Corinthian Otters at Fishers Green Sailing Club 15 Mar 2023
A warm welcome back to a fleet of 14 cadets at Fishersgreen Sailing Club for winter training during four Saturdays in March. Young sailors from Corinthian Otters, Burnham Sailing Club, Rickmansworth and Fishers Green made up the numbers. A cast of ex-cadets sailors took on the task of developing the skills of the new crop of keen sailors. The overriding goal was fun/development and involvement for everyone, with racing hopefully not far behind. With virtually all pairings being new to each other and the class of boat, week 1 is a shore-based meet and greet and introductions to the boats in the morning. The teams hit the water in the afternoon, with an ideal breeze, it was time to explore the new surroundings for many, and so the trainers could see what they had to work with.
Considering this was the first time on the water this year for most, and with no pressure, “let’s just go for a sail”, the standard was fantastic, and most importantly, the response from the sailors was terrific. Suddenly kites started popping up, a tremendous effort considering this was the first attempt for most; after a brief visit to one the island for a team photo, everyone returned to shore, and the shore team (parents) ensured the pack up didn’t take to long in chilly conditions.
Week 2 and with a forecast that wasn’t too inspiring, still 14 teams were enthusiastic. With the sun breaking through and the breeze building, time on the water was vital; teams took to the water and started where they left off, growing in confidence and concentrating on the principles of sail setting and boat trim. It wasn’t long before kites sprung into life; teams were improving at a great rate of knots, lunch break and warm up with hot chocolate and pasta bake. The afternoon session time to get racing, maybe a start line focuses the mind. The improvement was astounding, a mini-series of races with many places changing and boat handling being tested. As the temperatures dropped, it was time to return to shore and the warmth of more hot chocolate.
The clubhouse was buzzing, friendships and bonds being made, this being the core values of the Cadet class and sailing community, grassroots sailing at its best
Many thanks to the young sailors for their enthusiasm and commitment, ex-Cadet trainers Paul Buckley, Claudia and Matteo Mancini, Paul Dean, and Nick Tolhurst. And the fantastic galley staff.
Still, two more Saturdays to go, so there are even more improvements to be gained. Watch this space.