Half term training
It’s taken me a little while to get around to writing this but a few weeks ago was half term; for students like myself half term is the perfect opportunity for some concentrated training and the chance to make some big improvements. In the second half of the week I took part in my first Radial open training event, three days of training at the national sailing academy in Weymouth with three great coaches, and 30 other Radial sailors. The main focus for the week was boat speed. Being relatively new to laser sailing, this is something I have been training to improve for a while now.
The first day we started off with some simple upwind and downwind training runs. As I had expected my downwind boat speed was fairly good, however I was struggling to keep up going upwind. After coming in for lunch we had a quick look at changing modes, changing controls when changing modes and when and where we need to be in what mode. After launching for the afternoon session we did more rabbit runs, focusing on changing modes, the idea being that you had to stay in your lane, good or bad. This was a huge help, I have started to improve my upwind boat speed as well as pointing ability, my main goal for the three days completed on day one! Finally to round of the day we did a few races.
Unfortunately we didn't get sailing on day two, a constant 30knots for most of the day kept us shore-bound, even the Laser youth squad were struggling! A day of theory, boat work and fitness lay ahead, never anyone’s favourite, but all very useful and important!
Ironically the final day started off with almost too little wind to sail, nonetheless we headed out towards the bay and did a few light wind races before heading back in for lunch. Fortunately after a quick lunch and briefing we headed out into a nice 15 knots of breeze. Our focus for the afternoon was starting, we had three exercises: starting at the port end and going left, starting at the starboard end and going right, and holding position on a start line for 10 minutes. After racing on the first day, I added starting to the list of things that I wanted to improve over the week, so this was the perfect session to finish off.
To round off the week, I had a great Sunday race at Stokes Bay in a lovely 20-35knots of breeze, and I’m ready to go back to college. After a week of training I am now feeling much more prepared for the start of the 2015 sailing season. I can't wait to start competing in Laser events, starting with the Stokes Bay qualifier in just a weeks’ time, a great excuse for some after school sailing sessions!
David Saunders - Laser 201175