Beautiful sunshine and a wide range of wind speeds greeted the participants of the two day training weekend organised by Simon McGibney from ICRA/WIORA and Des McWilliam and Graham Curran of UK McWilliam Sailmakers. This was the second year of the training clinic, successfully hosted again by Tralee Bay Sailing Club with boats from the Royal Western Yacht Club, Galway Bay Sailing Club, Foynes Yacht Club and Tralee Bay Sailing Club taking part.
Building on the format developed last year the weekend began with an early start for a long day on the water with OOD Peter Moore and his team from TBSC. Des and Graham were on the water in RIBs and followed the fleet throughout the day, observing and videoing race starts, mark roundings, tacks, gybes, sail trim etc. They also went onboard boats to watch crews as they went through procedures and throughout the day were able to interject with advice when required.
The race team got in seven races on a windward leeward course with the addition of a gate to ensure boats completed gybing manoeuvres downwind. To keep racing interesting crews had to listen out for any ‘special instructions’ from the OOD such as every boat must put in a certain number of tacks before the windward mark. Racing was very close with an evenly matched fleet of boats competing. The weekend also included practice race starts which consisted of eight races starts run off one after another with just three minute countdowns. Exhausting work for crews but great for practicing skills! Saturday drew to a close with BBQ in clubhouse overlooking the beautiful Tralee Bay a full debrief session an each of the skills where crews had the opportunity to watch some of the recorded footage of the day. After the debrief session Elaine O’Mahoney from Foynes Yacht Club ran a very entertaining nautical quiz, which the participants really enjoyed.
Graham Curran of UK McWilliam Sailmakers onboard Huntress
There was plenty of chat about the live results that were efficiently provided by ICRA’s scoring guru Denis Kiely and could be accessed by competitors between races out on the water on ICRA’s website www.cruiserracing.ie.
Racing on Sunday began early again – something about being ashore for a Kerry/Dublin football match! The training team got in another seven races to bring the tally to fourteen for the two day training clinic. The weekend concluded with a final debrief session with Des and Graham and a lot of happy crews went home with a bit more knowledge on how to improve their racing. Looking forward to the next one! Would highly recommend this training clinic to any club to organise. Contact can made with Des through here