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Kit Guide

Optimist Winter Training & the Draycote Dash

By 2nd October 2020

Optimist Development Squad Training at Grafham. I attended the 4 day residential along with 21 other sailors at Grafham Water Sailing Club. As soon as we arrived we rigged our boats and prepared ourselves for the day ahead. Lunch was followed by a "back to basics" session covering tacking and tacking theory, identifying good and bad practices on the water, and how to change the bad ones.

Hot chocolate and flapjack were available when we got off the water late in the afternoon. We then had a debrief on how the day went until tea time. We had dinner at 6.00pm then it was back to the classroom where we discussed issues of the day and where we could improve until bed time.

Each day was similar but with a different point to sail or part of the race that we looked at.

One evening Anna (our Coach) told us about her sailing career to date - the good parts as well as the parts she felt she should have worked harder at. It is good to hear that everybody makes mistakes and in order to learn from them you have to get up, brush yourself off and try harder. Good Luck Anna!!!

I learned that I need to work on my upper body strength if I want to sail 420’s! 12036456_847838561996885_8936286456607493985_n<1>

Midland Optimist Team training at Banbury.

This is run by parents for children in the Midlands area, the coaching team are great fun and informative at the same time.

It was very windy with 3 out of the 22 boats not able to go afloat. Then later in the day there were just the 6 more experienced sailors left on the water. It was good to sail in some heavy winds and work on sailing in these conditions.

Optimist Development Squad at Draycote

Windward mark rounding - spot the Oppie in Rooster livery!

Draycote Dash Pursuit Race. Being the only Optimist it was a pre-datum start for me in NO wind. After struggling with the lack of wind for an hour, the wind decided to increase on the other side of the lake which brought all the double handed boats right up to me! I got quite a few smiles as the boats passed me, I was wearing my reindeer woolly hat complete with red nose and antlers! It was a hard race to finish, but I did it, and definitely earned the hot chocolate waiting for me on shore along with a big hug from mum and dad.

Lessons learned - it's always worth finishing. What I need for the next pursuit is lots of wind at the start, then the wind to drop off and leave the big double handed boats on the start with no wind.

Oh yes and some thermal gloves…...suggestions, please Steve and team?*

The rest of my kit is still providing me with the warmth I need, keeping me nice and toasty. I use the Rooster Hot Top and Hot Legs, Supertherm Longjohn, Pro Aquafleece, Hot Socks, All Purpose Boots and Race Armour Lite Shorts, and for safety, a black Side Zip Buoyancy Aid.

*We would recommed a pair of Aquapro Gloves for hardy winter sailors like you, Katie! Keep up the good work.

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