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National School Sailing Association (NSSA) Double Handed Team Racing at Draycote Water Sailing Club

by Jon Leeding 6 Apr 2022 16:01 BST 26-27 March 2022
NSSA Double Handed Team Racing at Draycote Water © NSSA

Over the weekend of 26th - 27th March 62 sailors gathered at Draycote Water Sailing Club for the NSSA double handed team racing. An action packed weekend of team racing across two fleets. Traditionally, this event has been held solely in Fireflys but we wanted to broaden the reach and accessibility of the event by introducing a coached training fleet which sailed in Fevas and Hartley 12s.

Sailors, parents and volunteers were greeted with ideal conditions with the late March heatwave and reasonable breeze providing great conditions to kick off the 2022 NSSA event calendar.

Our race team was headed up by Don Munro, ably supported by a small army of other volunteers. NSSA Secretary, Steph Blondell and her enthusiastic team of race coaches introduced the training fleet to team racing, for many of whom it was their first experience of this format.

The Firefly fleet completed 49 races on Saturday with Rutland leading overnight. The tight competition continued on Sunday with Rutland and Derbyshire A overcoming Magdalen College School and Derbyshire B (a local derby!) respectively. Rutland took the best of three final in two races to clinch the event.

On Sunday the training fleet moved into coached racing which was clearly enjoyed by all taking part - Ryan, aged 10 said Ryan - "It was a brilliant weekend! I got to handle so many different boats I haven't handled before. We got to sail really fast and the reservoir was perfect for practicing racing. I definitely would love to do double-handed racing again and can't wait for the chance. The teachers were kind, funny and good at making me really excited about sailing big boats compared to what I'm used to. I got to sail with different people and it was interesting as I learnt different techniques from them.” Whilst Oscar (also 10) also shared his thoughts "I really enjoyed the training weekend at Draycote reservoir. The instructors helped me improve my sailing. I learnt that you can yell ‘Starboard ‘ as loud as you can! I can’t wait to try sailing the fireflys next time”. This was backed up by, team manager Colin, from Leicestershire and Rutland who felt that it had been a ‘wonderful event’. This was backed up by Hasan’s mum, Aisha remark - 'I myself feel very lucky that my son is in the company of such kind and helpful people. I hope that he too is able to become an instructor and hopefully volunteer for the NSSA one day! Thank you for holding these events that provide new challenges for our youth.’

A massive thank to Dave Rowe and the team at Draycote for such a warm welcome. If what we get up to sounds like good fun we’d love to see you at our next event, which is new in 2022, the inaugural NSSA 12 hour race which will be held at Aztec Adventure Upton Warren on 2nd and 3rd July. More details will be made available on our website which you can access via nssa.org.uk

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