Mixed level courses – advantages and disadvantages

Join Attieke, our intern, as she shares her first sailing course experience! Doing something for the first time is exciting but also a bit nerve-wracking, let’s be honest. Attieke participated in a Women at the Helm course, doing her RYA Competent Crew while others took the RYA Coastal Skipper course. She’ll walk you through the ups and downs of learning to sail and gaining confidence on the water, all in a mixed-level course.

Embarking on my Competent Crew course, I found myself amidst three coastal skippers, realizing I was the sole competent crew member. Initially, this revelation intimidated me; lacking prior sailing experience, I questioned my readiness for the challenge, especially in the context of a mixed-level course.

The fear of not measuring up to the more seasoned sailors loomed large. Yet, as the second day unfolded, my apprehensions began to dissipate. Surprisingly, my lack of experience became a source of comfort. Knowing that I entered the course with a blank slate allowed me to embrace the opportunity to learn from those more knowledgeable than myself without feeling inadequate.

Being part of a mixed-level course turned out to be a blessing in disguise. Instead of hindering my progress, the presence of experienced sailors served as invaluable mentors. Their expertise not only accelerated my learning curve but also provided them with opportunities to refine their teaching skills. It was a symbiotic relationship; while they imparted their wisdom, I offered them the chance to practice verbalizing and demonstrating sailing techniques.

Far from feeling like a burden, I discovered that my presence enriched the learning environment for both novice and seasoned sailors alike. Engaging in discussions and practical exercises with individuals of varying skill levels fostered a dynamic atmosphere conducive to knowledge exchange.

In retrospect, completing my Competent Crew course alongside more advanced sailors was an invaluable experience. It exposed me to diverse perspectives and techniques, allowing me to develop a deeper understanding of sailing fundamentals. What initially seemed daunting transformed into a rewarding journey of growth and camaraderie.

In conclusion, I wholeheartedly endorse the idea of mixed-level sailing courses for aspiring sailors. Embracing the opportunity to learn from individuals at different skill levels not only enhances one’s own proficiency but also fosters a supportive community where everyone has something valuable to contribute.