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.