What are you looking for today? This is one of our regular questions to our CSSC taster guests at the safety briefing over a cuppa in Rutland Sailing Club wet bar cafe.
Our first taster guests of the season None of them had ever been on a sailing boat, so it was a brand new experience for them and not really sure what to expect at all. Carol Whittington, Manuela Galan and Alex Gem just want to have, well a taster. They told us they were looking to have fun and learn a little about sailing.
After being fitted with buoyancy aids it was time to allocate the ‘crew’ to boats and helms. Manuela and Alex were introduced to John Cranwell Ward and Jason Robbins sailing on Time Flies – a Soling. Carol joined Dave Grundy and Eric Andrew on Satyr – a Squib.
The weather conditions proved to be almost perfect. Both crews were quickly involved launching their boats which involves a tractor launch with an extension to push the boasts down the slip on to Rutland Water, rigging the boats and then we were off!
Rutland Water is over 3,000 acres of water and Rutland Sailing Club is premier UK Inland Sailing Club – so there is plenty of room for lots of boats and with the Peninsula, it can feel like there are two lakes.
Morning winds were relatively light, but enough to make the boats responsive. Taster guests can get involved as much or as little as they please. As usual, it wasn’t long before our guests were on the helm steering, tacking, giving orders to the new crew (in our case Dave and Eric)” Ready About?”, “Ready!!” ” Lee Ho!” and, with a little guidance, we headed off on another tack. Watch the wind may seem strange ashore, but makes perfect sense when on a boat sailing.
There is almost always something to surprise and please when sailing on Rutland Water and today was exceptional. Apologies for lack of photos, but we simply enjoyed the moments we saw:
- The Red Arrows Fly over and ‘Smoke On!
- An Osprey flying low over the lake just feet away
- The beautiful Rutland Water Lake and surrounding scenery
- All types of boats, wind surfers – young and not so young – enjoying the day and the freshening winds.
Before we knew it, it was lunch time and time to change over the crew. Carol join “Time Flies” and Manuela “Satyr” – not sure we could detach Alex from the helm of Time Flies 😉
Another surprise – a Battle of Britain Memorial Flight Dakota flew across the lake right passed Rutland Sailing Club and back out on the water in winds that had now picked up to a Force 4-5 – we were going to have a fun and busy sail.
Boats were whipping across the lake, races on going. Satyr was enjoying the winds and we soon had a white wake and water passing along and heeling over so water came over the gunwale regularly – not the most efficient sail but oh what fun! We were Sailin’!
It has to be said the ladies we sailed with showed no signs of being nervous and both had a good go on the helm and did extremely well considering this was their first experience. John reported similar for Alex (who you will recall rather liked Time Flies).
All to soon, it was time to return to the pontoon, recover the boats and put them to bed on their trailers, ready for the next sail.
A ‘debrief’ on the veranda was interrupted by a hurricane flying over the club house and stealing the scene by doing a barrel roll with a back cloth of fluffy cumulous clouds and a patch of blue – stunning.
At RCSSC we always aim to give our guests a grand day out and measure our success by their feedback – the biggest of smiles and lots of stories to share.
Thanks Carol, Manuela and Alex for joining us on our keelboats – for John, Jason, Eric and myself it was an absolute pleasure to sail with us. Whilst we cannot guarantee the Red Arrows etc, we hope you’ll be back soon for another sailing adventure and taster at Rutland Sailing Club with Rutland Civil Service Sailing Club members – you’d be made very welcome.