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Lake Garda - "Take 2"

posted 14 Nov 2019, 06:45 by Caroline Payne   [ updated 14 Nov 2019, 06:53 ]

October Half term saw 23 of our senior students heading off to Italy for the annual sailing trip at Lake Garda and hoping for a week of watersports, fun, and most importantly, good weather!

Despite the very early start at the airport, spirits were high and the journey trouble free. We had arrived at Campione del Garda by early afternoon, introduced the team to Phoebe and the Andrew Simpson Watersports Centre team, and were out on the water less than an hour later for a fun afternoon's paddling. 

Sunday was a calm day, but that didn't stop anyone. The most experienced sailors went out with two high performance foiling boats while the intermediate and beginner groups had a go in Laser 2000s, Fevas and Qubas. Sadly there wasn't quite enough wind for the foiling boats, but the group enjoyed getting the feel of them and were ready for the wind...whenever it decided to arrive.
Wind on Lake Garda is really predictable and consistent. Except that is, when CC come to visit!  We had several "not very breezy" sessions on the water as the week went on, but these were good for the less experienced sailors and gave them a good chance to work on their light wind skills. Eventually the foiling group had success though, with everyone managing to get one or more of these amazing boats up out of the water.

The intermediate groups worked on everything from improving their tacking and gybing to mastering spinnakers, the beginners got to grips with mastering the basics of sailing, and nearly everybody managed to get in a session of windsurfing too.

The students had been arranged into teams for a number of off-water activities - from team challenges in the dark, creative halloween pineapple carving (no pumpkins to be found!) to a pub quiz. At the end of the week we had planned a mini regatta but it appears sailing ability wasn't actually taken into consideration when the teams were put together, and so the regatta was rather unbalanced. That didn't phase the students though, who managed to rearrange themselves, hopping from boat to boat on the water and the regatta dissolved into an afternoon of simple fun, laughter and messing about in boats. 

As seems to happen on sailing trips, new skills have been discovered, friendships have been forged, pasta eaten (oh so much pasta) and fears battled and beaten. We look forward to the next visit, but until then Garda, "Ciao wiedersehen!" 

RYA Eric Twiname Youth & Junior Sailing Championships

posted 18 Oct 2019, 06:42 by Caroline Payne

The Eric Twiname Youth & Junior Sailing Championships at Oxford Sailing Club, is believed to have been the biggest team racing event in the world this year, seeing 54 teams race a total of 392 races over two days.
Despite coming up against some of the strongest team racing teams in the country, the CC Firefly team finished in 21st place in the Youth Event, and the CC Feva team came 13th in the Junior event. 

BSDRA Midlands

posted 18 Oct 2019, 06:35 by Caroline Payne

Despite a number of months without much quality time on the water, the senior sailors took on 20 other schools and clubs such as Winchester and RGS Guildford in the BSDRA Midlands Sailing Championship, finishing at 11th overall.    

Garda 2018

posted 16 Nov 2018, 03:03 by Caroline Payne   [ updated 16 Nov 2018, 03:18 ]

What could be more exciting than a trip to Italy with your friends? How about throwing in some insane weather and a trip to a theme park!

For this year’s October sailing trip, 18 boys and 6 girls travelled to the outstandingly beautiful Lake Garda for a week of activities on and off the water. After an early start the excitement built as we flew to Milan, especially for Sam who announced that he’d never been on an aeroplane before. The flight crew made his first flight even more memorable by calling him up to Business Class for the descent into Milan, and taking him onto the flight deck to meet the pilot once we’d landed.

We were met by the wonderful Jo from the Andrew Simpson Watersports Centre and made our way up through the foothills of the Alps to Campione del Garda… and the rain.

Sunday dawned, we think, but the rain and mist hid the lake and the view although that didn’t stop us getting out on the water. Unfortunately the regular and predictable winds didn’t get the memo, and four of the year 7 and 8 boys discovered how easy it was to “turtle” a Quba. They weren’t put off though - after all they hadn’t just turtled a Quba, but they’d done it in Lake Garda.

The more experienced sailors had a slightly more successful session, but quickly followed the fleet of Lasers off the water a short time later, demonstrating the CC spirit and showing the Austrian youth squad what teamwork really is by stepping in un-prompted to help them land their boats in the increasingly choppy surf.

Monday brought with it another soggy dawn. The advanced and the high performance sailors had a short but exciting session on the water, while the beginner and intermediate groups played indoor theory games in the hangar.  After lunch, instead of risking the building winds on the water, we went on a walk to see the waterfall and on up through the woods to the top of the cliff wall.

Once we were back in Campione, the winds continued to build, and the rain really came in. Little did we know the storm that was brewing was to be the worst in the area for more than 50 years. You’d think that would put the sailors off, but the ASWC team were ready with Plan B.

That evening we went back to the hangar to see which group could build the best boat out of junk. The team also had a Plan C which was just as well once the power went down! It’s amazing how much fun you can have with torches, packs of cards and a sense of adventure.

Tuesday dawned with much calmer weather. Too calm in fact, as there was no wind for sailing at all! That wasn’t a worry though as we were off out onto the water for fun and games with kayaks and paddleboards. After lunch the wind picked up a bit and the big sailors to

ok the little sailors out for a ride.

Wednesday saw us back out on the water with the beginners and intermediates having long fun afternoon sailing in Quests and a Bahia, with everyone having an opportunity to take the helm. Meanwhile the advanced sailors switched between racing Fevas, trapezing in the Bahir, and having a go at foiling in the Aero, and the high performance group had the opportunity to crew a 49er with one of the instructors.

The evening brought a spookier feeling to Campione as back in the hangar there were pumpkins to be carved and all important team points to be won.

After the weather over the previous few days you’d never have believed that Thursday was actually November. It was beautiful and clear, with the most

amazing views of the snow capped mountains as a backdrop to the surf-paddling races being run. This was followed up by a walk to the ice-cream shop and cake after dinner to celebrate Alistair’s birthday.

Friday, our last day in Italy, was spent exploring Gardaland - Italy’s premier theme park. Think Thorpe Park but with a lot more rain. It’s uncertain who enjoyed it more - the students or the staff! It was going to take more than a little (!) rain to stop this lot having fun. Suffice it to say, the coach journey back from Verona was a very quiet affair, with the vast majority nodding off to sleep before long.

And then before we knew it, it was Saturday again, with the long journey back to Milan, the flight home, and declarations of “Best. School. Trip. EVER!”

Eric Twiname Youth & Junior Championships 13-14 October 2018

posted 15 Oct 2018, 01:35 by Caroline Payne

The Eric Twiname Youth & Junior Championships is one of the biggest events in the calendar for young sailors, and attracts teams from all over the country. This year's event, at Farmoor Reservoir in Oxford, saw 256 sailors in 52 teams from as far afield as Guernsey, competing in Fireflies and Fevas.

Despite the sunshine and pleasant temperature, and an excellent start from both our Feva and Firefly teams, Saturday's programme had to be abandoned due to high winds. Sunday brought much more favourable wind conditions, but also brought cold and persistent rain. This didn't stop the CC team going out with smiles on their faces to take on some of the best young teams in the country. 

Due to the shortened programme the CC teams did not get the opportunity to sail against every opponent. 
The final results were: Firefly team - 17th, Feva team 21st.

As one parent commented:
"The camaraderie between the team members is fabulous to see. Their faces when they came in today,  drenched and freezing but triumphant, was a joy to witness. It's not often that we get to see the whole age range from Seniors and 6th form working together so harmoniously and with such evident sense of belonging to a team."

A beautiful day..... for windsurfers.

BSDRA Midlands Championships 2018

posted 7 Oct 2018, 09:18 by Caroline Payne

Saturday October 6 saw the first Firefly event of the year for the Claires Court team, who found themselves up against some very strong opponents at the BSDRA Midlands Championships at Farmoor Reservoir, Oxford. The weather forecast hadn't been great, but although wet, it turned out to be a good day for sailing, seeing the team coming in at a hard fought but well earned 7th place! A great start for Georgie, competing in her first sailing event for CC!

RYA British Youth Sailing Regional Championships

posted 7 Oct 2018, 09:10 by Caroline Payne

The RYA British Youth Sailing Regional Championships were held at venues around the country on Saturday 29th and Sunday 30th of September.
Unfortunately for the London South East region, despite hundreds of sailors turning up on Saturday morning, the wind appeared not to get the memo. The Regatta Fleet managed to get out for a short (mostly paddling) race, but the main Championship Fleet stayed ashore.

Sunday brought much better sailing conditions (albeit a lot colder) and the 36 boats of the Regatta Fleet and 114 boats of the main fleet took to the water for a long day on the water. 

Congratulations to Alistair Jesseman for his outstanding performance, leading the Regatta Fleet in every race and coming home with the gold medal.

ISA Sailing Championships 2018

posted 7 Oct 2018, 08:27 by Caroline Payne

Friday 28th September 2018 - The ISA Sailing Championships at Datchet Sailing Club.

Claires Court entered two Feva XL teams and six Toppers in this growing event for ISA schools. The sailors all enjoyed a good day on the water, with fair weather and a good breeze. 

Results can be found here...

RYA Zone Championships

posted 26 Sep 2017, 11:41 by Caroline Payne

The new school year got off to a great start for the younger members of the sailing team as they competed in the RYA South East Zone Championships at Queen Mother Reservoir, Datchet on Saturday 23rd and Sunday 24th of September.
For two of the team it was their first foray into events and they did well.
One of the Feva teams, Joe H and James M came away with a gold medal! Great start boys!

Lovely weekend for a walk!

posted 19 Jun 2017, 01:08 by Caroline Payne

Saturday 17th and Sunday 18th of June saw three Bronze DofE groups undertake their Assessed Expedition. The weather was glorious, although maybe a touch warm for heavy packs and hiking.
Despite the conditions, all three groups eventually made it to camp on day one, and finished with smiles on their faces on day two. We're looking forward to their expedition final presentations now.

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