Getting Ready for Oppie Sailing in 2021

Summer 2021 is set to be a busy one for Oppie sailors at WHSC.

This year’s Oppie Class Captain Nicola Harris, who’s being assisted by Claire Strappe and Maria White, is hoping to get boats out on the water for a ‘wet the boat session’ on Sunday May 23.

This is a chance for sailors to get reacquainted with their boats and the water, and to make everything is in good working order. “All it really is for us is get the boats on the water, and make sure the kids remember how to sail and to have fun, so they can sign up with their friends for coaching and racing over the summer,” Nicola says.

In preparation for the session, she advises sailors to get their boats out of the shed tomorrow, Saturday May 15 (from 10am) or Sunday May 16 (from 11am) or  – at the latest – next Friday, May 20.

Boats should be checked for dents and chips, and gel coat filler applied when the hull is clean and dry. “You can check your bailers and painters are still with the boat, the buoyancy bags are in good order, the trolley wheels inflated and sails are not in need of repair,” she says.

Oppie checklist:

  • Are the mast, sprit and boom all with the boat?
  • Is the hull in good condition – are there chips, cracks or holes you need to repair?
  • Are all the bolts and screws in place?
  • Is your painter tied to the front of the Oppie?
  • Is your mast clamp in place?
  • Do you have two bailers, tied securely?
  • Are all three buoyancy bags working?
  • Is the main sheet in position, with a knot at the end, and no other twists? Are the mainsheet blocks turning freely?
  • Do you have a paddle?
  • Do you have a tiller and tiller extension?
  • Is your daggerboard in the boat, and tied on?
  • Is the sail and rigging all correct? Check your sail for wear and tear.
  • Do you have a burgee?
  • Please ask Nicola or another parent (or older Oppie sailor) if you need any advice on your boat.

She is hoping there will be enough Oppie sailors interested to set up two squads – one for the older and more experienced Oppie sailors, and another for the group who have completed Levels 1 and 2, but are new to racing.

Coaching will take place on Saturday mornings throughout June, and racing will be on Tuesday evenings in the summer months. We’re hoping that a fleet of sailors will travel from WHSC to events in Lough Ree and Lough Derg over the summer.

If you’re not yet in the Oppie WhatsApp group, please contact Nicola and request to have your name added: 087 637 1096. That’s the best way to keep up to date with fleet news and events.

Happy sailing.





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  1. What age group is this aimed at please?

  2. Hi Tina, The youngest sailors in our Oppie group are about 9-10, and they stay in Oppies until about 13 when they move up to a more challenging boat, but it depends on the child. For many, 11 can be a better age to start. You’ll find more details on our sailing courses here
    Thanks for getting in touch.

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