Last weekend (9-10th May) was a busy one around the club. While 30+ volunteers conducted an extensive beach clean before being rewarded with a barbeque on the Saturday, a group from Both Toward and Isle of Bute Sailing Clubs were put through their paces by Advanced Powerboat Instructor, John Small, as they worked towards their RYA Safetyboat certificate. Toward offers this service to its near neighbour at minimal cost as part of its philosophy of raising the standard of all types of boating skills on an entirely voluntary, non-profit making basis.
Saturday morning began with the theory of power boat driving before the candidates headed out to put this theory into practice. Conditions were ideal – fairly flat water and plenty of sunshine – just like the images in the RYA training videos! By the end of day 1 both skill and confidence had increased substantially.
Sometime between Saturday evening and Sunday morning summer changed back into winter. Sunday dawned gray and blustery – nothing at all like the RYA training videos! Some of the exercises of the previous day were repeated illustrating how different conditions can make a seemingly simple task much more challenging. In the afternoon the candidates were given the chance to put their newly acquired rescue skills into practice as the only sailor who had turned up for racing volunteered (some would say was press ganged) to join them as “the casualty”. With the wind continuing to increase this gave them the chance to experience the reality of providing safety cover -nothing like the RYA training Videos! Pleased to say they were successful!