Welcome to the Training Committee page.
Here you can find general information, forthcoming events, photographs and news articles from the Training Committee.
For many years RCC has been a club that offers a range of training opportunities as demand dictates. Theory courses are arranged to cover many aspects of sailing to include First Aid, Navigation and DSC/VHF Radio. These are based at the Clubhouse, Lytham Promenade and are run by qualified (to RYA standards where appropriate) RCC volunteer members, or, by other providers.
Additional training can be arranged when there is a demand and over recent years this has included Safety Awareness sessions for operators of some of the vehicles and machinery in use both at the Clubhouse site and at the Dock, the two places where most activity occurs through the year. We have recently taken delivery of two defibrillators, one at each of the two sites mentioned with many members have taken part in training to enable us to use them effectively, should the need ever arise
Practical sail training
RCC was recognised in 2015, as an RYA Training Centre for practical dinghy training for youngsters and adults.
We put this new status to good use during the season just ending and are currently planning how to extend and increase the practical training we can offer during the 2017 season on the two sites open to us.
Where does this happen
The marine lake at Fairhaven gives us access to local sheltered water on Wednesday evenings during spring and summer months. This gives us an ideal opportunity to introduce beginners to sailing in a safe (and shallow-water) environment. Fylde Borough Council are working with us to enable additional times when we can undertake training sessions during weekends and this is something we anticipate extending in the coming season.
We have access to the River Ribble from our well-equipped, pleasant Clubhouse and this means we can venture out on the river at all times of the year when conditions are suitable. As we are on a tidal estuary, sailing on the river is dependent largely on the availability of water as tides dictate. Naturally, this allows us the opportunity to offer course members a flavour of tidal sailing – to prepare them for ventures further afield should they wish, as their confidence increases.
What boats are in use
In recent years we have invested heavily in replacing many of our aging Club boats, the wooden boats required much time-consuming tender care in their maintenance. The replacements are more sturdy ‘plastic’ boats that can better withstand the rigours of training, consequently requiring far less need to devote hours to maintenance. These newer single and double-handed boats appeal to both youngsters (and those of us with a few more years under our belts) alike!
Sailing and clothing/gear
As a club, we are not in a position to provide you with all the gear you will need to sail throughout the year. We can provide the use of a buoyancy aid (an essential for dinghy sailing), but apart from that you will need a minimum of equipment to take part in courses at Fairhaven Lake.
Soft-soled footwear (trainers will do) and lightweight waterproof jacket and trousers will usually suffice. Technical clothing can be an expensive investment and is unlikely to be necessary at the beginning.
Sailing on the river will however entail buying a wetsuit as temperatures tend to be less forgiving out on the river in a blustery day. These days it seems that these can be easily acquired fairly cheaply. We advise against spending a lot of money unless and until you are certain that sailing is for you.
Training at RCC
Training is open to all, although practical sessions are run for Club Members only.
This should not be seen as an obstacle as our subscription fees are extremely reasonable (see the Membership section of the website) and offer access to a range of facilities.
RCC runs shore-based courses (Navigation in particular), held occasionally through the year, details of which will be highlighted on the website as Events, with further details easily obtained by following the instructions.
We are first and foremost a Private Members Club and to participate in practical training we invite newcomers to become Members of RCC. This entitles them to make use of Club boats and to receive coaching and instruction as appropriate. We use a range of boats for training, most of which are ‘plastic’ boats to ease the burden of maintenance.
Practical Sail Training
This is on offer through the season in Dinghies, beginning during March/April and finishing around the end of October. This is either from the Clubhouse, or, on nearby Fairhaven Lake and offers a range of experiences from the ‘small-scale’ sailing on the Marine Lake to the more challenging tidal waters of the Ribble Estuary – ‘on the doorstep’ of the Clubhouse. Depending on the type of tuition needed, either venue is accessible whether to adults or children, depending on weather conditions and other factors.
RYA – RTC
RCC has recently been recognised for practical training and as a Recognised Training Centre (RTC), we operate according to RYA standards during our training. Our Training Team consists of volunteer Dinghy Instructors and Senior Instructors with other Club Members giving invaluable assistance on occasions, especially providing additional powerboat escort support when needed, as well as supporting people as they become conversant with the basics of rigging and boat preparation.
RCC boats range from the smallest, Optimist dinghies – for ‘small people’, preferably 7y.o. upwards, to the largest, Wayfarer and Laser 2000 – suitable for the use of adults and larger youngsters. We follow the RYA National Sailing Scheme for adults and the Youth Scheme for youngsters, which we have found gives a good grounding in sailing whether in Dinghies, or Keelboats and Cruisers.
Introduction to Sailing
RCC offers newcomers a chance to “Try before you buy” with its successful and long-running “Try Sailing” sessions. These are held at Fairhaven Lake for 5 or 6 Wednesdays around the months of April/May and have proved a gentle way to become interested in taking up Sailing as a sport. Details are to be found on the website or in the Local List. After a few free sessions on the Lake, we invite applications for membership of the Club and this can be the first steps to a lifetime’s interest in the sport.
Many of our members follow this route and end up buying a dinghy or small cruiser to continue learning and with the support of Instructors and Members, RCC will encourage all to progress in their interest, whether in a dinghy, cruiser or even as part of a flotilla abroad.
We look forward to your interest in what we have to offer as far as Training goes and hope that you will join us at RCC as we help you take your first steps towards a satisfying and challenging pastime, I promise you, it will be worth your while!
RCC Training Principal
We look forward to hearing from you should you be interested in finding out more about what we have to offer in the way of training. Navigate on the RCC website to the ‘Contact Us’ page to send us a message via e-mail.
We always do our best to respond quickly when e-mails arrive, so why not give us a try? You may well find yourself one of the growing numbers of people who have found that catching the sailing bug can lead to a widening of your horizons with the added bonus that it keeps you fit and in good company!