Sailing on the Mornington Peninsula can be one of the most exhilarating experiences. Always ready for a new challenge, University of the Third Age (U3A) Mornington proved that it is never too late to learn. A happy group of 9 members completed a series of four training sessions this summer with the Mornington Yacht Club. “They are keen sailors and really good fun” said Bruce Carter, Sailing Instructor at the club.
After a briefing with Bruce, they quickly checked the weather forecast and prepared to sail. Wearing life jackets, flat shoes and sunscreen, they quickly climbed two at a time into the five Access 303 sailing boats for their final training session. With the wind in their sails, they headed out of the harbour checking their radio link with Bruce following in the Safety Motor Boat.
Passing the magnificent sailing yachts in the harbour, Glen talked about his experience of teaching U3A members. “Well, they are very independent. I have had to adapt my style as I have been teaching school groups who don’t question instructions quite so much!” said Bruce. Leaving the calm of the harbour, we head into light winds on the bay. Bruce keeps count of the 303s now moving in different directions with the fresh breeze and sun on their sails.
Bruce calls all boats on his radio and warns them of a wind change. “There is a lot to learn and training in the small 303s provide the basic experience needed to sail even larger boats,” said Bruce. Quickly noticing one of the group sail into the distance, Bruce said.
“Hold on tight, they are on course for Geelong! Revving the engine on the safety boat he speeds out after them. As a passenger, I feel and smell the salt water spray on my face. This is fun!”
Back at the Yacht Club, Michelle Pickford, Training and Development Manager offers the group the opportunity to help crew several of the yachts competing in the Twilight Race that evening. Michelle said, “They have been a ‘spunky’ group and our yacht club members will welcome them.”
Join us at U3A Mornington. www.u3amornington.com.au. Live, Learn, Enjoy.
Photos thanks to Silvana Donnolli