The great four days at Weymouth and Portland National Sailing Acadamy (WPNSA) started on the 23rd October with the Land Day. Everyone was excited about meeting the coaches and new people, and getting their folders! But maybe not so much to the bleep test! Our Mirror squad started off with it first so we got it out of the way, and it was tough, but it really pushed you hard and got us all ready for the next 3 days of sailing. Finally, after saying goodbye to our parents we had our first dinner as a squad and then headed off to Portland lodge hotel for a bit of rest (yeah right!) before the windy forecast Monday.
Monday started off very windy (30kts+!), but we were all up bright and early and enthusiastic for our daily fitness routine, briefing and rigging of the boats. We set off onto the water just before lunch so we would just have the chance to warm up before racing with the Cadets in the afternoon. So we all set out, everyone was a bit tense and worried, but we got out there and reached (very fast) up and down and the worst thing that happened was 2 capsizes! So after a hearty lunch we were off again racing the Cadets, showing them up with fewer capsizes and a 1st and 2nd for the mirrors. Tuesday was a very different scene with hardly any wind in the morning so we did some challenging exercises and then raced the Cadets again in the afternoon, again a 1st 2nd and 3rd for the Mirrors! The Tuesday evening was a great social event where the squad headed out to the bright lights of Weymouth to go bowling, there were some very interesting bowling techniques which kept Catherine and Sally highly amused! Wednesday proved to be a bit like Monday, a bit of a change from Tuesday! In the afternoon everyone was a bit tired so after 3 boats had gone in and then were picked up by Catherine on the RIB, me and Nick, Tom Cosier and Niamh O’Neill went for an extremely fast spinnaker reach across Weymouth harbour and back again! It was awesome! Eventually it was time to go in and de-rig and meet the awaiting parents. Everyone went home after a tiring few days, but everyone enjoyed it to bits, it was a great way to start off National Squad 2011-2012.
Report by Milly Pugh