The first thought in my head when the alarm went off at 7:30am on the first day of my half term holiday was not ‘hooray’, especially as there was a thick frost and the temp gauge was still at 1oC! However, this particular day was to be not only my first visit to Beaver SC, but also my first ‘Frolic’ – a much talked about event amongst the juniors in the north. So, despite the hour and the temperature, I was reasonably keen to start my day. From a weather point of view, the day couldn’t have been better. Cloudless blue sky, plenty of sunshine and a fair wind – certainly enough to create some great sailing, even if it was a bit chilly.
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We started with a briefing from the coaches and we got to pick the focus for the day – starting and spinnaker work seemed to be in demand so that’s what we did. Given the light winds the coaches gave us a land session on ‘setting a boat’. This 20min session actually proved invaluable and I personally learnt a lot - and also realised how wrong I’d been getting it before!
Out on the water, the wind had begun to pick up nicely, giving us plenty of opportunity for starting practise and lots and lots of spinnaker work, in particular learning how to gybe properly with the spinnaker up.
Lunchtime and some hot food came as a welcome break, but it wasn’t long before we were ready for the off again. Our coaches thought a game of ‘ladders’ would be good before we launched. To say this got competitive was an understatement with everybody tripping, cheating with short cuts and generally doing anything possible to win…but above all, we laughed.
It was then back out for more sailing, and this time it was ‘rabbit’ starts. This is incredibly easy to get wrong and the windward and leeward rules generally went out of the window. Again, the competitive spirit amongst the fleet was at a high, but it was all done in the best fun with plenty of shouting – oh, and a certain Ed Grayson armed with a peashooter firing wet sweet wrappers just added to the ‘frolics’.
We ended the day with a race which was won by the Lulham-Robinson brothers, Matt & Ben. Interestingly they had pitched up in the morning with their new boat only half built. A challenge before they had even hit the water.
A great day and looking forward to Day 2 – although the weather forecast looks like it might be a bit more challenging.
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