Our new Laser fleet captain, Paul Speirs, is on a mission; He has set himself several goals for this sailing year, the first being to offer quality coaching to all levels of the fleet and the second to achieve the 50+ entrants mark for our Laser Open being held on 2nd July.
Following on from the recent coaching day for the top end of the fleet delivered by Tim Rush, Paul put his mind to organising a coaching day for fleet sailors who wanted to both improve their core Laser sailing and racing skills.
What followed was quite remarkable; 18 sailors signed up for the coaching day and a further 12 coaches and experienced Laser sailors offered their time to assist.
With the weather producing perfect conditions of sun and 8mph winds increasing to 14 mph this was not a day for sitting in the new training room listening to theory, so after a quick briefing the sailors were paired up with their coach/mentor for the day.
The first session , with most of the coaches sailing their own Lasers alongside their ‘pupils’ in individual groups and a further group of 6 under rib control, was spent improving the sailors sailing technique with emphasis on boat handling skills.
The separate groups were then brought together to engage in further exercises, not least an attempt for a ‘World Record’ attempt for the longest ‘Follow The Leader’. We actually managed 25 Lasers and have the photos to prove it! Practice starts were followed by racing bringing together all that had been taught throughout the morning.
A working lunch involved reviewing photos and video from the morning session with further discussion about ‘Line Bias’ and Starting.
Most of the 18 sailors entered the Saturday afternoon racing with the coaches also taking part and offering advice before and between the starts. A couple of sailors benefitted from further one to one coaching.
The day was wrapped up with a final debrief including further analysis of video and photos, not least the damming evidence of who was over the line at the start of the first race!!
The feedback, received from the sailors, suggests that the format of the day proved very successful. With so many experienced Laser sailors participating, it was possible to offer a much more personal coaching experience to the pupils and we thank them for giving up their time.
There are a further 3 coaching sessions being lined up. Those who receive the fleet email magazine ‘Laser Beam’ will automatically get the information. Anyone who would like to get involved with Laser sailing and racing should contact Paul through the usual channels.