Royal Yacht Club of Tasmania

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The Royal Yacht Club of Tasmania conducts its junior and youth beginner training and sailing activities for the community through its Dinghy Group, using small one to two person dinghies. Dinghy Group is one of a small number of Yachting Australia registered training establishments in Tasmania and is operated by volunteers and paid coaches working together to run a safe and fun sail training program for children and youth in a variety of small boats. The group owns and maintains a fleet of 10 optimist and 8 sabot dinghies for use by children attending sail training programs. Having club boats available allows increased accessibility to sail training for community members. The Dinghy Group also maintains safe sailing equipment such as rescue boats, marker buoys, life jackets and radios.

The Dinghy Group develops children’s skills, particularly those who would not normally have the opportunity to sail, through popular programs that are often run in conjunction with school education programs. The Group provide flexible sail training programs that remove barriers to participation, promote social inclusions and provide for as many young people as possible. The Dinghy Group strengthens the capacity by training youth sailors in sail coaching and boat handling skills. In turn, these young sailors assist with the delivery of the junior program learning new life skills, accountability and responsibility whilst acting as mentors and role models for the sail training program participants.

To cater for the increasing number of participants in the Dinghy Group’s sail training programs (there were more than 400 participants in 2012) additional safety equipment was required. In Grant Round 25 the Tasmanian Community Fund provided a grant for a little over $1 200 to enable the Dinghy Group to purchase additional safety buoys. The additional buoys have been used to mark out safe sailing areas for novice sailors, as marks to learn to sail around and as race area markers.