Young sailors at Tamesis sail in the International Cadet Class dinghy. It is one of two Royal Yachting Association nominated two-person junior training boats and has been the starting point for many successful yachtsmen and women. These boats are proper racing dinghies in miniature but are safe and stable. They were specifically designed so that they are too small to be comfortably sailed or crewed by an adult!
The Club’s focus is dinghy racing: it has produced several champions and even Olympic sailors over the years. Club racing is held on Sunday mornings throughout the year and on Thursday evenings in the summer. The Cadet Class has its own class start on Sundays.
The minimum age for children taking part is eight – largely for reasons of weight, strength and co-ordination. Children should be competent swimmers, happy in and around the water.
Coaching for youngsters takes place on Saturday afternoons between 14.00 and 16.00 in the spring and autumn (not during the summer school holidays or winter). The purpose is to develop boat handling, seamanship and teach the rules of sailing. A parent or nominated guardian must stay during the sessions. A safety boat is on hand at all times during organised club racing and coaching. The aim is to get the children sailing themselves, with adults supervising from the safety boat and from the bank. Coaching sessions are usually rounded off with a de-briefing to emphasise the key things learnt and to cover the racing rules. The objective is to build the skills to allow the children to take part in club races and open meetings.
While some of our youngsters have their own boats, the club owns several Cadets and other class dinghies that can be used under supervision for the coaching sessions and for club races. We are particularly keen to welcome children who have done some basic training. However, we can and do encourage complete beginners, who will start by crewing a more experienced sailor.
To take part, children who are not already members will need to become either full or temporary members of Tamesis Club for the period; they and their parent or guardian must agree to be bound by the club rules. Membership includes the use of the club facilities and club boats during organised sessions. (Please see MEMBERSHIP page.)
Our more advanced children also take part in RYA organised zone training and open meetings. We often see young Tamesis members training and competing at regional and national events.
Most important of all, Tamesis Cadets have lots of fun, are valued members of the club and enjoy the sailing.
What to do next
If you are interested you can visit the club any Sunday morning. Have a chat with our members and take in the scene! Alternatively telephone the Tamesis Cadet Class Captain (details to the right).