Cadet Class

LLSC 4 Jan



WKSC Cadet Squadron 19

Click on Juniors, then Cadets, scroll right to Cadet race training, UKNCCA etc.


Hi All,
It was a beautiful two weeks spent sailing in the cadet World Championships at Lake Garda with WKSC sailors  Alex & James Colquitt (GBR 8561). Winning race one of the twelve race series and  taking two more wins on the way, at the end of race ten they where in pole position – 1st overall. But…. after a week of heavy winds the last days racing finished off in a light breeze, which was always going to be hard for the heavier sailors. With the both of them weighing in at a combined 18st (3st over ideal weight) they found the conditions hard going and struggled to keep up with the lighter boats, eventually settling for 3rd place overall in the Cadet World Promo’s.

Not to be outdone, young George Colquitt decided to show his older brothers a thing or two and joined the Dutch camp sailing with Christiaan Griffejoen, what a wonderful time he had. The Dutch squad made us all welcome and showed just what a fantastic family the cadet sailors are!

The Parade and the opening ceremony for the World Championships was absolutely fantastic, all the sailors wore their squad tee-shirts, carried their national flags and made as much noise as possible to show their countries presence, it gave all the sailors a taste of the big event.
The Brits, Aussies, Germans, Polish, Ukrainian, Czech, Belgian, Hungarian, Argentinian, Italian, Spanish and Dutch had arrived to join the show, one Polish helm looked as big as Arnie Schwarzenegger (see the picture of him with George) and he still sailed brilliantly.

I'm too big for a Cadet????? Not according to Tobiasz Wisniewski (Polish National Champion)

I’m too big for a Cadet?????
Not according to Tobiasz Wisniewski (Polish National Champion)

It was a great event with the boys making lots of new friends and meeting people from all over the world.

The closing ceremony was a very emotional event with all the sailors coming together and swapping squad tee shirts and email addresses.
It would be great to have more sailors from WKSC involved in the UKNCCA, to really enjoy the sailing and get the experience of sailing in big events, this really is the best way to improve your sailing abilities.



Check the UKNCCA website:

“Sailing Cadets is just awesome … there is always lots to do because there are two of us in the boat and we have three sails to manage. It is great fun racing at WKSC and I have made loads of friends. Of course I would recommend it … Cadets rock!”

Racing Rules Quiz for Beginners

Sounds good, tell me more!

Cadets are sailed by two youngsters, aged between 7 and 17 years old; these are the helm and the crew. The one with more experience is usually the helm; as crews gain more experience they will often end up choosing to helm their own boat. This means that skills are handed on from youngster to youngster, with a helping hand from parents and coaches.
The great thing about Cadets is that there are so many second hand ones available, so getting on the water in your own boat is much more affordable than some other types of dinghy.
Cadets really are the ideal next step for an Optimist sailor, who is looking for their next challenge and who likes the idea of sailing in a two-person boat.

There are often helms on the lookout for willing crew, which is an ideal way for someone to start out and learn the ropes (literally!). It doesn’t matter how little sailing you may have done before, there are plenty of people in the club willing to help you. We never stop learning something new.

Send your contact details so that they may be added to the Cadet crew list. This list will enable other juniors to contact you should they require helm/crew for sailing or training.


Check the sailor profile for Sophie Shepherd on the UKNCCA website:


Who is more important on a Cadet, helm or crew? – so which wheel is more important on a bicycle, front or rear?


Adults get stuck in too
Some parents/guardians are keen sailors too, so they are very tuned in to what is going on at West Kirby Sailing Club; indeed, many have sailed Cadets in their youth and are keen for their own children to have the opportunity to benefit from the same experiences that they enjoyed.

However, for other adults new to sailing, it can all seem a bit of a mystery and a bit daunting initially (as the author found out when his three children started sailing Cadets). Don’t worry … everyone is really friendly and happy to answer any questions you may have.

Adults get involved in rescue duties (e.g. driving/crewing RIBs that are used as rescue cover), helping the Cadets with launch and recovery, recording results, making tea, barbecuing and all those other things that make a morning/day/weekend go smoothly. For those not familiar with West Kirby Sailing Club, there is a bar (and galley) to which we all gratefully de-camp after junior sailing and many other sailing occasions to enjoy a true family experience


The Cadet Dinghy

The Cadet is a purpose built, double handed, three sail dinghy, sailed and raced worldwide by Juniors “ONLY”. Nobody over the age of 17 can compete in a Cadet event. In the UK it is a RYA Junior recommended class sailed by two sailors, a helm and a crew. The big advantage of this is that the crew can get to sail straight away under the guidance of an older and more experienced helm. The helms will often have a great deal of experience and knowledge which they then pass down to their new crew and therefore ensure rapid progress for beginners. Typically every helm started as a crew so the helm knows the help and guidance their young crew needs. The Cadet provides a three sail experience where the helm and the crew must work together as a team to obtain the best results. Crews will start at 8 or 9 years old and then begin to helm at 12 or 13 but this is largely dependent on size and ability. The class finishes for children when they turn 18.The boat was purposely designed to be too small for an adult to sail but with all the attributes of a racing dinghy, including a spinnaker. For many years all Cadets were made of wood but for some time craft have been made of glass fibre which of course means low maintenance. Both wooden and glass fibre are sailed competitively. There is a ready market for older Cadet Dinghies, both wooden and glass fibre. The cheaper older boats are never the less still very competitive with national success being achieved in second-hand boats



As soon as helms and crews are comfortable with the basic skills of sailing, the clubs and the UKNCCA will encourage them to try their hand at racing. Much of the training at Zone Squad and National Squad level is preparing teams for the various competitions that take place throughout the year. Firstly most clubs will host an Open event with visitors arriving from all over the country. Then there are the UKNCCA run Indicators, including Inland Championships and National Championships (Cadet National Champions Hall of Fame), where over 100 cadets will gather to compete for the many trophies and prizes. These events provide a fantastic opportunity for children and their parents to meet new friends and enjoy the various social activities while participating in a lively outdoor sport.

Bygone times at WKSC "happily we have just as many budding Cadet sailors in 2013"

Bygone times at WKSC “happily we have just as many budding Cadet sailors in 2013”

WKSC contact: Paul Colquitt
0151 342 3135/07836 279993