The O’pen Bic is a single handed boat that is best suited to children from the age of 8 upwards. To compete in this class the children must have completed Learn to Sail stage one and stage two at Cronulla Sailing Club and must be competent sailors. O’pen Bics are great fun to sail and perform just like the bigger boats.
There are currently 13 children racing in this class with most boats being owned by the children. The club owns three O’pen Bic boats at the minute which are able to be rented out on race days at a cost of $25 per day. Club boats are allocated to the children that first commit to attending an event. If there are too many children for the number of club boats we will hire out optimist boats.
At each event we usually run three races depending on the conditions. We usually run a couple of scratch races first followed by a handicapped race. Each child is given a predetermined handicap before the day which is calculated on their previous results and their skill level.
Before each day we will talk with the children about the current conditions and each week we focus on a particular aspect of sailing. This could involve a lesson on a specific part of sailing, racing procedures or sailing tactics.
The parents and helpers then help the children launch their boats and then some of us jump in club support boats and go out into the bay with the children. All parents are encouraged to help the children with setting up and packing away of boats. After the days sailing we will also have a chat to the children about the day and let them know how they went.
We have found that this sailing has been very successful and the children love competing in these events. Next year we are hoping to have some interclub competitions and also get the children to compete in other competitions.
The children have really progressed with their skills and are going to become very competent sailors. If you do want your child to sail in this class please do not hesitate to have a chat with either Mark Brady, Marty Janes, Marty Kieselbach or John Hume.