Arnold

Scottish WASZP Training Weekend at Dalgety Bay SC

 

Whilst our southern cousins were busy supporting the amazing WASZP sailors at SailGP Youth Inspire Plymouth, the “northern old blokes and veterans” division of the class had organised a weekend of training and fun at Dalgety Bay Sailing Club. With a most un-Scottish forecast of 25 degrees, wall to wall sunshine and 15-20 knots everyone was fully revved for a  garda-esque experience - and for once the reality didn’t disappoint.

 

4 of the 8 local boats were joined by 3 visitors from Loch Earn Sailing Club , and such is the quality of Jamie Calder’s instruction that Dave Lilburn had bust his annual CO2 allowance flying in from Rhode Island to join us and be part of the action.  Given tides it was decided to split Saturday into 3 sessions (2 afloat and 1 ashore) and hence we were on the water by 11am to allow Jamie to get some video and identify coaching themes for the weekend. The breeze was already a punchy 15 knots but with the security of RIBs and with some swapping in and out of boats everyone had a great blast around, and of course some comedy moments were captured on the video for later analysis and dissection / humour. 

 

The afternoon shore session focused on boat setup and in particular rig and sail setup and the sensitivity of the sail to batten tension.  Whilst the WASZP is a relatively simple boat with only 3 main controls it was really helpful to have Jamie take us over his boat and all the little modifications he has made to ensure everything runs perfectly.  There isn’t a lot of spare time in a WASZP to have your head in the boat fiddling with cleats or lines that don’t run – so he encouraged everyone to make their lives easier by ensuring all controls ran smoothly and keep heads out the boat. There was then time for some fettling of our own boats and then back on the water for a longer session in F3-5 conditions and with the tide turning some challenging gusts and chop to deal with. Jamie swapped in and out of all our boats to check setup and this was really helpful in identifying potential issues which were making our lives more difficult than they needed to be as the conditions took no prisoners.  Ewan McLellan deserves a special mention for mounting a successful challenge to Keith’s “wipeout of the week” win at the nationals –a pretty convincing effort IMHO.

 

Tired sailors retired ashore at 7pm – to the unfamiliar experience of a balmy 20 degrees summer evening breeze whilst we sparked up the barbeque , cranked on the tunes and cooked copious quantities of meat , washed down with the local-brewed “Inner Bay”.  After dinner Jamie led a very thorough video debrief on the big screen which was extremely helpful in identifying areas for improvement and exercises to practice (with some helpful and also not so helpful banter from the floor). True to form the WASZP band tuned up encouraged by several rounds of dark and stormies - but by midnight the lights were starting to fade as even the “Last Men Standing” were wiped out after such a big day.

 

Sunday dawned bright and lighter – and with an early high tider we were launched and ready to go by 9am for some fun racing organised by Mr Calder senior – with Jamie performing on the water coaching and video from the RIB. 4 fun races were run with  a variety of results in a shifty F1-2 which blessed these who could get up on the foils and punished these who couldn’t. As a final gift the breeze then notched up to F3 and with the flat water we had another 90 mins of perfect foiling to put into practice our foil gybing and (sometimes) foil tacking lessons from the previous day.

 

On return to shore chief BBQ meister McLellan cooked up some delicious Tikka Chicken, and we had a socially distanced lunch and final video debrief in the sun where Jamie summed up , and could already see great improvements across the fleet.

 

Special mentions :

  • Most improved sailor – John Ferguson for his first sustained flight and great improvement over the weekend
  • CO2 (un)environmental award for the longest commute – Dave Lilburning Bridges  - 3120miles
  • Endeavour award for single-mindedness and refusal to give up, EVER - Glenn Halstead
  • Variety award for the most creativity in wipeouts – Ian Fitzgerald
  • The Unforgiveable Planning Failure Award for not keeping the weekend free – Andy Marshall, John Mac, Callum Reid
  • Last Man Standing – Phil Ewart (attending remotely)– nothing if not consistent !
  • The Papa Smurf Wipeout award – hands down Ewan McLellan
  • Best homemade cookies award – Leonie Bedborough
  • Vorsprung Durch Technik award for motoring (un)reliability – Ben Ibbotson
  • JC Sailing Award for p*ss poor boat preparation – your truly
  • Team player award for most swapping in and out of boats , top event organisation skills and general helpfullness– Andy Hutch

 

Huge thanks to world-beating comedy duo Jamie and Iain Calder who did an awesome job running a flawless training event – and thanks to DBSC for being the perfect hosts and providing everything we needed to run such a great weekend. The Scottish WASZP contingent are now turning their attention to the Scottish Championships at Loch Lomond SC on 4/5 September  where we’ll get further opportunity to put our learnings into practice , and hope to be joined by our Southern cousins for another WASZP-tastic weekend of fun and foiling .     

There was an incredible week at Plymouth with the WASZP being used as the pathway class alongside the Junior RSFeva for the SailGP.

The SailGP Inspire Program aims to provide young people with the ultimate learning and experience for potential careers in professional sailing..

16 applicants, 8 male and 8 female sailors applied. 3 sailors qualified at the WASZP UK 🇬🇧 Nationals. Some of the Sailors had never been in a WASZP beforehand. The week started with intense training and practice races using the slalom style race course. 

While they were on the water the SailGP F50s provided some awe inspiring practice races and it was very exciting to be alongside these fantastic boats with the legends of sailing. 

Over the weekend the finals were fought out with some very tight racing. Zac Blomeley taking the overall win.

SailGP Inspire Program link here to find out more

 

If you would like to find all the race notices Notice of Race, Sailing Instructions, general notices and changes to the sailing Instructions.

Click here and follow the link  Notice Board

 

We now have the most entries booked for any event in the UK before.

The Nationals is looking like the most exciting turnout and fun event ever.

Please come and join us lets get those entries to 50 + and be the biggest fleet globally. Any level is welcome.

Victoria had a lovely chat with Joe Pester who told her that even in the big winds of Sunday at Ulswater, those who were new to the fleet still got out and sailed even if they didn't manage to finish a windy race.

At the front of the fleet the competition is of top quality and they are all so encouraging for us all to give it a go. At my first event 3 years ago the leader was lapping me and told me to follow him. I was elated when I finished my first ever race. You can do it too!

by Victoria Payne

Photo Matt Beck