Junior sailors take to the water at last

The AJSC crew on Can Do.

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After 18 months of restrictions, lockdowns and two cancellations of their Ocean Youth Trust (OYT) sailing trip, 10 Arran youngsters finally achieved their competent crew certification and had a taste of big boat sailing.

The eight-day course hosted by the Arran Junior Sailing Club (AJSC) covered the competent crew syllabus which involved learning sailing techniques and seamanship skills each day.

The children enjoyed an exciting week of dinghy and yacht sailing in Lamlash as well as longer passages to Sanda and An Caladh, Kyles of Bute.

With the emphasis on having fun, the highlights for the young sailors included helming a 46ft yacht, halyard flying, climbing the mast, paddle boarding, swimming from the yacht and dinghy racing.

A club spokeswoman said: ‘Well done to all the youngsters for being such good sports and showing great enthusiasm for all the challenges presented to them.

‘Our thanks to the CAN Group for the use of the yacht Can Do, and to Adam for volunteering to help make this such a great experience.

‘Also to OYT for the use of its waterproofs. To Peter Dunn of Lochranza Distillery, Liz Mclean from Brodick Co-op and Duncan McColm of Home and Garden, Brodick for their kind and generous donations, and to Alan Dixon for the use of his mooring.

‘Thanks to Sally Hunter for her fascinating Q & A session about her ‘maiden’ circumnavigation, and to Martin Wood and Tim Crocket for a fascinating tour of the lifeboat and station.

‘The event could not have gone ahead without all the AJSC volunteers, in particular a huge thanks to Gavin Cameron, without his lightbulb moment and hours of organisation this project would not have happened.’

The AJSC is based in Lamlash and offers sailing lessons to Arran school pupils from P7 upwards.

It has an extensive fleet of all manner of sailing vessels and operates during the summer term and through the first half of the autumn term.