Improving and Advanced skills descriptions

RYA Recognised Training Centre
RYA Recognised Training Centre

The advanced courses are much more fun than the beginners courses. They are all run by Llandegfedd Sailing Club. We have a wide range of boats to sail, and can chose between racing and just going for speed with spinnakers. The Seamanship course gives an insight to some unusual skills such as Rudderless Sailing - seemingly a sort of magic. (You can ride a push bike with no hands already?). The skills progression can be quite intense, and gives a lot of confidence as you find out how to control a boat better, and maybe in stronger winds than you might otherwise have experienced.

We want to do a lot more to encourage those who can sail, but don't want to race, or need more confidence before they try racing. Some ideas are included on this page, both for safety supervision and some courses to whet your appetite. Specifically, we have a set of "Supported Sailing" days for those who can sail to the Level 2 standard, but need more practice to gain confidence and skills to be safe with less supervision. We are offering a value deal of 3 days of instructor led training for the cost of a two day course.

We also have our “Meet a Mentor” scheme where you can get some one-to-one instruction on a specific point of sailing. See our Meet a Mentor information pages. 

The courses listed below are part of the RYA scheme that develops from basic skills, through Advanced courses and you could end up with Racing to the level at which you may wish to compete. The club's Instructors are all experienced racing sailors, and with practice you could also become expert at this wonderful sport. The sequence of courses and how they fit in the overall scheme is shown in the following diagrams

RYA Course Progression
RYA Course Progression

Informal Supervision and Coaching

Whenever the club is active with either training or racing, we will have a rescue boat (or boats) on the water. If you already own a boat, or if you want to borrow a club boat when most people are racing, its an ideal time to sail and know there is someone watching out for you. We will be asking our powerboat drivers to become a little more involved when they have a chance to do so. There will be limitations on how much support you get, of course, but some ideas are here:

Whenever we have a training or Coaching activity on we could "supervise sailing". Limitations on this supervision;

  • Unlikely to be able to borrow a Club boat - unless you have checked first
  • Only a short time to check your rigging, and obviously when the Instructors are on shore
  • Patrol boat will monitor loosely, as long as you are in the same half of the reservoir as the activity they are watching
  • You might get a bit of on water coaching for obvious issues if requested
  • Will not get any significant 1:1 coaching
  • You as a sailor will need to be moderately competent in your own right

Whenever we are racing, club members can benefit from patrol boat, however; Limitations on this supervision;

  • Race Management and Rescue take priority
  • They are UNLIKELY to check your rigging etc
  • Patrol boat will monitor loosely, as long as in the same half of the reservoir
  • Might get a bit of on water coaching for obvious issues if requested and the driver has time
  • If you join in the racing (even at the back) then you could well get a bit of coaching even if this would normally count as "outside assistance". This is increasingly used for Junior Fleets to encourage the slower racers to improve by following the examples of faster sailors and seeing what a difference it makes. Have a word with the patrol boat and ask if they will advise you during the race.
  • You as a sailor will need to be moderately competent in your own right

There will be opportunities to talk to our Instructors and Coaches whilst on shore, and at the meal times on Saturdays. It is in their interest to get more people sailing so see what you can learn!


"Better Sailing - RYA Level 3"

This is an important opportunity to sail when you have just learned (or are rusty) under the direction and supervision of a Qualified Instructor. Some is revision, some is just practice, and some is a sample of the Sailing with Spinnakers and other advanced topics. Three Saturdays should provide a lot of confidence and a reasonable skill level to be able to sail in reasonable winds. After this time you should be able to sail without close supervision, and might well be ready to tackle the Racing courses.


Advanced Courses

Seamanship Skills

We would expect to use the Club's Laser 2000s for this course. These are well balanced boats, and can be used for rudderless sailing, a bit of spinnaker handling, sharpening up your tacking and gybing, and practising anchoring and Man Overboard drills. This course is a consolidation of skills and sample of things to come. 

Sailing with Spinnakers

and RS400 with Spinnaker flying
an RS400 with Spinnaker flying

Again, the Laser 2000s would probably be used, but with so many other spinnaker boats around in the club you might get a go in RS 400s, RS200s, RS Vareos etc. We would expect that you can handle a boat well in the prevailing wind conditions for this course. If its not windy, this course is not so much fun, so would be moved to other days!

Start and Intermediate Racing

Again, we would expect you to be able to handle a boat safely in close proximity to other boats before undertaking this course. We will discuss the club's racing arrangements, both with the OD hut and using the Race Management boat "Penelope". Class racing, Handicap Racing and Pursuit racing will be explained. If using club boats, the Toppers, Lasers (various rigs) and Laser 2000s could all be used. Rules and Starts will be explained, and then put into practice. You can get a head start by looking at the club's explanations Racing Pages. Look for "Race start" and  "Instructions" pages.

Performance Sailing

We would expect to use the Club's Laser 2000s for this course. The aim is to get the most out of any boat, so we will look at using the controls properly, setting the boat up using measurements and then sailing it upright in all conditions.

Have you followed the America's Cup races in Auckland New Zealand in 2021? Those boats were sailing at 50 knots, in a wind speed of 13 knots. How do they do that? This course might help you understand it. 

Day Sailing

We don't do this one - as pilotage, tides and landing at pubs is not particularly useful at Llandegfedd, and we cannot practice any of it!

Fees cover:

  • All the elements of the RYA Courses
  • Logbook
  • Final assessment & cost of certificates

Now what do I do?  

See the course  Training Schedule. If you can make most of the dates for your course, you should contact our Training Co-ordinator using this form. Becca will put you in touch with the leader of the course. The administration of the course is via the web system called "WebCollect" which handles all the details and the membership subscriptions.

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If you have any other training or coaching queries, or want general training advice, please contact us via that form. 

British Youth Sailing Recognised Club
RYA Training Centre
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