Archive for » June 7th, 2013«


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Plain sailing as boat club enjoys success

A CARMARTHEN boat club is going from strength to strength following recent success and the addition of new boats.

Towy Boat Club based on the river’s estuary near Llansteffan has seen an increase of interest from youngsters and has new boats to entice those wishing to make a splash on the water.

  1. RowingClub

    Rower Joe Clayton trying out one of the new boat at Towy boat club near Llansteffan.

The club has recently invested in Janouesk coastal boats.

These french designed boats known as Yoles will be used for racing in the Welsh league and potentially international races.

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Ffiona Edwards at the club said: “The new boats are more of a flexible opportunity for our rowers, they are recognised world wide which means we can take them pretty much anywhere to compete”

The 30 year-old club wants to encourage younger members too. She added: “We encourage people to come and give it a go. “Rowing is so popular after the Olympics and one of our younger rowers Joe Clayton recently went to Cardiff to get tested to try out for the next Olympics, the club is an exciting place to be.”

Speaking of nurturing the next generation of sporting talent she added: “We are closely supported by Welsh Rowing which recognises the club as having an exciting opportunity for the development of rowing in Carmarthenshire.

“We are in regular liaison with them over development and coaching and also have benefited from training sessions at the club undertaken by Welsh Rowing’s coach development officer.”

The purchase of new equipment would not have been possible without grant funding, and the club is grateful to Carmarthenshire County Councils Regeneration and Leisure Department and Sport Wales for funding the project.

The club is hoping to continue with its successful streak after it was awarded the best new club in Wales for Welsh Sea rowing in 2012.

Over the last year it has experienced significant growth in junior rowing.

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Pistakee Yacht Club rebrands, invests in sailing school

“Every kid should have an opportunity to learn and grow through this, so it’s a conscious effort to really be more inclusive,” said Tom Kartheiser, chairman of the founding committee.

The yacht club, founded in 1897, has operated a sailing school for decades. But in October, the school was at a turning point, said Kartheiser and Jim Huemann, the committee’s treasurer.

The boats were old, and the volunteer director had resigned. Most of the students were family members and friends of club members.

“Most of us had an appreciation for what this club has been for generations here,” Kartheiser said. “We wanted to see it continue as a landmark and community gathering place. …

“If the school were to go away, then the question was, ‘How long could we sustain sailing here on Pistakee Bay, really?’ This is a powerboat area, but we think it’s pretty special when you look out there and you just see a bunch of sailboats.”

The committee decided to invest in the school, rebranding it as the Community Sailing School @ Pistakee, hiring a support staff and instructors, and opening the classes up to anyone through scholarships.

It bought six O’pen Bics, which are small boats designed for younger children, and a Flying Scott for adults. Boats for high school-aged children also are being sought.

Classes start June 17, and programs are available for children 6 years old to adults. They’re offered on weekdays to avoid the times when most of the powerboats are on the water.

Fundraising will continue through the summer, building an endowment fund from which to offer the scholarships.

In the long term, the committee is looking to coordinate an accredited STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) class with area high schools and set up sailing teams.

“Because the sport of sailing is pretty demanding, it takes kids who want to stick with it,” Kartheiser said. “It’s something where if you tried it once and you fell in the water, you might want to quit; so here our idea is we get them back in the boat right away, and we teach them how to do it the right way.

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