Over the weekend of May 20/21 the Britsh Contender class held a very breezy and informative training event at the Weymouth & Portland National Sailing Academy.

We were lucky enough to have the top British performers at the last two world championships as the trainers for the weekend – Gary Langdown and Simon Mussel.  This made the training very specific to the Contender class with some excellent advice on rig control and tacking techniques. 

We spent Saturday morning looking at Nick Grace’s boat and talking about the rigs in detail whilst glancing nervously at the growing breeze out on Portland Harbour.  By the time a gallant few launched for an on the water session the wind was well over 30 knots.  Deciding it was too windy to learn anything except capsize recovery the session was abandoned. A debrief session was then held ashore where various aspects of boat handling were discussed with the help of the Garda vidio.

Sunday morning was slightly less windy so we all took to the water for some very exciting reaching and beating practice.  Gary and Simon followed around in the rib giving advice.  Unfortunately the big wind came back, cutting the session short.  But everyone learnt a lot in that few hours afloat.

The event was attended by about 18 sailors with a wide range of gear and abilities.  In summing up everyone agreed that they’d benefited greatly from the weekend.

Thanks again to Gary and Simon  Thanks also to Nick Grace for facilitating and providing plenty of his own advice and enthusiasm.

Mike Murley

GBR 657



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