WinterSail, the junior coaching regatta run by Albert Park Yacht Club, took place over the last weekend of the winter school winter holidays. Having been cancelled in 2020, everyone was very nervous in the run up as we were coming out of a 4th Covid lock down in Melbourne and NSW was going into an extended one. The event was a great success, APYC did a great job of hosting, with 33 entrants including 7 Minnows! Theresa Morton, Nat Glover, Ben Glover and Imogen Hart travelled across from Williamstown Sailing Club, and were joined by James Moore from Rhyll Yacht Club, and Hugo and Oliver from Brighton.
The junior sailors all had a fantastic time, and learnt loads from their coach Susanna Gilham, while their parents enjoyed socialising on shore in between getting boats in and out of the water. Three of junior sailors have also shared their reflections:
Theresa Morton: WinterSail was great! Susana was a great coach and we learnt to sail in low winds, but got some heavier wind during the races.
Nat Glover: It was my first winter sail this year, and it won’t be my last! Winter sail was very fun and was quite a unique experience sailing on the lake surrounded by city instead of out in the bay. I really enjoyed the coaching and learnt a lot of things from it. We had pretty light winds the weekend we were sailing, but that didn’t stop us from getting out on the water! Because of this the main thing I learnt from the weekend was how to improve my sailing in light winds. Now my favourite part was definitely the last half of the last day, the wind picked up and it was time for racing. We ended up getting around 14 knots of wind which were pretty ideal conditions for our racing. Competing not only against the minnows but the optis as well presented an extra challenge as I was racing against sailors better than me. It was still an incredibly fun experience and I will definitely be participating again.
Imogen Hart: This was my first regatta on my new minnow Aquatic Dancer, which was built by my dad. At first I was quite nervous to do winter sail because it was only my second time on my Minnow and I didn’t know anyone. But I was soon introduced to a great group of people including Susanna our coach. Albert Park Lake was a really fun environment to sail in but during winter sail one thing I did find challenging was knowing when the wind direction would change and where it would change too. Something that was really enjoyable about winter sail was learning how to hike on my minnow in strong winds. There were a few situations where I got a few dents in my boat but it was easily fixed by my dad. Another unfortunate thing that occurred was that I was not able to compete in the Sunday races because before the race actually started I capsized and somehow my tiller broke! Overall winter sail was a very enjoyable experience for many others and me. I now look forward to sailing more with a new group of friends over the next few summers and of course winters!