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President's Letter, May 2023
Jeremy Arnold 377

President's Letter, May 2023

National Champs news plus coaching & debriefing plan

And we’re off. The sailing season is well underway with completed opens at Royal Windemere and Datchet and a weekend with 3 clubs simultaneously holding their Open Meeting:  Burton, Grafham and Bassenthwaite. Congratulations to all the competitors in these events, I hope you enjoyed friendly fleet racing with likeminded souls.

As I said in my piece for Flying Fifteen International, the theme I’d like us all to follow is consideration for others and fun for everyone. We are sailing for relaxation and enjoyment, let’s not spoil it by shouting and bullying. Trust me, it’s a lot more rewarding if we help and encourage our fellow sailors. To this end, we’re investing in providing coaching and debriefing to all competitors at our UK Nationals in Weymouth. This has been achieved through sponsorship with our underwriters, negotiated through Chris Waples and the aim of this coaching is to improve sailors of all abilities – not just the top boat. So, come on and join in, it’s really good fun.

Speaking of the nationals, Alastair Stevenson and Christina Moncur have worked very hard to ensure your 2023 Nationals at Weymouth & Portland National Sailing Academy between September 21st – 24th will be a success. The Notice of Race is awaiting final sign off from WPNSA and we’ll announce its release on our web site.

On the water we will be officiated by Mark Woods, a very experienced 15 helm from Hayling and who was RO for the RS 200 nationals with 182 entries. His CV for this event alone is impressive and reads……
  • 10 - races run
  • 80 - marks laid
  • 80 - flags hoisted
  • 205 - volunteer man days
  • 752 - wind readings taken
  • 120 km - mark laying mileage
  • 1,800 - tallies handed out
  • 5,400 - results recorded at an average of one every 4.5 seconds
Like the RS200s we plan to run a 10 race series over the 4 days of the event with a maximum of 3 races per day. So, it’s quality over quantity. We’re backing this by only prescribing the time of the first race (13:25) and the cut off time of the last race on Sunday (14:05), allowing Mark to set the event timetable based on the actual conditions, not what we think they’ll be in 4 months time.

We’re also trying to tighten up on rule observance by reducing penalty turns to a single 360 turn apart from incidents in a mark zone. The thinking is to encourage penalty taking. We used this at the recent worlds and my view was it worked. I know we took turns on two separate occasions, saving a long night waiting for the protest committee. 

In the zone, the penalty remains two turns (720) , but we’ve written in to the NOR that penalty turns at the windward mark can be taken when safe to do so after the spacer.  It’s worth also being aware of Rule 44.1 (b) which states “if the boat ……despite taking a penalty, gained a significant advantage in the race or series by her breach, her penalty shall be to retire”. So, make sure you finish your turns behind the boat you’ve infringed.

We’re trying hard on the social side too. With a Sailors supper, Bacon sandwiches for the AGM , Barbeque and Championship Tea all included.
Following an observation at our last AGM I’d like to thank Keith Jamieson for sending out membership cards to all our members and Simon Thompson for editing a great Flying 15 International magazine.
I’m just changing the wheel bearings on the trailer and looking forward to seeing you all this weekend at Hayling for the Southerns.

Good sailing

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