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Doyle Sails 2020 - Built for Adventure 728x90 TOP

29er Skills Camp at the WPNSA

by 29er Class Association 29 Aug 22:24 PDT 19-23 August 2023

Following demand from our Transitioning sailors, the 29er class ran for the first time a skills camp, aimed at both new sailors to the fleet and some more experienced sailors to hone their skills and enable them to give them a kick start before the new season's events start.

The first day saw a keen 25 29ers arrive at Weymouth and Portland National Sailing Academy. Sailors were allocated to groups and the 5 coaching groups got ready to hit the water. With conditions hitting 25 knots it was a fast and exhilarating sail and with the use of our sailor coaches, Amelie and James, all sailors had a decent blast around the harbour with many of our newcomers stating it was 'The fastest and most fun sailing they had ever had!'.

On Day 2 Portland Harbour delivered near perfect conditions for our skills week sailors to spend solid hours on the water working on manoeuvrers, footwork, teamwork and skiff skills. 2 long sessions in 10-15 knots of breeze alongside land drills and top quality coaching meant sailors made some significant noticeable progress in their boat handling skills. To top off a fabulous day on the water the sailors were greeted with the resident dolphins from Portland marina putting on a great show. To close the day our daily prize giving, supported by Ovington Boats, recognised successes from those who have made significant progress with boat handling manoeuvres to simply those who were just providing the best entertainment on the water!

Monday morning greeted our 50 sailors with again near perfect conditions sunshine and perfect breeze. The day started with a mini series of races to shuffle the sailors - this provided a great opportunity for our sailors to meet new people and work with new coaches. 3 fast paces races were run before the fleet were mixed up and reshuffled - this was the first racing most of our sailors had taken part in whilst sailing the 29er and they put on a phenomenal display of ability - it was exciting to see the newcomers who are on their way into the fleet! The afternoon saw more opportunities for specific work on the skills that had been identified by the coaching teams to be developed to ensure the rapid rate of progress continued to be followed.

Monday evening greeted us with a fantastic social event organised by Weymouth and Portland National Sailing Academy. The social event allowed sailors to hone new friendships and gave parents an opportunity for a much needed glass of wine and chat about everything they needed to know about 29ers! Following the BBQ a mass game of cricket developed, our sailors clearly don't stop their competitive nature even off the water.

The penultimate day of training saw more sunshine and a perfect 8 knots of breeze. Some of our coaching teams chose to start the day working on land drills especially with sailors new to handling the art of trapezing. With the use of a crash mat (just in case) both helms and crews learnt to trust the equipment and really got to grips with these new techniques. With the sea breeze filling in during the afternoon some breezier conditions gave our sailors the opportunity to put the skills into practise - there was a fair bit of swimming but a phenomenal amount of progress taking place.

The final day of the coaching camp saw a very very light forecast and unsailable conditions first thing. A carousel of coaching activities were planned and arranged for sailors to learn through strategy, creating a training plan and boat handling to name a few. The breeze filled in late morning and the camp concluded with all sailors taking part in a mini race series.

The overall week was an overwhelming success and the feedback from both parents and sailors was fantastic. The 29er Class association would like to thank Ovington Boats, the RYA and the fantastic coaches for helping to support and make a success of the event.

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