Learn to sail

News YSC News and events

Sunday, 20 September 2009

Junior Team Racing

21 Junior sailors from Beaver, Otley, Ripon and host club Yeadon descended on Yeadon Tarn for the inaugural Junior Team Racing Event on Saturday. The idea was to give people an idea of what ‘Team Racing’ was, some general race training in a different environment and to give them encouragement to get involved in the autumn NSSA and RYA Team Racing Events.

The Tarn looked like a mirror as everybody turned up, but slowly a light wind filled in, in patches. The day properly began with an introductory talk on Team Racing by Neil and Katie, as many of those taking part had never team raced before. While that was going on OODs John and Tim sorted an approximate square S course which tried to miss the various flat patches on the Tarn and Peter and Heather came up with the selections of the teams, trying to balance the experiences and abilities of the participants taking part plus attempting to muddle the various club and friendship groups up so that everybody mixed together.

The format was always going to be fairly flexible to suit the numbers turning up and the conditions of the day so while the training was going on it was decided that five (2 boat) teams would be best, racing in a round robin tournament and that would maximise the number of races that everybody would have. The event was to be sailed in Laser Picos from Yeadon and Otley, and in the light winds the boats seem to be a great leveller.

The racing started mid-morning still with light patchy winds, but in bright sunshine. The first races progressed slower than the race team had hoped so there were some panics shore side as the race order and handover arrangements were re – jigged while the OODs on the start progressed the best they could with messages and revised race orders being delivered by the safety boat and as the teams came out to the starting area.

After the initial teething problems were worked out the races progressed much quicker. The competitors started to get into it with a race or two under their belts and team racing tactics were very much in evidence as teams endeavoured not to have the last place boat.

In the end the results were very close with both first and second places and third and fourth places having to be split on tie breaks. Blue Team, comprising Peter from Ripon, Aisling from Otley, and Tom and Tace from Yeadon, were the eventual winners with White Team, Heather from Otley, Rachel from Beaver, Benjamin from Yeadon and Matthew from Yeadon (for the first couple of races) and Will from Ripon (later), coming second. The intermixing of everybody seemed to work as each of the participating clubs had representative in either the first or second teams.

The smiles and chatter at the end of the day as everybody helped to put the boats away and tidy up seemed to suggest that the day was a success and all, competitors, helpers and parents, had enjoyed it.

Amy, from Yeadon, summed it afterwards by saying “It was fun!”

No comments: