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!