Training Weekend 25 Apr 2012
The Squib Fleet once again welcomed Adam Bowers to the club for an action packed weekend of sail training. The event was well attended with twelve Squibs taking part. The format is very simple, classroom theory followed by practical exercises that in turn are followed by shore based de-briefing including watching the video recordings of our masterful manoeuvres and crazy misjudgements.
Saturday was devoted to starting technique and understanding that where you are 40 seconds after the start is very often the difference between success and failure. The first exercise was a nine minute sequence of one minute signals with a practice start on 6 minutes, returning after 40 seconds of hard sailing to prepare for another practice start on the three minute signal and a two lap race around a small windward / leeward course on zero. Five consecutive sequences meant that we had made fifteen starts including five mini races.
This was immediately followed by the next exercise of several consecutive mini races with the best three boats starting on a shorter start line behind the main start line at the same start signal. The three top boats then attempt to sail through the rest of the fleet. There is not much time to get bored and Adam somehow manages to coach each of the boats individually at some point from the RIB.
The good news was that the Titanic Ball made the perfect social link between the Saturday and Sunday, the bad news was that instead of a classroom based in the amply heated Trophy Room, our shore-based tuition had to be held in the new boatshed. This location in April is a great place to experience how slow and painful it can be when hypothermia sets in whilst sitting still.
The Sunday morning classroom session was spent learning that mainsails and jibs have four corners confounding conventional wisdom with regard to triangles and was followed by tuning exercises on the water and some more racing. By five o’clock on Sunday afternoon attention spans were beginning to shorten and with the hours of video to review the Squib fleet are ready for the next challenge, to see if any of this stuff can be remembered next time we cast off.
Our thanks to Chris Dunn for helping in the RIB and to the Club staff who managed to set up the facilities we needed for our training weekend whilst dealing with all that the Titanic Ball required of them.