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Classic & Vintage dinghy coaching weekend at Whitefriars Sailing Club

by Rupert Whelan 28 Mar 2012 16:12 BST 24-25 March 2012

Preparations started for this coaching session back in the autumn, but with all the effort that was put in by the 3 class associations, there was one thing we couldn’t guarantee – the weather.

However, the sun shone brightly, the wind kicked in to a light breeze, and our visitors (who came to the Cotswolds from as far afield as York and Suffolk) were able to have a wonderful weekend of sailing and coaching. The largest fleet were the British Moths, with 15 boats turning out (though several also qualified for the CVRDA!) and 3 Minisails joined the other 8 classics.

On Saturday, the Moths were taken through their paces by Roger Witts, a very successful Moth helm, and the order of the day was a plethora of mind and body sharpening mini races. Meanwhile, John Andrews, an experienced local instructor, looked after the 2 handed boats of the classic fleet whilst Rupert Whelan took the Minisails and the other singlehanders, teaching from his Minisail Sprite. At the end of the day, the fleets all joined back together for a longer race, and the improvement in skill levels could clearly be seen.

Sunday saw a slightly smaller turn out, so Roger coached the whole group together, again concentrating on mini races, improve starting, mark rounding and tactical skills.

Given the sunshine, it was going to be hard not to enjoy the weekend of sailing, and everybody had a great time. The opportunity was also taken by many to try out new and unusual boats. I can tell you from experience that the Megabyte’s powerful rig isn’t as scary as it first looks to a small person, that the Beachcomber, which with its lateen sail ought to be on a beach in Hawaii, sails surprisingly well, and that the new John Claridge built British Moth is astonishingly quick round a small course.

Thanks to everyone who travelled to the event and to John and Roger for lending their coaching skills.

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