Level 1 and 2 Dinghy Course
Learn to Sail - 4 day Courses For Beginners
Everyone has to start somewhere and we are here to help you take your first step. Sutton Sailing Club runs RYA Level 2 dinghy courses twice a year, in the Spring (March / April) and Autumn (September / October) for both junior and adult beginners. The maximum number of students we accommodate is between 14 and 16 per course which ensures an excellent experience for our course members. We will take you from absolute beginner to being able to take control of a sailing boat in fair conditions. The course normally takes place over 4 consecutive Saturdays.
We can take bookings for any of our dinghy courses. The dates so far for the next 2022 course are Saturdays, September 24th, October 1st, 8th, 15th for our Autumn course. Please contact Kim for details by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone on 07733287829.
The fee is £170 for adults and juniors including tea, coffee and other snacks which are provided throughout the course. (The fee includes temporary membership which will end 4 weeks after the course finishes.)
The teaching starts at 9.00am and runs until 4.30pm each day, its stimulating, challenging, fun and tiring! There is a combination of classroom and on-the-water teaching, but the emphasis is strongly on the water.
We teach in a variety of boats though generally in the double-hander Laser Bahia or Topper Xenon for adults and in smaller single-hander Toppers for the juniors. The instructor to student ratio in the double hander will be no more than 2-to-1 and an instructor will be in the boat until the point you are able to sail unaided.
Full safety cover is on hand at all times during water based sessions and the club provides all necessary safety equipment ie helmets and buoyancy aids.
At the end of the course you will have the basic set of skills required to sail a small sailing boat in calm conditions, including how to right a capsized dinghy.
You will consider how the wind affects the boat on the land and on the water, complete land drill successfully and how you will use the wind to your advantage and be aware of how it can present dangers.
If the course has progressed as usual, we should also have introduced you to racing which is where the fun really starts.
Quick Questions and Answers
What sort of clothes will I need?
At some point you will probably get wet during the course so all clothing should be suitable for this purpose. A wetsuit is ideal, but otherwise quick drying clothing and a windproof jacket will get you through. Ie close fitting man-made fibre garments such as tracksuit trousers, nylon swimwear and fleece tops with a kagoule top and waterproof overtrousers will serve you better than layers of jeans, cotton tea shirts and woolly jumpers. Gloves with padded palms and fingers will also be beneficial for handling ropes. On your feet soft soled shoes, old trainers are ideal. A fleece hat or woolly hat will make a great difference if the weather is colder. The club has a limited selection of wetsuits and windproofs that can be borrowed.
What is the minimum age for a junior on the course?
Like many sports sailing has quite a lot of skills to learn as well as some background theory. We have found that children younger than 8 really need 1 to 1 coaching, so we have set the minimum age as 8 years old.
What if I can't do all of the dates?
Talk to the organiser beforehand to see if we can personalise your training to get you to the required standard in a shorter period of time.
Am I too old?
Your age is no barrier to starting sailing and very many people who learn to sail do so in their later years. However some medical / physical conditions will make it more difficult so again talk to the course organiser if you have any concerns.
On-going Development for Adults and Juniors - JCIC (Junior Club / Improvers Club)
Once you've learnt the basics of sailing, to build on that knowledge you will need lots of time on the water and further training to become a confident sailor. To help with this, we run sessions at Sutton Sailing Club on Sundays which we refer to in the diary as JCIC - short for 'Junior Club / Improvers Club'. They are not structured like an RYA course but are tailored to suit the sailors who attend. It is also an opportunity for new members to meet on a regular basis and buddy up in 2 man boats if they don't have a regular crew or helm to sail with. They are run with the assistance of the club's instructors.
To help new members who have just completed the Level 2 dinghy course enjoy the excitement of racing but reduce some of the anxiety of doing something wrong, for the two Sunday race days following the Level 2 course, each new member who is interested can be teamed up with one of the instructors. The instructor will helm the first of the two Sunday races, then the new member will be encouraged to helm the second race. So, by the end of three weeks, you will feel confident to have a go crewing or helming a boat with other new members of the club.
Ad Hoc Training
There is always more to learn in sailing. From time to time we will arrange special training sessions to meet particular needs. These have included first aid training and child protection training for instructors, racing and dinghy spinnaker handling, and Dinghy Instructor training and examination. We will always consider putting on a course if there is demand.