Whoever first said there are no problems, only solutions must have had Glossop Sailing Club in mind when coining that expression.
Shortlisted as an RYA and Yachts & Yachting Club of the Year finalist back in March, 2019 took a challenging turn for the Torside Reservoir club just two months later. Essential works on the reservoir dam resulted in a 9m drop in the water level, which extended far beyond the end of Glossop’s slipway and meant the club were unable to run their normal sailing and windsurfing activities as they could not safely launch or recover their safety boats.
In the true spirit of collaboration, a number of local clubs, most notably Pennine SC at Dunford Bridge, welcomed Glossop sailors and their boats to take part in their club racing series, whilst other members took the opportunity to travel to events further afield. Junior dinghy sailing sessions also went ahead, with Glossop instructors joining the team at Pennine to run their Friday night club, while Glossop’s Stand Up Paddleboarding continued unaffected.
But for the windsurfers or anyone wanting to learn to sail this year it was a different story. That was until the club were advised by United Utilities that for one week in August the water level would be temporarily raised to 5m down for monitoring purposes. Glossop were not about to waste that opportunity and, on 12-14 August, 26 keen windsurfers took to the water and made the most of a ‘pop-up’ OnBoard windsurfing summer school.
Viki Packman, Glossop SC Commodore and RYA Training Principal, explains: “When we heard the water level would be raised, Tim Snellgrove, our Chief Windsurfing Instructor, immediately set about confirming an instructor team and we then set about promoting the windsurfing summer school.
"We had four adult beginners, eight beginners under 18, and 14 junior intermediate windsurfers, all of whom had progressed from our RYA OnBoard sessions in previous years, come along over the three days and all had great fun, developed skills and made on water friendships."
OnBoard is the grassroots programme, run by sailing’s national governing body, the RYA, which introduces sailing and windsurfing to young people aged eight to 18. The low cost OnBoard sessions, open to schools, youth groups and youth training organisations, promote equal access to sailing and windsurfing for young people from all social and economic backgrounds, whilst encouraging character development.
Glossop’s pop-up summer school instructor team also included three RYA qualified windsurfing instructors and four assistant instructors who had developed through the club’s OnBoard programme in previous years. With work on the dam ongoing, Glossop SC continue to plan on a week-to-week basis, ready to seize any chance to get on the water as and when it might be possible.
Since 2005, OnBoard has introduced more than 900,000 children to sailing and windsurfing in the UK, converting some 70,000 of them into regulars. For more information visit www.sail-glossop.org.uk
and to find out more about RYA OnBoard go to www.rya.org.uk/onboard