25 of our academy students have taken part in the Spring Regatta in False Bay and filled various crew positions on a wide mix of boats in all classes. No matter on which boat they were sailing on or which positions they had to fill in, it’s a great opportunity for our students to get an idea what’s happening on other boats. Apart from their sailing skills, which did improved massively during the last 12 month, our youngsters made a huge progress to understand the meaning of teamwork and the necessary interaction with other crew members.
No matter on which boat you are crewing for, it’s always the same principal. You have to be able to adjust quickly into your given crew position on the boat and you have to get along with all people you are sailing with. One big bonus our students have to most other older crew members, is the flexibility to fill in on any given crew position equally well. During our sail training we rotate the crew positions every week and all our students do have a chance to understand the whole concept of making a boat go fast and efficiently.
All the feedback I did receive from the skippers our students have been crewing for, was very positive so far. And the feedback I did receive from the students was also very positive. So all in all it seems to work quite well to integrate the youngsters into existing racing teams.
The most memorable moment we had on Regardless during the first day of the regatta, was the man overboard maneuver after our lower guardrail pulled out of the swage and dropped 3 of our crew members in the cold and shark invested waters of False Bay. Everyone was staying calm and the rescue was done fairly quickly. Unfortunately that was our discard of the regatta and we missed the podium by one point. There is always a next time.
The success of our sailing academy and the support we do receive is almost surreal. Sometimes I can’t believe what some of our students achieved in so little time. It almost feels like they are growing up too quickly.