Sea Training Report

Rigging the boats on a sunny beach, tee shirts were the order of
the day. Who would believe this was Lyme Regis in November. The
eight Merlins launched into the clear warm water and set off for
a series of mini races under instruction from Dan, Jenny and Mike
(excellent pupil/teacher ratio!). As we gathered for the first
race a ninth competitor arrived. My shouts of "dolphin" confused
Ron into thinking we were about to come into contact with an
unknown boat. The dolphin stayed with the fleet most of the
afternoon favoring the rib with it,s affections. Whilst there
were no waves we learnt about the effects of tide on both mark
rounding and starts as people drifted past the pin end and made
some unusual windward mark roundings (we had at least 2 mm to
spare honest Jenny!)

Having made the most of a glorious day we retired to the harbour
in the gathering darkness. We are now having navigation lights
fitted for future events!

During the video debrief Will Rainey arrived and there was a
fascinating interchange of ideas between the four trainers. This
was followed by dinner at the Smugglers Restaurant (thanks
Chrissy -&- Dan)

We rigged on Day 2 in shelter from the northerly offshore wind.
We launched to find a force 3/4 with white horses. We began with
lane starts to improve our speed off the line. Tide -&- lee bow
effect added to the melee. Most people went swimming during
spinnaker handling and gybing practice in the strong breeze. Paul
and Sally gave an excellent demonstration of spinnaker furling
around the jib as we all saw on the evening video. Paul's body
language said it all before they went over (shrug with uplifted
arms! We did a pitch pole a la Titanic - shame not
captured on video. I was looking vertically down on Lyn as we
descended almost vertically into the depths. What caused this we
didnt know until Jenny revealed our spinnaker had filled under
water and dragged us down.

The trainers now joined our boats as both helmsmen and crew. Will
advised me an 8:1 purchase on the kicker was inadequate as a
block ripped out of the floor - must get that 16:1 cascade! Lots
of boat problems pointed out which we have written down and
resolved to improve.

Thanks again to all the trainers for a brilliant weekend -

Jenny King. Mike Calvert. Dan Alsop. Will Rainey.
Memorable quotes :
"When at sea with a tide running, look behind to see the effect -
not ahead"
"How can you sail a boat with things not working. Dan -&- I

Again we sailed up to 4 pm - another late finish to a full days


(Thanks to Ron and Lyne for this top report  - also many thanks to Dan, Mike, Jen and Will - I know that myself and my new crew "MegaRach" learnt a lot as it was very informative, fun and invaluable time on the water - WB)

Copyright MerlinRocket 2000.