One of the south-west’s newest OnBoard clubs, Cargreen Yacht Club (CYC), saw a record number of cadets take part in its annual Three Rivers Challenge in May 2019.

Based seven miles up the Tamar River, CYC has a team of five volunteer Dinghy Instructors headed by Senior DI Dave Wheatley, who has been running the club’s cadet activities since 2012. The numbers have built gradually and now they are at full capacity, with 37 youngsters on the books, a good fleet of Picos, Fevas and Visions with a brand-new OnBoard accreditation this year.

The Challenge is a dinghy-based cruise in company around the Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty of the Tamar, Lynher and Tavy Rivers, and this year it was thrown open to the whole club. 28 people put their names down and 37 came on the day! Participants were from a wide age range, including youngsters under 10 who came along with their parents, but the majority were cadets, and five of the club’s dinghy fleet were made available to those without a boat of their own.

On an ebbing tide the 37 adventurers set sail from Cargreen village in a ten-dinghy flotilla escorted by four motor boats. First stop was Saltash beach in front of the Union Inn. Next, they ventured up the Lynher River stopping at a beach by Ince Castle for lunch, then on to the Tamar River Sailing Club and finally striking off up the Tavy River to the Old Plough at Bere Ferrers for cheesy chips. The fleet returned to Cargreen on the tide happy and fulfilled. A great day out with some very good sailing for all.

Dave explains how OnBoard is starting to benefit the club: “We have families joining with younger children who will come through the cadet system. The numbers have been increasing over the last four/five years and we’ve been buying extra boats – and we’re looking to get another Feva this year. We’re almost victims of our own success – as volunteer instructors who all work full time, it is difficult do more than we already do!  Right now, we have five ten-year-olds on the waiting list because we don’t have the hulls to supply demand, though they did have a chance to come along on the Challenge day and thoroughly enjoyed themselves.

“CYC is really successful small club, but joining OnBoard has given us a structure and resources – especially the lesson plans - that are increasing our ability to encourage young sailors to go further, start racing and stay in the sport for the long term.”

A further update to progress is planned for the end of the club’s first season with OnBoard.