On the 17th, 18th and 19th of April, 7 Assistant Instructor hopefuls set out on their journey to becoming certified as RYA AIs.
Three Senior Instructors; Jon Shaw, Matt Gibbons and Will Derries ran the course, helped out by Ben Wilcox (Training Principal), Iona Robson and Lizzie Farmer (Child Protection Officer), drawing on shared and individual experiences and skill-sets to give our candidates as solid footing in the training world as is possible.
The two and a half days started out with a breaking swell in the fairway on the Wednesday evening, and the decision was taken to keep our candidates ashore - though a few intrepid club racers did venture out. Nevertheless, a productive session was had on shore, covering rigging and reefing a 2000. We then went into the classroom and had a group discussion about what a good Assistant Instructor should possess.
Thursday dawned, and we were straight into the classroom. We had a session on hopes and fears of the group, as well as good qualities and skills for an Assistant Instructor to have, we had a site tour to familiarise the candidates with passcodes, stores and SOPs. We were then back into the classroom for a very interesting learning styles (VARK) talk, delivered by Jon. Once again, we escaped the classroom and covered RYA method land drills. We then all disappeared for lunch and reconvened after we'd taken on some nutrition. The afternoon was set to be a tad sporty, with a building easterly and substantial swell. We went out reefed, and the group did a triangle adhering to the 5 Essentials, as well as some boats carrying out MOB excersizes - a vital skill. We then carried out the RYA Scoop capsize drill - Will volunteered for this one, much to his dismay.
Thursday evening entailed mid-course debriefs from Ben and Will, along with a chat about Child Protection (Delivered by Lizzie Farmer) and a brief talk on professionalism.
Friday dawned and we were into the last day of this brilliant course. The candidates delivered one short theory session each, and the standard of these was exceptional. All demonstrated Dinghy Instructor level knowledge and technique - needless to say the instructors were all very impressed. We then went for lunch and the club was bustling due to the RYA filming our Good Friday sailing. We were straight on the water after lunch, making use of the filling bay we perfected our tacking and gybing, did backwards sailing, as well as rudderless sailing.
We then headed out toward Craigleith, practising MOB and speed control using a follow-my-leader. Jon went for a swim, Will sailed Jons boat. Both enjoyed themselves.
Friday evening entailed a chat about expectations from each other as instructors, as well as expanding on professionalism. We then presented the 7 new Assistant Instructors with their certificates and went home!
Safe to say - the future of ELYC training is in safe hands. Well done Milla, Rosie, Josh, Sam, Emily, Grace and Rebecca! We look forward to working with you!
The club is running a powerboat level 2 course on the 13/14th April. This is an internationally recognised qualification and is required to drive our club RIBS. Our next powerboat courses will run in July.
For further information and to sign up, please click on the following link: https://elyc.org.uk/event-3213102
The club will be running another first aid course on Sunday 24th March. To sign up please click here to go to the event page.
Congratulations to Iain McGonigal for winning the RYA Scotland Coach of the year Award! Iain has put in a huge amount of time and effort running our successful Go Racing sessions over the past number of years and has helped many sailors to gain more experience and confidence to get them racing. In his speech at the RYA Scotland Annual Awards he thanked the club and the Go Racing team, including Nick, Steve and Angus, for making Go Racing such a success!
Iain started sailing in keelboats (with Gerry Hughes if we remember correctly) after he got his first teaching job at North Berwick High School in 1981. Over the past 15 years, Iain has volunteered his time to run the Go Racing novice coaching evenings. Taking place generally over 16 weeks in the main sailing season from May to August, he has been able to bring new sailors on from ‘beginners’ to competent racers who give the club racers a run for their money. He is a fantastic coach who takes the time to get to know each of the participants and help work with them on and off the water.
Iain commented. “The programme, called Go Racing, which we run at ELYC is very much a team effort. I simply enjoy attempting to pass on the fun and enjoyment I get out of dinghy sailing, particularly racing. The club has long acknowledged that it is getting harder to encourage our novice sailors, youth or adult, to make the step from learning to sail to joining the main club racing programme. Our 'Go Racing' midweek programme simply gets relative novices or less-confident sailors out on the water and aims to teach the basics of racing while improving their sailing skills and experience in a less frenetic environment that the club fleet startline!”
Well done to Alastair Macintyre, Will Derries, Ben Wilcox and the club for being shortlisted for other awards! We have all enjoyed a fantastic evening in Inverkip.
To find out more about becoming a race coach or simply developing your coaching skills visit:
Our first adult learn to sail course of 2019 will run over two weekends in May! To sign up and for further information, please check out our adult learn to sail page in our training section.
Bookings are now open for our Easter Sailing Camp! Running from the 8th - 12th April, this is a great opportunity to get out on the water ready for the summer! To sign up and for more information, click here.
Ruth Mileham kindly forwarded on some excellent photos of the recent Ocean Youth Trust Scotland Voyage which 24 ELYC members took on 21/09/18.
Not content with exploring the wonders of Loch Tummel just a few weeks ago, East Lothian Yacht Club's intrepid Cadets headed across to Greenock to set sail on an Ocean Youth Trust Scotland voyage aboard Alba Venturer and Alba Explorer.
Cadets Callum Williams and Lucy Robson kindly provided us with their takes on proceedings!
Callum Williams -
Despite the Scottish weather, ELYC’s Cadets enjoyed their weekend aboard Alba Explorer starting with a short night sail from Greenock to Holy Loch.
The following day after learning how to use the witches and after an exhausting sail hoist we had a relaxed sail to Tarbert. On the final day, the wind picked up and Alba Explorer was speeding back to Greenock averaging 10 knots upwind!
Throughout the trip Alba Explorer achieved an impressive 95 nautical miles. Overall, it was a very enjoyable weekend and a brilliant introduction to the world of yacht sailing.
Lucy Robson -
When coming aboard Alba Venturer our group of twelve cadets from ELYC where met by our lovely instructors for the weekend.
After a brief tour of the boat, we set of from Greenock and headed for the Holy loch! We got there at around midnight and tied up for the night.
In the morning, to my dismay, we were awakened bright and early by the cheery face of Struan who thought we should all get up at 6:30am, but it was okay as we all laughed about it later. After managing to get one more hour of sleep in, we set off for Tarbert. On the way there the winds were good and we had some waves, although in comparison to the size of boat you couldn’t really notice them! For most of the journey some of the other cadets and I sat up the bow inside the pig pen (storage for the extra sails)
Once we made it to Tarbert we were greeted by a delicious meal cooked by our skipper. Then after dinner we took a walk up to Tarbert castle which had an amazing view down to our boat.
Once we had gotten back down from the castle we all settled in quickly for the night as we had a long sail back to Greenock the next day.
On Sunday morning, we woke up to be greeted by the sound of the engine as the boat left the harbour. We then prepared for the long sail ahead. Unfortunately on the way back there where continuous showers of rain. Once we got back to Greenock we had our last debrief and then cleaned the whole boat before our finial departure.
Thank you so much to all those at OYT Scotland by making this an amazing adventure or alba venture!! We learned so much about yacht sailing, all the differences between dinghys and yachts. We learned the importance of teamwork and made some good friends along the way. A final thank you to all the people who made this trip possible, the parents and Alan.
Again, huge thanks go to Alan Stewart for giving our Cadets the opportunity to experience this level of sailing! A selection of photos have been uploaded here!
Our Cadets have set the bar very high on this voyage and the pressure is now well and truly on our adult crews to do just as well when they set sail on a similar voyage towards the end of the month!
Well done to all of our cadets who made the journey to Loch Tummel on Saturday 18th August for the Scottish Club Trophy!
Big congratulations to Sam Cowan and Rebecca Kinnie who brought home some medals! We think some of the older hands will need to watch out for this crop of youth on the start line, very soon.
A big thank you to our instructors, Will, Ellen and Eilidh, who went up for the day to support the team and the event. Thanks also to all of the parents for providing ELYC 'team buses' to get everyone there and back again safely!
Judging by the photos, everyone had a great time! Even Simon!
This year we are running a 3 day race camp from the 30th July to the 1st August.
Head over to the Race Camp page for further details.
East Lothian Yacht Club | 36-40 Victoria Road | The Harbour | North Berwick | East Lothian | EH39 4JL