For the 2nd year in a row, the National 12s descended on Rutland Sailing Club for their annual summer training event. Once again, Steve Irish provided coaching on the Saturday, with the 12s running their own coaching on the Sunday.
15 National 12s had booked in for the weekend, with boats ranging from the latest T-Foil Hijack design, to a vintage China Doll. In the mix was the Camm’s Design 8, now with a functioning T-Foil rudder.
The wind forecast was looking very low, but as we kicked off with the briefing at 11 there was enough breeze to go sailing, so we launched promptly. Initially we sailed around a square course, allowing Steve to pull boats out of the square and give useful feedback. Following this, Steve ran a few short races and it was clear that starting practice would be required after lunch!
We had a short de-brief of the morning session before heading out for the 2nd session. Crew position in the light airs was mentioned and Steve gave the crews the impossible task (for double bottom boats at least) of keeping down to leeward and not disrupting any airflow in or out of the slot!
Back out on the water, we quickly got into action by tacking on the whistle, where we ended up doing more tacks in 20 minutes than most of us probably do in a month! After a few gybes on the whistle, we got into practice starts and races. Steve then gave a very informative de-brief of the day, showing us videos of where we could all improve. The sailors then promptly pitched their tents in the campsite opposite the sailing club before all heading up to the local pub to enjoy the summer evening.
As the sailors were enjoying breakfast in the sailing club, the sun began to break through and would shine for the rest of the day. With less wind than the Saturday, Graham Camm offered to check rig setup and offer advice before heading out onto the water. We continued to practice our starting with a series of short races. The wind was patchy but luckily there was enough to sail in!
We ran the fourth and final session after lunch. Initially we practiced some gate starts, with Graham Camm as pathfinder, sailing a borrowed boat……luckily there were only a few near misses! We then sailed a few windward leeward courses whilst enjoying the fantastic sunshine. We could have stayed out on the water for even longer, but came ashore by 4pm to ensure everyone could arrive home in good time.
We now look forward to putting into practice all that we learnt at the next GUL Series event, which will be at Royal Harwich Yacht Club on 14th / 15th July.