Today, we completed racing the Melges 20 at Charleston Race Week, but earlier in the week, I was in Long Beach, CA for one of the best clinics I have ever been a part of: The CISA Youth Advanced Racing Clinic.
Youth sailors were invited based on their resume, potential, and passion for racing. Coaches were brought together from across North America, each bringing something unique for the youth sailors – Brett Davis on downwind Laser sailing, Sally Barkow for boat on boat tactics, Sydney Bolger for her I-420 (medal at worlds) and 470 experience, and so on.
Every morning all the sailors were brought together for a workout led by Harry Legum. This was one of my daily highlights as I got to be in the trenches with the young athletes. It was interesting to see who was able to bring their focus and seriousness to this part of the game – and who would be ready to give it their all in the final sprint of the work out.
After the workout, we would break into groups by class of boat. I was coaching I-420’s with Nigel Cochrane and Sydney Bolger. Each day we focused on one topic: boathandling, boatspeed, or tactics. The sailors were quick to improve and I enjoyed seeing how solid they became in the I-420 by the fourth day, which was a mini regatta – congrats to Scotty and Storm on their win and to everyone for toughing out a 23kts seabreeze!
The day did not end with our debrief. Alamitos Bay YC played an excellent host for our large group and catered a buffet dinner each night, so that we were well fed for the nightly lecture. Topics covered were: Olympic pathways by Leandro Spina, Kaenon and the Youth America’s Cup by Steve Rosenberg, and a coaches panel where we answered questions from the athletes.
It felt wonderful to be part of such an energized and focused group. To any youth sailors reading this, I strongly encourage you to get involved in this yearly event. Thanks to CISA for making it all possible.
by Stu Mcnay
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8:37 AM Thu 25 Apr 2013GMT
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