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Chew Valley Lake SC

    RS200 TRAINING WEEKEND AT DALGETY BAY – the Dave weekend


    Leading RS200 sailor and coach Dave Hivey managed to get back from Egypt before the flight bans to show off his tan and coaching skills over the weekend of 17/18 April.


    Dave’s task was to improve the skills of the Scottish fleet, and a few visitors, in preparation for the Nationals at North Berwick this year. 15 boats took part over the weekend in excellent conditions.


    Saturday saw 18 knot winds all day, and after an initial briefing Dave “let us loose” to see what we could do in a short videoed session. The video shots produced of front crawl, backstroke and breaststroke will be sent to the National Swimming Coach for their sessions on “how to swim in wind and waves in water sodden clothes”. The lunchtime debrief focussed on some basics of strong wind sailing to try and encourage us to stay upright in the afternoon. The improved skills were demonstrated in the afternoon session, as a series of short windward / leeward legs were held. The fleet came ashore to a well earned rest and a summary of the day. The video doesn’t lie – we had been getting it better in the afternoon!


    Sunday morning and the wind had eased slightly, but with a steady 12 knots it was going to be hard work on the legs after the winter lay off. A long morning session was held concentrating on tacking and gybing skills. Dave worked hard at individually videoing and coaching all the boats to get improvements throughout the fleet. An exhausted set of crews crawled into launch after 2 hours of non-stop action on the water, with the video clearly showing the BD and AD (Before Dave and After Dave) results. AD was so much better!


    The short afternoon session concentrated on starting, starting and more starting. The fleet thought they had started fairly well in a Scottish way – you’ve got lots of space on the water, not many boats, so stay as far away from other boats as possible. In the final debrief Dave tried to convince us that it pays to start close to the start line, and that in crowded southern inland venues you are always close to other boats – now he knows why we don’t travel south very often!


    Thanks are due to Dave for his skills (and patience) as a coach, and the Scottish fleet will now enter a new era, called the AD period.


    Thanks are also due to RYAS, whose grant assistance made the event possible, and to the volunteers at Dalgety Bay for running on and off shore cover.


    The Scottish series starts at Loch Tummel this weekend, followed by 2 events within easy drive for northern English boats. Largs on 22/23 May, and then a chance to experience North Berwick as Nationals preparation with the event on 5/6 June. I hope to see you there.


    Ronnie Millar



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