With thanks to:
Minorca Sailing

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Child’s play

3: Tuition time

Minorca Sailing gets 10 out 10 for the quality and quantity of the sailing. There is also a very good ratio of guests to instructors and the sailing area is both safe and sometimes challenging. There are over 250 boats and windsurfers; from beginners’ boats like Optimists and Picos to asymmetric dinghies like the RS range, 29ers, 49ers and Musto Skiffs. The sailing school offers activities suitable for all ages and abilities, including children and experienced adults.

The format is basically that the guests choose which type of boats they would like to sail and are then split into classes according to ability. This worked very well. After breakfast at the villa, we would walk down to the dinghies and after dropping the kids off with their class instructor I would then hook up with my own chosen group.

We would meet up again for lunch and repeat the same for the afternoon session. The tutors are all British and have obtained their RYA qualifications, the emphasis is on safety and fun but if you want to really improve your technique, the instructors offer one-on-one tuition at the end of the day which is at no extra cost. Although after two sessions of sailing every day you might be a bit tired!

I was impressed by the ability of some of the guests who were sailing asymmetric dinghies — although some admitted they were enjoying the holiday but had another motive in coming. One particular guest was trying out a Musto Skiff for a week before deciding if he was going to buy one. Just one tip, the high performance dinghies are not as numerous as other classes, and although I didn’t hear of anyone who had a problem with getting their first choice, if there is a particular boat you are interested in it may be an idea to have a chat when you book.

The sailing area is Fornells Bay. At about five kilometres long and two kilometres wide with a very narrow channel to the open sea, the bay is almost like a lake. It does not get especially busy, even in peak season, the vast majority of the boats are from Minorca Sailing and there is plenty of room to put all of the classes into different areas.

The wind strength can range from calm to a good 15 knots and the land rises and falls around the bay making for some very changeable conditions which makes you concentrate on sail trim. In general the wind tends to be light in the mornings and building through the afternoon. There is a really good sheltered spot nicknamed ‘Chocolate Bay’ because of the sandstone rocks surrounding it. Chocolate Bay is ideal for letting really little sailors out solo for the first time.

With thanks to:
Minorca Sailing

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The choice of accommodation is huge, from small apartments to large villas

Next page:4 The boys learn to sail

The instructors had superb skills and were very patient with their young class, the emphasis was on fun

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