A group of ladies who sail at Dittisham Sailing Club celebrated the launch of four new dinghies on Saturday 16 July, thanks to a £10,000 grant from Sport England.
The Ditsum Belles were out in force at the morning training session run by Steve Dean from RS, the suppliers of the four RS Qubas purchased with the grant money. The ladies learned about the basic rigging of the boats, and were shown how to reef and how to set the boats up for different wind conditions before a bottle of bubbly was used to launch them officially, after which the participants set sail and tried the boats out for the first time.
The weather played into their hands with a light breeze which challenged enough and kept the ladies concentrating on not too much capsizing. Steve was an attentive, skilled instructor and many favourable comments were made about the new boats.
The Juniors were out at the same time, so the boats immediately showed their worth within the club.
Anna Chrystie, who helps to run the Ditsum Belles group, explained that the RS Qubas will be a very valuable addition to the club: "Dittisham Sailing Club has some fairly elderly Toppers and some RS Fevas, all of which are used in our active junior sessions. Because we sail on tidal waters, the Belles frequently clash with the junior sessions, so this little fleet of Qubas - which are small and light enough to be easily handled up and down the beach, and can take two adults - means that we can sail at the same time as the juniors, so mums can sail with the Belles while their kids are sailing in the junior section!"
The £10,000 Sport England grant was boosted by donations from the Belles themselves, and from Dittisham Sailing Club, which will also have use of the fleet.
Find out more about the Ditsum Belles