WE’RE BACK! Yes, at last we’re able to go sailing again, joining our 2021 programme at what would have been our second event of the year – and first race day – with the Opening Splash at Downs SC on April 24.
Downs SC are putting a lot of effort into making this a special event, while keeping things ‘reactive’ – the final programme afloat, they say, will depend on the entry numbers and the weather conditions on the day. What they are hoping to do is to offer a four race programme operating from a committee-boat close to the sailing club shoreline. This could be 2 races / lunch / 2 races or all races back-to-back – the format will be chosen as soon as the likely weather conditions are known.
Here are a few pointers (from Downs SC) on how things will roll-out on the day:
There will be a short beach-top briefing at 10.00hrs on the Saturday morning but this will be preceded by an Online Briefing for all sailors and their supporters at 19.00hrs on Friday 23rd April. The online link for the briefing will be sent to all entries by the Friday morning 23rd April.
COACHES & HELPERS
The staffing of the event will be by the adults of KSSA & DSC with coaches afloat in some RIBs to assist the less confident sailors. Parents will be especially welcome on the shoreline to help their children with launch and recovery. At Downs SC we ask all people to have extra rope attached to their sledge or trolley to ensure we maintain the 2 metres social distancing while helping with launch and recovery.
Unfortunately we remain under some Covid 19 Pandemic restrictions and hence there will be a few special arrangements. Please remember throughout the Rule of 6, face masks & 2 metres social distancing.
As you arrive we will have restricted use of The Green but there is plenty of promenade / roadside parking to the south of the Sailing Club. We will help you with access through the Club boat park to the foreshore where there is plenty of space !!! The DSC toilets will be open throughout the day but we will not have showering facilities. There will be sheltered places to change & store your clothes if you are not able to arrive ready to go afloat.
People are welcome to bring a picnic for lunch and post race ‘nibbles’. We will be trying to offer hot drinks and a simple hot meal dish for hungry sailors – this will need to be pre-ordered and paid for by card before people launch – further information will be provided at the Friday evening briefing. If you bring your own reusable drinking mugs we ease the need for plastic disposable cups – a little bit towards our environmental plan!!
Because the Club-house is closed to casual use people may feel it would be worth bringing a spare blanket and / or dressing robe – its still only April!!
We will be trying to hold a brief open-air Debrief and Presentation of Results towards the end of the afternoon but unfortunately the pandemic means the relaxing end to the day with tea and cake will not be possible.
The “Notice of Race” and “Sailing Instructions” will be published in early April and displayed on the KSSA website.
Please enter and pay for the event in advance on the KSSA website – entries will open on Thursday 1st April and close at midnight on Wednesday 21st April.
If you have any questions – please email firstname.lastname@example.org
Back in February, KSSA Fleet Captain Charlie Baker decided on attending an RYA Dinghy Instructor course. We pick up the second part of his story as Charlie faces the reality of sailing in the Solent in mid-winter…
Force 7 was predicted for the Monday of my dinghy instructor course so it looked unlikely that we would be sailing, therefore in the morning we were mainly in the classroom learning about the RYA method on how to tack and gybe. This may seem like a piece of cake to most sailors as it is something that every sailor does without even thinking, however after seven years of racing different dinghies, and almost twelve years since I first learnt to sail, I had built up many ‘bad habits’. While these habits do make me a more efficient sailor, and help me to gain speed on the race course, it is really important that every beginner is taught the same method for tacking so as not to confuse them, as I result I spent the morning relearning how to tack via the RYA method through numerous hours of land drills. After more time in the classroom I began to gain confidence with teaching the double handed method.
For those that don’t know, there is a set order in which you teach beginners how to sail which is really important to follow so that any instructor can pick up where you left off if you are not around to coach. The general idea is that you first familiarise them with the boat before focussing on the elements required to head upwind, finally focussing on downwind sailing and gybing before setting them off on a solo triangular course. This can either be taught as in a double handed boat with the instructor present in the boat, or can be taught in a single handed boat very close to shore. It is the double handed method that we aimed to have confidence in teaching by the end of the day.
After lunch, a gap in the wind was spotted so we were told to get ready at lighting speed and rig up two bathtubs… sorry Wayfarers. We then role played an instructor student interaction in which we had to teach the other person to steer the boat, and to get them sailing on a beam reach. Unfortunately the area we were in was very gusty and two gusts took Zoe and me completely by surprise; we therefore ended up in the water not once, but twice, begging the question… “why did I book this course for February and not in the middle of the summer?!” After extracting ourselves from the disgusting Solent water – that was so mucky that you could almost chew it – and after ten minutes of bailing water from the bathtub that we were sailing in, we continued the exercise until we were told that we could head in.
On the dinghy instructor course, you are required to give a short presentation on a sailing related subject such as tides, or the five essentials. I was asked to give a presentation on sail controls and what they do, which after doing lots of racing, is second nature by now, so you could argue that I got off lightly. I therefore laid a boat on its side with the sails up and demonstrated how the sail controls work using that.
Once we had completed the presentation and the daily quiz, we had dinner and study of what we had learnt for the next day. Despite the high winds, and the capsizes, I was really enjoying the course. If anyone is looking to complete their DI course in the near future and have any questions then please feel free to come and find me at any of the KSSA events.
The KSSA Committee are very sorry to announce that we will need to cancel this Saturday’s training at Wilsonian SC.
We have not taken this decision lightly but need to comply with the Government’s recommendations for non-essential travel and limiting contact with others. Our decision is in line with a number of other youth organisations, including the scouts, and we feel that, in the present circumstances, it is best to take this course of action.
Sadly, this also means that we are unsure about forthcoming events, including the All Girl’s Training 25th April and Opening Splash in May. We will advise as to whether these and other events in our June Calendar will proceed nearer the time. As soon as we have news with regards to the NSSA we will also post this on our website.
I would like to thank all of those who have already put much time and effort into organising the Training this weekend as well as other events in the spring and hopefully we will be back on schedule with the training series in September.
In the meantime, we hope to be posting on Facebook and Instagram with some training hints and tips.
Facing the inevitable ‘lockdown’ hopefully all of our sailors can take time to upskill themselves by reading and you tubing some skills which they will be able to put in to practice once back on the water. Also keeping ‘sailing fit’ will be important!
Keep well, kind regards,
No sailing this weekend, but we have still been on the road to attend the RYA youth physical profiling and the university of Chichester. Not as fun as sailing but looking at the forecast this weekend probably a better thing. We were tested on strength, agility, cardiovascular and endurance performance.
We now have a break until our next event in march which unfortunately clashes with the next KSSA
This weekend we attended the Tiger Trophy at Rutland Water, this was in aid off the John Merricks trust. We were also joined but Sam and Michael Dyer who are both Ex KSSA sailors, sailing a 29er.
On Saturday it was planned to go out and complete 3 races. However due to the forecast they posted a half hour postponement. At the point we were told too launch it was about 25-35 knots, and too prepare for this weather we maxed out our rake and went down to rake 4 to try to de-power our sail as much as we could. As we arrived on the course we found it was definitely a lot stronger (after we were told it was actually 30-40knots). We started the first race and made it up the beat rounding the mark along with most of the other 420s. As we made it around the bottom mark we were caught in a gust and ended up capsizing, after righting the boat we capsized again about 100 meters later. As our jib was cleated it meant each time we bought the boat up it then rolled over us. After help from one off the safety crew we ended up retiring and sailed in. When we made it ashore Brian then told us that over half the fleet had also retired. There were also many boats who ended up with ripped sails and holes in their boats.
At the end off the day we joined the rest off the sailors and had a meal which was in aid off raising money for the John Merricks trust. We then sat around and played cards which tends to be what we do when we have time to waste.
On Sunday we had the pursuit race, when we first launched the wind was quite light and so we went out on rake one, as we were out there waiting for our time we decided to go to rake two (which we are very glad we did as the wind ended up building to 19-30 knots) our first beat we struggled to get the boat moving properly but as we carried on around the course we felt ourselves getting back into the rhythm and it felt much better to sail. We ended up over taking a lot off the slower boats and still had a few 420s behind us. We ended up coming 38th out of around 130 boats.
It was a great weekend sailing against many different types off boats , and many very experienced sailors , we would strongly recommend for KSSA sailors to attend next year.
KSSA captains Abbey Mumford and Evie Herrington are stepping up their sailing. After sailing an RS Feva XL in 2018 they moved up to a 420 in 2019 and bravely competed for the first time in the 420 world championships (quite a step up from the regular KSSA events!), then went on to beat the whole medium handicap fleet at the NSSA ‘nationals’ at Weymouth.
This year they’re continuing their progression, mixing KSSA dates with 420 regattas. We thought it would be fun, and informative, for the girls to blog about their experiences, for the benefit of all members.
So, here’s Blog #1, and it explains why we didn’t see them at Dover on Saturday…
25-26 January 420 Open Class training and coached racing at Datchet Water
Two days of coached racing at Datchet with the 420 class – two very different days, starting with a light shifty day on Saturday (just like at Dover) and a breezy and gusty day on Sunday (as you probably saw).
Saturday, we focused on starts and decision making through the seven 30-minute races on four different courses. One of our main learning points was our positioning on the start line and being able to keep a leeward gap to enable us to be able to trigger at the start allowing us to cross the line with power. All of this took place over one long session lasting five hours! We finished off the day with a debrief during which we watched videos which the five coaches took through the day.
Sunday started with a forecast of 15-20 knots, so we adjusted our rake and spreaders to better suit these conditions. Sunday’s focus was mainly on reach hoist. It was another day of 30-minute races on another four different courses doing two races on each course. We were able to improve our reach hoists due to the varied courses and many repetitions. It was a hard-working day after being on the water for four hours, but we were able to improve and practice through the day, even as the wind was building.
All of this was good preparation for the Tiger Trophy we are attending next weekend at Rutland Water where most of the 420 fleet will be racing against other classes in support of the John Merricks sailing trust – weather allowing, the forecast shows 45mph gusts at the moment…”
Dispute the chill and light airs, it didn’t stop a great day at Chipstead on Saturday. Once the fog had burned off, 36 sailors took to the water in a variety of boats ranging from Oppies through to an RS200. The KSSA AGM and presentations took place afterwards in the club house. Some more great photos from our resident photographer, Jon Bentman, are now available in the gallery, for your enjoyment.
You can now pay for KSSA event entries and membership using PayPal. Just select PayPal as the payment method during the checkout process.
You can use most debit and credit cards. Please note, you don’t need a PayPal account to do this.
We encourage all members to pre-enter for events as this helps with event organisation and safety cover. It is also cheaper than entering on the day. We also encourage our sailors to pay online at the same time that they pre-enter as this helps with admin at the Registration desk on the day of the event. We will refund entry fees if you are unable to attend an event. For full details please see our Refund Policy
The KSSA Committee are delighted to announce that our new website is now live at kssa.co.uk
The new look site is easy to navigate and will act as the KSSA’s Clubhouse for members and anyone wishing to find out more about the activities and opportunities the KSSA offers to young sailors in Kent.
Information relating to training events and regattas is easy to find. The new site incorporates an online membership and events entry system. You can now join KSSA, manage subscriptions, enter events and pay online if you wish.
As before, please continue to pre-enter for KSSA events as this helps the Committee organise coaches and safety cover. Pre-entry is not a commitment to attend. It will still be possible to enter/pay on the day, but if you choose the convenience of online pre-payment, refunds for non-attendance are possible (see Refund Policy).
Existing KSSA members will be sent an email soon with details of how to set up their online membership.
As the KSSA does not have a fixed venue or clubhouse the website is where you will find information about who we are and what we do. Results of our regattas and trophy winners can be found, together with reports and photos from our events.
Our ethos, To Promote Youth Sailing in Kent, underpins all that we do. As an RYA affiliated Club and RYA British Youth Recognised Club we work closely with the RYA to encourage all youth sailors, from novice to national squad standard, develop their skills and love of their sport through our training events, regattas supported by RYA recognised coaches and our own KSSA instructors.
Find out more about our events planned for 2019 at https://kssa.co.uk (If you have an existing KSSA bookmark/shortcut you will need to update it using this link).
Contact the committee via the Contact Us tab or pre-enter and join us at one of our events in the new year.