Please select your home edition
Cruise Village 2020 - LEADERBOARD

420 Youth Performance Squad at the WPNSA

by Emmy Walker & Lizzie Beardsall 1 Dec 2020 16:14 GMT 28-29 November 2020
420 Youth Performance Squad at the WPNSA © 420 Marketing

2020 has presented huge challenges for everyone, but as a youth sailor with only 1 or 2 competitive years in a class before you are too old, it has been especially frustrating. A first world problem I know, but nevertheless as a class, the 420 sailors can't wait to get back to action.

With the RYA now including the youth squads as part of the 'elite pathway', seven boats were able to get out training in Weymouth on the weekend of 28/29th November. In the 2 weeks before, my helm Lizzie and I were desperate to avoid 'isolation' from school, which would have meant exclusion from training. Sadly, Ollie and Oscar were not so lucky and had to miss the weekend. Looking forward to seeing you at the next camp guys!

Covid protocols were tight with online symptom forms and temperature checks needing to be filled in before 8am on Friday, Saturday and Sunday. One of the rules we have had to get used to is wearing masks at all times onshore and not being able to be within two metres of anyone, which is extremely hard when you haven't been able to see your friends in weeks! Unusually we now have socially distanced briefings outside. On the plus side, at least they are shorter!

Leaving home to drive to Weymouth at 7am I thought we weren't going to make it when the wheel flew off our trailer 3 miles from home. Fortunately no harm was done and 20 minutes later we were back on the road with 4 new wheel nuts. My Dad says it's all part of the learning experience!

Conditions for the two days training were glorious and we were so excited to get back on the water for the first time in a month! Our star coaching team of Jonny McGovern and Neil Marsden made no allowances for our lack of recent sailing fitness and after 5 hours training in 18 knots of wind on Saturday we could hardly move by the time we got back ashore.

420s are famous for their social life and it was great to meet up with our sailing buddies, but I am not sure even we would have had enough energy had the covid rules allowed us. I didn't feel much like an elite athlete when I could hardly lift my arms above my head that evening!

Day 2 dawned with a cool North Easterly wind blowing straight onshore at WPNSA and with the temperature 8 degrees it was hard to get out of the warm car - especially as there were no changing rooms allowed. Dad parked the car to block out the wind and pushed us out - by 10am our coaches were ready to beast us again with numerous different exercises and races.

Four and a half hours later we were ready to drop and grateful to be packed up and away by 3pm. Covid has been a disaster in so many ways but one positive is getting our debrief online on our phones on the way home!

All in all it was a fantastic weekend and our super coach team definitely put us through our paces. We have a lot to practice after missing so much training and racing this year and we can't wait for the next squad camp at Poole YC in two weeks time. Hopefully, before long we can spark up some socials too...

Related Articles

Sailingfast hopeful for the 2021 Sailing Season
All set for the virtual RYA Dinghy Show this weekend Sailingfast are looking forward to the 2021 sailing season with great hope. Even before the virtual RYA Dinghy Show this weekend, the phone has started ringing with customers excited to be getting back on the water as soon as possible. Posted on 25 Feb
Victorian Youth Champs set for April
Victoria's most talented youth sailors will descend on the Royal Yacht Club of Victoria Victoria's most talented youth sailors will descend on the Royal Yacht Club of Victoria in April for the return of the Victorian Youth Championships and Coaching Clinic. Posted on 19 Feb
2021 Youth Nationals new dates confirmed
The delay aims to grant young sailors more time to train in the run-up to the event The event, the country's most prestigious youth sailing competition, is traditionally held around Easter but earlier this month the decision was made to postpone it due to the Covid-19 situation. Posted on 1 Feb
RYA postpones 2021 Youth National Championships
In light of the current Covid-19 situation The RYA has decided that in light of the current Covid-19 situation it is in the best interests of all parties to postpone the 2021 Youth National Championships. Posted on 8 Jan
420 Class Sailing Calendar 2021
A great line-up of events planned We are looking forward to a busy 2021. We have a great line-up of events planned. The feedback from sailors was clear: more racing, more sea venues, more waves to play with, and more variety. Posted on 31 Dec 2020
Scaramouche Sailing Trust creating waves in 2020
Our mantra this year has been 'when we can, we will' Here we are, the end of 2020. Our mantra this year has been, 'when we can, we will' and as you can imagine our students did. This year has taught us a lot about the sustainability of our project and ourselves. Posted on 24 Dec 2020
Itchenor 420 Christmas Regatta 2020
One last chance to race in the run up to Christmas Despite all the restrictions surrounding the Coronavirus pandemic, we had one last chance to race in the run up to Christmas. Then the weather didn't cooperate and our planned two-day event became one day. Posted on 22 Dec 2020
GBR 420 British Youth Squad Camp 2
Star coaches Jonny and Neil coach the young sailors at Poole Two weeks on from out first intense youth squad camp at Weymouth, the 420 squad was back again for camp 2, this time in Poole. Posted on 17 Dec 2020
420 Open Training at Lymington Town
Teams now know they can handle 25 knots The plan was to train at Oxford Sailing Club this weekend, but COVID-19 got in the way, and we ended up travelling to Lymington. All the sailors are all very grateful to Lymington Town Sailing Club for welcoming us back at such short notice. Posted on 16 Dec 2020
Scottish 420 Winter Championship
When East finally met West again In place of the normal RYA Scotland Winter Championships this year saw racing delivered as a series of Christmas Regattas with each class having a one day event. Posted on 15 Dec 2020