Over the half term I went to my first National Intermediate squad camp at WPNSA. I had a great time and we were very lucky to have a great mix of conditions.
I arrived at a wet and windy Portland on Thursday with plenty of time to rig up. The morning was spent doing team building activities (with varying degrees of success!) and getting to know each other and our coaches. Skipping is definitely not our squads strong point. After this we had a briefing about what we were going to do on the water in the afternoon.
By the afternoon the wind had dropped considerably to around 8 knots. We predominantly focused on our lane holding and boat speed before doing a few short races. We then had our debrief and headed back to our hotel for an ‘early night’.
In the morning we had a fitness test. This involved tests to measure our leg, core and arm strength as well as agility and aerobic fitness. I scored the highest in my squad in the bleep test with a level of 14.04, but I struggled slightly on the strength side. This is something I have already started working hard on to correct and hope it will improve my sailing. After all, fitness is free speed. Unfortunately I had to miss the afternoon's sailing to go to my Granny’s 80th
Saturday brought a nice breeze of around 18 knots from the East. Our coaches decided we were going to make the most of this by sailing out in Weymouth Bay.
To start with we worked on our wave technique both upwind and downwind. This was good fun as the waves were great. We practiced starts with really short lines as the class has decided to make the lines shorter next year to put a greater emphasis on starting.
After this we went into some practice racing although by this point the wind had dropped quite a lot. I put what we’d been practicing into action and won 2 of the 3 races.
In the evening as a treat, our coaches allowed us to go to the fair that was visiting Portland.
We woke on Sunday to sun and little wind. We did our daily warm up and fitness then had our briefing. Our aim was to work on our pre start manoeuvres.
The morning was spent practicing trigger pulls, double tacks and scooping. Then in the afternoon we played a game called "gold-silver". This is where you have a starting race to decide which fleet you are in - the top half are in gold and the rest are in silver - then in the following races the bottom three sailors in gold move to silver and the winner of silver moves into gold. This continues until there are only two sailors left in the gold fleet. I managed to stay in gold until the penultimate race where a 2nd
place put me into silver fleet.
I am now looking forward to my first squad weekend with the Hayling Island Topper Squad. Until then I’ll be training hard both on and off the water.