Sociable Saturdays at Grafham

The club is always buzzing on a Saturday from April until the end of October (or later if the weather holds), with coaching, informal racing and cake.

On Saturday mornings we have an Adult Coaching session. This is run by our experienced coaches Matt and Mandy and is open to anyone with RYA Level 2. We meet at 10:00, dressed and rigged ready to go afloat. The session starts with a briefing on what exercises the group will be doing before going out to put the theory into practice. There is a debrief and a chance to discuss what happened before the session ends at 12:30. To join in, register on WebCollect.

Next comes the sociable bit – lunch and cake.

At 1pm there is a briefing for the Sociable Saturday races which start between 1:45 to 2pm according to conditions. There are two races back-to-back, aimed at those who want to start getting into racing away from the cut and thrust of serious Wednesday and Sunday club racing.  More experienced participants are on hand to buddy up and help you if requested. You can sign on for racing on WebCollect, or alternatively at the briefing.

In non-Covid times both lunch and the briefing tend to happen in the café, but while there are restrictions on meeting indoors, these are happening on the benches outside the café.

At 13:30 Matt and Mandy head off with the junior members of the club for their Team Grafham coaching session.

Sociable Saturday racing is run on a triangular course with all boats starting together. The sailing instructions and course diagram can be found here. The emphasis is on learning and fun rather than being super-competitive.  These races are dependent on volunteers from within the Sociable Saturday cohort.  Ideally three, comprised of a race officer and companion in the committee boat and RIB driver for mark laying and safety.  These roles are also carried out in an informal fashion to enable participants to learn race management, mark laying and safety without the stress of formal events.  Volunteers can view vacancies and sign up on DutyMan.  If we’re short of help this will be posted on the WhatsApp group.

Afterwards there is a chance to enjoy more cake and discuss the day.

Wendy Horton makes sure that everybody is welcome and aware of what’s going on and not least who’s baking what. She runs a WhatsApp group where updates on the planned programme and volunteer requests are posted and reports back on the day for those that can’t make it.

You can join in as much or as little of the day as you like, there is no need to do the coaching if you just want to join the racing, and vice-versa. You don’t need to commit to being there every week, it’s not compulsory to bake and bring cake, come and enjoy when you can.