event. Ray and Vitor not only represented the RCYC in the best possible way, they also contributed to the fundraiser and were bidding successful on some items. The academy can be proud to have such youth supporting Commodores at our club. I did step in for Linsay to do the sail training with the Homestead boys on Sunday. Only Ricardo and Sitembele found their way to the club. The caretaker who was supposed to bring more kids from Homestead never pitched. The sailing conditions looked great and the two boys were keen to get out. It turned out to be lovely day on the water. Sailing with only two students, I had enough time to dig a little bit deeper and explained the finer things of sail trim. It’s amazing how much the kids can absorb if they have a chance to learn something new. I had to start from scratch with the physics why and how a sail can generate power. Then it was to explain and demonstrate all possible sail trims. They both did very well and could even answer the odd question I asked why they would pull or release the odd rope. These two lucky buggers did not only have intense sail training, they also developed an intense appetite and finished all the food I’ve brought for 6 kids. Between the two of them they had 10 bananas, 6 apples, 6 naartjies & 6 rolls. I was so buys watching these guys, I completely forgot to eat something myself. If you snooze you lose in our academy. We slowly but surely are feeling the L26 buzz at the RCYC. A lot of teams did bring their boats already and will compete in the Youth Regatta this weekend. Next is the L26 Nationals which will be the first big showdown of the most competitive teams. The top teams have not sailed against each other since the last Lipton. It will be interesting to see if the younger teams managed to bridge the gap to the RCYC champs. Hopefully a lot of teams will be able to fight for the win of this prestigious sailing trophy. Let the games begin. Some of our students did inspect our new junior’s room on top of the office building already. The official opening will be on the 3rd of July before the Lipton academy team raffle. It will give our students a proper room for our briefings and will hopefully become a popular youth hang out closer to the club house. A lot more suitable than the room we had before. Marcus assured me that the room will be ready by the 3rd. Let’s keep our fingers crossed. Some of my students wished me a happy Father’s Day. It sounds a bit like a joke but I might have become the daddy for a lot of our students, at least when it comes to sailing. It is a never ending balance act to keep as many youngsters as possible in our program and to provide them with the best possible education in sailing. Sometimes I have to be hard on some of my students in order to make it more bearable for the rest of our group. Most of our students have seen the light and do realize what a great opportunity our sailing program offers to them. Our academy program is fast improving and so are our students.