Meet Edie Thorup

Meet Edie Thorup

Meet Edie Thorup, Senior Instructor of the Year 2020 Nominee

Edie is in 2nd year studying Business Economics and Social Sciences and has found that working as a Senior Instructor has given her plenty of management examples to reference in her essays and group discussions. So we had a chat with Edie about working in different locations and her 2020 season.

All Instructors have to work in at least one other club / centre before joining a Senior Instructor course and Edie chose Wicklow Sailing Club as her 2nd venue. How did this experience help when working in Blessington Sailing Club this season?

“I gained a great insight into the different approaches of the senior instructor I was used to in Blessington and the Wicklow instructor. They have very different approaches and I made the decision to be a mix of both in my work as an SI.”

“The biggest learning from working in another centre was working with people that didn’t know me. When you sail somewhere for your whole life you become very comfortable with existing rhythms and when you sail elsewhere you learn new methodologies. I also gained fantastic self-confidence talking with parents, instructors and children that didn’t know me as the ‘Commodore’s daughter’ or as ‘the little girl that sailed a topper”.

“Plus of course working with tides and the constant need to wash salt off your gear … I will forever be thankful for our freshwater sailing conditions.”

Was there a difference in structure and boats?

“Yes. In Blessington the members tend to sail their own boats and in Wicklow they have a lot of club boats, which means more boat maintenance and fleet management.”

How did you find the Covid season, as it is currently known?

“We are lucky to have so much space in Blessington Sailing Club. Each level of sailing could have their own zone and we didn’t have to worry too much about groups mixing.

We thought the biggest challenge would be not being able to go into the club house, but we managed the lack of building by asking the children to arrive in their sailing gear and they didn’t mind being outside at all. I think we will continue this, as they loved doing the Macarena each day to warm up … it was a great start to each day 😊. And having less cleaning was nice 😊

Other club members loved the atmosphere too.”

What changes in club sailing activity did you notice this year?

“Our club racing more than doubled and we have seen an increase in family Mirror and GP14 sailors. The greatest thing was to see so many new the local people on water. Children kept booking back in for an extra week and parents started joining the adult programme.

Members loaned their single hander boats to give others an opportunity to sail under the restricted conditions. Again, the sense of community within the club was incredible.”

Were there any elements of usual club activity you missed this summer?

“It was difficult not having the children in your powerboat when they needed some reassurance.”

Any tips for other Senior Instructors as we start planning for the summer ahead?

“Thinking ahead is critical and good communication with your team of instructors, volunteers and parents.”

Smile 😊. If you and the instructors turn up with a smile on your faces, the children will smile too.

Have fun and treats. We organised for the ice cream van to come on Fridays or for the occasional Apache pizza delivery – children, instructors and parents loved that.”

Edie is looking forward to working in Blessington again in Summer 2021 and has a great team of 2020 assistant instructors hoping to take their Dinghy Instructor training this Spring if restrictions allow.

As we spoke today, Edie got confirmation of her an Erasmus in Paris in September – enjoy Edie, you have worked hard for this opportunity.

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