Up, up and a wave as club gets new base

Shetland Windsurfing Club is gearing up for a hotly-anticipated season of action at its base in the new extension at Delting Boating Club in Brae.

The extension is being used exclusively by the club in season, and has allowed a much improved storage area for the kit – looking almost akin to that you would find in any specialist windsurfing resort anywhere.

The area will also be used for storage and for a demonstration and teaching by the club’s in­structors.

Club representative Laurence Smith said they were extremely grateful to Delting Boating Club for the use of the extension.

He also higlighted some of the current activities, firstly the club being open to everyone over 12 including girls. Smith said: “If you’ve never tried windsurfing before the club is starting the season with two taster sessions as advertised below.

“With no commitment you can book a place on the taster session then just turn up with suitable footwear and a towel and we’re away. The club has a full complement of wetsuits to fit all ages and sizes and a full range of buoyancy aids – compulsory to wear.

“Through the club’s development plan ‘Up, up and a wave’ a lot has been achieved over recent years and thanks to the assistance of Shetland Islands Council we now have a great range of beginner and intermediate boards and a wide range of rig and sail sizes.”

The club has two land-based simulators catering for both begin­ners and intermediates. These allow skills to be easily demon­strated on land by the instructor and allow the student the opportunity to try before hitting the water. This year the club will have the ability to video people on water to show them where it is all going wrong, or right as the case may be.

Robert Geddes, Laurence Smith and Malcolm Smith will be arranging the courses this year using the RYA’s new “Star” course with Geddes available to instruct the new RYA Intermediate Planing course.

Smith said safety was a key issue for the clubs who had their own powerboat with qualified person­nel.

“Windsurfing is a great sport,” he said. “There is nothing quite like it and Shetland is a fantastic place to enjoy this water sport at all levels. The club would like to hear from any individual, group or business interested in either joining the club or wishing to have a go.”

Following the taster session or, for anyone else who wishes, the club offers full instruction in the new RYA “Start” training course. The course provides an introduction to the sport, teaching people the fundamentals enabling them to get up and sailing around in as little as eight hours and with instructors even less.

The courses are run over five sessions during which time the student is guided through the basics of sailing, steering and changing direction as well as controlling the power in the sail. The course also includes an introduction to the basics of launching and rigging as well as covering issues such as safety and sailing theory.

A log book charts people’s pro­gress through the Start program­me, ensuring that all aspects of the course are delivered and the basic standards achieved. Completion of the course then enables the learner to progress to the RYA Intermediate training courses which is when they really get going. The intermediate courses are split into two competencies levels – non-planing and planing – or they may be combined on the course. On completion the learner will begin to feel more confident in stronger winds and have gained a degree of confidence in the use of the harness and footstraps and enjoying an increase in speed.

To sign up for a taster session or a Start or intermediate course tele­phone Robert Geddes on 07525 892988.


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