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Southern Spars - North Technology

Middle Harbour Yacht Club - Junior sailing mums set sail

by Alana Whitting on 23 May 2012
Cherand Gray, Larissa Kelloway, Helen Roberts with Russell from Flying Fish - Junior Sailing Mums Set Sail at Middle Harbour Yacht Club Pip Lodder
The Junior Sailing program at Middle Harbour Yacht Club (MHYC) is going through a rapid growth spurt and now the Mum’s are getting in on the action too.

A local group of Mum’s with children who are currently part of the MHYC junior sailing program or racing with Redlands school from Balmoral Sailing have recently completed a week long Dinghy Sailing - Learn to Sail course with Flying Fish Sail Academy located at Middle Harbour Yacht Club.

The group includes Larissa Kelloway, whose eldest son, William Scott-Murphy (10) is into his second year at MHYC and nearly through Tackers 3, having participated in the school program with Redlands and the holiday camps. And youngest son, Zachary Scott-Murphy (8) has seen the fun that his brother has been having and he decided to give it a go for the first time in the April school holiday program. Also joining Larissa for the week were Helen Roberts whose son Lachlan is in Year 7 at Redlands and is involved in the senior program for racing from Balmoral Sailing Club and Cherand Gray whose daughters Charlotte (14) and Ella (10) both sail for Redlands.

Larissa commented that the group were inspired to get more actively involved with sailing and learn the basics themselves because the group are all mothers of child sailors and felt it was hard to help their children when they were unaware of the sports requirements, safety considerations and equipment.

'On a much more personal level, my husband and both my children sail and my husband's family are very involved in the sport and frankly dinner table discussion was leaving me behind,' she laughed.

'The program offered through Flying Fish was comprehensive and pitched at the right type of learning unlike other programs that seems more focused on yachts or racing. Plus the junior sailing program at MHYC is such a good program that it seemed a logical conclusion that the Flying Fish program would be of equal calibre due to their association with MHYC,' Larissa added.

The group enjoyed a week of theory and on water practical application of theoretical skills learnt in light winds ideal for beginner dinghy sailors. Although, by the end of the week the group would have liked the chance to test their new found skills a little further if some stronger breeze had been about.

'We had the most enjoyable week. I don't remember laughing so much in a long time and despite not leaving Sydney for a ‘break’ I felt very much like I have had one. I loved the mix of theory and practical and would love to have had a little bit more wind to really get the boat going,' Larissa said.

Cherand commented, 'We had an extremely knowledgeable coach in Russell from Flying Fish. I felt that although the practical side was unfortunately slow due to the light-to-no winds, Russell was able to accommodate ‘quite nicely’ other aspects into the program, in other words, we now feel comfortable knowing what happens in a capsize - lots of bruises!'

'I did feel I came away ‘knowing’ how to sail from a lot of the theory we picked up. The Bahia’s are great boats for learners too. I will definitely be sailing again on a dinghy because the kids will be making sure this happens!' she added.

The group are all keen to continue their own personal involvement with the sport of sailing and expand on the confidence the course gave them: 'I do feel that I am capable of getting in a boat now and having a go, and also feel confident that I could get out of trouble if necessary. I will be out in a dinghy again for sure, but maybe not until the weather warms up!' said Larissa.

And to quote the lovely Russell, Larissa added; 'Its all about how good you look. I have to say I think we will now look a whole lot better than we did before. I can't quite seem to keep the hair dry though!'

To find out more about Junior Sailing click here and to learn more about the Sailing Course available with Flying Fish click here. Middle Harbour Yacht Club website
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