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Ocean Elements 2018

Blind Match Racing Clinic ahead of the Worlds

by Lucy Hodges 31 Aug 2018 13:03 BST 1-7 September 2018
Blind Match Racing Clinic, ahead of the Blind Match Racing World Championships © GBR Blind Sailing

GBR Attend Blind Match Racing Clinic, ahead of the Blind Match Racing World Championships

The 2018 Blind World Match Racing Championships are due to start on the 3rd September hosted by Royal Northern and Clyde Yacht Club in conjunction with World Sailing.

It is many years since Blind Match Racing has been held in the UK, it first came to the UK hosted by Queen Mary Sailing Club, seeing Lucy Hodges MBE take Gold in her first match race, GBR are grateful to all involved for bring it back to the UK.

This week has seen five counties take part in a pre-event clinic run by Liz Baylis. Sharon Grennan who will be helming GBR Team A, said it was a privilege to be taught by such an experienced coach that has over the last couple of years helped to grow Blind Sailing.

The clinic was great to get all the countries back together and see how they have improved over the last two years. Over the three days, Liz focused on getting each team's boat-handling refined and working on starting for some teams it was understanding the tidal and the shifty conditions.

GBR Blind Sailing have been running a match racing programme since November with big thanks to all volunteers, UKSA, Island Sailing Club, CCYC, Hollingworth Sailing Club, Windermere Outdoor Adventure Centre and Ark Sailing - with also a large thanks to Morrison and Foerster LLP.

For those that have not heard of blind match racing, in terms of the rules it is no different to able-bodied match racing and how each boat interacts. The only difference is the course is identified by acoustic buoys and each boat makes a different sound depending on the tack it is on, which means each sailor has to be able to carry out their role without any sighted input.

GBR have two teams competing: Team A, Sharon Grennan, Liam Cattermole and Lucy Hodges MBE, and Team B, Sally Rodrigues Laura Cammidge and Eddie Kitchen. Both teams will be supported by Ben Hazeldine and Jonny Cormack and Ian Shirra. This will see Eddie and Sally take part in their first Match Racing event.

Sally completed the clinic and when Lucy asked how Sally had found the past few days Sally said, "match racing is thrilling it is quite different from fleet racing; it has a shorter course and everything happens a lot quicker but it's a great feeling, to be sailing around a course using sound, feeling the elements, to sail fast is quite special."

GBR Blind Sailing would like to say a big thanks to Sunseeker for sponsoring the teams.

The teams are both looking forward to starting the Worlds follow us on Facebook @blindsailingUK and www.gbrblindsailing.co.uk

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