RS Feva Joint Zones Coaching Weekend at Lymington 17th/18th March
The RS Feva Eastern Zone Squad are Sarah Bell and Gemma Ball (Mia Hutchings was standing in for Gemma this weekend), Sam Weetch and Portia Hutchings, Chris Hardy and Joe Ball, Ella Brown and Hannah Harden, Tom Adams and Joey Bell and Sarah Adams and April Phillips. All were heading for Lymington on the South Coast where the various Regional Zone Squads and National Zone Squad were to get together for a joint coaching session and party.
The Royal Lymington Yacht Club was hosting the event, but they didnít seem nearly as well organized as our own Royal Burnham. Where was the breakfast bar, tuck shop, packed lunches, hot chocolate and evening party? Ė Not there. We were all in situ early on Saturday morning. Cars, trolleys, trailers, boats etc. scattered all over the public car park, a hive of activity unloading double stackers, rigging, registering, the usual chaos.
The briefing began at 10.00. Lymington is at the top of a winding river flowing into the Solent, the tides are strong and the channel narrow with shallow banks, to make matters worse there is a Car Ferry which runs in and out of Lymington every half hour, so the chances are that you will be sharing the same small piece of water with a very large moving piece of steel machinery. 41 Fevas, were to be split into 2 groups with 2 startlines and triangular courses just east of the river mouth. After hanging around until 11.30 the launching began, the breeze was stiffening and it was already serious hiking conditions. Luckily all the training over the last three weekends had been in breezy conditions so it didnít faze anyone.
John Hardy had his RIB there to accompany our team and everyone made it safely to the course. Once there however, there seems to have been some confusion over which start line and which course to use and with the Solent swell and stiff breeze a lot of capsizing added to the chaos. Just over an hour was spent practicing start techniques and other points of sail; asymmetric spinnakers were hoisted, dropped and shredded, tacks and gybes executed and everyone had a very exciting time Ė smiling faces always good to see. As the wind picked up and the capsizing increased it was decided to bring the Regional Squads ashore, I think a relief to most. The rest of the afternoon was spent on theory.
After cold showers at our hotel (The Angel Inn) whilst Rupert and Ella smugly enjoyed hot showers at their luxury 5 star hotel, all the children were served an evening meal at a local pub. It seems the date clashed with the Royal Lymington Yacht Clubís fitting out dinner and they couldnít accommodate the Fevaís at the same time, pretty poor planning on the part of the organizers. The promised big party never materialized and the children were back at the Angel before the adults had been served dinner. Of course they managed to have plenty of fun upstairs, much to the other hotel guests annoyance, whilst the parents enjoyed a good meal with plenty of wine in the Angelís restaurant.Sunday arrived very windy, as forecast, and sailing was cancelled. The coaches arranged 4/5 different demonstrations and theory talks which took place over the course of the morning. The parents meanwhile got to do the packing up and more hanging around and then the long drive back home. A very tired but more experienced Eastern Zone squad came back into Burnham, looking forward to going sailing again as soon as possible.