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Training at Aldenham Sailing Club

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Welcome to the fantastic sport of dinghy sailing! Aldenham is primarily a dinghy racing club and the principle aim of training is to support members who wish to develop their skills to the point where they can participate in the club's racing programme. Many of the club's members have achieved this within a few months of being introduced to the sport, some even within weeks.

We provide a structured programme of training for adults and children mainly through spring and summer, delivered by volunteer club members and catering for all ages and abilities. We have a large fleet of training boats, both single-handed and crewed. Most training is carried out in the single -handed boats: Oppies for young children; Picos for more experienced juniors and beginner adults; and Lasers for more experienced adults. For training in two handed boats we also use Wayfarers and Enterprises.

Our courses run on Sunday afternoons, with free sailing to practise during 'Club Time' on most Sunday afternoons in between training dates. Beginners need to be aware of the times when safety cover is available.

Our training is aimed at those who have little or no experience of dinghy sailing, to take them to a standard where they are able to take out a dinghy and sail in most directions in good weather conditions. We do also tailor our training to the needs of the students and so, for example, can cater for those who are in need of brushing up rusty skills or those who are looking to start racing.

Depending on the needs of the students and the weather conditions, topics normally covered are:

  • sailing theory
  • preparing and rigging the boat
  • launching & recovery from a pontoon
  • steering the boat, including tacking and gybing
  • sailing a triangular course on all points of sail
  • water safety and capsize drill
  • introduction to racing
  • lots of fun!

Please note that for Junior courses it is very important that parents stay on site to help with safety ashore, boat rigging and stowing, as boats can be too heavy for younger children to move. We also ask parents to be aware of the safety information published on the website as some parts are particularly important for children, and to become members of the Club.

Booking Courses

For more detail of the adult and junior training planned for this year and to book places, please see the Adult and Junior Training pages. These pages also have the contact details of the Adult and Junior Training Coordinators, who will be happy to answer any questions you may have.

We strongly recommend that anyone interested in starting to sail at Aldenham visits the club to meet one of our instructors and see first hand how the club operates, and how they can get involved.

Fees

Courses are free to full club members. There is however a fee of £10 per half day for adults and £5 per half day for juniors for the use of the club's boats, which are also available for use during Club Time once users have demonstrated a suitable level of competency.

Membership

Courses at ASC are open only to club members, and for children's courses family membership is required.

For information about membership please visit the Membership page of the website or contact the Membership Secretary via the Contacts page.

 

Other Training

We also run one day Safety Boat Familiarisation Courses and Enterprise Training Days, normally on a Saturday. Ad-hoc advice and instruction sessions are run by the 'hot shots' and more experienced sailors in the fleets.

Just want have a go ?

If you want to just have a go then we do arrange taster days, normally held in the spring (see the club calendar on the home page of the website).

Otherwise please feel free to come down to the club on Sunday mornings when members are normally racing so you can see us in action and chat about getting afloat.

What to Bring

Sailing is a wet sport and you should assume that you'll be in the water each time you sail. Please bring: 

  • Windproof/waterproof anorak and trousers - but we recommend wetsuits are worn underneath on colder days.
  • Hat (with cord so it doesn't blow away)
  • Glasses/Sun Glasses also with retaining cord
  • full change of clothing (so you can travel home warm and dry)
  • trainers, or plimsolls (not Wellington boots)
  • Lunch for courses that run all day
  • Towel/Soap/Shower Gel
  • Sun cream (water proof)
  • The club has a number of buoyancy aids but participants may wish to bring their own.

The club has hot showers and will provide tea and coffee.