Record numbers enjoy Volvo Sailing…Have a Go!

by Danika Mowlem

Yachting New Zealand’s Volvo Sailing…Have a Go! programme has wrapped up for another season and, despite Mother Nature wreaking havoc with the schedule at times, a record number of Kiwi kids experienced sailing this summer.

It has been an interesting but successful season of Sailing…Have a Go! The rockstar-instructor team of Reuben, Simon and Henry ran Have a go! days for nearly 3600 students from 100 schools at affiliated yacht clubs all over the country, providing children with a fun and safe introduction to sailing and their local club.

Neither earthquakes and cyclones nor the never-ending wait for summer could thwart the fun, with more than 90 percent of participants expressing an interest to continue sailing. Contact details for these kids have been passed on to yacht clubs for them to encourage them and their families to open days and learn-to-sail courses.

There were plenty of highlights. The northern trailer ventured out to Great Barrier Island where the sailors were greeted by perfect weather and dolphins.

While the best youth sailors in the world were battling it out at the Youth Sailing World Championships in Torbay in December, more than 170 local North Shore kids were also experiencing sailing; many for the first time, nicely highlighting the potential pathway for those who take up sailing as a sport. And for the first time, all three trailers operated during the January school holidays, allowing more kids the opportunity to experience the thrills and spills of sailing.

For many, capsizing is the favourite activity of the day, although “going fast”, “going far out to sea”, “the Weta” and “the games we played” also make the list. Teachers and parents get a thrill out of seeing their students pushed outside of their comfort zone, and watching them grow in skill and confidence as the day goes on.

Water safety is also a big part of a Sailing…Have a Go! day and kids are taught the importance of wearing adequate clothing and correctly-fitted life jackets, and ensuring weather conditions are right for sailing.

Check out more of the fun here

A big thanks to the yacht clubs and volunteers who have supported the Volvo Sailing…Have a Go! programme, and to Volvo and The Lion Foundation for their generous support which enables the programme to operate.

A special mention must be given to Reuben Corbett, who has moved on after having been the instructor for the northern region for five seasons.

(Reuben Corbett)

Over this time, Reuben has taken more than 7700 kids sailing. He has been an enormous asset to the Sailing…Have a Go! programme and his skills and manner with the kids has left big shoes to fill. Regional Support Officer Kim Admore has said, “no one can get kids sailing faster than Reuben”.  

Reuben has taken over as the Royal New ZEaland Yacht Squadron's youth training programme training manager, so will be dealing with slightly bigger kids now. We wish him the best of luck.

The Volvo Sailing…Have a Go! trailers will be back on the road at the start of term 4. Yacht clubs or schools interested in having the Volvo Sailing… Have a Go! programme visit next season should contact Danika Mowlem (DDI (09) 361 4028 or danika@yachtingnz.org.nz). See more information here.

01 May 2017
02 May 2017