HELENSBURGH Sailing Club’s formal season drew to a close on November 13 with the end of the Autumn Series – but the club’s younger members aren’t finished for the year quite yet.

Talented young sailors from HSC were joined by others from clubs across the country on Saturday and Sunday in the latest RYA Scotland academy session – this one in the Topper class.

The RYA’s former ‘academy’ concept has been refined to localise the competitive environment for the country’s best young sailors, giving youngsters acros Scotland the opportunity to polish their skills in their local club environment.

The Scotland-wide academies get together roughly every month for a ‘collective’, and the November Topper class collective was run at HSC on November 20 and 21.

Twenty-two young sailors from clubs across the country enjoyed a great weekend of coaching and training and, for once, the weather gods obliged – particularly on Sunday, with blue skies and a decent north westerly breeze, when the fleet had a whale of a time off Kidston Park.

The visitors departed well pleased with the welcome enjoyed at HSC and the young sailors almost certainly slept all the way home!

There’s an Optimist Academy this Saturday, November 27, which is sure to be popular with HSC’s youngest members, and then a break in December ahead of more sessions in January.

The club’s Winter Series will start in February, so time to check out the balaclavas and warm gloves!

(Report by Donald McLaren; photo by Alan Jeffrey)