Torquay 420 Class training
Moving into a new class for me has been exciting and scary. Pairing up with someone moving up from the optimist class to sail 420. The transition from asymmetric to symmetric is quite an odd one. This is generally the other way round. Also I had never really trapezed before and this was the second time we had been out in the boat together as Helm and Crew. Luckily the two coaches Chris Birrell and Tom Mapplebeck were on hand to help with rig setup such as Rake, Prebend and spreader lengths. Suddenly I was realising just how technical a boat like the 420 is. There is a lot of work for the crew to be doing which is really fun,especially the trapezing.
The venue at Torquay is brilliant at the Royal Torbay Yacht club. "The English Rivera" with some great scenery and is very different to Poole harbour. It is exposed to big waves. The club was fairly small but ideal and in a good location,with nice hot showers after sailing especially as we were camping. Sadly I wont be attending the nationals back in Torquay due to other commitments,which is really disappointing as it would have been a great week. The club managed to hold the feva nationals last week with some great success and I'm sure the 420 nationals will be similar.
We only managed to have one full day out on the water on the first day. Which we completed quick starts and races. It was intended to be really a warm up for the next two days. With exercises like the arrowhead planned for the afternoon. By the afternoon the weather was 20+ knots and was challenging considering there was 6 boats new to the class including ourselves out of the 10 attending the training.
Day 2s sailing was cancelled due to extreme weather but we concentrated on boat handling, breaking down the role of boat the helm and the crew in simple charts for different wind strengths. Whilst also applying a 3,2,1 sequence to these charts so they can be used in the boats. This worked very well and we broke down the tacks, gybes,hoists and reach hoists. I strongly recommend this for any boat or class .This was cross referenced with "420 sail to the max" YouTube video which was really useful for the coaches to pause individual sequences.
The 3rd day was cancelled so the boats headed home early on day 2 and was interesting packing up in such extreme 40 knot conditions. Next event Warsash.