Youngsters set sail at Apollo Bay

Apollo Bay P-12 students from left Morgan Stewart, Chrissy Young, Eithne Mclaughlin and Freya West enjoy a try sailing day at Apollo Bay Sailing Club.

APOLLO Bay Sailing Club hopes children who enjoyed a try sailing day will help boost membership.

Yachting Victoria’s Mobile Sailing School visited the club for its once every two years try sailing day with 120 Apollo Bay P-12 College students.

Students were able to experience teams racing in six pacer dinghies in a five-minute race format as well as introductory sailing sessions with the help of expert coaches.

Apollo Bay SC secretary Kelly Hurley said club membership might increase after older students indicated they were keen to get on board.

“This year with the age of the kids, who are sort of that early teen age and have been doing it for a couple of years now, they’ve said they’re really keen this year to join the club,” she said.

“Any club goes through that ebb and flow of getting new kids joining and our club is probably due for a new wave of younger membership.”

Hurley said the mobile sailing school helped promote interest in sailing through its racing programs.

“They have six pacer dinghies on a huge trailer and they travel around to school camps, community groups and sailing clubs and teach kids how to sail basically,” she said.

“They’re quite heavily involved in the teams racing format and the aim is to get the kids involved in the experience of racing the little dinghies.

“The races are over really quickly, a race might take about five minutes and then the next race starts within a minute; it’s good fun and really fast.”

Hurley said it was great to generate interest in sailing from the three-day event.

“It was fantastic to see so many young people, their families, school teachers and club members being able to access the social and physical benefits of sailing,” she said.

“The overall success of the program can be attributed to the enthusiasm and passion of all participants.”

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