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The Introduction of the 2.4mR to South Wales

 

My name is Paul Gomm and I live north of Swansea in Wales. I was recently approached by Kate Hedley to write an article about how I am trying to influence the introduction of 2.4mR’s into the South Wales.

 The first venue to gain a small yet growing fleet is at Llangorse Sailing Club located a few miles to the east of Brecon in the Brecon Beacons. This is my home sailing club and as the club has had a large fleet of Flying Fifteen it has excellent launching and recovery facilities for keel boats.

If interest in sailing a 2.4mR in the local area please feel free to contact me via This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

 

The main attraction 2.4mR Class is the equality that the Class brings because the boat can be sailed by abled and disabled helms allowing integrated sailing that is not possible in other classes. The boat is easy to sail however it has a complexity and technical side that keeps the sailing exciting and competitive.

 

It is an undeniable fact that most clubs in the UK have an ageing cohort of sailors and are currently finding it difficult to attract new members into the sport due to the vast array of activities now available. The vast majority of clubs around the country are volunteer run by elder members who have spare time on retirement. This is where 2.4s can bring a more varied and open membership thats “all inclusive”, as I’m sure all clubs want to attract all those with an interest in sailing in their geographical area, however as previously stated the vast majority of classes sailed year on year are unsuitable for physically impaired sailors, however the 2.4mR is the perfect platform that can be used in mixed ability sailing, because as it is a keel boat the helm sits in the boat and does not sit out Plus steering is either via foot steering or tiller. There are some 2.4mR’s that have electrical winches so that the sails are mechanically pulled in rather than physically pulled in, thereby allows those that do not have the strength or ability to pull in sails to still go sailing on their own. I appreciate that there are specific disabled sailing classes, however these are not sailed by abled bodies sailors, so the 2.4mR bridges the gap between physically abled and disabled sailing and is the only class that I am aware of that does this.

 One of the main reasons why I starting this project is the connection I have with various groups in South Wales like the NHS and Veterans and Military charity organisations that are striving to use sailing as a rehabilitation activity.

 Since I bought my 2.4mR to Llangorse SC it has been used to demonstrate and promote the 2.4 mR class in the region to as many people as possible including the clubs annual disabled sailing day.

 My kids who love to sail found that the current pathway in sailing don’t suit them personally so Oppies and Toppers are not on their Christmas list. However, Fireflys and now 2.4mRs are, so this has proven that there's also no age demographic associated within 2.4mR sailing.

Llangorse Sc is a beautiful place to sail in a fantastic setting within the Brecon Beacons National Park. The lake is a natural water resulting from the last ice age and is the site of a Neolithic Cranog or man made island the only one in the UK outside of Scotland and Ireland. Sailing takes place with Pen y Fan as the backdrop to the South West. Launching is via a slipway rather than a crane or hoist but there is a manual winch to aid recovery.

 The South Wales 2.4mR Fleet establishment would have been considerably more difficult without the ongoing support of the Taylor family consisting of three brothers Nick, Nigel and Adrian and their corresponding families. They are fully committed to the development of the class and promoting the

principles that are defined by the 2.4 class association. Both Nicks and Nigel are RYA Senior Dinghy Instructors and Racing Coaches.

 

On a personal note I am aiming to facilitate clubs in the South Wales and the wider UK with 2.4mR from my base North of Swansea. I currently have three boats available and intend to include coaching with the aim of promoting the class by helping people with the desire to sail who may not have the ability to access 2.4mRs at their own local sailing club.

 

Llangorse SC is not set up as a disability club but would welcome anyone who is disabled but is abled to self transfer into a boat without the need for a lift or hoist to attend the club and participate in the general club activities including the club racing program.

 

If interest in sailing a 2.4mR in the local area please feel free to contact me via This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.