Set course for sailing fun

ON THE CITY'S DOORSTEP: Newcastle Cruising Yacht Club provides a range of sailing opportunities that enable people of all ages and skills to enjoy being on the water.
ON THE CITY'S DOORSTEP: Newcastle Cruising Yacht Club provides a range of sailing opportunities that enable people of all ages and skills to enjoy being on the water.

Newcastle Cruising Yacht Club is all about getting people sailing and enjoying the sport.

Established in 1994, the club offers a range of sailing opportunities that cater from the novice right through to the seasoned passage sailor.

"We cater primarily to keelboat sailing, particularly offshore, and hold our club racing on Sundays," NCYC Sailing Academy manager Jacqui Ellis said. "We also cater for single-handed dinghy sailing in the Laser class, which race every Friday evening, alongside our twilight yacht series."

Being a "younger" club, NCYC strives to be progressive and innovative, as reflected in the move to purchase a fleet of Elliot 6s.

"The club recognised that people are time poor, and so with this initiative we're enabling members to sail without some of the obstacles that come with conventional boat ownership," Jacqui said.

"Members can 'pay and play' as part of an inshore racing series, and at the end of the day head home while the club looks after the boats.

"It increases the accessibility of sailing and that's what we're all about."

This broad spectrum of sailing opportunities is supported by the NCYC Sailing Academy.

"The main focus at the Academy is teaching people how to sail, and sail better, and ultimately encourage boat ownership and/or regular crewing positions on other boats," Jacqui said.

"We have a very active kids learn to sail program called "Tackers" where the club supplies all the boats, lifejackets and fully qualified instructors.

"It's suitable for kids from six years of age up and we also offer a pathway for them to progress up to keelboats from 11 years.

"We also have a youth racing squad program run during the winter months that coaches children in the more competitive racing side of keelboat sailing."

During the summer months - from about September onwards.- NCYC is running pretty much seven days a week with various learn to sail programs

"Two of our really popular programs are Wednesday Women's Sailing and Friday Harbour Sailing during daylight savings," Jacqui said.

"People can come down from the office and head out onto the harbour for a casual and enjoyable sail. It's a great way to learn the basics of sailing with an instructor on board who shows you the ropes, literally."

Alternatively, you can do an Australian Sailing syllabus course, which NCYC regularly conduct, ranging from the basics of crewing, helming, skippering through to advanced seamanship skills.

"It all depends on how much detail you want to learn," Jacqui said.

For times and course costs visit www.ncyc.net.au, or for more information ring 4940 8188 or email sailingacademy@ncyc.net.au..

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