PUSH, PULL and DUCK – that’s the way to do it!

Posted on July 16, 2018 7:05 am

PUSH, PULL and DUCK – that’s the way to do it!

A pleasant pheasant plucking period approaches and twinned tethered tacking was the order of the day at Saturday’s F3 club.

Not unlike lunging a horse, our noble trainers stand chest deep in water hanging onto the painter (a rope on the front of the dinghy, not a resident decorator), calling instruction to PUSH, PULL or DUCK to the slightly bewildered youngsters in the boat.

Getting a handle on where the no fly zone is, and how to avoid it, is THE fundamental of sailing.

Very quickly it becomes second nature to feel the breeze on your face and know not to point the boat at the marine medusa which will turn your progress to stone, but when you are starting out it is confusing, incomprehensible and sometime wet.

Many never crack it, and give up, imagining black magic or water dousing genes must be lacking in their makeup.

Then there are the surprises where beginners with almost no training venture out into 4s gusting up to six, (a sensible limit for dinghies), and remain upright while the more experienced among us apologise for unnecessary water consumption in a drought.

On Sunday two dads, whose young sons were doing brilliantly in a new Feva, invited me to supervise the end of day session.

Within seconds it was clear that subliminal learning had been occurring and I was confident enough to jump on the trapeze wire and relax while they battled the big gusts and waves with minimal guidance.

A bit too minimal as it turned out because, mid lecture, I was trebuchet’ through the jib slot for a thorough nasal cleansing.

But the guys kept the boat upright! Something I would have been happy to achieve, and a great result for beginners.

I sense retirement approaching.