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Burghfield Sailing Club
Hangar Road
Berks RG7 4AP

01189 303 604

Sunsail Club Vounaki

Sunsail Club Vounaki

Sunsail Club Vounaki: Jun 2005 Jay Dear

If you're looking for a family holiday to cover different levels of sailing skill and enthusiasm, I'd recommend a Sunsail Club holiday combining staying in hotel accommodation, with sailing or beach during the day. We liked it enough to go back to Sunsail Clubs for four years in a row.

The dinghies and windsurfers are all rigged by the beach team: you wander up and say: “I'd like that one”: they rig it and set you off. When you've had enough - whether its 5 minutes or 2 hours later, you just head into the beach and leave it to them to de-rig and tidy up, while you take something else out, or head off to the bar for a cold beer.

The kit includes: windsurfers from beginner to expert, Lasers, Picos, Topaz, Vareo, 29er, Sport 16,hobie cats, and goes up to 30+ foot day yachts " which are ideal for sailing off to a beach or taverna for lunch followed by a lazy swim in the warm sea. The other equipment provided is good: there's also canoes, waterskiing, wakeboarding, ringo rides, tennis lessons and courts for hire, mountain biking, gym and sauna. At the end of the season I'm sure the equipment is a bit battered - it takes a hammering and we saw a couple of breakages.

There are well organised kids clubs who will take your youngsters from 3 months upwards. They have a good variety of activities on and off the water (more on the water for the older ones). Our kids made friends and were often off amusing themselves in a group. They work hard to keep the kids out of the sun at the middle of the day and are good on keeping t-shirts, hats and suncream on.

Sunsail organise races " lots of them, from beginners upwards, but none are very serious. You can measure the standard by my results last year: 1st in the yacht race, 3rd in a hobie cat race, 4th in a laser race ( I'll claim a second " laser radials and full rigs were counted together, and I was the second radial). Compare this to Wednesday evenings at Burghfield, where I regularly come in the last 10%.

There's also formal RYA instruction available: our children had a 2 day RYA Dinghy level 2 course. They loved it - a lively instructor, lots of action sailing Topaz Taz, Pico, Topaz, and other dinghies with lots of capsizing into warm blue seas made it great fun.

There's a healthy attitude to safety - beach control keep an eye on what's going on and restrict the kids access to dinghies to the type approved by parents. Lifejackets are compulsory and this is enforced. There are safety boats out when the beach is open for dinghy sailing. When sailing on the yacht, you tune your radio to the same channel as the beach, and you could tell they were keeping a good eye open for capsizes and people drifting out of the sailing area or onto the shore.


The club food is partly included. It's based on communal eating areas which means you eat with and get to know other guests and staff. They are able to cope with feeding patterns for kids from 3 months upwards. Kids have their own lunches when they are in the kids clubs and there's a kids tea at 4:30 serving pizzas, chicken nuggets, (along with plenty of fruit) followed by tea and cakes for the adults.
The food for adults was a bit repetitive and not a highlight - they had problems getting their catering sorted out for the very busy half-term week. The accommodation at Vounaki is good - modern blocks with good air conditioning, and great views of the sea (if you're on the right side!).

One downside was the wind pattern " there's not enough wind for the expert sailor and on some afternoons none at all. It tended to blow southerly in the morning, then northerly in the evening, with a dead patch in the middle of the afternoon when it swapped directions. But the 5 o'clock wind was usually great!

It's given me some great memories:
  • nearly capsizing a hobie cat with my nine year on board, and the grin on her face when we pulled it upright and carried on blasting through the waves
  • surfing down waves in a laser as the five o'clock wind came on to blow
  • kids being active and entertained, without too much effort from the parents
  • good chats with nice people over food and drink


  • Holiday weather: good even in late May / early June. It may be too hot in July/Aug - we've only been early seasons)
  • Enough activity to keep all of the family amused
  • Sailing in warm seas
  • Hotel accommodation and bars
  • Great sunsets over the bay


  • Disappointing food (catering wasn't ready for the half term rush)
  • Not much wind
  • Prices in school holiday periods

Created on 16/05/2006 11:42 AM by Jay Dear
Updated on 19/05/2006 02:01 PM by Jay Dear
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