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RS500 and having fun
By Ian Baillie
So finally we get a brilliant day for trying out the RS500. After a couple of short sails in too much wind, remembering that my son has only tried a spinnaker in a Mirror and is fairly new to trapezing, we got a great day of about 10 knots to try everything out. It was the second day of our club regatta too, so we were a bit further off shore than usual, giving steadier winds. Anyway we are fine in a straight line but fairly rubbish at corners, hoists and drops. It will be a steep learning curve but already it's worth it, blasting downwind is such good fun and very different to what I've been used to and David is just so enthusiastic about it all and seems to have no fear.
On the Saturday I helped out with our Regatta Development fleet, giving on-the-water coaching and support. We finally got a warm sunny day, with winds up to about 12 knots, which was perfect for what we wanted to do. We are trying to build our youth and novice sailors racing section and now have 6 new Toppers thanks to a very generous bit of sponsorship from BP and some hard work by our Training Officer, Neil. We now run short race courses together with the usual club racing and are hoping we can translate this into a bit of critical mass and get it growing. We are getting there and we have several really keen youngsters in the Toppers but also in Laser 4.7s, Radials and crewing in various things from Mirrors upwards. But the most important thing is to make it fun and I think we do that quite well at our club.