Rutland Training Weekend 2003
Earlier last week Daniel Alsop was sitting in the infamous, or should I say
notorious, 'Smugglers' down in Lyme Regis with a bit of a predicament on his
hands. As he fondled his girlie white beard he thought to himself, "There
aren't enough boats going to training". The opportunity of having coaching
from the esteemed likes of Jennie King, Will Rainey, Mike Calvert, Simon
Blake, Liam Dempsey and his good self seemed in doubt. Thursday night
arrived and still only 4 entries had been received, however, he took the
executive decision and thought sod it, I'll go for the good beer, fine fodder
and shenanigans. As a result of lack of entries though, Uncle Mikey Clavers
was binned off (like many of his past crews) and having shown zero pace last
season was thought of little value to the training anyway.
Needless to say come Friday morning 14 boats miraculously appeared and so
Dan had actually pulled off a bit of a blinder (bit like Uncle Mikey at
Whitstable). Game On!
Training commenced with short races, started and organised expertly by
"Theres only one Stevie Watson" who was outstanding as our OOD all weekend
(cheers Stevie). The breeze was brisk and a bit gusty around the edges but
it made for exciting yottin. Everyone was thrown in at the deep end with a
succession of one lappers to assess our complete ineptitude for sailing with
myself being the first to go for a swim.
Top tip 1: Rutland Water is chuffing cold and 3mm summer wetsuits are not advised!
The de-brief over luncheon (great nosebag) highlighted our shortfalls and a
request list for training was drawn up. Everyone hit the water again for
some exercises. Tacking and boat handling was first, playing follow the
leader behind the two training boats.
Top tip 2: Ease the kicker and the boat rights quicker.
Top tip 3: Ease the kicker before you bear off in breeze and you don't swim
in the first place (Ross you twit).
The day finished with a river race where we had two rescue boats creating an
imaginary transit between themselves and the two end marks of the start line.
If you sailed 'onto the bank' a whistle was blown and you had to tack.
Little Rach thoroughly enjoyed her sail with Simon Blake (yummy), however,
it was Philly Factor and Andrea who took the gun in ever good Trent Valley
Friday was also Lizzy Page's 18th birthday. The outlook was messy. Liz
obviously never having had an alcoholic beverage before was going to lead
the whole pack astray. Power drinking ensued followed by food fights during
the meal, a dodgy night spot in Stamford where Merlin youth performance
caused a bit of a stir with the natives. Back at Rutland Sailing Centre, our
home for the weekend, madness continued whereupon one of the Dalby sisters
was locked in the disabled lavatory (by one of the instructors) and released
a good few hours later.
Top tip 4: Toilet rolls make great pillows.
Saturday morning came and after Dan had smoothed things out with a couple of
disgruntled Rutland residents (cheers Dan), training commenced. Will Rainey
began with on-shore starting practice using boats on trolleys to see if
helms could visualise the start line - conclusion from this was the only sort
of transit known was one with 4 wheels. After Will had informed us of the
delicate art of starts we put our new found knowledge to practise with about
20 rapid fire starts in a gusty force 4, by luncheon a big improvement was
noticed - Al Warren would have been proud.
In the afternoon races were held with lots of boat swapping taking place as
the instructors jumped in to give 1-on-1 tuition. The most noticeable start
was made by Tom and Hywel Perkins, managing to broach down the line into 3
Merlins and skilfully sawing off Philly Factors forestay with his
centreboard, a novel way to knobble the competition. Best screams came from
Everyone piled down the Wheatsheaf and upon Dans starting orders tucked in
to some lovely Chinese grub. We all then gate-crashed the GP14's disco back
at the club. Dan instructed the ever hard-core Merlin fleet out onto the
dance floor to show GP14 sailors how an event should be held. Most
noticeable dancing was by Liam Dempsey who insisted on getting butt naked
and taking over the DJ's mic...unfortunately for Liam, it was actually a
lamp, nice one!
Top tip 5: Dalby's will exact revenge.
Sunday morning came and after Dan had smoothed things out with a couple of
disgruntled Rutland residents (cheers Dan), training commenced. Gybing
practise was the order of the day and there was an overall improvement
noticed with much less swimming all round. After the now customary luncheon
and de-brief we returned to the water for pursuit races. The starts were
clean, gybes tidy and pace rapid! Everyone was pleased with their
performance - who could have imagined that these bunch of numpties would
metamorphoses in to half decent yachters in just 3 days?
All participants would like to thank the instructors, Dan (the negotiator)
Alsop, Jennie King, Will Rainey, Stevie Watson, Simon (yummy) Blake and Lamb
Dumpy for sacrificing their weekends and livers.
In summary, the training weekend will improve your sailing, no matter what
your skill level, so book yourself in for Lyme Regis on 20th June now.
Don't forget, in the words of our esteemed chairman, "Great
Written by Alex Jackson (Cool Cookie, 3620), aided by the 'Magic Midget
Disclaimer: The MROA accept no responsibility
for the insults contained in this report.