Joining the program
When parents register their child in the Junior Sailing Program, at least one parent must also become a member of the sailing club. Our constitution requires that all people making use of the facilities must be at least associate members. This is required as children cannot join on their own. In addition, both child and parent must be members of Australian Sailing for insurance purposes. For that reason we ask for parent's date of birth and other details.
All parents are joined to a WhatsApp group at the start of a season. Parents can use this to coordinate transport, share photos and the like. The group is also the club's primary method for communicating last minute information. Registration processes etc are conducted via email.
All successful junior sailors and sailing clubs rely on parents to help run their programs. There are two key reasons.
First, children respond well when their parents understand what they are doing and show interest in how they are progressing. Like any sport, children need to be gently nudged and encouraged to improve by their parents, to turn up every session and develop a good attitude to learning. Once they reach a tipping point of skill and experience they generally become self managing. Until then, we need parents to show up each week and keep their child focused on the task of getting ready to sail. On the flip side, children never like being told what to do by their parent. So when the children are actually on the water we have coaches to take over and provide the core tuition. However, the more boats and adults we have on the tender boats the better because it allows coaches to focus on direct tuition while the parents set courses and support capsized boats.
Secondly, sailing is a complex equipment heavy sport. Rigging and derigging up to ten boats in a short period of time is a major exercise and when people are learning they need a lot of one-on-one help that is beyond the capacity of a small club to provide. The faster this job is done, the faster we can get onto learning. In addition, there are background organisational tasks and we like to add extra fun activities to make the program enjoyable so usually have a list of things to do. Many hands make light work so we expect all parent to participate.
As a result, we ask parents of junior sailors to:
Learn how to rig Sabots and be present to encourage/supervise their children during rigging and unrigging on every sailing day (approximately the first 30 and last 30 minutes) and remain present till their child is on the water. The task is to ensure they stay focused on the job are not distracted.
Be jointly responsible, with their child, for the maintenance and upkeep of their assigned boat for the season. While the club will fund parts/replacements and undertake any major remedial work, parents are expected to regularly examine their boat, undertake minor repairs and report any issues.
Assist in one or more other duties listed below on a regular basis. A duty roster will be established at the start of the season. If a parent is not able to fulfil their duty they should contact other parents via the course What's App group to organise a replacement.
As an optional extra, we invite parents to attend one twilight racing event in the Yachting fleet, with their child to get a sense of large fleet racing.
Parents of Advanced Sailors are expected to support their child at a small number of regattas away from the club.
Deck Devotee - Stay in the club while the children are on the water. Operate the club radio and respond to requests from coaches as required. Assist children coming off the water during and at the end of the training session. Ensure strangers do not enter the club.
Tender Talent (boat licence required) - Drive any of the club vessels as required (normally the large Arvor). Drop and retrieve course buoys. Set up start lines and facilitate start sequences. Support capsized boats.
Rigging Reporter: Check children in and out of the club. Note any incidents on the appropriate reporting sheet. Poll each crew for maintenance/repair issues and log them in the What's App group
Grill Guru : Purchase ingredients (sausages+bread) and cook them on the BBQ so they are ready at the end of the session for children to enjoy. Receipts renumerated.
Performance Officer - Purchase prizes and, in consultation with coaches, award encouragement prizes weekly. Work with the head coach to periodically assess and measure children's progress against defined skill levels. Record club championship race results and award a season end.
Other Parental Activities
Note: To regularly participate in these other activities, parents will need to pay the appropriate membership fee.
Become a crew member on one of 70+ fleet of cruising yachts. We race every Wednesday evening. As part of the Learn to Sail program, we invite parents to try out Twilight racing.
If you can already sail, join our Laser fleet, which sails at the same time as our afternoon children courses. This is also a progression path for teenagers wanting to further develop their skills.
On most Saturdays we head further afield to enjoy the splendor of our harbour. Challenge yourself with racing or just go cruising with friends.