RS200 Northern Youth Development Squad
RS200 Northern Youth Development Squad Training Weekend No 2 at Yorkshire Dales Sailing Club 10-11 December 2016.
We arrived at our 2nd RS200 Northern Youth Squad training camp after a very early start - my Dad says we need to be first to arrive and I generally like being there so we can get rigged with plenty of time to sort any snagging issues out...the only down side to this is it usually means a 5 o'clock start on a Saturday morning! This time the early start was made all the easier to bear by having a tasty bacon sandwich courtesy of YDSC catering.
Our Saturday morning training session consisted of sailing rudderless windward-leeward courses to encourage body movement, gut busters, rabbit runs, and close quarter boat handling. All this was very useful ahead of the afternoon's session of practice races where rules infringement became the impromptu topic thanks to my dodgy boat handling. Indeed so successful were we as a team that we had a particular scenario named after me - the Roscoe scenario. This involves infringing on at least 4 primary rules in one incident with a fellow competitor, namely port-starboard, windward-leeward, time and opportunity and tacking in the zone. Needless to say Adam and Martin took photo evidence to be sure to be able to convey the relevant transgressions during our debrief, just ever so slightly embarrassing!
Sunday kicked off with a good breeze, so much so it was touch and go after the morning's initial briefing as to whether it was too strong for the fleet to venture out. Bravado got the better of sense for some of us and the hardy ventured out for a blast round the bay. The intended practising of upwind modes and the 6 spinnaker gybe types quickly gave way to a more realistic "stay upright battle" in the pretty full on gusty breeze and for the courageous (or fool hardy) a chance to practise gybing and swimming in breeze.
After we got into the swing of handling the breeze upwind we were joined by the coach boat downwind, first time devoid of spinnaker. The next time we were 'persuaded' to add a bit of zest and promptly hoisted. With big smiles and lots of firm toe strap bracing we accelerated off, dropping for the tack as opposed to a wet 3 sail gybe. On the next downwind my crew decided to adjust the hoist position on the kite as it wasn't fully at the top. As my crew attempted to move forward it seems it was more entertaining to exit the boat at full speed looking like he was on a scuba diving trip rather than a dinghy race training event (watch Adams video footage, pretty funny!). The only downside was I couldn't sail the 200 on my own with 3 sails up in the breeze, so I quickly joined my crew where we had a bit of fun righting her successfully without righting to windward every time, sketchy....
More of the same high speed adrenalin runs continued until lunch, where we then debriefed and derigged. The day was a great opporunity to get out in a big breeze and test some of the coaches' guidance on big breeze gybe survival - some of the squad got it right, but for us it's a skill that needs more practise!!
Roll on Southport. Thanks to all concerned, especially those who stayed ashore and helped get the fleet back in - we had great fun.
Roscoe & Kent RS200 / 1110