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Claires Court

Claires Court Maidenhead

from Nursery to Sixth Form

Lake Garda Sailing Trip 2019

An exciting October half term saw 23 of our Senior pupils jet off to Italy for the annual sailing trip to Lake Garda ready for a week of watersports, fun, and most importantly, good weather!

Despite the very early start at the airport, spirits were high and the journey trouble free. After arriving at Campione del Garda by early afternoon pupils were introduced the team to Phoebe and the Andrew Simpson Watersports Centre team, and were out on the water less than an hour later for a fun afternoon's paddling!

Sunday was a calm day, but that didn't stop anyone. The most experienced sailors went out with two high performance foiling boats while the intermediate and beginner groups had a go in Laser 2000s, Fevas and Qubas. Sadly there wasn't quite enough wind for the foiling boats, but the group enjoyed getting the feel of them and were ready for the wind...whenever it decided to arrive.

Wind on Lake Garda is really predictable and consistent. Except that is, when Claires Court come to visit with had several "not very breezy" sessions on the water as the week went on, but these were good for the less experienced sailors and gave them a good chance to work on their light wind skills. Eventually the foiling group had success though, with everyone managing to get one or more of these amazing boats up out of the water.

The intermediate groups worked on everything from improving their tacking and gybing to mastering spinnakers; the beginners got to grips with mastering the basics of sailing; and nearly everybody managed to get in a session of windsurfing too.

The pupils had been arranged into teams for a number of off-water activities, from team challenges in the dark, creative halloween pineapple carving (no pumpkins to be found!) to a pub quiz! At the end of the week we had planned a mini regatta but it appears sailing ability wasn't actually taken into consideration when the teams were put together, and so the regatta was rather unbalanced. That didn't phase the pupils though, who managed to rearrange themselves, hopping from boat to boat on the water and the regatta dissolved into an afternoon of simple fun, laughter and messing about in boats. 

Caroline Payne, Senior Boys Activities and Outdoor Education Administrator, commented: 

“As seems to happen on sailing trips, new skills have been discovered, friendships have been forged, pasta eaten (oh so much pasta) and fears not only battled but beaten. We look forward to the next visit, but until then Garda, Ciao wiedersehen!"

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