Published on: 6 March 2015

Now in its fifth year, the Year 6 Sailing program continues to engage boys in a learning experience outside the classroom. Three classes have already completed the basic sailing course out of Freshwater Bay Yacht Club with one remaining.

Preparatory School Sailing Co-ordinator Jamie Fagan said the program, run over four half-days, aimed to teach boys resilience, self-belief and develop their problem-solving skills. Boys complete their GISBS Level 1, which includes learning to rig and de-rig, righting a capsized boat, skippering and crewing, a broad reach and sailing downwind.

Luke Colgan and Oliver Pemberton, from 6JP, shared their highlights:

Oliver: “On the first day Mr Fagan tested us to see if we could swim to a boat anchored out in the bay and capsize it and swim back. We sailed a boat called a pacer, which is a boat with two sails. One sail is called a jib the other a main sheet.”

Luke: “On the second day of the program (which in my opinion was the best) the wind was howling, the tide was high and the boats were skimming across the water like a bullet. Kai, Alex and myself were out on the water going really fast and leaning off the back of the boat. On the third day of sailing the wind was lazy and I’m pretty sure we were going backwards!”

Oliver: The last day was the best of them all. The wind was really weak so it was really relaxing. We slowly drifted to a sandbank just in front of the yacht club. When we had finally pulled all the boats up and walked onto the soft sandbank we had some delicious morning tea.

Luke: “The sailing program was totally worthwhile… and I had loads of fun as well as playing with all my new peers. I think that all the Year 6s will cherish this great program.”

Mr Fagan said the boys sailed from Dalkeith to Freshwater Bay, and Point Walter to Blackwall Reach, which was a fair distance for first-time sailors and often in hot conditions.