Monthly Archives: July 2018

IOCA South Pre Nationals Training @ Bosham SC – July 25th to 27th

Over the hottest days of the year, blue skies and force 1 to 3 were booked for the IOCA South pre-nationals training at Bosham sailing club from 25th to 27th July. For once the weather gods delivered perfectly and even threw in a magnificent thunder storm to celebrate the training’s conclusion (we weren’t scared honestly….)

14 sailors travelled from Bosham SC, Emsworth SC, Burghfield SC, and the Royal Victoria YC on the Isle of Wight to make sense of the wonderfully challenging tides in and around the Bosham channel. Day one saw sailors assessing the best way to use the ebb and flow to their advantage to win races. Isabelle, Honor and India demonstrated local knowledge comes in useful, to get a head start but doesn’t help for long when training with 11 other alert sailors who quickly spot and copy the home advantage, Finn and Noah especially weren’t going to be fooled for long.

Speedy beating was the aim of day two. Variable wind and wind with tide gave perfect conditions to practise upwind sailing, keeping the sailors on their toes trimming their boats. Squat, Side, Hike, now Kiwi, Squat, Hike. Scarlet and Zac showed slick skills at reading the changing wind strengths while Oscar and George respectively suggested tacking facing backwards in an Optimist should probably be avoided and buoyancy bags work best when inflated.

Starting and navigating congested points around the race course was the focus of day three with the sailors choosing to dine afloat to make the most of the conditions. “I hovered!!” exclaimed an excited Lucy after one start. “My boat doesn’t sink with air in the bags!!” exclaimed George and Tom. Well I’m very glad you all learnt something from the training.

All sailor hopefully leave with some new and improved skills to test over the summer, and definitely leave with better rigged boats thanks to the coaches Emily Walters and Oliver Hill. A big thank you to  Head Coach Andy Kerr, Bosham SC for hosting the training and making their fantastic site at Cobnor available and a thank you to the parents for allowing coaches and Optimist sailors to use their power boats. Have a great summer to all sailors and parents and good luck to those making the journey to Pwhelli next weekend.


IOCA South Pre Nationals Training @ Hamble River SC – July 25th to 27th

17 keen Optimist racers joined coaches Sophie Holloway, Peter Baddeley and Sarah Jarman for three days of Pre Nationals training based out of Hamble River SC. As well as sailors from Warsash SC, HRSC and the Royal Southern YC we were pleased to welcome Theo Smith from Barnt Green who travelled down from the Midlands to join the fun.

The coaches kept the participants busy with a real variety of training exercises and some informal  racing. All the sailors enjoyed the training and are looking forward to putting their new skills to the test at the Nationals in Pwllheli starting next Sunday August 5th.

I spoke to a few of them about their favourite part of the training. See below, some answers may be upsetting to any Oppy parent who spends far too much time and money on keeping these racing machines in tip top condition……….

Evie (10) – I liked the Sprit racing where we lay over the front of the boat and used our Sprit as a paddle

Ella (11) – I liked the wet whistle game

Felix (8) – I liked doing press ups on the boat

Marcus (9) – I liked practicing my upwind sailing

Ffion (10) – I liked winning my first race

Kai (11) – I liked the racing best as I could practice what we’d been learning

Sabine (11) – I liked playing “Mark Mayhem”, we all sail downwind together and then all round the mark  at the same time

Thanks to Sarah, Peter and Sophie for the excellent coaching. Thanks also to Julian @ HRSC for letting us use their facilities. If you’d like to host some IOCA South training at your club please contact