Celebrating two women at Dell Quay


carolAndrewsMeet Carol Andrews –

Carol is Dell Quay’s Membership Secretary, a yacht master instructor and part of the National Solo fleet at Dell Quay.  Carol’s first encounter with a Laser (and how not to board it!) as well as some unexpected wild life in the harbour make for great reading.

How long have you been a member at Dell Quay?

I joined Dell Quay SC soon after moving to the south coast.  I checked out quite a few sailing clubs but I had heard that the Club was run by the members, it was friendly and had some of the best views on the harbour.

How did you become interested in sailing?

When I was about 14 I wanted to do something different to my brother and twin sister.  I joined Sea Rangers with a couple of school friends and joined in weekly activities such as rowing, kayaking, dinghy sailing and even sailboarding.  One day I was asked if I would like to go sailing on a 50ft yacht owned by a well known MP.  To me I was being given a glimpse into what rich people did.  I sailed for a week and just loved it.  We were six teenage girls learning to sail under the direction of a skipper and his mate.  At the end of the week I was asked if I would like to sail in the Tall Ship Races.  After that, I never looked back.  

By the time I was 24 I was gently advised that it was time to take a few qualifications.  I had been sailing for 10 years so taking some formal RYA qualifications seemed to make sense plus it would allow me to continue sailing with the Sea Rangers and Scouts but this time as a leader.  Over the years I sailed across oceans, entered long distance sailing races e.g. cross channel JOG races, Fastnet Races as well as Trans Atlantic races.   By being involved with the Dockland Scout Project as an instructor I felt I was enabling young teenagers to have the opportunity I had when I was young.  I became a Yachtmaster Instructor (Sail) and taught practical sail courses for over 20 years. Now I keep my sail instructing to the classroom.

I took up dinghy sailing quite late. When I first qualified as a Cruising Instructor I realised that dinghy sailing would teach me so much more about sail and boat trim. I remember stepping off the quay at the London Docks onto a Laser as if I was stepping onto a yacht. Needless to say the boat capsized and I was swimming in the black dock water in less than a second.  I persevered and it was not long before I was sailing around and just loving the thrill of it all.   Dinghy sailing became my escape from work and instructing. It was my ultimate relaxation. I will sail any sort of watercraft.  Currently I sail a Solo racing dinghy.  

As soon as I get the dinghy on the water all my worries disappear. When I sail, I think about how I can make best progress using just the wind, tidal stream and correct trimming of the sails and boat. The wildlife in and on the harbour is a frequent and welcome distraction to my sailing. I have seen many wonderful sights over the years from dolphins riding the bow wave, whales swimming alongside the hull and even a deer swimming across my bows in Chichester Harbour.

Advice to women and girls who might be interested in sailing?

I was lucky to be able to learn sailing when I was young. Everything was just a game and it was more about being with friends, we learned something each time we went on the water. Put aside thoughts of having to always get it right first time.  Just play, have fun and if/when you make a mistake treat it as a learning opportunity. Get out with people like yourself. I learned so much faster when I wasn’t trying to impress anyone and we were all friends having a laugh together. Talk with other sailors and get some of their knowledge. Most sailors want to help you enjoy the sport they love. I can frequently be found on the decking area at Dell Quay SC after racing having a tea and slice of cake discussing some errors I think I made, asking for advice so that I can try not to make the same mistake again.




Meet Rose Potter – one of Dell Quay’s juniors on the Dinghy Instructor pathway, Rose shares some of her early fears as well as the benefits of music when sailing!

Rose Potter, 16 years old, on her DI pathway:

I have been a member of dell quay since I was five years old; I started sailing in a wayfarer with my family, and mostly my dad helming. When I was about 10, I started sailing in a pico, and have sailed that ever since. I love sailing at dell quay because the community is so nice and you really feel part of the club, as everyone is so friendly.

I would say it is scary at first, but when you start sailing, and make friends, it is really fun. I was nervous at first, but now I love going down to the club to sail with my friends. When I am sailing, I always wear my life jacket, and if it’s sunny, I usually wear sunglasses and sun cream. I also like bringing a speaker, because I love listening to music when sailing.

Learning to sail has made me much more confident, and I have lots of new friends because of sailing.

Completing the AI course has been really beneficial for me, because it has given me more confidence, and a chance to help at junior week.

When I was younger, I used to be very scared of capsizing, but, when I started to go out more, and played pirates with my friends, I got used to it, and now I am fine with capsizing.

If I had to take three things on a voyage to a desert island, it would probably be snacks, water and a speaker, to listen to music. In general, I definitely prefer a leisurely sail, because it is more relaxed, especially when it is sunny. Although sometimes I like to be more competitive, if it’s a fun race.

Honestly, I’m so bad at knots, I always struggle with the Bowline, but I can do some of the basics, like the reef knot and figure of eight.