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Kit Guide

Hayling Training with Steve!

By 30th September 2020
Training in my Radial at Hayling has provided massive learning curves and progress over this last year. Sharon Houston put in the effort to form first a Topper training group, and now a Radial training group, for young sailors to access great coaches, and also train against other committed and very talented sailors. The trainings are overseen by Tim Hulse, Radial Youth Squad Coach, and other coached are bought in to provide their past experience, most of the time from previous Olympic campaigns. This Hayling Training was run by Dan and James, both of whom sailed in Olympic Laser Squads. The first day was a pleasant 15 knots gusting more with some huge waves! I learnt a lot about sailing in waves that big, as I have not trained in such steep waves in a long time! It was seriously chilly so I packed on everything I could, including Supertherm top, polypro base layers, Thermaflex top, Hot Legs and obviously all important Pro Hikers. I recently also got the new NeoPro sailing gloves which are extremely supple and flexible, while keeping my hands really warm. You could really feel the sheet which was important on the big waves upwind. On the second day, we had the privilege to sail with Steve! I set off from the beach and headed out with the ribs, to find Steve planing my bow wave! From then on we had a bit of a race out surfing the waves, and then got into some speed runs upwind. What I noticed about Steve's style upwind in the 15 knots with chop was that, although our rig set ups were very similar (although I think I had a little more kicker on) I felt like I was having to work very hard to keep the boat moving, while Steve appeared to be finding it very easy, thus focussing on the chop and gaining ground due to better chop management! He is slightly heavier, but 5kg surely can't make that much difference! Remind me to ask him next time I see him... Later, we did some long downwind runs in decent chop with bits of underlying swell coming through. Steve pulled out a pretty big lead on the first downwind by utilising the underlying swell more than the rest of us, and was very physical with the boat. Copying his style definitely seemed to work, and the downwind clicked a bit more from then on. The races were of course dominated by.... guess who!? I was happy with a 2nd and a 3rd, but on the 2nd race, Steve pretty much won by half the downwind leg. It seems we all have a lot to learn from this "grey headed" master! I definitely have some questions to ask... :)

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