RYA South Zone Squad at Itchenor SC 10th & 11th December 2011

The Mirror South Zone squad arrived at Itchenor SC, faced with a frosty dinghy park (a cause of great enjoyment) and some icy boats. After having spent a while melting frozen self-bailers, the squad spent the day practicing ‘What Makes a Good Tack’.

Roll tacking was the main focus of the day, and there were a few variations of ways to time when you should cross the boat. After the sailing had finished, everyone came together for a wondrous Christmassy meal, crackers and all.

South Zone Squad Christmas mealThen came a surprising visit from Father Christmas, who checked that we had all got the timing right on our roll tacks, or rigged our boats correctly before he gave us a present each.

Father Christmas visits South Zone SquadThe next day started with our attempt at physical training, which included some press-ups for those that were late, crunches and the dreaded ‘plank’ (which became a helm vs crew race when Max and Finley were the only ones left in the competition!)

The wind had picked up from the day before and there was certainly no need for roll tacks this time! We learnt that communication was key, in order to stop the boat from being blown over by a large gust, or to stop the crew being hit on the head by a gybing boom. Sunday was ‘Christmas Regatta day’ and there was a lot of competition between the boats. The wind was at 25 knots at times, with some unpredictable gusts. Everyone got wet, and quite a few people lost their burgees, and Patrick lost his crew! Overall the day was won by Jo, and her various crews (Ottilie and Clare), even though they did manage to capsize on the slipway!

With some new found friendships (and bruises - Tom got beaten up by a lollipop...) the squad remain stronger than ever, ready for Hayling Island in the New Year.

By Ellie Bellfield