Chase GP14 Training

At times it is easier to knit fog than organise the GP14 fleet at Chase so knowing I like a challenge I was set the task of organising some training for the Worlds. With a planned on the water start of 9.30am (and some slow coaches instructed to arrive at 8.30am, and apparently in fancy dress) I was amazed that everyone turned up and there was relatively little moaning from the 19 sailors. With my part done it was over to coaches Graham Flynn and Frank Nickless to marshal the troops and get us all game ready. After a briefing about gate starts, tactics and the first mark rounding we launched. Unfortunately, the wind had got the start time wrong and was an hour late so after some follow my leader floating for a while we were finally able to practice gate starts.

With some thinking they were already battling it out with 120 other boats they mustered about ten miles away from the gate, or above it. Not helped by some big shifts we did never the less get some good starts in and useful practice on maintaining boat speed. After a couple of hours of drills, we ventured back inside for an hour of theory on tide, cloud and waves from the immensely knowledgeable Graham.

Next it was time to put it all into practice with a couple more boats joining us for the racing, including Richard Instone and Steve Parker bringing the number up to 11. With a few enquiring about the tide situation on the line we set off into the waves provided by the motorboat club whilst trying to picture the mount looming over us, as opposed to pylons. Mistakes were punished with the lead changing hands between Richard/Steve, Frank/Ben and Dodge and myself several times with Richard and Steve taking the eventual victory. There were a couple less for the second race with a boat issue for Graham and Keith and Richard’s pasty crew having been exposed to his daily limit of sunshine and needing to get back in doors before he disappeared into a pile of ash. Having decided for this race that life would be a lot easier if we didn’t need to do any turns and didn’t take any detours we lead from the front with Eden and Josh Hyland and Frank and Ben chasing.

A great day was had by all and thanks to Graham for delivering a very informative training session.

Words by Michelle Evans, photos by Beth Tate and Stuart Green