Wed 15: P Class Sailing

Fresh breeze… let’s go sailing…

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Below are some talking points and activities to pass the time, all relating to today’s story. If young readers find it tricky; just look at the pictures and read the captions to figure it out.

Talking points

Discuss the ideas presented in the video with your family—at home or over video conferencing. Find ways to involve as many people as possible, especially those who you know are isolated by the lock-down.

  • In the top photo, the adults and the young sailor look tense as they measure the sail to check it’s the regulation size. Why is the size of the sail important for a race? Why do you think the boats have to be carefully weighed?
  • How do you think it feels to be in a race like this, where you have to control your boat in among lots of others? Does it look like fun to be “stacked out” over the side of the boat? How do you think this works?
  • Famous kiwi sailors such as Dean Barker and Peter Burling sailed P class yachts. What makes a small boat good for learning about big boats?
  • Learning to sail might involve lots of frustration as you figure out how it all works. You’d get wet and cold at times. Setting up the gear and packing it away takes a while. What makes people keep on with a sport like sailing?
  • At thirteen years old, the writer sailed a P class with his friend and camped at Rangitoto, the Noises, Rakino and Motutapu Islands. They were away from home for four nights. What do you think sounds exciting or surprising about this journey? What does it show you about how life has changed since 1950?
  • Is sailing, or another water sport, part of your family’s heritage? Is there anyone in your extended family who might have some stories about family members having adventures on the water? If not, there might be other stories about adventures that you could find out about.

Task—Home-made kite

It’s blustery out there—harness the wind with a home-made kite. There are lots of ways to make a kite! Here’s one.

  1. Take two light sticks – one should be longer than the other.
  2. Tie the sticks together in the middle so they form a cross, with the across-ways stick higher than halfway up the vertical stick.
  3. Lay the sticks on some fabric – an old broken piece of tent could work well – or any light fabric. Cut a diamond shape around the sticks.
  4. Hot-glue the fabric onto the sticks.
  5. Add on a tail – it’s important to get some weight in the tail to help the kite hang correctly, so tie a couple of fabric bows onto the tail.
  6. Tie string or wool to each side of the centre point where the sticks meet. Bring these together and tie them in a knot.
  7. To this knot, add on 6-10 metres of string or wool and wind it from the loose end around a small stick.
  8. Find a windy spot and hold your kite up into the air. When the wind catches it, you can let go and let out some line.

Send us a picture of your home-made kite!