WEYMOUTH Sailing Club hosted a two-day coaching session for Merlin Rocket dinghies over Easter Sunday and Monday.

Run by Richard Whitworth, the Merlin Rocket Class trainer coached five local and two visiting boats.

It was sensibly decided to replace water-based activities with classroom instruction on the Sunday morning while the 40-knot north-easterly wind abated.

In the afternoon, the crews braved the wind and cold to fine-tune their boat-handling skills on the water.

Fortunately, the wind moderated in time to allow everyone to enjoy and benefit from their time sailing.

Easter Monday was a very different day with light winds and sunshine, a rare event for a Bank Holiday.

Some learnt new skills, while others perfected old ones.

These included how to match mast and centreboard rake and how to keep the spinnaker flying throughout the gybe.

The group finished off the event with an informative video debrief.

Commodore Kathy Claydon returned home victorious from her first outing of the year in her yacht Arcsine.

Competing in the Junior Offshore Group organised Cherbourg-Cowes race, she picked up the Blue Sabre trophy.

Beating her nearest rival Just So back to Gurnard Point off Cowes by nearly 18 minutes.

Her win was all the more impressive as she was seriously short-handed.

Instead of a crew of eight, there were only four on board in some really testing conditions, the same conditions that kept the Merlin Rockets off the water while she battled the elements out in the English Channel.

n The first of the Weymouth and Portland Cruising Association vessels has left on a two-month trip to Ireland and Scotland, but not without incident.

On the day of departure, Phil Stringer in Taufen suffered instrument problems before leaving the marina and once on the way, more problems were en-countered with the navigation instruments and Stinger and his crew made an unscheduled stop in Falmouth.

With some rough weather coming in, this turned out to be a good idea.

With calmer conditions and everything working again, Tau-fen is now on her way to her next stop in Dublin.

Meanwhile other members are still trying to complete winter work and get back into the water for the first accompanied day cruise at the beginning of May.

Next Tuesday will be the club's AGM at Castle Cove Sailing Club and members are encouraged to come along to support their committee and get an update on activities.

Trophies will also be presented and the evening will conclude with a buffet.