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RS Aero UK Youth Team Winter Training at Lee-on-the-Solent Sailing Club

by Tom Ahlheid 29 Nov 2022 21:54 PST 26-27 November 2022

15 keen RS Aero sailors arrived at Lee on the Solent for the second RS Aero UK Youth Team Winter Training of this winter and were greeted by a brisk 15 knot southerly. With the promise of a building breeze, we wasted no time in getting out on the water after a quick briefing from our coaches, Sam Whaley and Andrew Frost.

Once out on the water, it became clear that we had the perfect conditions for practicing wave sailing - the focus for the weekend. Multiple wave patterns interfered with each other which made for a random, choppy sea state. This meant it was important to keep the boat consistently flat whilst using calmer patches to put the bow down and get the boat driving upwind.

After a quick warm up, we split into groups and completed a series of rabbit runs, allowing us to see the speed difference between various settings and techniques. Then we joined together for a few races before heading in for a debrief.

Sunday was a much lighter ordeal, meaning we could test ourselves in a wide range of conditions and wave types. After a half-hour wait for the wind, during which we went through boat setup, we headed out on the water. We repeated the same rabbit runs, trying high and low modes to see which had the best VMG through a the chop. A ripping cross-tide meant potential gains could be had by sailing in high mode into the tide and low mode away from it. We then did some more races which was challenging in the strong tide!

A useful discussion was had on the day's antics during the debrief. Overall, everyone learnt lots! Huge thanks to Sam and Frosty for so many tips and the plethora of footage (with commentary), allowing us to review our technique. Thanks too to Lee on Solent for hosting. Most importantly, it was really fun!

The next RS Aero UK Youth Team Winter Training weekend is at Burghfield Sailing Club on 10/11th December. You can sign up for the remainder of the series or individual weekends via the RS Aero UK Events List here.

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