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Optimist Junior Girls Training at Burghfield Sailing Club sponsored by Rooster

by Poppy Armstrong 19 Oct 2021 00:40 PDT 9-10 October 2021
Optimist Junior Girls Training at Burghfield © Will Mason

Lots of sports see a drop off with girls as they get older. To try and prevent this the Optimist class have set up a new series of events aimed at the junior girls who are in the early stages of racing. The class want to run a series of weekends aimed at the girls making new friends, having fun and learning to race.

The inaugural one was held at Burghfield Sailing Club and sponsored by Rooster. While the wind was missing, the sun shone and the girls had a great time on and off the water. There were 24 sailors with 4 coaches from sailors from as far as West Kirby. One of the sailors wrote a short report of the weekend.

Over the weekend of the 9th and 10th October we travelled to Burghfield for the first 'all girl' oppy training event. After an early start we arrived at the club to find that there was no wind what so ever!

The coaches Anna Carpenter, Hannah Bristow (who are doing a 49er Olympic campaign), Lizzie Beardsall and Julia Staite took charge split the 24-strong girl crowd into random groups. The first activity we completed Race Starting and finding transit land drills. After an amazing lunch we took to the water (paddling) to put our new found skills to the test!

We all had dinner at the club before Anna and Hannah gave a talk about their experiences and how hard they have had to work to get to the British Sailing team. It was good to see that Hannah had also been to Abersoch Mirror week just like me.

Sunday, we had slightly more wind, where we practised starting again and completed a number of races. It was great experience to have lots of boats on the start line. We also practised some rules including 'Port and Starboard', I shouted so much that I lost my voice!!

I would like to thank all the coaches for being brilliant throughout the weekend, Rooster for their fab prizes and Burghfield Sailing Club for hosting. I really forward to the next one!

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