The 'Activate Your Laser Fleet' initiative continues to grow following another successful event based at Rutland Sailing Club.
As Activate Your Laser Fleet's Ambassador Paul Goodison said, "What's great about this project is that it's not just about bits of paper and workshops but real, ongoing practical support for Clubs." Practical support is exactly what the Laser Fleet at Rutland Water Sailing Club received last Sunday.
Richard Pratt, Laser Fleet Captain at Rutland Water S.C. attended the Activate Your Laser Fleet workshop at Staunton Harold Sailing Club on 7th February and has already managed to put the plan that he signed up to into action! LaserPerformance attended the Activate follow up session on Sunday 21 March to support Richard in his quest of returning the enthusiasm to the Laser fleet at Rutland.
One of Richard's actions following the workshop in February was a de-winterising day at the club. Richard contacted the Laser owners and invited them to attend. Rather than just e-mailing the owners, Richard took the time to telephone them and subsequently had a great turn out! This direct approach delivered a better response than e-mails have achieved in the past. Remember, Communication is King!
The "Activators" met in the Laser Park at 9.30 on Sunday morning. Richard used his van, to great effect, as a notice board and displayed all of the information and literature from his Activate Your Laser Fleet Document Pack. The Activators set about rigging their boats for the days sailing, and checked over their equipment, with the help of LaserPerformance, to make sure it was in appropriate condition to go afloat for the first time in the season. The breeze was light, a maximum of 10 knots. It faded along with the temperature as the afternoon went on.
The event attracted twenty people throughout the day. Eight of the attendees stayed for the whole day and took part in the Club's Sunday Race Series. A wide range of age groups attended, but notably three younger members, who have recently progressed into the Laser 4.7, all took part in the whole day's activities. All three of the youth sailors are using slightly older boats and are perfect candidates for the scheme. Rajita Petal, Matt Meeds and Tom Evill were all equally matched on the water after some competitive racing.
During de-rigging, LaserPerformance talked to the Activators about their individual boats and offered help and suggestions for caring and repairing their equipment to improve longevity and performance. Some of the Activators took advantage of the special offers made by LaserPerformance. The sail and top cover options proved to be very popular with a few sailors placing orders.
The day finished with a classroom debriefing session supported by video that was shot during Club racing.
Feedback from Rutland's members was positive. The Activate scheme has been well received. Richards ideas for getting people back out on the water seem to be working very well, the interest and support he received last weekend is testament to that. In April the Laser fleet start Thursday Night Racing at Rutland, which also includes a weekly social for the fleet, dinner after racing!
Stay in touch with the progress of these clubs via the Facebook Page: Activate Your Laser Fleet.
More Activate workshops will be run across the country during the Spring. Clubs have been identified and approached to take part. To learn more or if you feel that your Club would benefit from the support offered by the Activate Your Laser Fleet Project, then contact Tzaneen Mears at the RYA for more information about becoming involved.
LaserPerformance is one of the official partners of Connect to Sailing, the global initiative led by ISAF in partnership with sailing industry to increase participation in sailing. To find out more about the Connect to Sailing initiative and the Connect to Sailing Partners, visit www.sailing.org/connecttosailing.