by Pip Lodder
With the beautiful weather this Autumn, the MHYC Juniors Adventure Squad has been putting some serious miles under its belt. With destinations achieved so far ranging from Parsley Bay in Vaucluse, Spring Cove in Manly and Quakers Hat Point up Middle Harbour. The Adventure Squad is a new program at MHYC and provides the experienced kids with a challenge that isn’t just about racing. Sailing in optimists, the squad sets out every Saturday from Middle Harbour to explore the surrounding waterways and their many hidden treasures. Middle Harbour Yacht Club has developed this program with the aim of combining sailing tuition with what the kids love doing. Particularly, mucking around with their mates and exploring their environment. It’s not all skylarking however, with plenty of tuition on safe passage planning, forecasting, tides, navigation and many other things essential to a safe and fun day out on the water. The passages also provide us with a plenty of time on the water to work on their sailing technique and boat handling skills. Nothing quite inspires the kids to sail fast than knowing that there is some new adventure awaiting them. The kids complete a passage plan for the day as homework, which includes gathering all the necessary weather and navigation information by themselves, working out a passage that suits those conditions and preparing a mapped plan of the course for the day. Sam Hooper, 10 prepared the pictured plan for last Saturday, doing a very thorough job with his information. A plan is then decided on and of they go, putting their work into action. Negotiating Sydney Harbour armed with their new knowledge and a plan for the day, under the watchful eye of MHYC’s instructors. The Adventure Squad is run on Saturdays from 1230 – 1630 throughout the school term which conveniently for sailing parents, coincides with the MHYC Sydney City Marine Winter Series. Additional care is provided after 1630 for any parents who are stuck out on the Winter Series race course. The course is open to graduates of the Tackers 3 course or any kid who is at the development squad level of optimist sailing or higher. Boats are provided but it does provide a great chance for them to get into their own racing optimist and get the feel for it. Enquiries or enrolments can be made through the MHYC website.
The MHYC Adventure Squad check out the waterfall in Spring Cove in Sydney Harbour National Park