We keep trying to suss out how to get more youngsters into sailing and what better way than to find out what a young sailor likes about her club’s main regatta. 12 year old Chloe Walker had this to say about Parkstone Week, which despite clashing with the better known Cowes Week just down the road, attracted a couple of hundred youngsters plus parent helpers:

While some children spend their summer holidays sitting at home playing computer games others, like youth members of Parkstone Yacht Club in Poole, pull on wetsuits, buoyancy aids and spray tops and go and play on the sea water in Poole Harbour. Regardless of weather conditions we are all enjoying having lots of fun during the annual Youth Week being held at Parkstone Yacht Club, but open to members of other sailing clubs.

Days begin with the welcoming smell of bacon butties and coffee. After amusing, but informative briefings it’s time to tally, launch and get out on the water, where we love to be. Races are carefully planned and safely observed by a whole team of parents who help to make the week so possible. Fleets are divided into orange and pink courses (according to sailing ability and type of boat), so races are set to challenge everyone but so that all feel capable and confident to participate.

So far sun stroke has not been a major problem; it has been more a case of avoiding hypothermia! The first two days the wind was relatively kind, but Tuesday was a little more exciting. Safety boats and beach were kept busy and lots of us capsized, turned turtle, nose dived and basically got rather wet! Others stayed upright and whizzed round the courses super fast. It is not only a week of sailing though- it is a whole package of fun. Sunday saw about 200 youth sailors filling bath tubs with water, tug of war – in the water of course and other team work activities. The highlight of the event was not only getting wet but participating in activities with people of different ages, fleets and clubs. Old hands looked after little hands! With climbing walls, human table football, bungee run, bouncy castle and BBQ there has never been a quiet moment in the last few days. Even the local crabs know it is youth week as they joined in the fun of the annual crabbing contest where teams compete for the largest and greatest number of crabs caught.

Despite the dull weather it has certainly not dulled the fun we are all having! Pic from David Harding and more fun stuff here.