Musto Skiff coaching at Blackwater Sailing Club

15 club boats and visitors of various skiff classes arrived at Blackwater Sailing Club just outside Maldon in Essex for a weekend of coaching with top skiff sailor Ian (Bov) Turnbull.

Organised by Jon Simpson from the home club, the sailors were ready to go at 11:00 on Saturday morning, with a good breeze, and brilliant sunshine. All be it that they also had to remove the ice from their ropes and centreboard gaskets etc as it was still -2°c…

Prior to launching Bov chatted to the sailors giving them a run through of the plan for the day, and some friendly set up advice. A short windward leeward course was set not far from the club and the fleet were gathered for a series of two lap sailing. This gave the coach time to follow every sailor during the session and give tips on improving sail and rig tune as well as technique. Video footage was also gathered as Bov discussed the finer points of skiff sailing with the participants for de-briefing afterwards.

Once off the water, everyone gathered in the briefing room, accompanied by plates of an excellent chili prepared by Jon’s wife Cheryl whilst everyone was on the water.

Bov ran through the video of each sailor, and the group discussed the points raised and all felt a great deal had already been picked up.

Sunday dawned again bright and sunny, but cold. The sailors launched for a coaching session based on box starting to improve not only starting but their ability to control the boats at slow speed, which is something most skiff sailors tend not to do; they’d rather blast around! However, control of the boat at slow speed and maneuvering is fundamental to starting, and can be extremely useful at packed mark rounding’s.

Again, video footage formed a key element to Bov’s coaching style, and this information was relayed to the sailors once ashore.

DVD’s of the footage is being made available to all participants, along with similar footage taken earlier of the top guys showing how to do it.

Many thanks to the Blackwater Sailing Club for not only hosting the event, but supplying a fully fuelled RIB, to Jon and Cheryl for organising the event (and the chili) and of course to Bov for his excellent input as coach. The club is planning to run another session with Bov later in the season, so keep your eyes open for the dates.