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UK 29er Class Regional Development

by Paul Hammett 2 Dec 2016 14:57 GMT 2 December 2016
JMST 29er Training in Torbay © Niall Myant

During the 2016 season the 29er Class has been working to help develop more sailing at a local level be it smaller sprint racing or local training. The class has a strong National race series with entries at the Harken Grand Prix events often exceeding 50 boats. Also there is an Open Training as well as Invitational Class Training supported by Noble Marine offering at least 40-50 boats the chance to train at a level that suits them. However, there is a benefit to encouraging racing and training to take place at the local level not only reducing travel but also encouraging the growth of local fleets.

This Autumn, seven Sprint racing events have been held across the UK where smaller groups of boats race on short courses at local clubs. The top ranked sailors from these events plus others from the Class ranking list will be attending the new Zhik Noble Marine Uk 29er Sprint Finals at Grafham in March 2017.

Winners of the Sprint events so far are listed below with further events due at Draycote, Largs, Leigh and Lowton.

Sprint Results so far:

  • HISC 1: Ross/Emily
  • HISC 2: Nick/Billy
  • HISC 3: Patrick/Dom
  • Alton Water: Ollie/Dylan
  • Carsington: Ewan/Zac
  • Plymouth: Gribbin/Gribbin
  • RTYC: Cunliffe/Cunliffe
Meanwhile, thanks to an award of £1,000 from the John Merricks Sailing Trust (JMST) which the 29er UK Class matched – eleven days of coaching are being provided for local club based 29er coaching.

The eleven clubs are:

  • Yorkshire Dales Sailing Club
  • Bough Beech Sailing Club
  • Poole / Parkstone Yacht Club - Rockley
  • Paignton Sailing Club
  • Queen Mary Sailing Club
  • Ullswater Yacht Club
  • Chew Valley Lake SC
  • Royal Tay Yacht Club
  • Largs Sailing Club
  • Cardiff Bay Yacht Club
  • Plas Heli, Pwllheli
So far there have been successful days coaching at Pwllheli, Paington and Cardiff with reports below. Others are due in the months ahead. Meanwhile, Hayling Island Sailing Club has, independently to the 29er Class, built a very successful 29er training programme due in no small part to the efforts of Victoria Payne with bumper turn outs on some weekends.

The 29er Class wants to thank all those sailors and parents that have helped to run these local events with thanks also to the RYA, the John Merricks Sailing Trust, Noble Marine and Zhik who are contributing in some way to the initiatives above.

Sailors update on 29er/JMST training so far...

Paignton - "We arrived at Paignton on Saturday 1st October to fairly strong and gusty winds from the south west. Four boats then spent the day working on boat speed, handling and communication, with Niall Myant coaching. Sunshine and strong breeze made for a great day of training. As a result Paignton Sailing club is likely to host more training events, and a sprint racing event is scheduled for PSC later on this year."

Cardiff - "We were lucky enough to get ex 49er sailor Dave Evans to run a coaching session at CBYC as part of the bursary awarded via the 29er class. We had 3 boats attend the coaching and had a great weekend of sailing with a mix of conditions. On Saturday we managed to dodge the rain and focused on starting. We looked at pre start, how to hold station and minimise sideways drift and then moving onto the acceleration with a solid plan that can be used in every starting situation. Sunday brought lighter winds, we focused on starting again but in lighter winds looking at how long it takes the boat to get up to speed and keeping light on the feet. All together a great weekend with a range on conditions and improvements from all the sailors."

Pwllheli – "Plas Heli Sailing Club, Pwllheli played host to a group of sailors from the 29er Squad on the weekend of 26/27 November. With the generous assistance of a bursary from the UK 29er Class and JMST the sailors were looking forward to another weekend of intensive coaching from Welsh National 29er Squad Head Coach Max Todd assisted by Josh Dawson..... A good 15-20knts greeted us on Sunday so had a productive all day session. We had a good four hours on the water in punchy, challenging conditions before the final debrief of the weekend. Analysing the videos taken of each boat throughout the weekend we had examples of both what to do and what not to do!"

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