At the first clinic, twenty junior sailors learned the ins and outs of the i420 covering topics such as mast bend, sail shape, proper trapeze technique as well as downwind spinnaker sailing. As a precursor to the second clinic, all sailors got a chance to rotate through two 29ers, where they had one-on-one time with a coach to get their first taste of skiff sailing.
The second clinic weekend saw a sold out crowd of twenty six sailors trying out the fast and often tipsy 29er. Incorporating the use of hands-on drills while on land helped these sailors learn the foot and hand work that was needed before they even hit the water. Chalk talks throughout the weekend included the intricacies of skiff sailing, the use of the asymmetrical spinnaker, as well as the importance of communication between the crew and skipper especially in fast paced boats like the 29er. Their skills were tested as the weekend progressed with near perfect conditions to rip around the bay and get a real sense for the excitement of the boat.
The caliber of coaching over these two weekends was world-class: Steve Hunt, Richard Feeny, Dane Wilson, Quinn Wilson, Jon Rogers, Zach Brown, Chris Snow, Duncan Williford as well as clinic organizers Giselle Camet Nyenhuis and JJ Fetter.
All the coaches were very impressed with how quickly the sailors rose to the challenge of sailing these fast and tricky boats and improved their skills on the trapeze and flying a spinnaker. The sailors wrapped up the two weekend clinics ready to continue to build on their skills, get more time on the water, and are looking forward to more opportunities to sail these high performance boats.
Here’s what a few of them had to say in the post clinic survey.
“I enjoyed having plenty of time on the water because it allowed me to experiment with the boat and become more comfortable with it.”
“I really enjoyed the one-on-one time with the coaches in the boat and the rigging demos.”
“I liked being able to try out the boats and get a feel of the boat(s) and what they have to offer as we never have an opportunity to do this through the club.”
These clinics wouldn’t have happened without a very generous donation from Bill Waite through the SDYC Sailing Foundation. A huge thanks to the Nyenhuis Family in preparing and repairing loaner boats. In addition to the coaches, several top 29er sailors donated their time on the water including the US National 29er Champions, Peter Joslin and Scott Mais, as well as Peter’s older brother, Jack Joslin. A special thanks to the Tom Driscoll family for donating a boat, to US Sailing and the Olympic Development Program for providing two boats and coaching support, and Tom & Jane Fetter for additional funding. Bill Mais and the 29er class president, John Papadopolous, spent several days preparing masts and boats as well. And thanks to Chris Snow, Jon Gardner and Eric Heim of North Sails for repairing sails and i420 gaskets and to the many parents contributed time, energy, pizza and snacks! Loaner 29ers were provided by the following families and organizations: Nyenhuis, Gardner, Schmid, Batcher, Joslin, Coronado YC, Long Beach YC. Thanks to John Hawkins, Tom Holthus, and Morgan Spriggs for loaning RIBs.
The next clinic will be held September 22-23rd with a goal of having many of these sailors racing in the inaugural SDOCR. Stay tuned for future clinics and more high-performance sailing opportunities for our juniors.
Photos courtesy of Giselle Nyenhuis and Colin Grey Voigt