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Wednesday, 13 October 2010

Team Racing Development Day

28 young people were greeted by grey cloudy, breezy and cold conditions as Yeadon SC held its second team racing development day on Saturday. The day attracted sailors from across Yorkshire with strong support from Mirror Squad sailors, sailors involved in club training at Yeadon SC and at Otley SC and sailors from the Yorkshire Dales SC’s GYBE scheme. This was an introduction to Team Racing for those who have not haven’t done it before, while for those who have team raced before it was an opportunity to practice this branch of sailboat racing.

With a wide spectrum of sailing experiences within the group the teams were pre selected to try and evenly match the teams and to give a mix of experienced racers, club racers and those new to racing in each team. With a number of people new to racing taking part some of the more experienced squad sailors were appointed as team captains and we asked them to manage their team, to make sure they were around at the right time for their races, understood what was going on and were incorporated into the day’s activities. Hence it was also an exercise in working together and to mingle and mix for all the young people from a variety of clubs and sailing circles.

In addition, certain jobs to assist in the running of the day had not been manned up in advance in order that we could also include a number of the parents who had come down with the sailors and get them to be involved in running a sailing event.

With 28 sailors taking part we formed 6 two boat teams (4 or 5 people to a team) and each team raced each other in a round robin league. For those with 5 in their team the team captain had to also ensure everybody got a fair turn. The event was raced in Picos which were a great leveller for all the sailors. The boats were from the Yeadon and Otley training fleets and Yeadon members own boats as well and we are indebted to those people and to the Clubs for the use of the boats.

There was close racing all day
Everybody mucked in to get boats sorted, fuelled by bacon butties and we then held a brief introduction training session to explain about Team Racing and the Day’s programme. At the end of the session the team captains were introduced to their team and to their team colour / bib colour (which for some teams didn’t quite match – Dark blue and purple are almost the same, aren’t they ?) Then it was time to get on the water !

There was some initial teething issues first with the course and then with very enthusiastic team racing manoeuvres. The OOD team on the water sorted any confusion with the course and the team captains were reminded about giving ‘time and opportunity’ and to consider that most boats had someone new to racing in them as well so the helms had to ensure that their crews understood what was going on as well the other boat so they could react as well!

Downwind action

The OOD set a good course for team racing with a beat, broad reach, beat, run and short reach to the finish. The sailors soon got in the swing of it and good to see tactics and the rules being used to good effect in all the races. Most races were closely fought with defeat being occasionally snatched from the jaws of victory when people forgot that Picos don’t respond and accelerate like some of the race tuned boats they may normally sail !

The Beachmaster team did well keeping the teams informed on where we were in the programme and who was sailing next, or when they could have a food and warm up break in the Club House.

It was especially encouraging to see how the team captains, Ben Lulham-Robinson, Ed Grayson, Emma Grayson, Matthew Lulham-Robinson, Oli White and Will Hide took to their roles and organised their teams and generally helped things run smoothly.

In the end it was Ed’s team, sailing with Vanessa, and crews Edward, Ellie and George who came out on top with 5 wins, then Will and Oli teams tied on 3 wins with Will taking 2nd on tie break.

To finish the day off we ran a race for the team captains and their choice of crews. We formed 2 three boat teams loosely based on the final order of the main event and with 2 pairs of siblings being kept on opposite teams there was more than pride at stake ! The race didn’t disappoint and as could be predicted the sibling pairs battled for family honour all round the course. In the end the result couldn’t have been closer with the team of Will, Emma and Matthew just beating Ed, Oli and Ben by 10 pts to 11 pts.

Judging by the smiles and the chatter, all in all it was a great days sailing, racing, mixing and making new friends, enjoyed by the sailors and everybody who helped out run it, whether volunteering before hand or co-opted on the day - It looks like we will have to do it again next year !

:-) Neil and Heather - The organising team

Two cold OODs

The bacon butty team - They were great !!!

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