Optimist training weekend at Bewl Valley SC

Thirty-seven hardy Optimist sailors turned up to a girls-only training event at Bewl Valley

Tuesday November 7th 2000, Author: Jennie King, Location: United Kingdom
The threat of gales and floods did not deter a big turn-out at the training event during the bonfire weekend of 4/5th November. The girls had travelled from as far away as Guernsey and Herefordshire and enjoyed a mixed weekend of sailing and socialising.
Sunshine and light breeze made a welcome change from the usual wind and rain we seem to have been experiencing lately which allowed the training team, lead by Jennie King, to pack in a busy Saturday with the girls divided into manageable training groups.

Trainers included past and present Optimist sailors and parents who were keen to give the girls the benefit of their considerable knowledge. The day finished with a good-humoured session from Peter Martin, now an International Optimist Coach, who discussed girl issues and sailing, being competitive, and gave examples of our own girl sailors who have made it! That evening the girls, joined by many parents, enjoyed local firework displays followed by supper provided by Optimist families from Bewl.

On Sunday morning most of the fleet looked fairly wide awake after rigging their boats in the fresher breeze. After a quick briefing on boat tune, they set off to join in club racing with their own Optimist start. The forecast wind picked up to force 4-5 by the afternoon with most of the girls - being given the option to sit it out - choosing to have a go. Pretty impressive, with average age being 11 years and some only nine years old!

The girls who stayed ashore were shown the video taken of the earlier race, with training tips for handling stronger breeze. More girl power tips concluded the weekend, and everyone went home with plenty to think about and lots of new friends.

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