Enjoying Winter Sailing on Challenge Wales

“Brrr….” said Megan to Cerys on the morning of the 28 December, “there’s a chill in the air…and that’s even before we’ve left the house to head to the marina and go sailing on Challenge Wales”.

Have no fear, you can enjoy sailing in winter. Just like any sailing trip you just need to prepare your bag the night before with the right clothes and here are the Challenge Wales top 10 tips for enjoying winter sailing. Remember, don’t have your sailing trip spoilt by not wearing the right clothes or being correctly prepared.

  1.  LAYERS – Wear several light layers rather than a big thick layer,  you will find that even in winter you can get hot while sailing particularly if you are busy tacking all the time. Don’t worry about packing too much, it can be stored on Challenge Wales.
  2. THERMALS / LEGGINGS / LONG JOHNS – Wearing an extra layer under your trousers will really help keep the chill off and can’t be underestimated particularly as there will be times when you are sat on the deck of the boat. Even a cheap pair of leggings will do the trick.
  3. GLOVES AND SCARF – Even during summer sailing, gloves and a scarf are essential pieces of kit, even more so if sailing at night, sailing in the rain/drizzle or during winter. A scarf helps keep body heat in.
  4. SOCKS – Tips of toes often get cold so don’t forget to wear an extra pair of socks or two. Remember to bring a spare pair of socks just in case your shoes get wet.
  5. FOOTWEAR – We recommend sailing boats as these keep feet and ankles dry but if you don’t have these then deck shoes, soft shoes (like plimsolls) or trainers are suitable. It is always worth bringing a spare pair of shoes so you can go home with a pair of dry shoes on your feet. Remember, to bring suitable footwear that will enable you to walk around the deck without your shoes falling off.
  6. BEANIE HAT – Even during the summer a hat is a key piece of kit which helps keep you warm. Remember, if you wear a baseball cap it won’t take much wind for it to fly off your head which is why beanie hats are ideal.  Challenge Wales often have beanie hats onboard for sale from £6 so if you do need one please let us know.
  7. WATERPROOF TROUSERS AND JACKETS – If you have your own great, if not then Challenge Wales has waterproof jackets and trousers which will keep you dry and warm. Waterproof trousers can make you sweat more than you realise.
  8. HOT DRINKS – Hot drinks and soups are always available on Challenge Wales and are a great pick-me-up during the winter months or while sailing at night.
  9. GET INVOLVED AND HAVE A GO – People get more out of sailing Challenge Wales if they get involved in all aspects of sailing the boat and really absorb the big boat sailing experience. Everyone has the opportunity to help tack the boat, trim the sails and take the helm (steer). If you haven’t done it before, and the majority of guests on Challenge Wales haven’t then the Challenge Wales crew will show you the ropes and explain everything. They will be there to help guide and teach you.
  10. ARRIVE EARLY, OR AT LEAST ON TIME – Due to the size of Challenge Wales she is often restricted getting in and out of marinas and may even have to lock out at a particular time which is pre-booked. It is critical that you are there for the start of your sailing trip at the joining time stated. Challenge Wales will leave the pontoon on time and if you are late you could be left behind!  So,  ensure your bag is packed the night before and you have printed out a map on how to get to the boat. Check out the route online the night before and get your sat nav ready if you have one. A map is sent out with joining instructions prior to your trip but if you are not sure then call the Challenge Wales office. Allow PLENTY of time for speed bumps, traffic, parking and finding the boat particularly if you are in an unfamiliar area. The boat may often be a 5 or 10 minute walk away from where you parked so again factor that in. Therefore it is always best to arrive early or at least on time at the very latest. 

We did say top 10 tips but we do have an 11th…. Remember to bring a camera so that you can take plenty of fun and exciting memories of your day on Challenge Wales home with you!

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