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On Saturday and Sunday 23rd and 24th May Greystones Sailing Club held its inaugural TrySail weekend which introduced 17 newcomers to the sport of Sailing. Managed by long-term club member Fiachra Etchingham and with a team of 22 volunteer instructors the course began on Saturday morning with coffee and a presentation on the sport of sailing, the club and how the newcomers could most easily get involved in the sport.  This was followed by a brief theory and safety session and then on the water in a variety of members dinghies and an Archambault 35. The wintry weather of recent weeks lifted and the trainees were treated to a weekend of glorious sunshine in Greystones bay. Intense competition between the catering teams ensured that the participants were treated to a lunches ashore of a very high standard each day. In addition a lively BBQ on Saturday night facilitated mingling between members and trainees and imparted a sense of the strong social side of sailing in Greystones. 

Sunday stared dull and a bit cooler but quickly brightened up with a fresh breeze.  The developing skills of the trainees facilitated a series of short races on tight courses using spinnakers and being as competitive as possible. The lively conditions ensured that a few had a “broader” experience including capsizing and falling out of the boat! (All of which was handled competently –albeit with some derision-by the rescue crews). Things got very lively later in the day when the A35 decided that the race course wasn’t really that small and joined in as well. 

The emphasis of the course was on fun and teaching basic crewing skills rather than theory or a great deal of helming. This seemed popular with the participants with even those who decided that sailing was not for them confirming that it was a memorable weekend. A good proportion of the participants expressed an interest in further sailing and GSC has developed a program to accommodate them.

Running the event was demanding with over 35 volunteers involved but the consensus was that both volunteers and trainees had great fun and that as a means of introducing newcomers to the sport it definitely worked and would be repeated.

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