ISO Training Weekend - King George SC (16th & 17th February 2002)

Well what an excellent weekend that was!!

Saturday greeted KGs and visitors, 4 boats in all - plus Pete and Jonny Two Chicks (I'll explain later : - Ed) to clear blue skies and a comfortable breeze - spot on for a training session. A good reward for the visitors who had travelled from as far away as Cornwall, Doncaster, Leamington Spa and Marlow.

After the traditional coffee and bacon butties we all eagerly lined up for Pete's boat talk. It must be the way he tell's 'em, but several of the finer points of mast gate control versus wind speed made a lot more sense compared to previous chats on the subject - we were already onto a winner and it wasn't even 10.30. Checked all the boats for rake, rig tension, strop length and tape - you MUST take out shares in a PVC tape company on an ISO. It's much cheaper than a ripped kite - as we found out last year9.

The general plan was similar to previous sessions. Short windward leeward course and 5 tacks, 5 gybes then round again, and again and again with Pete and Jonny following up in the dory armed with the video camera and plenty of instruction, swapping places with helm and crew for some one to one teaching. Commentary went along the lines of:-

slow down crew, you're getting across well before your helm - result, boat isn't heeling enough and then over correcting take up the jib slack before tack - then pull through cleanly for an immediate set - result, you keep the power on and don't stop take up the kite slack before the gybe - same effect as the jib - you keep the power on roll further on the tacks and gybes - wings just skimming the water, minimum rudder, boom over, helm stands up, popping the battens on the way, then crew follows just quickly enough to get the boat flat keep your weight down during the roll - it's so easy for crew and helm weights to be fighting each other - talk, work as a team RRRROOOLLLLL that boat - especially in light winds - on tacks and gybes and a host of other things which will doubtless get remembered, just after we've all got them wrong - again !

Something like 4 hours of that later helms were getting a bit jaded and crews were ready for their zimmer frames!! And this was only a force 2 at best! (Make note - crew down the gym to lose that Christmas pud - and helms go keep them company ! ).

On a serious note for a moment. The end of the day with everyone tired rapidly bred a round of injuries. Stuart slipped and put a huge bruise on his knee - touch and go for Sunday sailing, we retired for the day. Another pair were de-hydrated and overheating - and remember this is only February - to the point that they were advised off the water for drinks. Most others were beginning to flounder and get knocks and bruises. Past time to retire to the bar to be sure people weren't too broken to enjoy the next day. Sailing is fun after all.

So another reminder came out of that - before the summer heat - remember to take drinks and something to eat on the water, especially for a long race series, which the circuit usually is. Normally Pete and Jonny take 1.5 litres of fluid (NOT fizzy drinks) out on the water on a race day, it is usually gone by the time they land ashore at the end of the day! No wimping out to the Club House for lunch ! And if you are getting over tired, better to retire and enjoy another day than be so broken as to have to retire from the series.

Off the water to watch the video of the day. Or rather we would have done if someone had remembered the camcorder SCART adaptor! So we had to settle for watching the mistakes - and good parts - from the KGSC December session along with a video of Rob Burridge and Mike Speller doing things properly. We'll get there one day.

Evening entertainment took us to the unlikely sounding Navigation Inn, which we couldn't find, for a very pleasant and reasonably priced meal and a couple of drinks in some excellent surroundings. Now to explain Jonny Two Chicks. Jonny is a lightly built lad who ordered chicken and chips. He got a large oval plate with a small portion of chips and two large whole chickens!! Fast food joints - eat your heart out. This is the way to serve chicken and chips!! You finished it yet Jonny??

A good evening was had by all - even the late comers. Good to see Matt and Diane are keen - after the days sailing these two went off for a game of squash - just to warm up!

Sunday brought out the limping wounded - a dreary sky and no wind. KG was a great mirror but not much else. So off to the video - with the adaptor (organiser to the rescue!) - to look at the errors of yesterday's ways. An excellent, if embarrassing, way of finding out what we need to improve - see above.

Club racing got under way - very slowly - and the ISO fleet went out to start our series of one lap races designed for practice rather than winning. Several hours of that, sun came out, the breeze got up a bit, more video, more one to one with Pete and Jonny then back to see the results on screen. Some more improvements and a lot more practice needed.

Our thanks to Colin Butcher for looking after us in the dory; Bob Hawkins helpful as always with catering and keys; the Sailing Committee for their support - and the Commodore for nicking the race mark on Sunday!

And the Riviera - well the face still feels like it's burning up so I guess it must be a touch of sun burn - can't be the wind as there wasn't any. But don't be ridiculous; it's February and it's the UK!! It was a great weekend. It's going to be a good summer :

Bob Ladell and Stuart Watts (814)
James Hamilton and Adrian Jones (533)
Dave and Andrew Skinner (949)
Matt Levell and Diane Milne (729)


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