FORMED by John Talliss in June 2002, the Santa Irene Club de Vela (sailing club) started with just four members; now it has 46.
Based in Garrucha, the members keep their crafts in the boat yard next to the new section of the marina; cruiser members have moorings in both the new and the old sections.
The club is primarily for dinghy boat sailors but there are members who also sail cruising vessels.
There isn’t a training facility but there is an opportunity to learn about sailing by going out with members who give up their time to introduce newcomers to the sport.
The club retains a Wayfarer dinghy – an ideal boat in which to learn to sail.
Members meet every Sunday at 10.30am at the Garrucha base. After a quick coffee at nearby La Oficina, it’s out for a morning’s sail.
Safety is a major consideration for all sailors, especially dinghy sailors. Spanish wind conditions can change within seconds yet sailing takes place every Sunday, weather permitting, in the company of a safety boat.
The club has arranged advantageous rates with the port authorities for the use of the slipway and for mooring boats in the dinghy park. For cruiser owners, membership provides access to several crew, some of whom have ocean experience and a sound knowledge of seamanship and navigation.
While most members want to go sailing, there are subdivisions of interest too, such as walking, diving, table tennis and petanca. And there are often four social evenings a year.
The club needs more members to ensure a continued enthusiasm in sailing and for it to meet its goals. Most clubs have between 20-80 members – 20 per cent drive the club; 80 per cent enjoy other functions and right now, the club is seeking affiliation with a training agency to create a symbiotic relationship with other clubs, to train members, and point people in the right direction regarding sailing.
You can buy dinghies cheaply but newer and more advanced boats can be expensive. A group of three or four people jointly owning a boat can trim the costs greatly and can create a great camaraderie.
There will be an open day at the boat yard in Garrucha on Saturday, September 27 which is designed to raise the profile of the club within the community. Many boats will be there for all to see and admire while several club members will be present to answer questions about the sport of sailing.
And most importantly, you will have an opportunity to book a trial sail in a dinghy or a cruiser for absolutely free and for those who might prefer something motorised, the club RIB.
There will be no sales persons and you can enjoy all this over a glass of refreshment. How about that for a bargain! Your club contact is: [email protected]