Thursday, 7 March 2013

Spring Training

Spring Training 23/24 March 2013

Below are a few more thoughts and details on what I hope will be happening on the cvrda, Minisail and British Moth Spring Training.
Some people have further to travel than others, and some will be arriving on Friday, so the start time is the first obstacle we have to overcome.
My suggestion is that will be expecting people from about 9.00am on Saturday, but I’ll get there for about 8.30 to catch the early birds! If you are arriving on Friday, then let me know what time, and if possible I’ll pop up to the club to meet you. If not possible, then I’ll make sure you can get through the gates to deposit boats.
We will then have a boat rigging session, where we can ensure that all the boats are rigged the best way they can be on the day, and maybe make suggestions as to how things can be improved for the future. We can also explain how your controls change the sails on your boat.
Once we are rigged and changed, which I hope will be by about 10.30, we will meet for a briefing and split into groups.
Depending on numbers, we may split the group into British Moths , other singlehanders  and doublehanders, but even if we stay together, we will have dedicated coaches for each, to look at what needs doing.
We will start with some race start theory, working from “where is the line” through to “where is the best place to start on it”, and “How do I know there is a start going to happen” to “How do I make sure I’m on the line at the start”. We will then go out and do some startline exercises. Obviously, with a mixed ability group, different people will be looking for different things from the exercises. I hope we can work with you all be improve the starts of both beginners and experts.
Once we have the starts down pat, it will probably be time to stop for lunch, at about 12.30. There will be hot and cold snack lunches available. Also, tea, coffee, soup and beer.  I need to double check how we go about ensuring the kitchen has enough food. Certainly a posting on the cvrda, Minisail or British Moth forum to say you are coming will be good to get the numbers. If I need you to specify what food you require, I’ll let you know.
After lunch, we will look at how to get from the startline to the windward mark and back in the shortest time. We will try and get the theory done whilst eating, so we can get on the water and maximise sailing time. We shall look at getting to the mark, doing a good rounding and then running back down to the start again. For the upwind bit, the boats will all need to do things in a similar way, though having a jib obviously changes things a little. For the run back down, we shall need to concentrate on different things for the shroudless boats, spinnakered boats etc, so the coaches will be kept busy!
Once we have mastered all that, we shall come in for a break and a snack at about 3.00, and have a talk about reaching and gybing. We shall then go out again and get sailing round a triangular course, with a beat, a reach, a gybe and another reach.  At this point, rather than running mini races, sailing round the course in a non-racing fashion will make things easier for both the practice and for coaches to give advice.
I hope we will be able to come off the water by about 4.30, get the boats packed for the night, get changed and disappear off to the pub for tea. If I can have numbers for those who will be staying to eat at the pub, I will let them know how many will be coming. I hope we can be there by 6, before it gets too busy.
Saturday night, some are staying at the Premier Inn at Swindon North, others in B&B’s scattered around. Let me know if you need advice on finding somewhere.

Sunday will dawn bright and sunny, of course!
We shall be getting rigged for 10.30am, and getting out on the water after a briefing. There may  well be more British Moths on Sunday, so in the morning, we shall probably split into 2 groups, joining up, again in the afternoon
The morning format will be more mini races, to sharpen up everything we did on the Saturday.  I hope we can get seven or eight 5-10 minute races in before lunch. Following another 12.30 lunch, we will run some slightly longer races, putting all we have learned into practice on the race course. The races will still only be about 15 minutes long, but that is enough time to see whether  the cracking start can be backed up with some serious boat speed!
The aim will be to be off the water by 3.00, with a de-brief to follow, to allow people to get changed and pack away without being horribly late on the road. If people would like to stay and sail for longer, they will be very welcome.

Useful things to bring:
A watch with a countdown setting
A notebook and pen
Warm sailing clothes (it is March, after all!)
Your buoyancy aid (compulsory at Whitefriars)
Beer money

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