After our Learn to Sail course the sailor has the basics, and is ready to move into Blue Fleet and learn more. Our Blue Fleet programme is run in accordance with the Yachting NZ Sailing Fast (Level 2) course. Sailors will become capable of mixing it safely with other boats.
Whilst much of the sailing training is on learning how to race, great emphasis is also on having fun. Not all of our sailors want to compete in regattas and some just want to enjoy the sail! We run destination sails throughout the season, with sailing trips to local beaches to get an ice-cream or other treats. Our coaches are well skilled in designing games that have the children learning, whilst hunting for treasure or competing in fun events with the other sailors at the club.
Next step after Blue Fleet is our Green Fleet. Please click here for info on Green Fleet
YOUR CLASS REPRESENTATIVE
Your class rep will send you information you need to know through the season. They are the person to contact if you have any questions at any time.
WHAT’S NEW IN THIS FLEET? YOU WILL NEED AN OPTIMIST, CLOTHING AND A CLUB MEMBERSHIP.
You need an Optimist Each sailor is required to have their own boat to join the Blue Fleet program.
Check out boats our members are selling on our buy/sell page. If you are not sure on exactly what gear you need we recommend buying a boat of one of our members as they will be able to help make sure you have the correct set up for a beginner.
We suggest that you spend around $750-$2,000 for a boat for this class. It would ideally be made of fibreglass as they are usually more competitive than a wooden boat. We would not advise that you spend much more than these amounts on the initial boat for the Childs sailing career. These boats can get knocked around a bit as the children hone their sailing skills, and invariably some other child will hit the side of your boat, no matter how careful your child is. We have found that a reasonable boat purchased in Blue Fleet will get your child through until they are in open fleet, having raced in green for one or two years. TradeMe is often the best place to source a second-hand boat.
You need a life Jacket and appropriate Clothing Clothing is an essential component to the sailors having a good time and wanting to sail. There is nothing worse than being cold and wet. An investment in the correct gear by parents will certainly keep your child keen on the sport. I would recommend the following as a minimum:
Sailing buoyancy vest –this is one that does not have a collar at the back of the head. These can get the sailor caught on the boom.
Beanie or sun hat
Other options include: Thermal layers against the skin, Sailing gloves, Starting watch, Sunglasses, Jacket, Boots
3. You will now join and become a club member. A club Membership. Please click here for information on pricing. You will need a Junior club membership and Blue fleet also pay a coaching fee. If you are joining in term 1 you only need a half season membership and a half season subsidy. The membership year starts in October each year.
WHAT AGE AND SIZE SHOULD THE SAILOR BE?
The sailor should be between 8-13 years old and 25-50 kgs.
THE SAILORS ABILITY
After finishing Learn to Sail the sailor should be able to sail on their own and know the basics of the points of sailing plus be able to Tack and Gybe.
WHAT ARE THE TRAINING TIMES/DAYS?
Wednesdays 4pm – 7pm (Rigged and changed for a briefing at 4.20pm)
Saturdays 9am – Noon (Rigged and changed for a briefing at 9.20am)
Sessions run in term time through term 1 and 4. Please see the club calendar for exact dates.
Blue fleet intro evening – We run a intro evening for Blue fleet to welcome you to the club. During this we show you all around the club, run through how set up and back up go, show you how to access your storage spot if you have one and answer any questions you may have.
When you join Blue Fleet look out for the date of your intro evening in your welcome letter.
HOW LONG IS THE BLUE FLEET COURSE?
Sailors generally stay in Blue Fleet for one term. However this is not a given, and we will ensure that your child is competent, confident and happy to move to the Green fleet, rather than automatically pushing them through. Sometimes, a child’s progress may slow due to a term of bad weather or lengthy absence from the program. Similarly, some sailors progress extremely fast through the sailing programs. It is better to let the sailor guide the timing of their own progression through the Opti classes.
HOW DO I STORE THE BOAT?
You can request a boat storage spot at the club when you join or at any time by emailing Susannah Pyatt firstname.lastname@example.org. Please click here to see pricing. There are not always spots available so if this is the case you will be added to our boat storage waitlist. I’m sure you will have seen our Optimist storage in the bunker while you have been at the club. You are able to leave your sails rigged in the racks.
HOW CAN PARENTS HELP?
Sailing is a family sport and requires a lot of involvement from parents. The club has a roster to allocate the tasks for Sunday afternoons when we have club points racing. Parents are asked to volunteer for a task that may include, Beach duty for safety, organising launching and retrieving, kitchen duty, or perhaps helping to record finishes on the Race Committee boat. If you are unable to do your rostered day please arrange to swap with another parent and let one of the Green fleet convenors know.
Parents are also responsible for helping launch and retrieve the sailors. So please come prepared each time your sailor goes sailing to get wet. We realise, that non-rostered parents sometimes leave the beach with their child out on the water. Life is very busy and often we have many children requiring assistance. This is okay as long as you have arranged for someone else to take care of your child should they return to shore earlier than expected. In rough seas or easterly winds we would expect all parents to remain at the beach and be available at all times. Please check the forecast before coming to sail.
For club points racing and interclub regattas if your child is racing you will need to help out. Green fleet is a good time to get involved in the wider club duties while you can learn from the old hands! So please help out on kitchen duty, tractor duty, course setting etc where possible.
WHAT ABOUT SAFETY?
It is a good habit for all parents and sailors to know the weather forecast before coming to sailing. Warm clothing is a must for the early part of the season. Our coaches find it difficult to coach kids who are cold and may not necessarily be able to return your child to the beach for warmer clothing. A snack in their life jacket pocket can also help! A muesli bar, chocolate bar or barley sugars or anything wrapped is good.
If the weather is too bad to sail, please still come to the club. We use these sessions for extended theory, meaning that we can spend more time on the water at a later date. Often we have world class sailors available to give talks or lessons on tactics and starts.
HOW TO SIGN UP?
Visit the membership section of our website to sign up. If you have done a Learn to Sail Course with us and already have an account just sign in and click new registration.
You will need a Junior club membership and Blue fleet also pay a coaching fee. If you are joining in term 1 you only need a half season membership and a half season subsidy. The membership year starts in October each year.