Monday, June 20, 2011

Intro to Hobie Sailing Weekend

My name is Deborah Sue and I took part in the Intro to Hobie Sailing Course organised by Fleet 252 held over the weekend of 28-29th May, 2011 in Laucala Bay. The main objective of the weekend was to have fun learning to sail Hobie Cats in a safe environment.

So! After a Friday evening 'classroom session' getting a preview of the hobie lifestyle and diagrammatic no sail zone, upwind, downwind and all the points in between; we started Saturday morning with learning the parts of the boat and rigging on land before launching off onto the water. Clear sunny skies and a nice gentle breeze of about 10-15 knots was perfect for us beginners and particularly those who'd never skippered before! Moape of the Youth Hobie Team was our instructor for the day and a very knowledgeable teacher for Cameron and me. After many practice tacks and gybes we all eventually got to the sandbank for lunch and a demonstration on Fiji's secret method of easily fixing stuck rudder cams. The wind picked up towards the end of the afternoon much to the thrill of some, and one team in discovering the love for speed on the water got a head-start on the following day's lesson on recovery of a capsized boat!!

All in all, it was a fantastic day out ... although a bit tiring as most disappeared soon after chowing down the yummy BBQ organised by Stephen and gang.

Sunday turned out to be surprisingly sunny (given all the rain Suva usually gets!) and after another class session with the blackboard, it was time to hit the water. At least half of us had harnesses this time and discovered the exhilaration of hiking out on the trapeze ... however, the promising strong winds of the early morning eased much and resulted in many a dunking! Oh, what FUN!! Capsize recovery was the lesson for the afternoon and our monkey-agile instructor (Cyril) much enjoyed climbing around on the boat as well as us to demonstrate the techniques.

The Course concluded on Monday evening at the Royal Suva Yacht Club with a last lecture from Lead Instructor Paul Littlefair, on basic meteorology to give us an idea of how local and global weather patterns come about, and how to interpret weather charts.

Vinaka vakalevu to all our instructors over the weekend! Paul, Grahame, JP, Shayne, Stephen, Epeli, Moape, Cyril, Manoa and Marshall. Also, our support and rescue crew: Bronwyn, Led, Mika and Gus, and photographer, Karl.

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