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RS Feva South West Open Training at Chew Valley Lake Sailing Club

by James Dowrick 20 Mar 06:33 GMT 11-12 March 2017
RS Feva South West Open Training at Chew Valley Lake © James Dowrick

On the weekend of 11th & 12th March 2017, Chew Valley Lake Sailing Club hosted some RS Feva SW Open Training. Here is a joint weekend report from Amy Boyle (SMSC) & Ted Lane (CVLSC).

Thirteen young Feva sailors (plus one dad roped in as a helm for the Saturday day) lined up at Chew Valley Lake for the fifth Open Training weekend of the South West winter series. The heavy winds of the week before had abated leaving a light to moderate South Westerly breeze with occasional rays of sunshine. The coaches, Bex Partridge and James Dowrick laid on a rich mix of training exercises including the "gut buster", surprise starts, slalom, team racing, crew's races, points races and routines to test speed control, using body weight to minimize the use of the rudder, trigger pulls for acceleration and other tips to improve boat speed. Although there was a strong home contingent, other crews had travelled up from the South and for me a three hour trip from Cornwall (thanks Dad).

On Sunday, the day began with no breeze although it gradually filled in from the North West during the morning. Some tight racing helped those heading for the Spring Championships at Hayling Island fine tune their boat to boat skills.

As usual, Chew Valley made us all welcome with great food and a friendly welcome. Many thanks to all involved particularly as there were about 100 members afloat while our training took place.

Amy Boyle (St Mawes Sailing Club)

On Saturday we began with setting up our boats and getting them ready for the oncoming light winds. We then had our morning briefing with Bex and James where we went over our activities for the morning. This included some very useful information on rig tension and how the outhaul, downhaul and kicker controls should be set for the current very light winds.

After the briefing we quickly changed into our sailing gear getting ready to get out onto the water.

Once we had launched our boats we were straight into a follow the leader behind the first rib where James told us how to use more heel and the sails to steer the boat to avoid using lots of rudder which would slow the boat down. We then went into a whistle exercise with 'stop/accelerate', 'tack/gybe' and '360' on 1, 2 or 3 whistles respectively. Just before lunch we did an exercise where some surprise starts were sprung on us with races up to the windward mark.

After lunch we returned to the briefing room where we reviewed the morning sailing exercises and the plan for the afternoon sailing. By now the wind had got up a little and we were all keen to get back out onto our boats. We launched and whilst making our way over to the course were told to make our crews helm. Then we were straight into a 'gutbuster' exercise on a windward leeward course with a central mark around which we were to do a 360. After the 'gutbuster' we moved up the lake a bit and did a longer downwind slalom exercise where we would weave around the rescue boats with our spinnakers but unfortunately the wind was almost dead by this time.

Ted Lane (Chew Valley Lake SC)

A big thank you to all those who attended the weekend and a huge thanks to all at Chew Valley for being fantastic hosts yet again. The final weekend of this year's training is on Saturday 6th & Sunday 7th May at Exe Sailing Club. Coaches Bex & Charlie look forward to seeing you there. For more information visit our Facebook Group.