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WASZP Class Training at Carsington Sailing Club

by Max Todd 11 Oct 2019 18:15 BST 5-6 October 2019


So with the tail end of a hurricane approaching it seemed like the weekend would be wet and windy ahead of arrival. Five WASZPS pitched up to find beautiful sunshine and light winds with a few gusts that were just enough to get on the foils. Not what was expected but welcome as rigging in the baking sunshine was more than pleasant. The group met over complimentary tea, coffee and bacon baps kindly provided by the club's galley.

Discussion lead to a manoeuvre-based day where footage of tacks and gybes and some slalom racing to test the skills would be most appropriate. On hitting the water it was a low riding affair that saw the exercises shift to tuning and 'wing clear' tacks and gybes.

As it heated up the puffs started to see boats foot pumping up onto the foils, key skill in the marginal conditions. This lead to some exciting racing, with the decision to foil either working brilliantly, or seeing you planted along way from the fleet after touching down mid manoeuvre: very much reminiscent of the Garda Games.

Debrief saw key points being drawn from the crowd. A big one being knowing what breeze was coming down the course and choosing how to position and when to foil. Key priority once foiling is to maintain flight where possible and if unsure try and touchdown on the way back to the middle rather than towards a corner.


Five sailors returned. Some looking tired because the rain that passed in the night kept them awake. Some for other reasons not specified.

They were greeted with a different day. Overcast with intermitted showers. The breeze was pumping in-between the clouds and clear skies saw gusts of up to 22knts charging across the pond. It had already been decided that starting and course racing would be the focus but as the slalom had been touch and go the day before 3 warm up slaloms were scheduled.

Main goal for the day was starting on the foil! Time and distance runs were being practised over rolling starts. This was decided form drawing form the experience of the sailors at the games and other events.

The 'normal' close reach approach not being a transferable skill it seems; positioning further up wind and a lot further away from the line as to be able to get up and ripping well before the gun is a key skill, if not a little scary at times, to be mastered.

A full series of four races with a windward mark gate followed to round off a big day's sailing that saw both boats and sailors being pushed in challenging conditions.

In summary a weekend with two days at either end of the scale: Hopefully over the remaining weekends we will see some of the middle of the range where the physical is simpler and decision making lessons can be transferred across. From the Coach I must say it is a privilege to have the responsibility of producing a productive environment great people sailing the best boats...

Massive thanks to Petrina Blomeley, Melissa Welbourn-hesp and Victoria Payne for being the core of the logistics and organizing authority.

See you next time.

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