Open water swimming helps provide holiday program

January 21, 2021 BY

Aidan and Callum Simmons and Finn Fairlie (standing) have all been sailing participants from the Indented Head Yacht Club. Photo: MARK HEENAN MEDIA

YOUNG sailing participants enjoyed the opportunity to learn all about the craft in last week’s summer school holiday program at Indented Head Yacht Club.

Up to 16 participants aged between 8-14 years took part in the inaugural Indented Head Yacht Head Club Summer Holiday Sailing School four-day program which ran from January 11 to January 14.

The youngsters took part in activities such as learning to sail, advanced sailing lessons with multiple different classes of yachts, stand-up paddle boards and kayaks, beach games and water play, snorkelling and beachcombing.

Programs such as these are made possible with funds raised by the club’s major swim fundraiser, the Wreck2Reef.

Wreck2Reef co-director Ned Fairlie said the funds were so important in achieving such a successful program.

“The Wreck2Reef raises the funds that allows us to put on these courses at basically half the price,” Mr Fairlie said.

“Some (sailing) courses (at other clubs) are at around the $400 mark we have been able to offer courses at half of that price at $195 by the fundraising work that comes from all the swimmers that come and get involved in the Wreck2Reef.”

The program saw two daily sessions, including mornings and afternoons across the four days organised by Indented Head Yacht Club volunteers.

Mr Fairlie said there was a ‘sense of satisfaction’ from the participants involved and the calm waters of Half Moon Bay provided the perfect conditions to learn to sail.

“That sense of satisfaction and independence that they get knowing they can skipper a yacht on their own on the water.

“For these kids who haven’t driven cars or anything, it is a real sort of freedom that they can take a boat from the shore and go out and be in full control.

“There maybe opportunities they may want to join in with our regular sail training on a Saturday that go through the school terms.

“It is a fantastic place to learn to sail – it is a sheltered smooth water, with good steady winds that are generally relatively shallow and a sandy bottom making it a safe location.”

Participants came from the Bellarine, the wider Geelong region and parts of Melbourne.

The 12th annual Wreck2Reef will take place on February 13.

To register for this summer’s Wreck2Reef log onto https://ihyc.com.au/wreck-2-reef-event for more information.

To comply with COVID-19 restrictions, Wreck2Reef organisers have introduced a 500-cap limit for swimmers for this summer’s 2.5km and 1.2km open water swim events.

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