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Youngsters learn the ropes during five-day sailing course

Kieran Geraghty now 16 got in touch to say "Please NAC Councilors don't close the Outdoor Centre. I learnt so much there and it was great fun. Back in 2016 he wrote this for the Arran banner

A five-day youth sailing course run by the Arran Outdoor Centre in Lamlash earlier in the month saw three local boys taking part in the Royal Yachting Association approved training. One of those taking part, Kieran Geraghty, aged nine, gave the Arran Banner his write-up.

‘I was quite new to the sport of sailing and at the start it was quite hard. Martin Wood, our instructor, explained how to rig the boat and how it worked. There were two controls: the main sheet, which controls the sail, and the tiller, which controls the boat. We were all in our individual boats Lazer Picos. Martin was in a rigid inflatable boat (RIB). There were three of us on the course, Rory, 10 Ben Worthington, nine, and me, Kieran Geraghty.

‘It was really fun to be captain of your own ship. One of the days we sailed to Holy Isle in our own boats for a picnic. When the wind is strong it feels like it is trying to pull you off the boat, but you can go faster by pulling in the sail. A flappy sail is not a happy sail, we were told.

‘When you start or if it’s windy, you can wrap the sail round the mast to make it smaller. Once we had got the hang of it, Martin asked if we wanted to try the sail fully unfurled. We said yes. When it was fully out, it was a lot harder to control and you could go a lot faster. Once I was going so fast water was going into my boat. Another time I got the main sheet rope tangled with the tiller and I couldn’t release it to go slower. I could feel myself leaning over more and more and knew I was going in. I had time to say, Bye bye! and jumped in the water. I swam around like I had been taught and pulled on the dagger board which sticks out under the boat. Then I could right the boat and climb back on board. We all capsized a few times during the course.

‘When the wind was too strong for learning solo, we sailed as a team in the Hawk 20s. I would definitely recommend going on this course and I want to continue to learn to sail. Hopefully, I can do another day sailing with the centre in the summer with the rest of my family and show them how to sail.’


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