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Cadet Class Update and Season Preview 2020

by Neil Collingridge 26 Feb 2020 09:57 GMT
The Cadet class are blasting into the 2020 season! © Tim Bees

Whilst many of their parents have opted for packing their boats away through the winter months (well the wise ones amongst us have), the UK's Cadet Class have been having none of it. Cadet sailing has continued unabated with racing at all the main squadrons. In the case of Waldringfield activities move up the road to Royal Harwich and Alton Water with both South Cerney and Frensham Pond racing on their own inland waters.

Tim Hampton from South Cerney commented:

"Busy busy busy at South Cerney over the winter. We've had six boats on the road enjoying some top class training with the National Development Squad, plenty of chilly Sunday morning club racing and the start of our winter technical classroom sessions. With 22 home and away events on the table before the end of the summer holidays we're also planning which ones to attend and when we can fit some training in!"

At Frensham, Sean Nee their new Squadron Leader reported:

"Frensham hosted the October training session on 3 successive weekends with 87 boats in attendance. Training was run for Gold, Silver and Regatta fleets ending with a prize-giving for each fleet. The "pimp your cadet" competition at Christmas saw cadets decorated as floating Christmas trees, with lights flashing and was enjoyed by all. Training has been ongoing through the entire winter by parent trainers, ex cadet worlds team sailors and even an ex cadet world champion!"

And out on the East Coast at Waldringfield new Class Captains Libbie Bush and Mish Collingridge wrote:

"Every few weeks the Cadets have participated in a squad weekend with 3 squads giving everyone who wants to the opportunity to train. Boats come from all over the country and it's a great way to make friends from other clubs. We get great coaches and its nice that many of them have themselves sailed Cadets in the past. So far we've been to Weymouth, Waldringfield and recently Itchenor and Grafham although things were cut short by Storm Ciara on the Sunday"

Chipstead Sailing Club hosted the National Development Squad for a breezy and exciting training session which saw sailors from Chipstead's youth fleet combine with new friends from Frensham, Stone and Waldringfield to hone their skills under the expert tutelage of coaches Alex Page and Ryan Wilkinson. Chipstead is a great venue for Cadets and this dinghy fits well with the club's brilliant youth sailing ethos.

And on the south coast near Eastbourne, Pevensey Bay Sailing Club are looking forward to the 2020 season with enthusiasm. They are hosting the third and final Cadet Class Spring Series event on 2 and 3 May (which will see the announcement of the World Team for the 2020 Cadet World Championships in Australia). Roger McAll, Cadet Class Captain at Pevensey has put together a mini-training programme for Cadets leading up to this event, with an experienced former Cadet running the coaching.

Looming large is the Cadet Class participation at The RYA Dinghy Show this weekend. By popular demand the Class is returning with its wind blown, hydraulic simulator where kids and adults alike can have a go at breaking the record for a tack, hoist, gybe and drop.....not necessarily in that order. No-one can remember last year's record holders (well I can but I'm not telling) so we start with a blank sheet of paper to find this years Cadet Class Dinghy Show Champions. I'm very confident the winners will not be from the ranks of the parents!

Straight after that, once squads at South Cerney and Bristol Corinthian are wrapped up, we are into the (hopefully) warmer weather and the Cadet Spring Series with events at Grafham Water, WPNSA in Portland, and Pevensey Bay running through April and May. These events are open to all and the Regatta Fleet will once again benefit from Coached Racing. The Series will also be the basis on which places for the GBR Team for the 2020 Worlds in Melbourne Australia will be selected. Preparations are already well advanced and places will doubtless be closely coveted and closely competed for. We say it every year and we are yet to be wrong - the team selection generally goes to the wire with places still being decided on the last race of the last event and with excitement brewing throughout it's often harder for the parents to contain themselves than the sailors.

Once Spring Series is done, there's so much more to be going at. At the home clubs there's plenty for those who don't like travelling (empathy or sympathy - I get it). Waldringfield will continue to run its increasingly popular Saturday morning Junior Sailing where more experienced sailors take the littler ones out for taster sessions. There's regular Saturday afternoon fleet racing where the Cadet fleet is regularly into double figures and Sunday training for all levels when we can fit it in. South Cerney runs regular Saturday coaching, club racing on Sundays, Trophy days, three day cadet camp in August, interspersed with Wednesday afternoon messing about - what's not to like over in the Cotswold Water Park. Meanwhile at Frensham the cadets have a structured 9 week plan to work through in the lead up to the Frensham Cadet open on the 21st March to kick off the new season. The annual pancake race has just been run this weekend - who won?; was there a winner? - and the Easter egg hunt on the 11th April. Through the summer, training will continue every weekend at the pond.

For those who are prepared to drive a bit there are well attended Open Meetings - as well as Frensham, Waldringfield (June 20/21st) and South Cerney (June 27/28th) are notable - the latter 2 are required attendance for the Worlds Team. A lot of GBR Cadets are then planning to make the pilgrimage to Riva Del Garda for the Europeans (1-8th August) - who can forget the Worlds in 2015 with wind, waves, wall to wall sunshine, gelato by the bucketload and limoncello, er, by the bucketload I think I can recall. After that we return for the Nationals at Lee-on-Solent (August 29-31st).....and squeezed in the middle is Waldringfield's wonderfully sociable Cadet Week (August 19-23rd) with camping, outdoors cinema, beach games and the somewhat unfortunately notorious parents' cocktail party where I shall attempt to avoid falling into the bushes yet again.

If the youngsters and their parents can survive all that lot they should have had a fantastic year's sailing.....oh and then for the lucky ones Melbourne beckons for a trip of a lifetime at Christmas. We are set fair for quite a year.

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