Between sailors and volunteers, some 18 Fireballers took part in a coaching day with Barry McCartin at the DMYC on Saturday writes Frank Miller. The group ranged from class veterans to adult sailors from SID to young sailors taking a break from 420s with an eye to the #Howth2020 World Championships.
McCartin is an experienced coach and also the top Irish Fireballer having notched up a top ten place in the most recent 100 boat world championships in Carnac.
Participants benefited from an initial briefing by Barry on the finer intricacies of boat tuning to maximise boat speed. In particular subtle adjustments with strut or chocks to optimise pre-bend and sail shape for a range of conditions were explored. Sailors were reminded yet again of the infinite tuning capacity of the modern Fireball to match an extremely wide variety of conditions. On a day which featured very light airs, individual boats were examined ashore and tweaked a-la-Barry to remove any excuse for slower than optimum speed. After a short lunch break and a better breeze, the 7 boats plus RIBS took to the water for a range of exercises focussing mainly on boat handling and crew /boat balance with the emphasis on avoiding unnecessary rudder movements. Once ashore the debrief examined and analysed video of the day's activities. Yet again we are reminded that sailing is a life long sport and that there is always more to learn.
The class hopes to lure Barry back for further coaching sessions and reminds young sailors that cheap second-hand Fireballs are available for purchase for #Howth2020 just around the corner! Thanks are due to the DMYC and Irish Sailing for ongoing support.