The sand yacht for novices, between laughter and freedom!

I admit it, I’m from Normandy, born a few kilometres from the Côte de Nacre, I enjoy swimming and fishing, but I’m a bit ashamed to say that I’ve never been to a sailing school…

char a voile sur la plage de courseulles sur mer avec le directeur cyril lesage

“A course with Cyril at Courseulles!”

Who knows why?

This first time in a sand yacht, I was impatiently waiting for it. A moment of sharing and discovery as a team! With a touch of apprehension, I grant you, but you have to know how to surpass yourself in life!


Nancy, Mathilde, Constance, Pierre and I are together in this adventure!

It’s 6pm, the tide is obviously low, and a large stretch of sand is offered to us.

At the sailing school, Cyril welcomes us with his legendary smile! He is both director and instructor. Since he was eight years old and had his first sea class, the deep blue sea is his universe and he likes to make us discover it.

Cyril had already warned us to bring back some of it.

Here is the kit of the perfect little sailboat driver (yes, that’s how you say it):

  • Rubber gloves (for gardening)
  • Sunglasses to protect against the sun’s glare (sometimes, we’re not kidding, it’s there!)
    sometimes it’s really there)
  • Jumper, down jacket, hat, scarf (yes, especially in February,
    a little Norman breeze could show its face)
  • Long trousers
  • Closed shoes like trainers

We were missing the oversuit that we went to choose in the premises and there was the first laugh on the horizon…

Une équipe de choc prête à défiler pour la semaine de la mode !

Then we went to the beach.

With patience and kindness Cyril presents us the different parts of a tank and how to prepare it for the session:

  • First step, unhook the floats, then lay the mast in the direction of the wind (Yes, yes, the big
    (Yes, yes, the big metal bar!)
  • Second step, unfurl the sail flat with the boom at the bottom (the other horizontal metal bar).
    (the other metal bar is horizontal).
  • And finally, a little tricky part, the mast is threaded into the sheathing up to the littlecalled the headpiece.

char a voile sur la plage de courseulles sur mer

“Then, you raise the tank by the mast and turn it to face the wind, this is the stop position. All you have to do is tie a flat knot at the front of the boom and pass the sheet (the large rope used to pull or release the sail) through the blocks”.

Thanks for all your advice Cyril, we are ready to go. Nancy and I jump into the tandem tank (normally reserved for people with reduced mobility. It’s the same principle, except that it’s wider, with a steering wheel.

Here we go! We start off perpendicular to the breeze. Whaouuuuuu! We pick up speed, I tuck in the sheet. I’m not a muscleman, it pulls on my arms! HeeeEEEYYY, watch out for the turn, facing the wind, I pull the sail more to keep the speed up before we go again. Nancy steers the tank with her feet thanks to the rudder.

What a feeling of freedom! The immensity of the beach unfolds before us as far as the eye can see. The sun and the blue sky honour us with their presence. The iodized air whips our faces, it’s invigorating!

Second lap…

Always looking towards the horizon, the spectacle that is offered to us is breathtaking. What a privilege!

I let go of the ballast at the rope, negotiate the turn… And there, a controlled skid… Be careful not to be knocked out by the boom which passes over our heads.

Damn us, we are too far from the imaginary line of the circuit…the wind has dropped, and we stall…in a puddle… And with a smile on our faces, we push the tank… You have to deserve to live such moments.

We meet Pierre and Constance and on their side too, splashing and laughing (and grains of sand in the teeth) are on the program. Mathilde has gone off with Cyril to shoot some sensational images.

Summary of this memorable evening

  • 45 min of preparation, explanation of the float (for the beginners)
  • 1 hour of tank and fun
  • 1 day with cramps in the arms and zygomatic

I recommend this spot for the more experienced who will also be welcome!

For more details on the sand yacht sessions during the winter holidays and all the other water sports activities during the rest of the year (paddle on the Seulles, dinghy, catamaran, Ludic, boat licence, etc.).

By Claire


Sailing school Courseulles-sur-Mer

Adress : Place Docteur Marcel Lerosey, 14470 Courseulles-sur-Mer

Phone : +0033(0)2 31 37 92 59


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