Young sailors learn the ropes
INDENTED Head Yacht Club learn to sail coordinator Paul Simmons says the growth and interest of its sailing program had continued despite COVID-19 restrictions.
“Sailing has been really popular as I think probably some other sports have been during COVID because people are looking for opportunities to do stuff locally,” Simmons said.
“We saw an incredible amount of interest in the (learn to sail) program even going back to last year when we started opening up registrations during COVID times.” Simmons confirmed the popularity and success of last summer’s learn to sail program meant the club had been unable to accommodate new participants with an overwhelming interest.
“We had a lot of interested people locally, it was so popular that unfortunately we couldn’t cater for everyone,” he said.
“The interest in (sailing) has been phenomenal, that’s not just the experience I have seen at our club, but I have heard about it from other clubs around Victoria and around Australia.”
The Indented Head Yacht Club learn to sail program is available for kids, families and adults which caters from beginners to competent sailors and takes place on Saturday mornings from September to April including sessions across the summer holidays in January. Simmons said the learn to sail program had attracted those aged from eight years to the 60-plus age group with participants coming from the Bellarine and wider Geelong region.
Funds raised from this summer’s Wreck2Reef open water swim, Indented Head Yacht Club’s largest annual fundraiser, on Saturday February 12 will go towards the club’s youngest sailing participants to help replenish its fibreglass and timber boats and lifesaving equipment.
“They are great events (Wreck2Reef) and they really help us offer those opportunities to the wider community,” Mr Simmons said.
Simmons is the father of Aidan Simmons, 13, who was crowned the Junior Sailor of the Year at the 2021 Australian Sailing Victoria awards.
Aidan won a total of eight regattas at the Australian Optimist National Sailing Championship held in Adelaide back in April, 2021.
Aidan’s younger brother Callum, 12, is also an accomplished young sailor and was awarded trophies for the best 12-year-old at two state championships and won best 12-year-old at the Australian Championship.
To register for the 2022 Wreck2Reef 1.2km and 2.5km open water swims log onto https://ihyc.com.au/wreck-2-reef-event for more information.
All competitors must pre-register – no on the day registrations will be accepted with competitor numbers capped at 500.