Just a reminder that the Royal Ocean Racing Club is offering free . . . yes free coaching at the RORC Easter Challenge, to improve general sailing skills, and thus the tightness of the racing, both in its own fleets and more broadly.
Competitors at the RORC Easter Challenge over the holiday weekend – Friday 19 Sunday to 21 April – be they RORC members or not, can receive coaching for FREE from some top names.
Many crews use the event effectively to kick start their new season, to make both themselves and their boat race-ready after the winter break.
While the coaching may be FREE, it comes from some top names, notably ‘the guru’ Jim Saltonstall whose influence helped drive many of the top names in British yacht racing, like Ben Ainslie, Iain Percy and Chris Draper, on their way to their present success.
Another integral part of the coaching effort is Eddie Warden Owen.
He may spend more time in a suit these days as the RORC CEO, but he has been one of the UK’s top sailors and also has a long CV coaching, including America’s Cup teams such as Team New Zealand and Desafio Espanol. They are assisted by professional keelboat coach Mason King.
Once again North Sails is a partner of the RORC Easter Challenge and various sailmakers from the Gosport loft will be both helping with the on-the-water coaching, while others will be sailing on key boats in the fleet.
For those unfamiliar with the event, the coaching comes in two significant parts.
On the water the event is almost unique in having RRS 41 ‘Outside Help’ relaxed. This permits coaches can climb on board to demonstrate something and/or crew can step off on to a coaching RIB to check trim . . . mid-race.
Post racing on the Friday and Saturday nights at the RORC’s Cowes Clubhouse, the coaching team will examine lessons learned during the day, backed up with video from the race course.
New for 2019 is that due to the breadth of the fleet and the introduction of a doublehanded class, the debrief session for the whole group will be followed by sessions for smaller groups, with, for example, Nikki Curwen leading the one for doublehanders.
As usual the RORC Easter Challenge will conclude with a prizegiving mid-afternoon on Easter Sunday, where chocolate eggs in extreme quantities will be given out among the prizes.