Sunday's (Oct. 9) Optimist races were exercises in handling light wind. All 12 young skippers experienced the important effect on speed of patience, weight distribution, and raising the center board when it's appropriate while going down wind in these conditions. They will be ready if the winds are light during the Nationals.
The tale of Sunday’s races was one of coping with a wind that kept changing direction radically and in unaccustomed directions, 45 degrees or more towards or away from the South. When it shifts so as to point the boat away from the buoy, there is nothing one can do. Young skippers try to correct by pointing their boats back on the course they had before the shift. That results in sailing too directly into the wind and stalling. The skippers who best understood this did the best on Sunday, but even some of them stalled when trying to round buoys. None the less, it was excellent practice and experience for all. Here are 2 photos and a diagram of “the sailing circle” FYI.
Congratulations to the winners. It was a fun day watching the kids sailing. It was interesting watching them figure out how to navigate and race since our standard trade winds were not blowing, but rather we had a south wind.
When my little boy gave the course a try he and his friends seemed to be stealing each others wind which led to some outcries that you could hear from shore.
I wanted to remind you that the sailing club is looking for 2 more sponsors to purchase 2 more boats. We currently have 4 optimist dingys and there are 2 more available on the mainland that we can buy.
If our club has 6 boats then we will be able to train more kids and have more challenging races.
Each boat is $3,000 Bz. If the sponsor would like they can have their name painted on the boat. Cal and I have sponsored one.
The maintenance isn't too expensive and the hull should last a very long time and the sail may need to be replaced every 10 years.
As you know the San Pedro Sailing Club is currently organized by volunteers that train the children and organize races. At some point a professional instructor may be hired. At that point there may be some small fees involved (ie $5 Bz per session per child - if they can afford it.)
On November 12th San Pedro will be hosting a race in which participants from around Belize will be attending. As time goes on we may even be able to compete internationally. Of course at that point we will need some heavy sponsorship - but one step at a time....
I think this is a great sport that encourages the kids to be disciplined, competitive and something that they can also find personally challenging. This results in greater confidence and self esteem as well as taking great advantage of the wonderful sea and breeze that we all take for granted!
Currently there are about 16 children that have continued to show interest in this program and they are getting quite adept.
If you are interested in this program please PM me or check out their page on face book - search for San Pedro Sailing Club.
Do the boys go to school on the island? If they do then in the near future the school program will launch. The instructors will deal with a different school each day after school. There are already 75 kids signed up. Can you PM me with their names, DOB and school and class. As well as a contact number for parents. Thanks.
Fantastic news - a wonderful family in Palo Alto, California have heard out plea for a sponsor for an additional optimist dinghy - thanks a million for your kind hearted donation. The Pearce Family - Jayne, James, Jex and Evie were residents of the island for a year and they have left a little bit of their hearts here.
The San Pedro Sailing Club still needs another sponsor (or 2) to make our club available to all of the kids that are signed up and chomping at the bit to enjoy free lessons and fun water sports.
Sailing is a wonderful pastime, hobby, career and lots of fun.