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Following the incident in Dun Laoghaire last year involving Irish Sailing’s High-Performance Optimist Squad and the subsequent investigation and report, Irish Sailing established a working group to consider the recommendations of the report, assess how best Irish Sailing could address them, and to help with the implementation.

The working group comprises David Turner (National YC), Ciaran McSweeney (Monkstown Bay SC & RCYC) Brian Craig (Irish Sailing Board), Harry Hermon (Irish Sailing CEO) and James O’Callaghan (Irish Sailing Performance Director). The group set about developing a simple, practical and fit-for-purpose Safety Resource Pack for ensuring safe coaching events.

The Safety Resource Pack is intended to set the framework for the various functions and principles by which staff, contractors, volunteers and other representatives should discharge their responsibilities as an organiser of coaching events. The objective is to achieve a high standard of safety within Irish Sailing coaching events, without unduly constraining the sailing activities. The aim is not to dictate or restrict activity in any way, but to provide a framework for organisers to identify responsibilities, and make informed and finely judged decisions around safety.

The Safety Resource Pack has been tested by the Irish Sailing Performance squad training, along with club coaching events from three clubs of varying size and resources. The feedback is that the Resource Pack is simple and practical, and has been welcomed by those who have used it so far. The system is now being used by Irish Sailing’s coaching events, and it is anticipated that clubs and classes will adopt it when organising their own coaching activities.

The Safety Resource Pack identifies:

  • key functions/responsibilities for organising coaching events
  • protocols for dealing with emergencies
  • coach pre-requisites for Irish Sailing Coaches
  • a practical checklist for planning a coaching event
  • a risk assessment to be used for the decision to launch

The Safety Resource Pack (and particularly the risk assessment) will be most effective as an interactive tool maintained as an ‘app’ on a phone, tablet or laptop. In this way, the decision-making process for each coaching event may be recorded online, and negate the need for paper records. Irish Sailing is currently exploring options for using Irish Sailing’s Passport system for this purpose. With some modifications to the software which will be completed in the autumn, it is anticipated that the pack will become available to organisers of coaching events as a live system. In addition, we hope to extend the pack to incorporate racing events in the future.

Irish Sailing says, although the end result is deliberately short and simple, there has been a great deal of research into other systems, both nationally and internationally, along with input from a multitude of people with relevant experience.

Published in ISA

Ross Killian is Irish Sailing’s 420 Academy Coach, but this summer Killian is also developing a new Club Coaching programme. Afloat.ie finds out more about the Club Coaching programme and what he’s looking for.

What’s the new Irish Sailing Club Coaching Programme all about?
We know that most children learn to sail during the summer on various Irish Sailing courses, but we wanted to put a programme in place that steps up a level and teaches children how to race, and at the same time, extends their time on the water after the summer months. The aim is threefold: teach younger sailors about racing, get more clubs and coaches interested in race coaching, and extend the summer season into the autumn.

The Club Coaching programme has two parts. The first is finding suitable instructors and coaches on the ground and bringing them up to a brand new Irish Sailing certification called “Club Coach Level 1”. The second is working with the clubs to design a tailor-made programme that takes into account club size, costs, boats available, and geographic spread.

What does this mean for Clubs?
This summer we are rolling out the programme for clubs to encourage them to nominate possible coaches. I also want to work with as many clubs as possible to create their own Club Coaching programme. If Clubs can include a club coach in their offering to members, we can encourage more children to learn about racing, extend the on-the-water season for sailors, and expand the pool of coaches. For example, if you are a mid-sized club and you have seven Toppers that have sailed all summer, why not get a coach to train up to Club Coach Level 1 and offer weekend race training after all the summer courses have finished – you could extend your season for three or four weeks in September and October. If you have a smaller fleet, you could think about teaming up with another club in your region and splitting the coaching sessions. I’m here to help with creating and tailoring these programmes.

What would you like to have achieved by this time next year?  

By next year I’d like to have ten clubs actively running coaching programmes, and thirty valid and practicing trained coaches who are suitable to deliver club coaching.

What are you looking forward to most about this role?
I’m passionate about coaching and passionate about sailing, and I am looking forward to working with others to deliver the best training sessions to their young sailors.
Training for the new Club Coach Level 1 will begin in the autumn. If you’d like to find out more, please contact Ross Killian at [email protected]

Published in ISA

An opportunity to clarify your sailing decisions will be provided by the Irish SB20 class association when it stages a racing strategy clinic run in conjunction with the Howth Yacht Club Spring Warmer Series in April.

The sportsboat class has also launched a new website for the 2016 season. Click here to see the new site.

The new coaching initiative from 9-16th April will take place during HYC racing and outside assistance will be permitted in the series to facilitate coaching.

SB20 sailor Jimmy Dowling says it is a 'great opportunity to hone decision making skills under the guidance of world renowned coach, Mark Rhodes'.

Areas covered include:

● The three segments of the first beat (The Law of Before)

● Creating a starting priority list = creation of strategy = start

● 5 key areas to position at the start (with additional one extra)

● Double tacking – How, why, when

● Fleet / boat control – How, why, when, where

The cost per boat is €100

The annual SB20 class dinner will be held upstairs in the dining room of the Royal Irish Yacht Club on Friday 4th March (19:30hrs for 20:00hrs). The 3 course dinner is €35pp.

Published in SB20

#TBSC - Tralee Bay Sailing Club hosted the UK Sailmakers Ireland team of Des McWilliam and Graham Curran on the water for two days of coaching this past weekend (13-14 June).

A series of 16 races was run over the two-day event in Fenit, where a lot was learned and plenty of fun was had by all, as the video above can attest! A photo gallery of the weekend is also available HERE.

Published in News Update

#fireball – Normally the start of the Irish Fireball summer season is heralded with a coaching session by a leading UK Fireballer doing the honours. For a few years this weekend session was undertaken by Adam Bowers of ABC for Winning. Last year, Adam was succeeded by Simon Potts who with Tom Gillard won the 2013 Fireball Worlds in Portoroz in Slovenia (15091). Simon's circumstances have changed so this year the training will be undertaken by Richard Wagstaff who is also a former World and European Championship winning crew.

In tandem with Matt Burge, Richard won the World Championships hosted by Sligo Yacht Club in 2011 (15036) and won the Europeans the following years in Bracciano in Italy (15084), and Portoroz, Slovenia, again with Matt (15093).

The weekend of coaching takes place this weekend at the Dun Laoghaire Motor Yacht Club with a 09:00 start on the Saturday morning. Topics that are down for discussion include;

• Boat review & set up (in the dinghy park)

• Spinnaker hoist and acceleration on the top reach

• Straight line speed

• Crew tips and techniques

 At the start

 On the beat

 The hoist/gybe/drop

• Boat preparation – control lines set-up, rigging

• Regatta preparation, research.

Rigging and introductions will start off the proceedings on Saturday morning. Supper is proposed for the Purty Kitchen after the day's teaching is concluded. Sunday has a 09:30 start and it is expected that the Porsche Cup will be contested again.

The funding of the weekend avails of a scheme promoted by the Irish sailing Association and the Irish Fireball Class would like to acknowledge the support of the ISA in allowing us to offer this weekend of coaching to our members.

A recent class rule change however, prompted an earlier triggering of thoughts of summer racing. A reduction in the all up weight of the Fireball (hull, permanent fittings and weight correctors) from 79.4 to 76.4kg led to a very well organised weighing session that took place last Saturday, 18th April.

Approximately, fourteen Fireballs underwent a reweighing of either of two varieties – a full re-weighing in accordance with Class rules or a weighing of the correctors in individual boats. The Class rules require the boats to undergo a period of drying before the weighing takes place and Stephen Oram was able to organise premises for this purpose through work connections. Stephen also organised for appropriate scales to be available on the day. Irish Class Measurers, Eddie Ferris and Owen Sinnott documented the process which was a specific requirement of the rule change implantation and individual boat certificates of measurement were adjusted accordingly.

The statistics made for interesting discussion with some of the older boats putting relatively modest amounts of lead back into their boats. Most interestingly was the fact that one of the newest boats in the fleet was in actual fact carrying too much lead, so we can expect them to have an upturn in speed through the water. Despite a work schedule that embraced the prospect of weighing fourteen boats, a conveyor belt approach was taken to the weighing process and each boat was also checked for material left behind accidentally in the buoyancy tanks.

Class Chair, Marie Barry made sure that all those in attendance were properly looked after with sandwiches, biscuits, chocolate cake and tea/coffee available for all the participants.

Our thanks therefore go to Marie, Stephen, Eddie and Owen for giving of their time to the Class cause, and to Stephen for organising the premises and scales. The statistics of the day will be fed to Tom Egli, Technical Representative of Fireball International so that an assessment of the exercise worldwide can be undertaken.

A leaner Irish Fireball fleet is the favourable outcome of the day's proceedings!

With boats re-weighed last weekend and coaching this weekend, the advent of racing can be eagerly looked forward to and this gets underway with the first Tuesday night race next week, 28th April.

Published in Fireball
Laser training continues in earnest at Royal Cork. A total of 36 sailors participated in the Laser Open Day held at the club on Sunday 5th. September. Under coach Thomas Chaix, Nick Walsh and a group of 6 volunteers, 12 lasers were launched for  training in 15 knot winds.

Following a detailed briefing on the Club's Autumn and Winter schedule, Thomas Chaix outlined the Irish Sailing Association programme for the coming year. This includes club, regional and academy training options available designed to prepare the fleet for the first major of next year - the Munsters in Baltimore at Easter.

Published in Royal Cork YC

The Two Georges are hosting an intensive three-day optimist training course in Kinsale over the June Holiday weekend. Georges Kenefick and Kingston, both highly decorated dinghy sailors, will provide aspiring opti sailors with three days of race prep, on-the-water training, video analysis and high-end reference materials to take away.

The details are below, with contact details at the bottom. The cost is €125 per sailor.

 

OPTI RACEWEEK 2010
3 Days, 2 Nights, 2 Good to miss!
Everyone Welcome
Venue 1: Kinsale Yacht Club, 5-7th June, 2010
This 3 day intensive race clinic is MUCH more than a training camp, it's a High Performance Racing Experience and good value for money!
3 DAY PRICE: €125.00
So what do you get?
So plan is for Sat/Sun/Mon
Sat (JUNE 5) 11-4.30PM
Sun (JUNE 6) 10-4.30PM
Mon (JUNE 7) 10-4.30PM
We are aiming to get at least 10 hours on the water over the three days, plus all of the video analysis, handouts, presentations, and a mini regatta will be carried out as planned.
3 days of great coaching Video Analysis and detailed briefs each day Coach rotation for maximum benefit
Rule, Tactics and Event Prep Sessions
A copy of the 'Opti Sailing Bible!' booklet A PROFESSIONALLY MADE DVD of the Best Bits of the clinic A Team Racing Challange - prepare for war! A Mini Regatta on day 4 - to put your knowledge to the test.
Coaches:
George Kingston KYC/RCYC
A Youth European Radial Champion
A National Champion in 4 different classes
2008 Irish Optimist World Team Coach
Chosen as the 2010 Australian National Optimist Coach
George Kenefick RCYC
A Student Yachting World Champion
An Irish National Optimist Team Coach
A Junior Helmsman Champion
Conatct; George Kingston - 087 7578082

Published in Kinsale

Sixty-four of Howth Yacht Club's junior sailors were treated to an evening of race training in the ISA Sailfleet J80s on a fresh Monday evening, under the guidance of Laura Dillon. 

A host of support vessels and RIBs facilitated the running of the evening which saw all the children (ranging in age from 9 to 15) taking part in two short windward-leeward 'races' with two senior volunteers on each of the eight J80s. 

The moderate southerly wind facilitated exciting conditions in the flat waters of Howth Sound and gave many of the children their first taste of one-design keelboat racing. More than thirty-five volunteers escorted the exhilarated sailors back to the club after their experience. 

Published in Howth YC

This week's Afloat podcast looks at coaching. Who needs it, who doesn't know they need it, how much it should cost and what you should be getting. Plus, we go off the water to see how a business coach is helping marine businesspeople stay, ahem, Afloat.

Thanks to Thomas Chaix (www.tcsailingcoach.com) and Jason McChesney (www.businesscoach.ie) for taking part.

Published in Podcasts

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