Shotwick Youth Sailing

Hey everyone, I know most of you already know me, but for those of you who don’t I’m Gordon, I’ve been a member at Shotwick for the last 6 years or so.

I started sailing at 5 years of age, sailing has remained a constant in my life ever since, from youth squads in oppies, lasers and 420’s to team racing at Southampton Uni and spending 4 summers teaching overseas in Spain and Greece. I absolutely love sailing and am passionate about encouraging the next generation into the sport (including my own two kids)

I am very excited about the opportunity to take on the role as Junior sailing sec at the club. I have no doubt that the club’s junior section will thrive and become a place where kids fall in love with the sport and make lifelong friends!

I’d like to know your thoughts on how we can increase junior participation, as well as talk to anyone who’s willing to volunteer some time to help.

My initial plans include:

Junior Racing On Sundays.

Starting immediately, the club will run junior racing on Sunday mornings alongside the two main races, starting five minutes after the main race on a special junior course (the same start line, first mark, and finish mark as the main race). Competent junior members can borrow club boats (oppies and toppers) free of charge on a first-come, first-served basis. Boats must be signed in and out.

I would love to expand this to Wednesday nights as well if there is enough demand.

Friday night Junior training / Fun sailing.

We will hold a free Friday night junior session after the official Friday night junior training ends.

Boats can be rented by club members for free on a first-come, first-served basis. We will hold informal training sessions and possibly run some fun races. I’d like to run coaching sessions for beginners up to more advanced sailors depending on interest and support.

On Friday nights, the focus will be on having fun and gaining confidence in the boats.

More structured coaching sessions:

Club members and external coaches can run these sessions either on Saturdays or Fridays, depending on demand and interest.

Investment into new kit:

Investigating grants and additional investments for new kit, including some junior double handers.

Please contact me on if you have any queries

Gordon Bennell