Chew Youth Sailing2024-05-09T16:13:54+01:00

Chew Youth Sailing

The CVLSC Youth Sailing Programme is a thriving part of the Club and caters for all young sailors, whether they are complete beginners or keen racers competing at national or international level. We focus on learning and advancing skills, while having fun and making good friends. We’re delighted that the long-standing youth programme at the Club continues to go from strength to strength.

The CVLSC Youth Sailing Programme has been designed to help the Club’s youth sailors and their parents/ carers to support their young sailor’s current and aspirational skill levels via the following provision.

All of our provision is entirely organised by volunteers, many of whom have their own youth sailors to manage on and off the water, so we try our best to organise as much as we can. If you have some time to lend a hand in the organisation, we are always keen to hear from you – see the Youth Contact page for details.

Beginners and Chew Crew

We provide  Royal Yachting Association (RYA) Youth Sailing Scheme (YSS) Stage 1&2 formal qualification courses for young people aged between 8  and under 16 (by the start of the course). Over 16s can participate in the CVLSC RYA Training.

We also provide friendly informal group tuition to the same age sailors via our CVLSC Chew Crew sessions, for those who have achieved their RYA YSS Stage 2 qualification. These less formal but structured and fun training sessions providing an opportunity to put skills into practice and to build confidence on the water.

All of our courses and training sessions will be advertised in the club newsletter and website and they will be bookable via webcollect (see below).

Intermediates and Chew Crew

For those young sailors who have achieved their RYA YSS Stage 2, and have at least one season’s worth of sailing, we also provide the RYA YSS Stage 3 formal qualification course for young people aged between 8  and 16 (by the start of the course).

We also provide Chew Crew sessions for those young sailors of the same age and who have achieved their RYA YSS Stage 3 qualification. These informal but structured and fun training sessions provide an opportunity to further put skills into practice and to build confidence on the water.

They also introduce racing, as well as use of spinnakers, and basic seamanship.

Where it has been recommended by an RYA Dinghy Instructor, we also accept young sailors onto our RYA YSS Stage 4 formal qualification course. These courses are run less frequently, as is viable for the number of sailors recommended.

All of our courses and training sessions will be advertised in the club newsletter and website and they will be bookable via webcollect (see below).

Advanced Sailors and Racers

From Chew Crew young sailors can move into racing via the various Chew Race Groups or Club Racing programme.

Advanced young sailors can join youth racing and training courses that are organised on an ad-hoc basis throughout the year or RYA and class specific training (see our other pages on class specific junior and youth pathways).

If racing is not of interest and where it has been recommended by an RYA Dinghy Instructor, we also accept young sailors onto our RYA Assistant Dinghy Instructor (ADI) courses are available to allow progression and help instruct at Chew Crew. These ADI courses are run less frequently, as is viable for the number of sailors recommended.

All of our courses and training sessions will be advertised in the club newsletter and website and they will be bookable via webcollect (see below).

Booking via Webcollect

Youth Sailors must be members of Chew Valley Lake Sailing Club to access the CVLSC Youth Sailing Programme or RYA qualification courses.

Contact the Chew Crew Co-ordinators if you would like to find out more.  Contact details are listed on the Youth Contact page.

Youth FAQs

There are a number of FAQs answered here  for all CVLSC members. Here are some more specific FAQs in relation to young sailors/ our youth sailing programme.

When are the Youth courses provided?2024-05-09T15:14:34+01:00

The CVLSC youth ‘season’ usually runs from around the end of April/ start of May through to the start of the school summer holidays.  Our RYA YSS qualification courses and our Chew Crew programme are run during that season.

Ad hoc training sessions are also organised at other times over the spring, summer, autumn and even winter.

Is Youth safety cover provided?2024-05-09T15:12:46+01:00

Yes, full safety cover is in place during all of our CVLSC youth training sessions with powerboat drivers of at least RYA PB2 Level.

How would I book a Youth course?2024-05-09T15:22:15+01:00

All of our courses and training sessions will be advertised in the club newsletter and website, and they will be bookable via webcollect (see above).

Will I definitely get a space for my young sailor?2024-05-09T15:24:15+01:00

We usually have a very high level of interest in our youth training and courses. We try to accommodate as many children and young people as possible.

Unfortunately, there are a maximum number of spaces available on each of our training sessions and courses. All of these are organised by our volunteer youth team and we have expanded our offering as far as we possibly can around our own work and family commitments. If you would like to get involved in helping to organise youth training and events in order to support, or expand our offering further, please contact the CVLSC Youth team.  Contact details are listed on the Youth Contact page.

What key information do I need to know about the Youth training and courses?2024-05-09T15:29:48+01:00

Once booked, further details will be provided about our courses and training. Please note the following key points:

  • We will need your young sailor to arrive punctually to maximise time on the water for the whole group.
  • Young Sailors must be registered on arrival and signed out by their parent/ carer before leaving.
  • Plenty of warm clothing should be brought each week, including windproof and/or shower proof jacket and a change of clothes and shoes in case your young sailor gets wet during rigging, briefings etc.
  • A selection of buoyancy aids may be available for use, but participants are expected to bring their own. The senior instructor or lead coach is responsible for assessing the suitability of participants’ own buoyancy aids for CE mark, adequate buoyancy (50N or more) and signs of wear and tear.
  • Appropriate clothing for the conditions should be owned and worn on the water, including protective footwear at all times. In certain conditions, you will not be allowed on the water without wearing a wet suit or drysuit. We encourage members to sell outgrown junior clothing at the Club via the club noticeboard etc. You may also find outgrown kit on the likes of Facebook Marketplace – one possible group is here – or on ebay.
  • Parents/ Carers will need to help their young sailors with rigging, de-rigging and storage of all club and their own boats unless you are asked not to by the Co-Ordination team or instructors on the day.
  • No boat is allowed to launch unless appropriate safety cover is in attendance and it has been cleared by the CVLSC Officer of the Day and the lead Dinghy Instructor/ Chew Crew Co-Ordinator for the relevant course or event.
  • All young sailors must be prepared to enter the water for capsize drill and be able to swim 25 metres, whilst wearing a buoyancy aid.
  • A parent or guardian should be on site at all times. If in exceptional circumstances only, it has been agreed with the Event Organiser that a young sailor can sail without their parent/ carer present, then another Club member must be nominated as temporary guardian/ loco parentis.
  • A parent or guardian should be prepared to help out as the courses and training sessions are heavily reliant on volunteer help. Any charges made cover our costs only and assume volunteer help in order to keep them priced as they are, rather than at more commercial rates. You don’t need to be an experienced sailor (there is all sorts of help needed!), and it’s fun to be involved. Help will include activities such as: helping with launching and recovery of dinghies and rescue boats; crewing rescue boats; acting as a shore co-ordinator; and helping to ensure everything is tidied up at the end of the session. Our youth sailing programme relies on adult parent/ carer volunteers for the wide range of roles that keep this youth sailing going. Parents/carers will be asked to indicate, in the space available, on the relevant course booking form, how, in particular, they can help with the relevant course. Further details will then be confirmed ahead of the day of the course commencing.
  • As required, volunteers/ helpers will be sent details of the necessary procedures to be followed for child protection and safeguarding, such as the completion of RYA/ CVLSC DBS procedures. Please don’t be offended by this; it is an essential procedure to protect our volunteers where required.
  • If the weather is bad there will usually be shore based activities and theory sessions arranged instead of being on the water. If in extreme situations, the sessions need to be cancelled entirely, we will be in contact with you about this.
  • Mast head floats will be used routinely on all sailing dinghies participating in RYA training. This may be waived for those participating in a start racing course or for particular training exercises, at the discretion of the instructor. They are an option to consider for all sailing dinghies participating in race coaching.
  • Boats not directly owned by CVLSC (e.g. boats owned privately by members or a third party organisation) must have valid insurance. When used during our training sessions, you will also be asked to complete a corresponding contract prior to these craft being used in training.
  • All communication is via WhatsApp (an encrypted messaging App which is available on smartphones or computers), and parents/ carers of all young sailors attending courses will be expected to join the relevant WhatsApp groups to be up to date with arrangements and logistics.
What dinghy should my young sailor sail?2024-05-09T15:31:06+01:00

The dinghies used on our various courses and training sessions are explained above. Parents (and sailors) often want to know which boat their young sailors should be sailing as they progress, and perhaps when they consider buying their own dinghies (see our youth page setting out helpful information in relation to buying your own dinghy).

The Youth Team are happy to discuss potential options for your young sailor.  In very basic terms, sailors should be in the weight range of the boat, and at the correct skill level, to have the greatest chance of success and, most importantly, fun.

Do I need my own boat? What kind of dinghies do the young sailors use?2024-05-09T15:08:18+01:00

All of our organised youth training courses are carried out in dinghies appropriate to the young sailor and to the conditions, in a range of CVLSC owned Optibats, Toppers, RS Teras, RS Fevas, RS Quests or Laser Pico dinghies. If you have one of these dinghies of your own, then your young sailor may be able to use it during our organised courses, but you should contact us to discuss this and will need to complete forms to authorise such use (such as committing required levels of insurance are in place and disclaiming liability for damage etc.)

Young sailors who are CVLSC members may be able to use club dinghies at other times when they are not in use on club courses and when the lake is open. Hire fees may be relevant depending on the age of the sailor and the dinghy they would like to use (see here). You can arrange such use and make payment to the club’s Duty Officer on the day.

We would actively encourage you to consider young sailors getting their own boats as they progress with this brilliant sport, so that they can start to sail more regularly and get more involved in the Club sailing and racing.  There are a wide range of classes sailed by current youth as part of the club racing programme, including Toppers, ILCAS and 29ers – see the class specific youth pages for more details. More information about buying your own boats is set out below.

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