Beginners Banter

If you were wondering what it’s really like to Learn to Sail at South Staffs? Well wonder no more, we have captured the experiences of some of our newbies …

Chloe Dawson – Level 2 Student

Driving home from our first level 1, learn to sail lesson in April I had a big smile on my face.. and lots of questions whizzing round my head.

Will I ever be able to tack without falling over? Starboard means right, or was it left? How did my instructor ’just know’ where the wind was coming from? Am I meant to reaching or beating or running? Did I really just dance the Rumba? So many new words to learn and boat parts with strange names, will I be able to do this?

Fast forward 3 months and the smile is back – we’ve just passed the level 2 course. Earlier that day we’d rigged our own boats, put a reef in (it was gusty!), ‘mastered’ the man-over-board routine, raced (sort of) a triangular course and come back to the jetty without hitting anything – result.

Looking back I can’t quite believe how far we’ve come in such a short time – how did we manage it? Maybe because we were an exceptional group of high achievers at the peak of physical fitness? … erm, not exactly. We were lucky, we had instructors with infectious enthusiasm, who understand how hard the basics are when you’re just starting out, who didn’t laugh (or at least tried hard not to) when ‘beginner’ questions were asked, and who just made it all really ace – even capsizing!

There’s still so much more to learn but I don’t think we could have had a better start.

Mike Bradley -Level 2 Student

Earlier this year I chanced upon the SSSC and popped in to enquire about learning to sail. I was made to feel most welcome and was impressed by the enthusiasm of the members. They were obviously passionate about both the sport and the club, and keen to encourage new members. As a result I signed up for a level one course followed by their ‘Plus 1’ programme and a level 2 course.

Tomorrow I’ll be heading to the club for the second and final day of my level 2 course. As with the rest of the programme, I’m looking forward to the day with much excitement as I’ve thoroughly enjoyed every moment on the water and at the club.

I cannot recommend SSSC highly enough. The welcome and enthusiasm I experienced on my first visit has continued throughout. I’ve found the instruction and training to be of an extremely high standard and am both pleased and proud of the progress I’ve made under their expert tuition.

The training team are always keen to pass on their expertise, tips and knowledge and always offer encouragement. Other club members are also keen to assist and give their time and effort to help us in our training. As a result I feel at home at the club and have no qualms in asking for help and advice when required.

The club places emphasis on retaining new members and encouraging us to continue in the sport. It is spending much time and effort to offer opportunities for advancement and experience in all aspects of its extensive activities and events.

SSSC have that rare combination of the enthusiasm of the amateur and the standards of the professional. I’m looking forward to progressing in the sport and having great time in so doing. I would have no hesitation in recommending the club to anybody looking to get involved in this fun, challenging and exciting sport.

Welcome

South Staffs Sailing Club is a friendly club that has members of all ages. We cater for all abilities, from beginners to experienced sailors.

As an RYA Training Centre we provide courses that will enable sailors, whatever their ability, to flourish and really enjoy sailing at the club. If racing is something you aspire to do you will find competitive fleets and tuition available to improve your skills.

We have an active and thriving junior section, with a team of dedicated trainers committed to ensure the children have a fun time and are able to develop a real passion for the sport.

The club has a regular programme of social events and the club members always enjoy any excuse to arrange a good party.

If you would like to visit us, the club is conveniently placed adjacent to Jct 12 on the M6 and just off the A5 near Cannock. You will be made very welcome.

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Why should I sail at South Staffs Sailing Club?

South Staffs Sailing Club is considered to be an extremely friendly club that welcomes new members. You will be joining a group of people who love the sport of dinghy sailing, and are more than happy to share that enthusiasm. The club is run on a self help basis and joining in with the tasks that are needed for the club to function, enables new members to quickly make friends and settle in. For many it has become a long term passion and many members have been active in the club for many years, and for some there are three generations still active.

The club is an approved RYA Training Centre and facilities are available for both adults and juniors. Learn to Sail and Improver courses for adults are run each year. Sunday morning sessions are available for juniors to develop their confidence and enjoyment for the sport. Additional supported free sailing sessions are also available to allow practice and to provide time for skills to be developed.

We have a dedicated team of race coaches, including sailors who have been both National and World Champions so any level of ability at adult or junior level can be accommodated.

Easy access from Staffordshire and the West Midlands via the M6, M6 Toll, A5 and A449. The club is approximately a mile from Junction 12 on the M6.

The club offers competitive fleet racing. We sail a range of single and two handed boats that will suit all standards and sailing abilities. Our fleet captains, instructors and coaches will ensure that everyone can develop their skills and get the maximum enjoyment from sailing at the club.

The club has a strong family foundation, and in some cases multiple generations of the same family are club members. The membership costs reflect that belief and junior membership (up to 17) can be at no or minimal costs when joining with sailing adults. Concession rates are also available for students.

The Social aspect plays an important part in integrating  new Members to the Club and introducing them to other members and so making new friends.

It  has always been a very active aspect of the Club with a variety of events over the Year to suit all ages and tastes. From Quiz Nights, Car Treasure Hunts, Wine Tasting, Summer Ball, Christmas Dinner, Mince Pie Night with Carols and our own Orchestra,  An Annual Dinner Dance and our own House Band all prove very popular.  The Junior Team also put together a very interesting series of Social events for our younger Members.