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SWYSA Winter Race Coaching 2 at Starcross Yacht Club

by Peter Solly 23 Jan 10:16 GMT 20 January 2024
SWYSA Winter Race Coaching at Starcross © Tom Wild

"Tired and happy" was the overwhelming feedback at the end of a great squad session at Starcross.

With Storm Isha approaching and weather warnings in place for the following day, the intrepid SWYSA sailors met for their next Race Coaching session. In total 26 boats attended, a mix of ILCAs, Toppers and the SW Tera Squad, and as usual they were coached as three separate fleets.

The whole ethos of SWYSA (South West Youth Sailing Academy) is fun and inclusive. Developing skills and sailing faster all comes from having fun; and the whole coaching team (lead by RYA Coaches Stuart Jones and Izzy Cramp) focus hard on being friendly, inclusive, and making things enjoyable. This was particularly apparent this weekend, where sailors were supported to develop their skills and experience, many of them pushing the boundaries by sailing in windier conditions than they had experienced before.

The lead coaches were supported by a large team of assistant coaches, RYA Instructors and Senior Instructors and experienced parent helpers. There was a very high safety boat ratio and less experienced sailor were helped to stay afloat for a confidence-building amount of time.

The day included the mix of sessions afloat - the most fun was blast-reaching to and fro across the estuary, with many singing and screeching with delight! There were also shoreside sessions, focusing on heavy weather handling, sail controls etc

One of the sessions with a talk by Duncan West, RYA Regional Performance Manager in the South and South West, about Transition into next boat. This is an excellent talk, covering what to think about when making the transition into the next boat and how to get that right, and was very useful for both parents and sailors.

Huge thanks to the whole team: the coaches, the parent volunteer helpers, the team in the galley and Starcross Yacht Club for hosting. Without so much effort on the part of so many people, these events wouldn't happen.

The next event is also at Starcross on 3rd February; before the SWYSA Winter Race Coaching program moves to events at Paignton Sailing Club and Royal Torbay Yacht Club in February and March.

SWYSA: www.facebook.com/swyouthsailing
Starcross Yacht Club: www.starcrossyc.org.uk

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