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RS Sailing 2021 - LEADERBOARD

ITCA (GBR) Invitation Training at Draycote Water Sailing Club

by Jessica Powell & Mike Powell 23 Aug 09:53 PDT 20-21 August 2022
Close mark rounding during the ITCA (GBR) Invitatonal Training at Draycote Water © Mike Powell

Following the success of the first Invitation Training at WPNSA earlier this year, the GBR Class Association for Toppers (ITCA-GBR) organised their 2nd Invitational Training Event at Draycote Water Sailing Club on 20th/21st August.

Sailors are invited to attend the Training events based upon their results in the ITCA GBR National Series and a forward commitment to the class. This is a great opportunity for the sailors to train with sailors who they are regularly racing with at these events.

The class association had organised amazing coaches in the form of Draycote Academy head coach Steve Irish (who recently coached newly crowned Topper World Champion; Joe Rowe) and Tom Scott who has a wealth of experience in coaching within the Topper Fleet. Between Steve and Tom, the weekend of training was set to give the sailors first class Topper coaching that the sailors could really benefit from.

A number of the sailors arrived on the Friday evening and took the added opportunity to sail with the Draycote Youth and Junior Fleet in the Friday night race series which was a great fun way to start the weekend.

On the Saturday the winds had picked up slightly with a forecast of 14-18 knots in a consistent westerly direction along with beautiful sunny conditions. Following a short welcoming brief from ITCA, Steve and Tom were straight into the morning session with a plan to get the sailors out on the water as quickly as possible performing "Rabbit Runs" and close starting into a compressed gate. It was clearly evident that the group of Topper sailors were enjoying every minute with huge amounts of effort and focus being put in by every one of them.

With the excellent sailing conditions, Steve and Tom capitalised on this and completed nearly 6 hours of time on the water on the Saturday.

For Sunday, the wind dropped to around 7-10 knots which complemented the stronger winds we had on the Saturday. Following a short classroom session where Steve and Tom laid out the plan for the morning, the Toppers were back out on the water working on Downwind tuning and gate choice. With the large expanse of water available at Draycote, the coaches split the group in two, working very closely with the individual sailors, then bringing them together so they could test out what had been learnt.

A mini-series was planned for the afternoon of the training weekend; sailors were briefed on the Sailing Instructions and given a short time to get to the start for first signal. An Inner and Outer loop course was set in light and shifting wind conditions. Over the 4 races planned, we had 3 different winners with Katherine Gunn (Notts County/Draycote) taking the mini event honours, followed by Clem Middle (Draycote/Avon) and then Jessica Powell (Draycote).

All that remained was to have a debrief from Steve and Tom and then the presentation of the ITCA Class Attendance Certificates and prize-giving for the Mini-Series.

The sailors all enjoyed the weekend spending the maximum amount of time on the water as possible and have taken away a great deal of learning and experience from the coaching.

The next Topper ITCA (GBR) National Series Event is at Carsington Sailing Club (NS1) on 17th and 18th September; entry is open on the ITCA Website (www.itca-gbr.co.uk/calendar). Topper Sailors will be keen to do as well as they can to put themselves in a position to receive an invite to the next ITCA GBR Invitational Training.

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