During the Summer holidays there is plenty going on at Felpham Sailing Club!
The usual activities of racing on Wednesday evenings and Sundays, Skill Saturdays, Youth Friday evening sailing, Women on Water and Men on Boats will continue according to the published programme available on the website.
The published programme of training will be continuing as well, this includes the Dinghy Instructor course and various other courses. Look at the Training Calendar on the website.
All events are members only, except for Open Race Meetings. Non-Members who would like to join in Summer School, or other events, are required to join the club. A child cannot join on their own, a parent/guardian must join at the same time. The child joins as a Cadet (Sailing), the parent may join as either a Social Member, or a Sailing Member. Becoming a Sailing Member requires that you participate in Team Duties. A Social Member is not required to do duties, but may participate as a volunteer if desired.
The two big events during the School Holidays are Felpham Youth Regatta and Summer School.
Felpham Youth Regatta (FYR) is a four day celebration of youth sailing at Felpham. We generally have around 60 young people participating in Training, Race Training and Racing for the Cadet Cup. The Training is run to RYA standards and covers all four Youth Stages together with Advanced Modules, including Start Racing, Seamanship & Sailing with Spinnakers. The Racing is high standard and highly competitive with Silver and Gold Fleets. The Cadet Cup is an Open Meeting and young sailors from other clubs may join in. The day starts around 0830 and finishes late afternoon. Lunch, and after-sailing tea & cakes are provided for all participants. The event is run by a huge team of adult and youth helpers and instructors, all volunteers (around 60). The kitchen crew serve a hot lunch in two sittings, the beach team launch and recover everyone, and the on-water team run the safety boats and training. Parents of children participating are expected to volunteer to help in some way or other, over several days. This is a fun family event focussed on the club’s youth having fun sailing. At the end of the event we hold a big prize giving ceremony to celebrate the racing results and training achievements. This is followed by the Volunteers’ Supper when a meal is served to all those who helped make the Regatta a success.
Inevitably this event is very popular. Training places are limited. A booking system is set up via email (during June) and bookings are taken in order of receipt. We usually have a waiting list. Generally, we set the date for FYR a year in advance to allow for families to organise their holidays, and still attend FYR. Young children who are new to FSC may find FYR challenging. There is a lot going on, it is noisy and everyone appears to know what they are doing. Those children who have sailed regularly on a Friday and/or Saturday and are familiar with the club and have made some friends enjoy FYR the most.
Felpham Youth Regatta is the premier youth event on our calendar at FSC.
Summer School is very different. The Summer School weeks are low key, small attendance and run by paid instructors. Lunch is not provided. The day starts at 0930 and finishes at 1630. Parental help or attendance is not expected, however we do need a couple of parents to be around each day, this is organised on a rota system organised on the first day of each week. Training takes place on a low tide. In the event of bad weather or high tide preventing sailing, a shoreside programme is enacted that includes training and games.
The Training Programme on all Summer School Weeks is not fixed, although beginners are encouraged to join in the earlier weeks. We staff Summer School with a range of Instructors who can deliver all of the courses for which we hold accreditation, so in any week the actual programme of training delivered is varied according to the skills and desires of those signed up.
During the final weeks of Summer School the focus changes towards race training and racing performance. This is to coach our youth towards participation in the West Sussex Schools and Youth Sailing Association Regatta which takes place in September.
Participants must bring a wetsuit, spray top, hat, wet shoes (beach shoes, old trainers or wet suit boots), sailing (or cycling) gloves, buoyancy aid, towel, a change of clothes, lunch etc. The club has a few buoyancy aids, but it is preferred if each participant has their own. Some cash for instant sugar gratification is considered by some to be a good idea. All personal gear should be marked with name. Mobile phones should be left at home, there will be no time to use them. If parents need to be contacted, the Senior Instructor in charge can do that. We take responsibility for the safety of your children, but not their belongings.
Participants can be aged 10 or over. The minimum age for participation is 8. For children aged 8 to 10 a parent (or adult family member) must be present during the day. Young children often need comforting and helping. This is best done by a parent at the immediate point of need, hence parents of young children must attend. These age restrictions are guidelines based on our experience, however you know your child best, parents are welcome to come along to watch, sunbathe or participate.
Parents and family are encouraged to participate in Summer School. Mixed age groups can work well. Parents can learn how to sail at the same time as children go off racing! Some families decide to treat this as a beach holiday for the family and it works very well.
All parents must provide a contact phone number and be available to attend if needed. Accidents do happen and small children get cold and frightened easily. Our Instructors are there to run the training; comforting a child takes them away from their primary role and may stop the training. An attendance rota will be organised amongst the parents of children participating. Parents on this rota may be called upon to sit with a child in the warmth of the club pending the arrival of the parent who has been called in. We have wifi at the club, some parents choose to “work from home” on the laptop while keeping an eye on the training on the sea.
All participants must be able to swim 50m, be confident in water, be reasonably physically able, and want to learn. We can make accommodations for those that do not meet these criteria but this can only be through discussion and we are not able to accommodate everyone. Sailing is a physically demanding sport and we sail in a challenging environment in our exposed seaside location. Other less demanding locations in the harbour or inland are available, and we will be happy to assist to find something that may suit needs better.
A number of distant families have relatives living in Felpham. During Summer their children sometimes join in Summer School. This works well, but all participants must be members.
Training is focussed on the RYA Scheme, logbooks and certificates will be awarded based on attainment. We often find knowledge & skills fade in our students. A Stage 3 achieved last year, does not mean that Stage 4 will be achieved this year. Skills are lost, knowledge is forgotten and we often have to retrain to get back to a previously attained standard. Also the conditions at Felpham are challenging. A Stage 2 awarded at an inland club feels very different from the same in big waves and big winds. A lot of our focus during Summer School is on building self-confidence, self-reliance, decision making, independence, team work and risk assessment; attributes that are not covered in the RYA Stages, but essential in our challenging sea environment. Hence progress through the RYA Stages appears to be slower. We try to ensure that young sailors have fun, play games and build skills rather than just collect certificates. Our young sailors turn out to confident happy young people enjoying life. What more could a parent ask for?
Pricing is based on a daily rate. At least two days are required to achieve one Stage. It is preferable to book two, or more, days in a week, however consideration should be given to how young children become tired after several days on a course.
Logbooks are available at extra cost.
The daily course fee includes use of club dinghies and instruction, use of clubhouse and showers etc. Parents are free to use the club while children are on Summer School courses.
Summer School is based upon sail training leading race training, however powerboat tuition to RYA Level 1 & 2 is also sometimes available.
All courses are offered in the expectation that the course will be run. However sometimes we have to cancel a course. At least 8 people are required to launch a safety boat. If course numbers are low and we cannot launch then we may need to cancel. In the event of bad weather we will try to run some shoreside training however this may not always be possible. Also it is not always possible to find Instructors to staff a course. We may need to postpone or cancel the booking. Full refunds will be provided for sessions not sailed.
During the summer we train ready for two annual Youth Regattas in September. For many years the club has attended (and sometimes hosted) the West Sussex Schools & Youth Sailing Association Annual Regatta. In 9 of the last 10 years our Youth Team has come away with the Team Prize. Felpham Sailing Club has the best youth racing team in the County.
The other Regatta is the RYA London & South East British Youth Sailing Regional Championship. We will enter this for the first time in 2018.
Felpham Sailing Club Accreditation
We are affiliated to the Royal Yachting Association and a RYA Recognised Training Centre. We are accredited to deliver a range of RYA Sailing and Powerboat Courses including the Adult and Youth Sailing Schemes, and Powerboat Level 1, 2 and Safety Boat. FSC has been an RYA Accredited Training Centre since 2003.
In June 2018 we achieved RYA British Youth Sailing Accreditation. This is an extremely prestigious accolade recognising Youth Racing and excellence, only 15 clubs across the country hold this accreditation. Felpham SC is the only sea based club between the Solent and Norfolk to be recognised in this way.
FSC is also accredited with the RYA for OnBoard, recognising its efforts in bringing young people from the community into sailing. 95% of our members live within 7 miles of the club.
FSC is also accredited with the UK Adventure Activities Licensing Authority.
Each year we usually have 30-40 Instructors signed up, most started sailing at FSC and have followed the Instructor Pathway becoming RYA Qualified Instructors.
Club Dinghies & equipment
We have 7 Picos, 2 Fevas, 1 Laser 2000, and a Laser (Full rig and Radial). During July we will take delivery of 8 new RS Teras, each with 3 sails.
We have two 40hp RHIBs and one 15hp displacement boat.
Summer School rate is £50 per person per day.
Summer School Race Week is £25 per person per day (assuming own dinghy). Logbook and Sailing handbook are £5 each.
Personal Tuition available by individual arrangement.
WSSYSA Regatta 8/9 September – venue Cobnor Activity Centre
British Youth Sailing Regional Championship 29/30 September – venue Queen Mary SC West London.
Further information, queries or bookings:
FSC Training Principal: Roger Belton 01243 587883, 07866 907075 [email protected]